The greatest crisis moms are facing today

I still remember the feeling I had when I walked through the doors of my first newspaper job, a fresh college graduate. 

As I took my seat in the lobby, waiting for my editor to lead me to my desk, I wasn’t nervous or intimidated or uncertain. I was bursting with excitement, eager to jump in and get started, ready to face the challenge of racing against a looming deadline with the goal of producing a published work.

For as long as I could remember, I had been preparing for this moment.

Seriously though. As a third-grader, I had created and published my own newspaper, “The Old-Fashioned Press,” which was then printed and distributed in my public elementary school. 

Yes. I was THAT kid.

From that point, my career path was extremely focused–and I worked very hard to make my dream a reality, from entering writing competitions in high school to serving as yearbook editor my senior year. I never hesitated when it came to deciding my major; it was always going to be journalism. In college, I had three media internships before graduation and during my final semester, I was the editor-in-chief of the school paper. 

So before my first byline as a full-time staffer ever hit newsprint, I was as prepared as I could possibly be.

It seems a bit crazy, right? All those years of work to lead up to this role?

But I soon found why this meticulous–and at times arduous–preparation was worthwhile. When breaking news happened minutes from deadline, tearing up the front page to write and edit fresh copy with notonesecondtobreathe was no problem. When the two top editors of one of the magazines in my group quit within days of each other, only to find barely any work had been done on the next issue due that week, no worries. When I found myself accepting a publisher role I never saw coming, it was OK. 

I just looked at the challenge square in the face and quickly got to work because I knew what to do. I had been trained for this. 

And no momentary setback was going to stand in my way.

That, my friends, was then.

Years later, I was now in a new role. My most important one yet. 

Mom.

And as I stared into my toddler’s tiny face screaming so loud I couldn’t even think, I had NO IDEA what to do. I didn’t know how to deal with my white-hot reactions triggered by some of her tantrums. I had no clue how to cope with what can be a mind-numbing monotony brought on by a repeating loop of diapers, dishes, and discipline.

Bumps in my parenting road sent me on detours full of isolation, frustration, and discontentment. I was sidelined by the obstacles. I lost sight of the end goal.

baby and mom

I wasn’t prepared for how exhausting these little lives can be.

It wasn’t till earlier this year while reading the book Desperate, written by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson, that a lightbulb went on.

I had spent nearly all of my 30 pre-parenting years focused on doing well in MY life, and yet, I had invested comparatively very little of my time on how to guide and mold a future generation.

After listening to other women over the past few years–even those whose only desire was to one day be a mom–I know I am not alone. 

You want to know what I think may be the greatest feminist crisis of our generation? I don’t think it has anything to do with politics or the current president and his policies. 

The crisis we are facing is this: Increasingly, we as women are not adequately prepared to be moms. 

I’m not talking about developing a birth plan or pinning the perfect nursery to your board or reading baby books or even reviews about what products to buy (though I was pretty clueless about those things as well). 

I am talking about preparing our hearts and minds for the long haul. About forming a foundation to do the work of eternity. About being ready for the soul-shaping job that doesn’t get deterred by the crisis of the day, brought to you only as little ones know how to do best, in a way that keeps your eyes fixed on 18 years down the line and addresses the challenges you know you will face–not with annoyance or anger but calmly and confidently and with Christ.

sick baby and mom

The cries of sickness and sighs of sleepless nights are not as challenging when viewed through an eternal lens.


I think anyone would agree that parenting is a job of utmost significance. So why are we not better prepared for it?

Because, as Sally writes, we are not looking at it that way.

“Unfortunately, many moms have entered the battlefield of motherhood and are totally unprepared, untrained, and ill-equipped for the job. I know I was. And many have not understood that the home is a battlefield where sin and selfishness must be overcome, and that the taming, subduing, and civilizing of a home will be to a woman’s honor,” Sally writes. “I believe that if moms understood how strategic their roles were in this battle for the hearts and minds of the next generation, they would grow in excitement about this great job God created them to fulfill …”

She continues: “For me, it changed my whole perspective to understand that this was a job for which I was designed before the fall, and that I played a key part in God’s plan of redeeming this world back to Himself … Had I captured earlier the great call to train godly children, who would live righteously and invest in God’s kingdom work, I would have been much more prepared and excited to face the challenges along the way.”

Her words pricked my heart.

