One of the things that I love (and also loath) about my children is that they pick up on everything.
The mood. The mannerisms. My movements. Everything.
Our kids, are little imitators. They are sponges. They pick up on everything.
It might have been something on the news or a response to a story, but somewhere along the line our children picked up on the strong reaction/question:
The first time I heard it repeated, I flinched. My heart sort of sunk. I tried to ignore it.
And of course, my daughter even picked up on the flinch. The reaction. So she knew that it hit a chord.
Thankfully, she hasn’t started exploring the words that often follow in that phrase.
But needless to say, we are watching our language. And that hasn’t been the only expression.
Flinching and Faith Formation
I’ve been thinking about that “flinch” a lot when it comes to Faith Formation and encouraging our families to stay the course.
It’s hard. Our families are often pulled by many different demands on time, commitments, values, and activities.
I’ve talked through lots of options for parents whose kids, for one reason or another, aren’t feeling church right now.
And often what I think our young people are looking for is the “flinch.” They are looking for our reaction.
They want to know the boundary. Whether they will strike a chord. To see how much faith matters.
And my encouragement, despite the fact that we will ALL flinch, is to keep pastoring their families. To stick with it. To try to respond in ways to point their child/ren to what matters about church and the values that you hold.
It’s really hard not to flinch.
But what we often see with families who stay the course is that those faithful values bear fruit in the long term.
The Good News too is that God knows what we are going through and what our families are going through.
The worries. The fears. The challenges. The complaints. And everything in between.
And God doesn’t flinch.
God stays the course with us. No matter what. Reminding us that we are beloved and that it gets better.
So try to not flinch, and even when you do, remember that God is with you.