I ran across these words on Instagram today. At first glance, they seemed sort of judgmental. You know, impossible to live up to all the time.
But as I thought about them further, whether it was what Jonathan Edwards was getting at or not (and I’m sure it wasn’t), it rang true.
Churches are not always filled with believers, though that is the idea.
At any given time, a church is filled with seekers, questioning God’s existence, even their own existence. It’s also filled with devout believers who have known Christ all their lives. It’s filled with people who aren’t even sure why they are there, or how long they plan to stay. Maybe something or someone has hurt their belief, and church is just a familiar place for them to be.
It is also filled with stragglers, those hanging around the perimeter, dipping their toe in the water now and then just not ready to take the plunge. And sadly, there are times when there are those who are there to disrupt.
I know that the idea of the “ideal” Christian family is to have everyone unified and wholly influenced living under Christ’s Law. But most Christian families don’t look like that at all.
Some families have their strong believers, usually the parents or grandparents, but not always. Most every Christian parent prays that their children will stay on the right path, the one that leads to Christ. But that doesn’t always happen.
Some families have their stragglers, their toe-dippers, their disrupters, their loiterers just like the church does.
But the part that Mr. Edwards left out of his words is “grace.”
Even if you’re one of the stragglers, the toe-dippers, etc. there is grace waiting for you. Even in the families that struggle to find congruency, they have grace, and most times that is enough, or at least it’s a great start.
So, if your family doesn’t look like Mr. Edwards’ vision, fear not. God knows, and He is working in your benefit. Nothing is impossible for God.
Just my two cents.