In every other job I can think of, it would be incredulous, and foolish even, if you took it on unprepared. Imagine a reporter entering a newsroom without first learning how to write an article. Or a nurse treating a patient without knowing how to administer medicine. A teacher standing before a class without ever forming a lesson plan.

Then why would it be ok to enter into parenting without much more than a box of diapers and some onesies? With the thought that we would merely figure it out along the way?

Why aren’t we treating the preparation for this job with the urgency and importance it deserves?

Maybe you have always loved babies and with your eagerness to cuddle a squishy bundle, you thought child-rearing would come naturally. Or you focused solely on the fun parts of playing in parks and having someone to love and love you back.

squishy baby

There’s much more to being a mom than just a desire for a squishy baby to hold.


Or, like me if I were to be completely honest, you viewed parenting as secondary to something else in your life, whether it is a career or talent you possess. That it was an asterisk to who you are, not quite as worthy to spend as much time developing it.

I’ll agree, at times, being a mom isn’t always as thrilling as chasing a big story. Its inherent selflessness may not be as rewarding as holding a finished product in my hands.

But with these little fingers laced in mine, I am holding an eternal product-in-the-making in my hands.

Before I was a journalist–before I was a thought in my own mother’s mind–I was designed by God to be a mom.

Moms, we were purposed for this work.

So what can we do to get ready to face our roles with the proper focus? Particularly if you lacked examples of biblical parenting in your own childhood?

I think we as the body of Christ could be doing a better job in helping other Christ followers along in this area, through both pulpit instruction and discipleship. The authors of Desperate encourage moms of young kids to find an older, godly mentor–someone who has faced the same struggles and can provide Scriptural solutions and support. I think this is a great idea and have been praying about finding such a mentor myself. Or if you as a mom are past the stage of raising littles, maybe you can seek out a new mom in your church and offer to help guide her from God’s Word and advise (not tell) her about how to do a Christ-honoring job.

Personally, since I have been striving to view my daily functions in light of the greater work taking place in my children’s hearts and minds, many of the challenges haven’t seemed so … well, challenging.

So when they disobey, or whine, or scream “No!”, with the long-term view in mind, I’m better equipped to step back and take a deep breath and say to myself, “this is part of the process–you knew this would happen–this is why you’re here.” And then ask the Lord to help me with my response.

Now I still have much to learn, and I fail more than I would like, but with this focus, I can gratefully say God is allowing my work to become more satisfying. He is expanding my view to show me how important it is what I am doing. And it is my prayerful goal that through my actions I can in turn raise my daughters with the knowledge and experience that if God also has this role for them, it can be the most fulfilling work they will ever have–even better than seeing your name in print.

girl and dad at sunset

baby reaching at sunset

My treasures–my greatest work.

Because my newspaper clips will continue to yellow and fade. But my most exciting work … well, they are growing a little bigger each day.

“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.” (Ephesians‬ ‭6:11-13‬)

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Why this c-section mom has no regrets

In less than three months, I plan to go under the knife.

It will be a surgery with the most beautiful outcome I can imagine, resulting in the birth of our second daughter. I can’t think of a better reason to be cut open.

As it looks, birthing by cesarean section will be all I ever know. And (this may be hard for some to understand) … I’m totally OK with that.

Make no mistake, it will be painful. It will be messy. 

But it will be perfect.

You may wonder how I can say that. It’s not that I set out to have my babies by c-section. In fact, to be honest, the thought of a c-section never seriously entered my mind when I was pregnant with my first daughter. Sure, we’d attended a birthing class, and I’d read through “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” so I knew somewhere in the back of my mind that it was an option. 

And unbelievably, as a notorious over-planner, it’s not like I went into labor with an elaborate birth plan either. My plan after 40-plus weeks of carrying this little life was pretty basic at that point–please, please, PLEASE, just get this baby out of me! Yet, I still assumed she would take the southern route.

However Olivia–and God–had other plans for her debut.

About 14 hours after arriving at the hospital in labor with her, it was time to push. And push I did for over the next two hours. I was making progress and the RN was describing Liv’s full head of dark hair to me, but something wasn’t right. Liv’s head was transverse. I remember my OB made several attempts to turn her head as I pushed, but as soon as the contraction was over, her head would turn right back. It must’ve all been very stressful on her, because her heart rate kept decelerating. And so my OB gently told me that she felt the best option for a safe delivery at that point was to quickly move to the OR. 

