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Father/Friend

One night, not long ago, during family devotions, the book we were going through asked the question, “Do you think of Jesus as a friend?”

father and son matching outfit formal semi formal from flickrIsaiah answered, “I think of him more as a father. But like a father that’s our friend. Like how Daddy is our father and our friend.”

Our father and our friend. Let that sink in for a moment. This is who God is.

Sometimes I think we paint God as a father who is angry and just wants us to pull it together. Or we go the other way and think of him as our buddy to kick back with. No responsibilities, just junk food and video games.

But he is neither a dictator nor is he our bro.

He cares that skittles are our favorite and that the guy at work really hurt our feelings. But he also believes we can be so much more than we’re shooting for, so he’s always stretching us and encouraging us to be who we’re supposed to be.

He is a father and a friend.

Conversations with my kids make it clear why Jesus told us we needed to have the heart of a child to come into the Kingdom.

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Just for Company

I’m so not a “cleany”.

I mean, some people keep their houses clean so they will be clean. You know, “a clean house is a happy house…” la la la. What I’m trying to say is, they clean their houses for THEMSELVES.

Yes, weird I know.

I clean my house because the landlord is stopping by. Or my kids have a playdate. Or Chris’ family is coming to stay for the weekend. Or we’re having church in our living room (this is every week, so…).

In other words, I clean my house for other people. If push came to shove and no one was coming over for a few weeks, I MIGHT clean my house just to make my husband happy or something. But still… it’d be for other people. Because personally, I don’t care that much.

OK, so here ‘s my dilemma: I’m really tempted to “Jesus juke” my own blog here. Normally I hate a Jesus juke… but it is MY blog, so I can do what I want. Ahhhhh… OK, I’ll go for it!

So you know how I just said I only clean my house when other people are going to see it?

Yeah. So I think often we Christians (and really, everyone) walk out life dictated by what other people will see.

I’m not really talking about sin, because you know, sin is bad anytime. No, it’s more the other stuff.

Like praying. We have a way to pray in front of other people that I doubt most of us use in private. In Bible Study Group, we’re all, “Oh most gracious Heavenly Father…” but in private, it’s more of, “God please help me…” And really, which is a more authentic prayer?

We just like to make things sound so pretty and nice. And glossy.

For example, in our home we read a Bible story to our kids every night… or almost every night. When we aren’t getting them in bed at 10 PM. But I get all stressed out when I hear other parents talk about doing “Family Devotions.” I have pictures of them preparing lesson plans, complete with a flannelgraph and appropriate memory verses. And then my wise husband says, “Babe. We do ‘devotions’ with our kids. We pray with them every night and read them a Bible story.” And I’m all like, “Oh. That’s all there is to it?”

Because my version doesn’t seem as glamorous to me. But it’s real.

I guess I don’t want to live in a pretty, glossy way that leaves others feeling slightly inadequate. I’d so much rather serve Jesus in a way that is genuinely me, even if it’s a little rough around the edges.

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