I have been thinking about something since last Wednesday night. Actually, I have thought about it before... but I haven't come to a conclusion yet.
I believe in being real. I have learned that God desires for his people to be real. The world is hurting... the world is struggling... and if they look at us and think that we are "perfect"... then they will never think that they can measure up or be "good enough" to be a christian. Does that make sense??? So... I believe in being real. If you have read my blog much... you know that I have allowed God to use our struggles to show His power and what He is doing in my life. The inside is what counts. Eternity is what counts.
Anyway... with that said, last Wednesday night as we left church... I could sense there might have been a little problem when I got into the car. I could tell that my man was a little "undone". As it turns out... my teenager was a little too honest and critical when asked by the childrens' pastor how she thought youth group was going now that we have a new youth minister. Her sweet answer was, "boring". Now... I am sorry... I want my children to learn to be honest and real. I don't want them to learn to "pretend" about everything in their life... to make others think that things are just hunky-dorey... when they are not. I think that pretending leads to more pretending... and I don't like that. BUT.... neither did I like the humiliating feeling that came over me when I found out what she said. I gave her a little "talking to" about only saying things that are nice.... keeping her negatives to herself. To put that beautiful smile on her face and act like she loved it. To be happy while she was there.
Gee... I realized I was telling her to wear a mask while she is there. What??? That doesn't sound like what I believe in. But first of all.... everything short of text messaging 8000 times per month is boring to her. So... boring is probably not an accurate description of what is going on in youth group. But... the whole time I was talking to her... I kept feeling my insides cringing because I want my chidlren to learn to be "real". There I was telling her to put on a mask and pretend. Maybe.... I just want that later in their life. But can practice pretending for 20 years and then change cold-turkey and open up and be real with others?
Does that make sense?? I think there is a thin line between being "real" and pretending. I guess I want the real to be about their lives... not their opinion of others lives.
I was quite embarrassed. I wanted to just crawl in a hole. Maybe... I won't see the childrens' pastor for a while... and he will forget about their conversation by then.
This is just a quick thought on the matter.... I will continue to ponder it. I just think that it is a thin line trying to teach this to my children. When to be real... and when it is okay to pretend.