What happened next struck me as so odd.

Everyone in the room, from the OB, to the RN, to the resident who had been observing my labor, began apologizing to me. “I’m so sorry,” they all said, with tilted heads and sympathetic gazes, as they began prepping me for the c-section to come.

“What are they sorry for?” I thought. “It’s OK,” I reassured them, as I struggled then to NOT push with each contraction as instructed. “I just want whatever is best.”

Less than 30 minutes after the decision for the c-section was made, Olivia Annmarie entered the world. But her experience of trying to find a way to greet it had taken its toll. She wasn’t breathing. Several minutes passed, and we didn’t even realize she was out of my body, let alone being bagged and worked on. I remember asking the anesthesiologist hovering at my head if she was almost out yet, and she replied that she was already out and over at the table. Then, we heard her tender little cry. 



Liv spent her first couple hours hanging out in the NICU.



After a brief look at her, she was whisked off to the NICU with David following. But thankfully, after those first few moments, she rebounded quickly and had no further issues.

I’m not going to lie–my recovery from her arrival was long and hard. It took many weeks to start to feel somewhat normal again. But through the pain, I would look at my sweet baby girl and nothing else mattered.

She was here. She was perfect. (Even with the little “conehead” she initially sported right above her ear where she had gotten stuck.) 



My perfect view while I recovered.



Not long after I got pregnant with our second, the questions started coming. Those who knew I had a c-section with Liv started asking, “So, do you think you’ll try for a VBAC with this one?”

I didn’t mind the question, and I knew the inquiries were well-meaning. But the answer is no, I am not.

Turns out, after discussing with my OB, that I have a slim chance at a successful VBAC. Liv’s birth revealed I have a misshapen pelvis, and it’s likely that if I labored again, it would end with the same result. And so, without hesitation or any regret, I scheduled my c-section for Baby No. 2.

What’s surprised me in the months since my first c-section is that I’ve learned my lack of regret regarding it is considered somewhat … abnormal. I’ve heard other moms describe how they’ve grieved over this method of birth and felt they’d been robbed of a different experience. How they’ve longed and hoped and prayed for another option. How they’ve felt their bodies failed in some way.

I’ve heard other completely well-intentioned moms cheer on those whose chance of a natural delivery is diminishing with mantras of “your body was made to do this!” Except, sometimes, it isn’t. And there should be no shame or guilt associated with that.

Because I believe that the verse we often quote regarding our tiny miracles applies to us mommas too: “I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made … “ (Psalm 139:14)

If God’s ways are perfect (which they are), then I am also perfectly designed, just as He intended. And since His way is perfect, I can say with confidence that my children’s entrances into this world, whatever shape that may take, are part of His perfect plan as well.

So why did my medical team feel the need to apologize as I headed to the OR? Why the shame and the guilt and the regret expressed by so many? Just because your body doesn’t “do” something–be it a natural birth, breastfeeding, or the ability to bear a child on your own–doesn’t mean you have failed … because wouldn’t that be saying that God has failed in His plans for you?

To me, a life coming into this world–and the nurturing and growth of it–is miraculous and amazing any way it happens. What’s “best” may look different for each mother and child, but that doesn’t change the perfection of God’s design for you.

So to the mom who’s pushed out that child without any medical intervention at all, let me share the truth from God’s Word: you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

To the mom who bears the six-inch scar near her bikini line: you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

To the mom who nurses her babe for 18 months: you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

To the mom who prepares bottles of formula for her bundle of joy: you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

To the mom whose child was placed in her arms by another: you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

There’s nothing to regret about that.

“God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true …” (Psalm 18:30)

How my career made me a better stay-at-home-mom

I never wanted to be a mom.

That may be hard for a lot of people to understand, but for various reasons, motherhood was not an innate desire or an ultimate goal. It wasn’t something I felt “born to do,” as I’ve heard some women describe it.

My desire, for as nearly as long as I can remember, was to work with words. I wanted to write, report, edit–anything that had to do with a career in the communications field–so I focused my efforts on chasing, and fulfilling, that dream.

Until all that changed nearly two years ago, when my first daughter entered the world. And she flipped my dreams upside-down and inside-out, transforming my hopes and plans and expectations. All in ways better than I could’ve ever imagined.

