Saturday, December 18

Being Real.

So yes, I lie to my children. If it has to be a black and white issue, than I will freely declare that I lie to my children. Sometimes when we play board games, I let them win (or I at least let them catch up). Sometimes when they ask if they can do something, I respond with a quick "not right now," knowing that what I really mean is "no, not at all." Sometimes when reading a book aloud, I skip over a few sentences to make it go by quicker...and sometimes I leave out portions entirely if I am not ready to "explain" certain concepts to my older ones. I do not always tell the whole truth when they ask prying questions, which they do. I have not explained my parent's divorce in detail to them yet, although they've asked, and I have not explained details of the other girls that daddy dated and the other guys that I dated...and yes, they have asked. I think that we will reserve those discussions for when they are just a wee bit older. Sometimes when they ask where we are going, I decide to withhold information to make the trip a bit more bearable. Sometimes I withhold information so that they can enjoy a surprise.

I do not say all this to be boastful in lying, but just to say that I think if we all took a little time to evaluate our daily lives, there would be multiple instances of untruth. Sometimes we do it because we are indeed still affected by depravity and sometimes we do it out of perceived wisdom. Whatever the reason, we all have moments where we aren't completely honest.

So yes, we believe in Santa, and if it means that I must be asked 7, 922 times, "so you lie to your children?" then indeed my answer will be yes, we do. It has been *almost joyful* to be able to answer that confidently this year. Because I know that whether you count it as lying or not, whether you teach your children to believe or not, does not make God love you any less or any more. It does not confuse your children any more than the sites and sounds they encounter in the grocery store each week. If a family is about the business of loving God daily anyway, the meaning of Christmas is not lost because Santa visits. God is amazing that way.

"The good news is that Christ frees us from the need to obnoxiously focus on our goodness, our commitment, and our correctness. Religion has made us obsessive almost beyond endurance. Jesus invited us to a dance...and we've turned it into a march of soldiers, always checking to see if we're doing it right and are in step and in line with the other soldiers. We know a dance would be more fun, but we believe we must go through hell to get to heaven, so we keep marching."
Steve Brown (A Scandalous Freedom: The Radical Nature of the Gospel)

We are dancing in our house this year, my friends.