We live in a world where conflict is often celebrated, forgiveness comes with conditions, and love has sometimes lost its meaning. What can we do to counter the negative impact our culture has on future generations?
As parents and grandparents, we each have remarkable power and influence over the future of our children and grandchildren. Their ability to resolve conflict, forgive, and love depends on how we resolve conflict, how we forgive, and how we love. Most important of these is how we love. Because love forgives without condition and never celebrates conflict.
Our society is filled with messages that scream, “Be like him!” or “Dress like her!” Through news and politics that propagate fear and dissension, differences have become focal points for conflict and pain rather than something to embrace. But stepping into conversations about differences with love and grace is one of the most important and formative things we can do for the children we love. So where do we start?
We begin by acknowledging that we are all different and that our differences should be celebrated and embraced. We begin by acknowledging that we are all broken in our own way and that in our brokenness there is so much beauty. Beauty in overcoming challenges together, beauty in allowing others to do for us what we can’t do on our own, beauty in lifting others up knowing that they will one day do the same for someone else.
In Matthew 25, as Jesus tells the parable of the goats and the sheep, there are many lessons. But perhaps the most important is one that should influence how we lead our children.
Feed the hungry . . .
Give a drink to the thirsty . . .
Invite the stranger in . . .
Clothe the naked . . .
Care for the sick . . .
Visit the imprisoned . . .
Because we are all hungry and thirsty in some way, we will all be a stranger at some point, we will all be stripped naked by life’s circumstances, we will all experience sickness, and we are all prisoners to something. Fear, weakness, addiction, a diagnosis—we are all broken in our different ways. But when we come together to carry each other, we are beautiful. God created us in His own image, and that image shines brightly when we love as He loves.
The greatest beauty we can ever experience, the greatest beauty we will ever witness, can be known only through our brokenness.
What do we do to counter the impact our culture has on future generations? We embrace our differences through love and teach our children that we are all broken and beautiful.
Written by Patrick Gray, author of
When Marcus moved next door to John, they knew instantly they’d be friends. Now John and Marcus do almost everything together. They go on lots of adventures, with Marcus pushing John’s wheelchair and John fueling their escapades with jokes. Through their friendship, the boys discover that their unique gifts make them stronger together.
Based on the friendship of real-life best friends Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck,
teaches kids that people of all abilities have important roles to play and that we’re all better together than we are on our own.
Learn more about the book