But when I made the decision to leave my full-time career in publishing and media last year to stay home with my daughter, it didn’t make sense to me to just throw out everything I knew as I took on this new role. I thrived on the pillars of my career: meeting deadlines, setting goals, solving problems–finding joy in tangible accomplishments. Admittedly, I was really unsure of how to approach this whole stay-at-home-mom thing. I was way outside my comfort zone.

So I decided to not change a thing.

I was going to treat staying home like I was going to work. As if changing diapers, making meals, and playing games were my job. Just without the bi-monthly paycheck.

Less than a year into it, I don’t claim to have all the answers or have every parenting challenge figured out. That’s where God’s grace and guidance come in. However, I’ve found that adapting this mindset–that every day when I wake, I have a job to do–has helped my transition tremendously. That applying the same principles I did in the workplace can help me find success as a stay-at-home mom. Here’s what I’ve learned:

Structure promotes success. In the working world, businesses need some benchmarks to promote productivity, and employees want to know what to expect. Turns out kids aren’t much different in that regard, so I’ve established a general rhythm and routine to our days. Liv knows that right after she gets up, she eats breakfast. After breakfast, comes play–and sometimes errands. Then there’s lunch, followed by nap. For a young, developing mind, a sense of structure provides comfort instead of chaos. And you can clearly see it in her reactions and attitude when things are thrown totally off-course. She’s like a sad little lost soul, bobbing out to sea.

So how do I handle the atypical days? (Like Sundays, for instance.) I still keep as much structure as possible, and the day still follows a pattern. And personally, I don’t mess with her nap. Yeah, that means turning down some play dates or leaving places early on occasion, but the benefits of providing her an appropriate space and time to get her rest far outweigh any inconvenience this seemingly might produce. Believe me, I do just about anything to avoid bringing out the beast that is the cranky toddler.

Best job I’ve ever had.

Set realistic daily goals. I’ve heard many stay-at-home-moms bemoan the fact that they feel they never get anything done. They look around and see the laundry piling up, the sink overflowing with dishes, and their kids rolling in the dirt … right after baths. They get overwhelmed by the seeming lack of progress and repetitive cycle each day brings. But it’s easy for the same thing to happen in the corporate world: there’s always another project, another deadline looming, another fire to put out. I learned in that environment that the best way to feel a sense of accomplishment in the onslaught of all there is to do is to break big tasks into small, achievable, daily milestones.

So at home, I set simple, prioritized, daily goals as well. Unload the dishwasher. Cut Olivia’s nails. Take her to the library. Go for a walk. I limit these goals to just three to five that I want to see through that day. That may seem somewhat insignificant, but at the end of the day, I can look back on it and know what we did. And that something was achieved. You’ll never get everything done in a day that you’d like to–and that’s ok. To me, sleep is far more important than stressing over the thickening layer of dog fur that hasn’t yet been swept up.

Plan and prepare for what’s ahead. It used to bother me to no end when colleagues showed up unprepared for meetings or for the day’s agenda. Especially if it was a meeting or agenda item that was regularly on the calendar. So I try not to show up unprepared for my job as a mom. For me, this means taking care of myself and getting ready for the day first, whenever I can. I function better and in the right spirit when I can get a cup of coffee, spend time in God’s Word, scroll through my newsfeeds, take a shower, and pray before Olivia wakes up. Personally, I’m in a better frame of mind to take on the day’s challenges. Now, with kids, this is not possible every day, but it is something I strive for and do the majority of the time.

Also, I’ve found it really helpful to plan ahead, as much as you can, for the next major parenting challenge on the horizon. Read various resources. Talk to other parents. Seek out biblical principles and ask God for wisdom. And discuss and agree upon the course of action with your spouse, preferably before the situation arises, whether that’s discipline, sleep issues, or potty training. Again, this can’t be done in all circumstances, but I have found it easier to stay on target when the path was previously chosen.

But don’t over-plan (and be willing to change course). After all I’ve said about structure and plans, it kind of seems like I’m contradicting myself, right? But I’ve learned that within that structure, I have to allow for flexibility. Over the course of my career in media, I can recall many times we had a 1A or cover story set–and then as the shipping deadline approached, news would break. You couldn’t sit there and pout about it–you had to rip up the page and get to work. You had to have contingencies and plans A, B, and C to allow for sudden changes in direction. Especially if a knowingly unpredictable outcome loomed; so you kept extra stories on file ready to go in case they were needed and crafted lists of headlines that worked whether the Red Wings won Game 7 or not.

