Broken and Beautiful

We live in a world where conflict is often celebrated, forgiveness comes with conditions, and love has lost its meaning for many. What can we do to counter the impact our culture has on future generations?

As parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers and mentors, we each have remarkable power and influence over the future of the children in our lives. Their understanding of how to resolve conflict, how to forgive, and how to love depends on how we resolve conflict, how we forgive, and how we love. Most important of these is how we love. Because love forgives without condition and never celebrates conflict.

Our society is filled with messages that scream, “be like him” or “dress like her.” Through news and politics that propagate fear and dissension, differences have become focal points for conflict and pain rather than something to embrace. But stepping into conversations about differences with love and grace is one of the most important and formative things we can do for the children we love. So where do we start?

We begin by acknowledging that we are all different and that our differences should be celebrated, they should be embraced. We begin by acknowledging that we are all broken in our own way and that in our brokenness there is so much beauty. Beauty in overcoming challenges together, beauty in others doing for us what we can’t do on our own, beauty in lifting others up knowing that they will one day do the same for someone else.

In Matthew 25 as Jesus tells the parable of the goats and the sheep, there are many lessons but perhaps the most important is one that should influence how we lead our children.

Feed the hungry…

Give drink to the thirsty…

Invite the stranger in…

Clothe the naked…

Care for the sick…

Visit the imprisoned…

Because we are all hungry and thirsty in some way, we will all be a stranger at some point in time, we will all be stripped naked by life’s circumstances and experience sickness, and we are all prisoners to something. Fear, weakness, addictions, a diagnosis… we are all broken in our different ways but when we come together to carry each other, we are beautiful. The image God created us in–His own–shines brightly when we love as He loves.

The greatest beauty we can ever experience, the greatest beauty we will ever witness is only known through our brokenness.

What do we do to counter the impact our culture has on future generations? We embrace our differences through love and teach our children that we are all broken and beautiful.