Now that I am an adult, I see clearly the wisdom my parents had with both my sister and I when we were teens. We made mistakes, and sinned of course, but I do believe that because of their choices as parents, we are who we are today.
When I was a teen, I despised trends, and really wanted to be my own person, to some degree. I was serious about my faith from a young age, and yet was attracted to somewhat crazy hairstyles, funky clothes, and so on. I do remember one day in particular though, when I borrowed a short skirt from a friend, and when trying to leave the house with it on, my Mom insisted, “You are not going out of the house like that.”
This is what continued through my teenage years. Freedom to express myself, but an insistence of modesty. So there I was, with crazy hair and clothes sharing my faith with non-Christians.
But when I became a Mother, I had a very long list of I will nevers. . .
And boy did I learn. It was the first year of my oldest son’s life that I did several of those I will nevers. That has continued on through my journey as a Mom.
As one example, I said I would never have a gaming system in my house. I have four boys, and three gaming systems now (not that they all work). I never wanted a TV in my house. . .I have a 52’ flat screen.
Now, I have done the unthinkable. I let my 13 year old son get his ears pierced.
I am a home schooling Mother of four boys, and participate in a program for home schooled children, where they attend once a week. The bulk of our friends are Christian Home Schoolers.
While many, but not all have placed various kinds of judgments on me regarding this issue, I am equally guilty for doing my own share of judging people for things I should not have.
It is amazing how the Lord uses things like this to teach us. I am humiliated. By my own judging of others and because of my self righteousness at times, when I participated in that judgment.
My 13 year old son has pierced ears. This is the same son who stayed up with my husband and I just last week late into the night talking to us about what he was learning about God because of his studies in Genesis, and God’s dealings with His people. This is the same son who roller blades to Church two hours early, to help set up the chairs (since our Church meets in a school), and to help with the sound and power point. This was something he volunteered to do on his own. This is the son whose spiritual growth has been evident through repentance, prayer and sometimes even tears over his sin. This is the son who shows love to others that some have a hard time loving. I am sad that all some see is two holes in his ears, and their judgment of him and our family is based on that.
I hope that we can learn to see the difference between sin issues and issues of Christian Liberty. With Christ as our example, we need to be living lives of love and grace, not judgment and self righteousness. I only point this out because I see now, that I am guilty myself of these, so many times.
Having done lots of research and reading on legalism, my very godly Mother called me late last night, as she is reading through a book by J.I. Packer on the subject of The Holy Spirit. She knows what I am going through right now as a result of the fallout from the decision my husband and I made about the piercings and read the following to me:
“Experience shows that pitfalls surround those who make moral struggle central in their thinking about the Holy Spirit,. Their tendency is to grow legalistic, making tight rules for themselves and others about abstaining from things indifferent, imposing rigid and restrictive behavior patterns as bulwarks against worldliness and attaching great importance to observing these man made taboos.” J.I Packer from his book, Keep In Step With The Spirit.
I think that says it all.