Friday, June 19
Do you remember the first time your child dressed him or herself? It seems like yesterday, she wore her favorite brightly colored flower printed dress draped over her snowman leggings. The look completed with her stars & striped sunglasses, baby blue snow boots, and a gold beaded necklace from a recent birthday party. She was so proud of herself, and I was so proud too. It was a demonstration of her independence and also the colors of her unique personality shining through.
At home, I applauded and celebrated her individuality. In public as people noticed my little fashionista I smiled, but on the inside I thought, “I hope they know she dressed herself today, this isn’t the outfit I chose for her,” silently considering whether or not her clothing choices had a reflection on me as a parent.
At times our kids live their choices out loud for others to see. Sometimes those choices are sinful, and other times their choices aren’t sinful at all. But the judgmental eye of another causes us to try to control or change their behavior for acceptance.
In those moments I have to challenge my own pride. Am I fearful of my child living a life trapped in darkness shielding others from seeing their own brokenness? Or am I more fearful that if they live out loud in their brokenness that I might be rejected or that my parenting will be judged?
It’s then that I’m reminded of the Father’s love for me.
But here is how God has shown his love for us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 8:28
While I was still living in sin and all of my brokenness exposed, He died for me. He saw my need for Him. He wasn’t ashamed of me or my choices. In fact, He saw my mismatched clothing and He still gave it all so that I could come out of hiding and live a life without shame.
So today, when your child throws that tantrum in front of the whole neighborhood or your teen shows up to the dinner table with blue hair right before porch portrait weekend, free yourself from the judgemental eyes of others.
Your heavenly Father paid the ultimate price so that you could live in freedom. What a gift it is for our children to see us expose our own brokenness to others, inviting them to do the same. There is no judgment in our Father’s eyes, only grace.
And if you’re bold enough, join me in wearing mismatched clothes today.
Deby Fabrazzo, Youth Director
Deby oversees our High School and College ministries. She loves creating environments and opportunities for students to meet Jesus and experience His grace in their everyday lives. It’s especially personal to Deby who is a mom to three teenage daughters. She has been married to her high school sweetheart Mark for 21 years.