My thoughts today are less story, more theology, but with practical application. I’m looking at my own core beliefs in a new light, through a slightly different lens, and I’m asking – what does it mean?
This is what I believe. The apostle Paul described the law as a guardian. The law guarded the hearts and lives of the people of God – but only for a time. In time the Holy Spirit took the place of the law, and became the Guardian instead.
Ideally, what works for our heavenly Father, works for earthly parents, too. We raise our children with this in mind. When kids are young, the law is guardian. Mom and Dad are the law. They make the rules, and set the boundaries. They offer rewards, and establish consequences. Life this way brings security to the hearts of little ones.
But as Christian children grow, they are introduced to a new guardian. The Spirit of Jesus, residing within. Little by little parents step back, and trust this Guardian to do His job. It’s a beautiful transfer, and a benefit to all. Kids celebrate the freedom brought by the Spirit – and parents do, too.
This theology has worked well in my home, with my boys. Over the years I’ve watched the Spirit increase, and me decrease. Boys becoming men need less of me, and more of Him. I let go and I trust, and it works.
Now here I am with two adopted teenaged sons. And I ask – where do they fit? What is needed? The security of the law, or the freedom of the Spirit? Or both?
Of course, both. But this is not easy. It’s not easy to be parents, jumping in in the middle, not sure how hearts are wired, not sure how much to trust. And it’s not easy to be teens, hearts wired for freedom, still needing the security of law. This may be our biggest challenge. It’s the thing I pray about most, and ask others to pray, too.
God has been faithful. Incredibly so. Since the beginning, every detail has demonstrated his goodness. Every chapter of this story has been a reminder. You can trust Me. And I do. I trust him to lead me – and to lead them – to the Guardian of all of our hearts.