Just to update you on our weekend -- it was a nice one. Jimmy, Leon, Wilson, and Dominyk came with me to pick up Bart and drop of Ricardo for wrestling camp. We had a nice time -- several good meals out, a nice rest in a cool hotel room, and some good conversations as a family. We attended worship at the new church of our beloved former district superintendent. He baptized three of our kids and is an all around great person. He and his wife have been very loving and supportive of us for a long time.
In his sermon he said something I hadn't heard ... ever. All my life I've heard the phrase, "You made your bed so you have to lie in it." He said that phrase but with a different twist. He said that our culture believes that "if you make your bed hard, you have to lie in it." He went on to say that the consequences of those bad choices are sometimes all the punishment that people need -- they don't need the judgment of God or other people.
As I begin thinking about this phrase I realized that we spend our children's childhoods teaching them to make comfortable beds. We teach them about morality and values and education and making good choices. We tell them not to drink or smoke... not to have sex before marriage... to finish school and not drop out ... we have all kinds of suggestions for them that will allow them to make the most comfortable bed possible.
But they ignore us and they make hard hard beds. Beds that include jail time and making babies before they are ready. Beds of addiction and struggle. And we are very tempted to say, "If you make your bed hard, you have to lie in it."
In some ways we have to let them lie in those hard beds. We cant' come along and build them a different bed... we might be able to purchase a pillow now and then, but the consequences of their choices follow them.
I'm going to be talking to my kids who have yet to make major decisions about this idea. I'm going to explain to them that their older siblings have made beds. I'm going to talk to them about how some of them have fairly comfortable beds, while others are trying to rest in very hard beds. And I'm going to remind them that Bart and I and all the things that we say and do are simply to show them how to make a nice, soft comfortable bed.
But in the long run, the choice is theirs.