As a mom, being rigid and over-scheduled is bound to backfire on you. Your kid won’t nap that day. She’ll wake with a runny nose and fever. An explosive poop will happen as you’re carrying her out the door. She’ll  need some extra snuggles as that molar breaks through. And if you find that you can’t bend from what you intended to do, you will end up being the one suffering, fuming in frustration with your patience wearing thin. I’ve learned that as a stay-at-home-mom it’s better to not set myself up for disappointment and allow for breathing room in my day, so when the unexpected can and will happen, I can more easily tackle it. And when it does, I remind myself to embrace it and find joy in the adventure, for I am not the ultimate Maker of our plans anyway.

Finding joy in the unexpected and unpredictable.

Do every task with purpose. This one is hard, particularly for the girl who’s never been a domestic diva. It was a lot easier for me to write an article with purpose or plan an issue with purpose. But fold laundry with purpose? Wipe snot with purpose? Grocery shopping with purpose?? These were the kinds of things that in the past made me recoil in fear from all things mommy-related.

But when I decided to view my stay-at-home-parenting role as my designated job, it became easier to change my attitude on how I greeted the mundane, or icky, tasks. If I looked at it that washing the dishes supported the overall function of our home in a positive way, it wasn’t so bad. And if I can care for the household in a way that leaves my husband with less to do when he walks in the door, we have more quality time available to spend as a family doing more fun things, like taking a walk to the neighborhood park after dinner.

Leave your job behind and recharge with your spouse. This one might hit a nerve with some. And it’s an area that’s been a personal struggle for me in the past. I used to think my job was everything. It’s where I found the majority of my joy and satisfaction. I plugged all I had into being successful at it. And when I got home, I often had nothing left to give, and it spilled over into any free moments I had–checking emails first thing in the morning, writing lists late at night, thinking about the next big task ahead while I was supposed to be listening to my husband. My marriage suffered. My relationship with God suffered. I was happy(-ish) at work … but really, I was miserable. My God-ordained priorities were all out of whack.

So if staying home to parent my daughter is my job, she can’t be my everything. That doesn’t mean I don’t love her completely, and that this job isn’t the absolute best one I’ve ever had–but I’ve got to put it in check with my priorities. My relationship with God and my husband must come first.

So practically, particularly in these young years, how does that play out? It doesn’t mean in any way I neglect her needs, but that I focus on fostering an environment where my husband isn’t also ignored. For us, it means enforcing early bed times whenever possible. It means finding time to converse just with him, undistracted. It means connecting over something we both like to do when we have downtime (even if that’s watching America’s Got Talent on the DVR) instead of choosing things only I like to do that don’t involve him (like running to Target). It also doesn’t mean I ignore taking time for myself either, but there should be balance among  fulfilling the priorities. One day, our daughters will leave. I believe God has intended our marriage to last our lives, so that means being able to devote energy to growing and building upon its foundation now. And quite honestly, we parent better when our marriage is where it should be.

As with every job, there are going to be crunch times as a stay-at-home-mom–times where you’re going to have to pour more of yourself into your work. Where it’s just about survival (like during a pregnancy of another child, an illness, or after the birth of a baby). And these challenging times may last several days … or months. That’s when I must fully trust and depend on God to lead me through these periods of intensity, just as He guides me through the daily grind. I’m so grateful that this is a job that does not rest solely on me.

You may read this blog as a fellow stay-at-home-mom and can’t relate to it at all. My application of these principles I’ve learned during the span of my corporate career is personal, and admittedly, many play into my God-given personality. How each of us carries out this role will differ–it’s not one size fits all. That would be boring. This is just what I’ve found works for me.

Speaking of work, I need to finish getting ready for my job. Duty calls. 😉

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

The current Christian battle over forgiveness vs. consequences

As of this week, Wednesdays are looking a bit different in our household.

Several months ago, Liv and I had started a special breakfast routine every Wednesday morning. I’d pull her chair to the edge of the kitchen so the TV screen was visible, and as we munched on our English muffins and bananas, we’d watch a show that I’d recorded on the DVR the night before. The program: TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting.

