My parents were dysfunctional radicals from the 60’s, marxist, atheist, and they still did something right, they unschooled their kids. Darkly humorous at this point in time, but they were afraid school and television would introduce their kids to Christian indoctrination and taint our souls forever.
So I grew up very isolated, without television, and with the idea that the greatest failure in life, the biggest threat, were the normies. Naturally I was immediately determined to find this forbidden fruit called “normal.”
Laughing here, but I’ll let you know when I find it! I’m just saying “normal” has a tangible substance, a flavor, a way of being in the world. Perhaps it is in someway related to “lawfulness.” Lawfulness is pretty hard to quantify, but basically it amounts to, “the quality of conforming to law” or “an essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone.”
Find the Lord, learn His ways and His rhythms, tune into the rhyme and reason of how and why He does the things He does, and get in His flow. That is “lawfulness,” to align yourself with His attributes.
Lawfulness has little or nothing to do with the legal system in this context. Even words can be used “lawfully” as in, used according to their distinguishing attribute or intended meaning. Or they can be used “unlawfully,” as in jokes, puns, and absurdity. I love absurdity because it has an ironic kind of logic behind it that often reminds me of the verse, “there is way that seems right to a man…”
I actually tend to have a great deal in common with those who grew up in some ugly Christian cults. There is a dynamic at play, an idea in common, a fallacy, that has caused a great deal of harm for generations, one I am intimately acquainted with. It is this idea that we own our children and that we can program them through education. Proverbs 22:6, right? “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
People often tend to take that verse and distort it, pervert it. They imply children are like sponges or a blank disc and our job is to basically brainwash and download them in the direction we wish them to go. We forget some things like, who is their real Father? Who is really raising them? It’s not really you, and this is tough on parental pride, but our children are not our own, they pass though us and we are charged with looking out for them when they are small, but they actually belong to God.
They should be honored as treasured guests, as gifts, as visitors not really off this world, and we should do our best to honor and respect their own walk with the Lord. You cannot educate well being into a child, you can not equip them with salvation, you cannot put the armor of God on them and send them out as arrows for the kingdom. That is territory that belongs to them and to God. The key word here is “you.” You can not do those things. God may well do it, or He may lead them in another direction entirely. Our job is really just to love them as they are and to trust in Him.
To this day I recoil at the idea of “education,” because it has become a word that means indoctrinate, program, fix, mold, form, and control, as in sending one off to re-education camp. I do however like “learning,” lifelong learning, perpetual, chronic, and incurable.
God does love His plot twists! I am a rather riotous and rebellious walking proclamation that God will have who He will have, in spite of all our attempts to shape and mold our children through education.
A bit comical to pair that word “riotous” with “lawfulness,” but riotous also mean uproarious, funny, boisterous, and lively, out of control and unmanageable. Well, another word for unmanageable is “free” and He did come to set the captives free, to give them life and life abundant, to make them lively.
The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. -Shakespeare