Yesterday my husband and I sang schmaltzy love duets and musical theater songs for a women’s group at a local country club. This is not an unusual occurrence, though it doesn’t happen as often as it used to. My performing days are, for the most part, behind me, and the times I sing now are both a welcome treat and a minor stressor in my day.
But I’m not just a performer on the stage, gauging my worth based on reactions in the audience. I’m a performer at heart. And spiritually speaking, this is a challenge to overcome.
How does a performer raise children who know they are valued by their being and not their doing?
As one who has always enjoyed applause and recognition for a job well done, be it on the stage or in life, I have always found it difficult to claim my worth based on who I am rather than how I perform. Call it an occupational hazard, if you will. Even in scripture, I have found comfort in the “law”, passages on “grace” always seeming a bit of an enigma.
Thankfully, in these eleven years as a parent, I’ve learned (am still learning, really- sometimes the hard way) that grace must be not merely a visitor in our home, but a loving, in-dwelling presence. I find myself bit by bit able to shed the doing and embrace the being, both in my children and in myself. It may go against the grain, but that’s what makes it such a miracle. The freedom to give and receive grace comes only from the One who is grace.
So I forgive, and ask forgiveness; tell and show my children I love them just because they are, and try to live that myself in the face of a performing life. My actions- especially the daily accepting of my own flaws in front of my children- will speak loudly into their hearts, into who they will become.
Yesterday, at our performance, I messed up. My singing wasn’t perfect. And while years ago I may have hung on to the mistakes for days, today I’m OK with it. When the kids asked how we did, we told them it was good, but not perfect.
And life went on.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.