It is very easy to despair of the future during such a time as this. I’ve been thinking a lot about how the world will look for our children. Is it really responsible to want to introduce a tiny, fragile human being into a place where people get gunned down at movie theaters? Where children are massacred at school? A world where bombs explode without warning or reason? I don’t mean to sound disparaging but the future can seem rather bleak, can’t it?
Though we would love to have children (eventually), I wonder about the sorts of things they’ll have to experience as a result of the folly of their parent’s generation.
I want to tell my children about what their parents saw when we were their age, and I want those stories to remain stories. A seeming fiction of the past that would look nothing like their reality.
I want to tell my kids that both political parties – hopefully at that time, more than just two political parties – are able to work together to create effective change for our country.
I want to tell my kids that we don’t have to spend so much money on fueling up our cars anymore because cleaner forms of energy are the norm, not the exception.
I want to tell my children that, yes, it was silly we thought leggings were a legitimate form of pants.
I hope my kids know they can be totally safe at their school and not have to worry about being targeted by bullies, offered drugs, asked to give up their bodies for sex, or worse.
I’d love to tell my children that the United States hasn’t been at war since they were babies.
I want to tell my kids that their parent’s generation realized ‘abortion’ was code word for murder and made the killing of infants before birth illegal.
Realistically, I don’t expect I’ll ever be able to tell my children these things. Maybe at the end of the day I am a bit of a pessimist about human potential. As much as we may want to promise our kids a better tomorrow, when I survey the landscape of 2013, I actually can’t promise tomorrow will be any better than today. What I can tell my children are constant, timeless truths that will prepare them to come of age in a volatile environment.
I can tell them their mommy and daddy love them very much and always will.
I can tell them to eat their vegetables.
I can tell them that they’re smart and able to make wise choices about their lives.
I can teach them there is a way to respect those with whom you disagree.
I can tell them that perfect love casts out fear.
But, most importantly, I can tell them that a Day is coming that will be more glorious than anything they’ve ever imagined. We won’t reach that Day by human potential or intellect, but by the culmination of God’s plans for His creation. I can tell them that the God who made them, the God who loves them, has a perfect plan to restore His broken creation to wholeness. I can tell them, with all assurance, that we serve a God who is in the business of making wrong things right.
“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”
What sorts of things would you like to tell your children?