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A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

Fighting for Our Best – Part 1: What Parents Know

Do not be afraid of them; the Lord Himself will fight for you.’  (Deut. 1:22)

cracked mirrorMy mother’s tears spoke louder words in response to my ‘coming out’ years ago. ‘I want more for you,’ she then said.

Parents want more for their kids than misbegotten identities and relationships that render them fruitless. Some convey this concern better than others. We as parents must learn to express our concern well. It is an expression of loving authority.

Annette and I are the parents of four adult children; together, we fight for their fruitfulness. How can we not? Through God’s gift of committed sexual love, we created them! It is normal, right, and godly to advocate prayerfully for our children:  ‘In Your mercy God, show our children the gift that they are and how to offer that gift fruitfully!’

Times have changed since my coming out 37 years ago. Born Kathlyn, the transgender daughter of Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, has rechristened herself Stephen. She recently uploaded a video that celebrates her new male self as ‘a queer and nerd fighter’ with a penchant for ‘any male-identified person wearing thigh highs or garters.’ Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad.

My heart grieves for every parent today whose children leave home as an awkwardly emerging man or woman and returns to announce his/her newly re-created ‘gender’ self. Doubtlessly all young adults tempted to do so have faced profound conflicts of soul. But to resolve those conflicts by forcing one’s genitals into lifeless outlets or butchering them altogether is nothing short of demonic: ‘rebellion like the sin of witchcraft, arrogance like the evil of idolatry.’ (1 S 15:23)

All we as parents can do is weep and cry out for the Mercy that rendered us fruitful. We as co-creators of new life have limits. We cannot make our adult children’s moral decisions for them. But we can nurture a vision of fruitfulness for their lives in spite of any declaration to the contrary.

That child will always be the fruit of our love. So shall we implore the God who made us fruitful to gently woo our children back to Himself—the One who knows them best. He alone has power to grant them the ‘more’ of His splendid design for their lives.

‘The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.’ (Ex. 14:14)

 

 

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Courage and Conflict

New life is always under threat. The devourer prowls around cracked doors, hungry. Mary’s ‘yes’ to bear Christ may evoke consoling images of Mother and Child but also invites profound struggle. Mary’s ‘yes’ was a battle cry.

Simeon prophesied to Mary as she cradled the Babe: ‘a sword shall pierce your heart too.’ (Lk 2: 35) He referred to the suffering that Mary and all who lined up with Christ would face. Simeon planted a Cross right in the middle of the crib. From the onset of God’s entry on earth, the battle between good and evil manifested itself.

Last week, Annette and I faced spiritual warfare of unprecedented proportions. As I prepared for a ministry trip, everything that could go wrong did. The convergence of minor hardships inflamed our weaknesses and fears. When I arrived at the airport, I was exhausted beyond rest. Only then could I apprehend what was happening. The enemy sought to wear me out before I had even advanced.

At that I laughed. I am at my best when face down, relying only on the Word that comes in quiet surrender with my comrades.

In France, my beloved colleague Werner mirrored to me the weariness he and his friends have faced since gay advocates have targeted Living Waters there. Several healers have dropped out, and those that remain are shaken. That is precisely the enemy’s point: wear them out with relentless opposition.

God has a whole different plan for the battle we face. He wants us to disengage from the irrational buzz and press into Life. Our simple ‘yes’ combined with prayerful encouragement and solidarity among our fellows is all it takes. Amid the unraveling of God’s image in our land, God speaks through the Word of our pretty good lives, we once barren and impotent, now rendered virgin and fruitful.

So we decide. Does resistance dull or sharpen us? Do we face the bullets head-down or dodge them by opting for false peace with friends, families, governments?

Annette and I have come too far to dodge. Jesus did not convert us into pious liars. He called us into a new life together forged by fire. That is precisely how we become like Him—not by creating alternate worlds that distance us from the flames, but by looking to Him through the battle, trusting that He is forging something precious for Himself.

We just discovered that the Supreme Court will decide once and for all next year on Prop. 8, the victory He gave us four years ago when the people of CA voted down ‘gay marriage’. It has been tied up by Appeals Courts ever since. We fight on, confident that the truth housed in faithful ones will endure and bear fruit.

Admittedly, the true way is the hard one and at times we feel the burn. Lately we have been asking Him for more grace to endure what He asks of us. His strength married to our ‘yes’ makes that possible. We pray the same for you.

‘Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, He will come with vengeance; with divine retribution, He will come to save you” ‘(Is 35: 3, 4).

 

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