A couple of weeks ago, my oldest son, Caleb, was pretending at something and being silly. He paused on the stairs as he was running up to his room and shouted down at us, “If you’re looking for a weird kid, come find me!”
Jason and I spent several minutes chuckling about what he said.
But then I couldn’t stop thinking about it. When I was his age, I would never have said anything like that. My family only had one major move during my childhood, but as we worked to find a longtime home in our new city, and as I got settled with the gifted program in, I ended up changing schools a lot. By the time I started 2nd grade, I was starting over at a 4th new school.
I was tired of being the new kid, and I just wanted to blend in and belong.
I ended up carrying that fear of not belonging with me for a long time, and if I’m being honest, I wrestle with it still.
When the Lord began speaking to me over a year ago about pulling Caleb out of public school to teach him at home, one of my biggest objections was that I didn’t want us to be one of “those” families.
I wanted to blend in. I wanted to stick with the status quo. I didn’t want anything about our family to single us out and make us seem different.
But that is exactly what the Bible asks us to do.
In his first epistle, the apostle Peter says to the Church, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).
We can’t declare to the world the praises of the God who has transformed us if we are trying to blend in with those around us. My flesh may be terrified of what people might think of me if I choose to stand out, but my spirit longs to obey the Word of God and to set an example for my children in following Jesus no matter what the cost.
If I believe that God has place in my sweet Caleb a “different spirit,” like his mighty namesake, who was willing to stand against thousands who were afraid to enter the Promised Land, who was willing to be one of only two men in an entire nation who believed the word of the Lord–if I believe that same spirit is in my son, can I sacrifice the acceptance I think I need, and instead cultivate the uniqueness of this child God has given me to steward?
It’s hard sometimes–it really is.
It makes me painfully aware of my own pride and brokenness. But if our children are going to follow God with their hearts, they will need to be given the tools to stand against culture.
Maybe this means you’re the only family you know who doesn’t go see that movie. Maybe it means you go without the newest clothes because your family is giving sacrificially to missions. I don’t know what kind of “weird” God might be asking your family to embrace, but I can tell you that truly following Jesus will require you to be counter-cultural in some way eventually.
I want to really follow Jesus. I want that for my kids, too.
So as for me and my household, if you’re looking for a weird family, come find us!