It was one of the few shows on TV I felt I could comfortably watch with my toddler. Not that I agreed with or endorsed everything about the lifestyles of the Duggar clan–though there was much to like about the long-running program chronicling the lives of this unique family from Arkansas. Certainly, they are extreme in many of their views and beliefs. But they profess to follow Christ. They promote family values. They are conservative and modest. Their language is clean. And for whatever reason, Liv was enthralled with those 19 kids. She’d break out into a big smile during the opening of every episode when each kid is introduced by name.

By now, I’m sure that most of you familiar (and probably many not familiar) with the show have heard the devastating news reports regarding the apology last week from the eldest Duggar son (now 27) after a tabloid alleged he molested several girls while he was a teenager. I have no desire to rehash the details of what’s been reported that Josh Duggar did, but I do want to say I was very grieved by what I’ve read.

Not just by the allegations, which are heart-wrenching. But by the response of many Christians.

He was young. He made a mistake. His family handled it. He’s turned his life around. He apologized. We shouldn’t draw attention to this. We need to forgive.

As if collectively saying, “Nothing to see here, folks. Move on.” That further (or previously warranted) consequences needn’t apply.

These types of responses coming from Christian circles are something I’ve especially been wrestling with over the past couple years. I can’t say I’m surprised by them, as I’ve sadly seen these reactions several times throughout my life to a variety of situations. At churches, after pastors have committed a sin or crime that has disqualified them from pulpit service. At universities, after criminal reporting or counseling was mishandled. In families, after abuse.

He’s apologized. (Or, in some cases, maybe not.) He didn’t know any better. Look at all the other good things he’s done. We should show grace and forgive. No one else needs to get involved. We can handle this matter quietly ourselves. Nothing more here needs to happen.

Let me make it clear: I am not saying that we shouldn’t extend forgiveness.  But I am growing increasingly confused about something.

Since when did it become biblical that forgiveness and consequences are mutually exclusive of each other? 

By these responses I’ve repeatedly seen in Christian environments over the years, you’d think these concepts are at odds against each other. That  administering consequences means you aren’t showing forgiveness. That punishment or retribution for sin (or, unbelievably, crime) means you are forsaking grace. That, in some situations, we as Christians are above the law … or God’s Word.

Huh? 

Will someone please tell me where that’s biblical?

In fact, the Bible recounts many times where the offender receives consequences despite whether he’s apologized, asked for forgiveness, or all the other good things he’s done. Take Moses after he hit the rock instead of speaking to it as God commanded: he couldn’t enter the Promised Land. And David after he committed adultery with Bathsheba: he lost his son. Extremely godly people in other areas of their lives that still had to pay a price for their wrongdoing.

In His Word, God clearly outlines there are consequences when we make wrong choices, which is something we all have done and continue to do. If we are believers, we should know the consequences serve a bigger purpose. They exist to teach us something and to learn how to better follow Him. The same goes for parenting. As a mom, I demonstrate my love for my daughter by offering both correction AND forgiveness. If I choose to discard the former in favor of only the latter when my daughter said “sorry” or “all done” in her small toddler voice, she would quickly learn that it is no big deal to go her own way, despite my instruction. It’s never easy to administer something my daughter doesn’t want after she’s made a poor choice, but I do it because I care about her deeply and want her to remember to choose differently in the future. Our Heavenly Father also corrects because He cares.

Of course, not all consequences for our actions will occur here on Earth. The Bible tells us about the judgments to come for both non-believers and for those who have placed their faith and trust in Him. We will one day all be accountable for our actions before God.

So back to my confusion over these reactions. The way I see it, finding the grace to forgive doesn’t mean you forego legal or biblical consequences. These concepts should not conflict. 

But the consequences will bring hurt and pain, you say. It will cause a job loss. It may mean jail time. It will be embarrassing.

And all those things might be true, and if our spirit is right, no one should be celebrating over that. But for some reason, many are OK with shielding the offender if it means avoiding the shame (and often inconvenience) of enduring those things. Most unfortunately,  in doing so, such a decision essentially elevates and protects the offender over those he’s offended. 

Sometimes the fall-out and repercussions of sin (and particularly crime) are ugly. God commands we forgive. But He also commands we follow the law and His Word. We shouldn’t forsake one over the other. As Christians, we should promote environments where these concepts are not at war, but peacefully and unashamedly exist together. 

“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening–it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” (Hebrews 12:11)