We often hear the word "authenticity" in our walk with God. Usually, it's in reference to our aquaintances and unsaved friends. We want them to see the real deal, what it means to be a follower of Jesus. In my experience, talking about myself- not others, it's easy to put on a big show of being "authentic". Appearances are easy to make- letting others think that we have it all together.
However, where the rubber meets the road, so to speak, is in my family. My kids and my husband see the "real" me. More than anything, I want my kids to see me being authentic and real to them about my relationship with Jesus. Do my words and my actions mesh together? Am I living in unity with Jeff? Am I extending grace to my kids and also disciplining them appropriately? Are the words that I speak to them life giving or do I kill a part of their spirit if I get annoyed or frustrated with them? They will get their picture of God from Jeff and I. The grace that I have experienced in my life from God is unmeasurable- I don't deserve the gifts He has gvien me- should I not extend this grace to my children as well?
The battle I fight the most is my temper (I hid this well from those outside our family for many years-I'm getting very real here) and also shortness with my kids. A good friend of mine also struggles with this and she once gave a talk on the words we speak to our children- how they can breathe life into our children or how we can suck the air right out of them. I have failed miserably at this and now pray that God's grace will be sufficient for them as they grow and someday have to face the wounds that I have inflicted. Jeff is so patient with me in this area and has always been very slow to anger- not just with the kids, but to me as well! I often feel I don't deserve this kind of patience!
One thing I have learned, that when we try to fight battles secretly, the enemy wins. There is a verse in James that says, "Confess your sins to one another, so that you may be healed". This is so true! When I am out of fellowship and accountability, I fail. And I don't just hurt myself- I hurt my family. How can I go and put on a happy face in public, when not only I'm miserable, but my family is miserable. What does this teach my children? This teaches my children that it's ok to lie about how things really are and it's better to be a poser. I want to teach them grace and forgiveness. That we can only reach others when we are authentic to the point of putting all of our shortcomings out there and receiving grace from our brothers and sisters and from our Heavenly Father.