The thing our kids need most

Lost and Found: Losing Religion, Finding Grace

It was an ordinary morning, breakfast bowls stacked next to the kitchen sink as we traipsed into the front room to gather together before jumping headlong into all the day held for us. Even though our learning takes place {mostly} at home, it’s important for us to have this time to gather together so we can talk, read a bit, and pray. Oftentimes, it is at this beginning of the day or as our day winds to a close at night where the most profound conversations take place.

This day was no different. I’m not sure what we were reading on this particular day, but something prompted me to ask the boys if they needed to do anything to gain acceptance by God. We have discussed grace before many a time and I found myself surprised when one of my boys nodded vigorously. I asked him his thoughts. Possibly surprised by his own response, he stumbled around trying to find words to express the thoughts in his head.

It was an eye-opening conversation. This son of mine, who has such a sweet relationship with the Lord, had forgotten that he was first a child of God – loved unconditionally. He had forgotten what God wanted most was not adherence to a system of beliefs, but rather relationship. My son needed a reminder that his identify was first found in Christ. And in the context of relationship, his life is changed from the inside out. This is both the simplest truth out there and yet one we constantly confuse. We do nothing to earn our own salvation and yet it is in the receiving of this gift of grace that our heart’s response is obedience. It is easy to want to be about the business of changing our own lives and measuring our acceptance by how we are doing in this instead of focusing on the Lord and allowing Him to change us.

This kind of amnesia is not limited to children alone. In our busy lives it is easy to conflate what we do with who we are. When we do this, life gets overwhelming, we can become discouraged as we step on that hamster wheel of trying to do life on our own. It is in the slowing down, focusing on Jesus and what He has already done for us, what he continues to do in us that hope is found.

I was reminded of this fact again when I read Kendra Fletcher’s book, Lost & Found – Losing Religion, Finding Grace. This memoir draws our awareness into how we can easily slip into mistaken identities. This book reminds us of the freedom we have in Christ.Lost and Found, Losing Religion, Finding Grace

We are swept along on her journey towards fully embracing this reminder as God used situations in remind her that her identity rests in Christ alone. I found myself nodding in agreement and reminded of the importance to not only give myself regular reminders, but to be sure my children receive those regular reminders too.

Just like I needed to do with my son, Kendra recounts a time when she needed to have one of those conversations with her daughter. Her response to her daughter’s forgetfulness both inspired and convicted me when she wrote,

“Sweetheart, your identity is not us. I want you to have wonderful memories of your childhood, and I want you to always love being a Fletcher, but Honey, your identity is never, never, never us. Your identify is Jesus, your Redeemer. Don’t forget that. If you learn anything in our home, I want you to walk away knowing whose you are and what he has done for you.”

The thing our children need most is Jesus. They need to know Him deeply. We can pray for them, talk to them about what it means to know and walk with Jesus, and model how that relationship can impact a life. Our children who have committed their lives to Christ need regular reminders from us about their true identity and the freedom found when we rest in that profound truth. They may homeschool, or go to public or private school. They may attend one church or another. They may be an athlete or a bookworm (or both), but that does not describe who they TRULY are because all of those things can change. They need to know that life is about knowing Jesus and making Him known. We need those reminders too so we can be reminding our children. Lost & Found gave me one of those beautiful reminders and I’m blessed because of it. I know you will be too.

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After talking to Kendra about her book last year when we were both speaking at the same event, I was excited to order it. This was the very first book that I’ve ever pre-ordered. I’m hooked. The book arrived a week and a half before the official launch date PLUS it came with a $3 refund because Amazon has a pre-order policy that guarantees all pre-orders get the best price of the book.  While my book is officially set to release on May 30th, those who pre-order could get their book earlier and you are guaranteed to get the book at the best price should it go on further sale anytime between now and the end of May!

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