The dunnocks have begun their mating displays here now: 1 ball of fluff & feathers bouncing around behind another small bird that appears to be playing half-speed kiss chase.
I noticed this as I was tidying away my Wellington boots, or it would be more accurate to say the Wellingtons I have been using since I was about 12 or 14. They had been my fathers, and have been in existence as long as I can remember, even having his initials - AE - written in with red pen. Ben has used them too, so they really have been in use by 3 generations of our family.
I wonder if he will acquire & keep them when he moves out, like some of the tools I took and have been passed on to him too?
I wonder what else we pass on to our children.
My mother asked for a years subscription to Christianity magazine for Christmas and, true to her nature, has been passing them on to us with the commendation "they aren't stuffy at all", which is true.
There's something very striking about them - they conform to the spirit of this age in that they carefully avoid teaching anything solid, reliable, sound. Instead they examine issues with a view to provoking questions in the reader, and where there is a question of doctrine they very carefully present a range of views from middle of the road evangelical to liberal (in the couple I've read there was no conservative or moderate orthodox view expressed from the 3 carefully selected commentators).
Sure it's great to ask questions, but this is like the carefully philosophically blind trying to help other blind people explore their blindness. Makes me see why there are so many, many christian books published these days. I keep having come to mind the scripture where Jesus described that generation like children in the marketplace, with each one calling out their preference, but the others not taking any notice (I appreciate that's not the classical understanding of this passage, yet it seems to fit).
There was a review of 2 books on a similar topic, one of which was described as bombastic in the manner it provided answers for living, while the other was described in glowing terms as intelligent and nuanced for the way it asked questions. Interestingly, while the reviewer felt able to approve the book without strong answers, it was that one with the answers that was apparently going to be used to work with a mens group.
What kind of inheritance do we want to pass to our children?
While it's always good to ask questions and to be able to speculate, there needs to be answers, guidelines by which people can live by, rather than only a further series of questions with the underlying suggestion that as long as it seems OK to you at the time then it's good and right. Someone said to me in church last week that we had changed from hearing "this is how you should be living" to "this is how you can live like you should". I don't want to pretend to either have all the answers or that we even can know them all, but a nuanced ability to ask deep and meaningful questions is never going to help you to live well if you do not discover solid answers that result in action.
We as parents have a responsibility to live out the answers and to teach them to our children so that they have an inheritance that brings life and peace.