Why don’t kids come with an owner’s manual? This is a reasonable enough question. If I buy an electric can opener, it includes a 25-page instruction booklet with illustrations, safety warnings, and a troubleshooting guide. With kids, you get nothing.
Sure, everyone has advice. Everybody thinks they know how to raise your kids, except, if you’re honest, you. In retrospect, I’m mostly just happy when I realize that I didn’t totally mess my kids up.
You might be tempted to say something like, “The Bible is a pretty good instruction manual for child rearing,” to which I would respond, “Really?”
Good luck trying to deal with the problem of cutting (self-harm) based on Scripture. Or internet porn. Or ADHD. Or school shootings. The Bible doesn’t really speak to these things in modern, practical ways, because the Bible’s not an instruction manual. That’s not how the Bible works.
Now, before you call me a heretic or say I don’t believe in the Bible or claim that I don’t trust God, take a deep breath. That’s not what I’m saying at all. The Bible has much to say about how to live, but it doesn’t work like a Black & Decker troubleshooting guide. And God can be trusted 100% to do and be and act like God, but that’s not always going to look like a step-by-step illustration.
Unless we’re ridiculously cocky or over-the-top legalistic (for example, anti-tattoo people), we have to admit that, even if we’re really knowledgeable about the Bible, we’re still hopelessly underprepared to do a whole host of things, not the least of which is child-rearing.
So what does it look like to trust God, when we’re faced with these obligations and responsibilities for which we feel dreadfully unqualified? What can we learn from the Bible about how to live today, even though it’s talking about things that happened thousands of years ago? How do we follow Jesus into these tricky areas of our lives if, indeed, we have no instruction manual?
That’s what we’re going to talk about for the next five weeks at The Anchor, so join us Sunday morning, 9:30 a.m., at Tioga Elementary School in Bensenville to learn more.
See you then!
“Why Me?” (Moses)
Main Scripture passages:
Exodus 3, Exodus 4:1-17, 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
Questions/thoughts for group discussion or personal reflection:
Consider/share a time when you were asked to do something for which you felt completely unqualified.
What does it feel like to be trusted with something huge?
What’s the difference between fear and humility? Are they completely different, or do they overlap?