There was once a movie of this name. I don’t remember what it was about or if I even saw it, but I’ve always loved the title.
What Lies Beneath.
It’s an interesting thought, isn’t it, what lies under the surface of everyone, everything? People and things are rarely what they seem.
At church our pastor has been doing a sermon series on family, and what that is supposed to look like. The roles of husbands, wives, children, parents. Discipling your children has been the past two weeks, and it’s been very convicting. Not because I learned anything new really – I know well the task assigned to me. It is perhaps the most important one I will ever have in my life, and I take that very seriously. But even when discussing something you already ‘know’, it’s important to take a fresh look. To step back and evaluate your job performance, so to speak.
And it’s humbling.
I mean, I have great kids. Really great. And while they are far from perfect – believe me, I know their flaws well – they are are at their core good and kind and decent human beings. They are good students, they know right from wrong, they love Jesus, and they are generally respectful to anyone that isn’t their sibling. And I am thankful for all of that. And so sometimes, it’s easy to let that be enough.
After the sermon we sang in response, and one of those songs was this:
It’s a favorite of mine, and I found it especially appropriate to meditate on from a parenting perspective.
A thousand times I’ve failed, still your mercy remains
Oh, how I have failed! Failed Him, failed them. I am woefully inept, shamefully not the mother that my children should have. They need so much more than me, so much better. They need Him. How often do I fail to give that to them? How often do I think of their good traits and let that be enough, without going deeper? Good isn’t good enough, after all.
Your will above all else, my purpose remains
The art of losing myself in bringing you praise
I’ve always loved that last line. Do you know how hard it is to lose yourself? To really get past all of your own thoughts and feelings and hangups and lose yourself?
From a parental perspective, I think of how my children need so much less of me, and so much more of Him. How I need to lose myself, and show them His perspective. What He wants, what He expects…not react out of how I feel or what I think. How my children need to know our own insignificance in order to gain a greater perspective. How I need to truly evaluate and purify What Lies Beneath my actions and motivations when it comes to raising these precious lives He has entrusted to me.
I don’t say any of this because I have the answers – for me or for you. I say it because it’s where my heart is right now, and I have a renewed conviction to do better in shepherding my little flock.
With a whole lot less of me involved.