02 December 2009

What Do We Do?

(It's another one of those this-picture-has-nothing-to-do-with-this-post-other-than-the-fact-that-this-is-my-blog-and-this-is-my-cute-kid. Apologies to all.)

I just heard this line in a song . . .

"If you feel it, it must be real."

That turns my stomach.

This idea is absolutely pervasive. It has invaded everything. Our music. Our movies. Our commercials. Our attitudes. Our expectations. Our brains. Our hearts. Our actions.

And I hate it.

Because it is a lie.

I'm not saying feelings always lie. I'm not saying feelings are wrong. Or sinful. Necessarily.

I am saying - you cannot trust only your feelings. You cannot live from your feelings alone. You cannot base your actions on your feelings.

It is a dangerous way to live.

But we hardly know what else to do. We hardly know how else to play this game.

Because it seems everyone else is doing life by their feelings.

And I just wonder . . .

How can I rescue my kids from this disastrous pursuit of what feels right, of what feels good - of feelings forcing behavior?

(Is there any defense? Because some days it seems as if the battle has already been won.)

I don't think seclusion is the right answer. Avoiding the world hasn't proven to be an effective tool in my experience thus far. (Just look at how many kids graduate from private schools and home schools and instantly embrace everything they felt they were denied.)

I believe that you learn truth by studying truth. You don't learn what is true by studying what is false. You memorize what is real so you can recognize the fake. If I am intimately familiar with a made-from-scratch chocolate chip cookie, it won't be hard to taste the difference in a processed Chips Ahoy. I don't have to study every brand of chocolate chip cookie, from Great Value to Soft Batch, to know when I am being offered something less than homemade.

But even though I know that in theory, I'm not sure I know how to teach that to our children.

Particularly our teenage child.

The one who needs the balance, the steadiness of truth most at her vulnerable age where everything Mom and Dad says sounds silly and everything popular culture says sounds cool.

So what do we do?

(This isn't really one of those hypothetical questions. Go ahead and answer.)


  1. Good stuff again Lace. I feel i might have been used an example in this one. Something to do with hschoolers embracing things denied...

    Love, Stin

  2. Oh boy, I think I had a little stage of that whole embracing things denied...or maybe I was just plain out stupid. Brian and I have said that we will always be honest in our own mistakes with our kids and let them know that know matter what situations they may get themselves into, we will always love them. At some point, the rest is up to them and God.

  3. One of the best things I've heard recently was that we simply cannot "follow our hearts", because our hearts can be fooled. But many times we must "lead our hearts" to where we know the truth is.

    I'm speaking from unfortunate experience in following my heart down a road of destruction. All the while thinking it was the road to bliss.

    I was wrong.

    Fortunately, Truth intervened and led my heart back to where is should have been all along. And the crazy part is, I think I knew it all along, but I was so fooled that I was temporarily blinded to the truth.

    All of this happened because of misplaced trust in fleeting feelings.

    "I believe that you learn truth by studying truth." ... great word Ace. And I'd add to this that part of studying truth is through simple everyday exposure and observation.

    So WE model Truth. As much as possible, WE live it "out loud".

    And pray ... a lot.

  4. Lacey,
    The best thing to do is pray....EVERY day!! Always be totally honest with Riley about everything...even the things she doesn't want to hear....remember that integrity carries a LOT of weight....and ALWAYS, ALWAYS look her in the eye, so she can see the love there....both from you and the Father.
    Love ya....

  5. I love all the comments and I wish I had something more to add but if you do figure it out for real would you let me know Lacey! i think i just want Paul Tripp(Age of Opportunity) to come live at my house and finish raising my teens.

  6. dude, lace, loved it.

    lots to think about.

    i also loved the prose of this particular entry, rob bell.