The wonder of the gospel is not the love of the beautiful; it’s when Beauty kisses the Beast.
The Beast isn’t loved because he has changed; the Beast is changed when he is loved. Joy doesn’t come when he’s loved for his beauty; joy overwhelms him when he is loved in his hideousness.
If the Beast were loved for his beauty, it would be an unbearable burden. Any day he might be scarred, and soon he will certainly be a wrinkled old man.
So why do we burden our children with the unbearable load of “being good little boys and girls like the heroes in the Bible”? We wouldn’t load a pack mule with the burdens we place on our children.
There’s gotta be a better way
Let’s teach the wonder of the gospel. Let’s show our kids that God loves us … simply because he loves us. In our beastliness. That he loves us before we are good.
That his love isn’t vague sentimentality, but it cost him his most precious treasure to turn us into his prized possession; that the storyline of the Bible is God’s Search and Rescue mission to find the dying Beast and kiss him into joyous life.
- How Abraham was an idol worshiper and God loved him and pursued him;
- How Joseph was a narcissistic boy and God loved him and pursued him;
- How David was a murdering adulterer and God loved him and pursued him;
- How Esther had sex outside of marriage with a non-believer and God loved her and pursued her.
Our heroes weren’t loved because they were good; they were good because they were loved.
We may believe in the innocence of youth, but our children know better. They see the children in the schoolyard (and they see us at home!). They don’t need the counterfeit gospel of pack-mule-moralism; they need the kiss of the Beauty.
Maybe we do too. Besides, it’s what the Bible in fact teaches.