Parents and the Image of God – Mark Lauterbach writes an insightful article on how an understanding of the image of God applies to parenting.
“I would like to suggest that the doctrine of the image of God is neglected in books on parenting. I cannot remember any emphasis given to it in my thirty years as a pastor. Yet it shapes everything I see and do as a parent.
The Bible is not a list of things to do. It is a way of seeing. When I get inside the Bible and it gets inside me, it is a way of seeing life.”
“[W]e see them as utter equals in creation and redemption. I may be Dad and a parent and have a responsibility to raise them in the nurture of the Lord, but that child is my equal in dignity. They are, in creation, crowned with glory and honor (Psalm 8).
Sin makes us despise people, especially people beneath us in power. Religion forms crazy rules that excuse cruelty or apathy to needs. Jesus faced this each time he healed on the Sabbath.”
“Children are not an extension of me. They have likes and dislikes that are distinct to them. Parents are to cultivate the child as an individual. I do not mean in the silly self-esteem kind of way, but in a respect for the designs of God in their personality and gifts and preferences. I have to recognize that when my child is someday glorified in Christ, they will be a distinct individual, and not just like me.”
“We’ve so spiritualized the fight for life, we may be losing lives because of it. We know God is the maker of every human being. We know that premarital and extramarital sex is contrary to God’s Word. Our beliefs on this front are passionate and unbending, and they should be. But I fear that our conviction and certainty can lead to lack of compassion when women make mistakes.”
“I fear as well that the politicization of “pro-life” has desensitized us to seeing the people involved. We speak in military terms: the “fight for life.” We draw battle lines and launch campaigns. We objectify mothers and are so focused on saving the fetus that we neglect the mother. Though evangelicals have over the past decade become more convinced of the importance of supporting unwed mothers, many of us still labor under the idea that once the baby is born, we’ve won the fight and can move on to the next one. But where does that leave mother and child?”
“In this election season, the “pro-life cause” can trick us into thinking that our duty is done when we check the box beside the right name. I’m glad for those in my church who knew it wasn’t, who brought meals and gifts before and after Micah was born, who loved an overwhelmed woman so she could begin her real pro-life work: the lifelong work of loving another.”
To My Old Master
– An incredible letter written by freed slave, Jourdan Anderson, to his former “master” in 1865. An excerpt where the writer draws boundaries when asked to return to work for his former “master:”
“Mandy says she would be afraid to go back without some proof that you were disposed to treat us justly and kindly; and we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty-two years, and Mandy twenty years. At twenty-five dollars a month for me, and two dollars a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to eleven thousand six hundred and eighty dollars. Add to this the interest for the time our wages have been kept back, and deduct what you paid for our clothing, and three doctor’s visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams’s Express, in care of V. Winters, Esq., Dayton, Ohio. If you fail to pay us for faithful labors in the past, we can have little faith in your promises in the future. We trust the good Maker has opened your eyes to the wrongs which you and your fathers have done to me and my fathers, in making us toil for you for generations without recompense. Here I draw my wages every Saturday night; but in Tennessee there was never any pay-day for the negroes any more than for the horses and cows. Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire.”