Thursday, July 19, 2007
Promoting Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture
What does postmodern mean? And why should it matter to parents?
Postmodernism is the waiting room between what used to be a modern worldview and what will be. According to several postmodern scholars, we’re in a shift right now, leaving modern ideas behind, but what we are shifting to is not yet fully defined. Postmoderns believe that rationalism and/or more education doesn’t necessarily create a better society. They typically don’t embrace the notion of absolute truth, though they reach for the transcendent. They are skeptical, and often question whether science is something to be embraced or feared. The question for parents is how will we mine the current worldview, even as it shifts? What in it can we embrace as biblical? What is not biblical? What I’ve seen in the church is a fearful adherence to what is familiar. So we cling to modern ideas, even though they may not be biblical and shun postmodern ideas even when they might be biblical. Our children will meet this shifting worldview no matter what our opinion of it is.
You are the first to admit that being authentic might require a parent to apologize after an angry outburst. Are you saying that authentic parents don’t always have it all together as some would like to think?
Yep! We are all frail, needy humans. If we present ourselves as perfect parents, never failing, always doing this correctly, we show our children we have no need of Jesus. We also set up a standard of perfection—that to be a Christian, one has to be perfect. This can lead to our children creating elaborate facades or hiding behind masks. I’d rather have my children see that even mommies make mistakes. Even mommies need Jesus every single day.
You talk about the twin values of engagement and purity. What does that mean?
Many parents subconsciously believe that true parenting means protection at any cost. We received a lot of flak for putting our children in French schools because the atmosphere there wasn’t exactly nurturing. Believe me, the decision was excruciating. But through it all, I realized that Jesus calls us all to be engaged in the culture we live in, yet not to be stained by it. That’s the beauty of engagement and purity. Abraham understood this. After God told him to leave everything and venture to a new place, he obeyed: “From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD” (Genesis 12:8). Oswald Chambers elaborates: “Bethel is the symbol of communion with God; Ai is the symbol of the world. Abraham pitched his tent between the two.” As parents journeying alongside our children through a postmodern world, this concept of pitching our tent between communion with God and engagement in the world should encourage us.
Be sure to check out the other blogs participating on the Authentic Parenting Tour this week. For a complete listing of the blogs participating in the six week tour, visit here.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Sherri L. Lewis did a fantastic job of highlighting a controversial issue—the Christian response to homosexuality—with a liberal dose of humor and realism.
My Soul Cries Out makes you examine your beliefs in God’s redemptive and delivering power. Do Christians really believe that God is powerful enough to deliver a person from homosexuality and give them a new life? Do Christians really extend God’s love and acceptance to individuals who leave that lifestyle and become born-again believers? Is homosexuality a worse sin than any other sin—lying, stealing, pre-marital sex, etc?
Christians tend to put on their God-hat and put weights on sin. The novel addresses this with one powerful statement: Sin is sin.
The hero (Kevin) and heroine (Monica) are well developed, and you empathized with their pain and struggle.
One other character stood out for me, Trina. Trina, Monica’s best friend, had faced her own struggles with sin. Her struggle and eventual deliverance made her an empathetic and accepting Christian. This was another little nugget in My Soul Cries Out: Temper your judgments of others with total recall of where God brought you from.
My Soul Cries Out is edgy, funny, and REAL. It’s not a story you’ll soon forget.