Talking to Nicole

baby_nicole_0008I didn’t know it at the time because I was a first time dad, but I realized later that I always spoke to my daughter as if she was a grown up.  I used words on her that suited my vocabulary, not a three year old’s.  I wish I could say I did it on purpose so I’d look like a really smart parent trying to help their kid become a great achiever, but the truth is more like this:  I’m not good at small talk.  Really, I’m not.  I don’t know how to jabber like some people who can carry on a perfectly pleasant conversation about nothing for hours on end.  I tried.  I got down on her level physically.  I took the time to listen to her little words.  But when it came time to talk back I used my own big words.  She grew up hearing an adult vocalization of the world.  I  think its been to her advantage.  She’s smart and she can explain things well.

This is the way the gospel works its way out in us.  God speaks to us in terms of what He is making us into, not in terms of what we are at the moment.  He sees the full life – the full vocabulary of living – and he keeps giving it to us.  He gets down on our level physically and he listens to our small talk.  Thank God for the patient lessons and the willingness of our Father God to play with us; to love us into Christ, the hope of glory.

I married a good girl…what happened?

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Everyone I see for premarital counseling is marrying a “good girl” (or “good boy”).  I’ve asked most of them if they want to pre-register for divorce counseling at a discounted rate.  No one ever takes me up on the offer.  If all of us are getting married to good people why do half of us end up divorced?  Is it just poor judgment?  We thought they were good people and they fooled us??  That is like saying half the people you know exercise horrible judgment when it comes to one of the top two or three decisions they make in life – are half of us really that dumb?  The truth is actually much more complex.  The people we marry are not as good as we think they are.  We are not either.  Marriage doesn’t create our problems, it exposes our problems.  If we let it, marriage can help us see that we aren’t good people.  It can show us exactly where we are selfish or unkind or prideful.  And once we are truly exposed, we can come to see the need we have for a grace bigger than the grace of a good girl or a good boy.  We need the grace of a good God.