Saying NO to Your ‘Shoulds’ and YES to Divine Order
I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m a believer. I don’t always make mention of it either. For those of you in whom the word “believer” evokes thoughts of Area 51 experiments, extraterrestrial visits, conspiracy theories, or even the rigid fundamentalism of many of my believing counterparts, let me explain.
It’s about a love story. A very romantic, very passionate love story. I love Jesus. I love absolutely everything about Him and He adores me. I believe He is God. I believe He is the reason I have full access to God’s Kingdom and, with His help, I try to follow His lead.
But, despite this love, I shy away from incorporating too much scripture or too much spirituality into my writing. Why? Because I feel so terribly ill-equipped to do so. I have no formal training in theology. I’m just a woman after God’s heart who wants to communicate as clearly as possible the wisdom I’m learning every day.
The problem is, this love shapes every aspect of my existence. The way I manage my home life, nurture my relationship with my husband, raise my children and pursue my career. In short, everything I write and teach about is informed by whatever the Spirit of God is doing at any given moment.
So, however inexpert I maybe, I can only leave a direct discussion of my faith out of the copy for so long.
And it was a short talk I heard this past weekend by a sweet, powerful, young woman named Lauren Valloton that inspired this post and what I think will become a series of posts. She revealed how she learned to become an effective mother to her three step-children at the age of 25. After unsuccessfully battling to hold things together with rules and checklists, she started to let go of all of the “shoulds” in her life and began making space for God to work in their home instead. Her words struck a deep chord with me.
You see, the entire vision for Everyday Balance Basics came from a concept that God has been impressing upon me for months now, maybe even years. And when I heard Lauren speak two days ago about how she abandoned her shoulds to create a more harmonious home, I thought, “That’s it! That’s kingdom parenting!
I’ve been sensing it for so long, like a pregnant idea, pushing towards birth.
And then Penelope Trunk, a consummate entrepreneur, blogger and homeschool mom that I follow, just published a post about 50/50 role sharing in marriage and family life. She goes into all of this research and stereotypes about who should do what in the home and I thought, “No! That’s NOT it! The answer is kingdom parenting!”
So what is it? What is kingdom parenting? And why shouldn’t we be a part of it?
(I won’t be able to completely answer these questions in one post, but I can certainly get the ball rolling).
Let’s start here (This is precisely the point at which my lack of expertise will probably provoke a critical backlash, but here goes anyway)…For me, obeying God’s Spirit is the exact opposite of what it means to many of my fellow believers. I don’t really believe in rules (Yikes!). But many Christians feel obliged to live within strict guidelines in order to make it through life.
Don’t misunderstand. I fully believe in checking revelation up against biblical truth. But may I remind you that “…you are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14 NIV).”
Legalistic rigidity fuels alienation. And if you value connection – in this case, connection with your family – you have to be willing to bend. This also goes for balancing your relationship with your husband and partnering with him in your parenting efforts. If you want the Spirit of God to guide your parenting and relational decisions, you can’t hold firmly to preconceived methods, strategies, theories or general beliefs. Even if they come from a Christian handbook.
The bottom line is that should get in God’s way.
And just to wrap up and clarify, I’m not advocating for anarchy in the home. No, no. Just the opposite. I’m suggesting if your love story is anything like mine – if you have a sense that there has to be a better, Spirit-led way – that you overthrow any oppressive should-based system that might be in place in your life to allow for a higher, wiser, superior order – divine order – to reign in your household. Become a kingdom parent and feel the chains of should break right off.
What do you think? Is kingdom parenting for you? Leave me a comment below. Lots of motherly love to you!