May I preface this post with a disclaimer? It is not my intent to diminish anyone’s thoughts, feelings, or convictions on the subject matter about which I write. That said, I do feel led to share my heart today.

The world of social media is intriguing to me, as well as millions of others around the globe. Thoughts are shared, opinions stated, and more recently, links to various articles posted freely. I don’t know about your Facebook newsfeed, but mine has been bombarded with articles touching on two specific topics:

1) Halloween and trick-or-treating…numerous authors sharing their opinions on whether or not Halloween should be “celebrated,” often citing its deeply disturbing pagan history.

2) The controversy concerning the new “Core Curriculum” in public schools…links to various articles outlining the premises upon which the curriculum is built, and (most articles I’ve seen) warning parents against the damage that is likely to come upon their children in the public school system.

Now, maybe neither of these topics have shown up in your Facebook newsfeed, or maybe neither of them hold much interest for you. That’s fine. The topics themselves are not the point of my blog post today. What’s on my heart, and what I feel led to share, is how very often I think we miss the mark when it comes to controversial topics.

I speak very personally about this, as I was once extremely opinionated about both of the aforementioned topics.  I had little regard for the thoughts or opinions of others, as I was so engrossed in my own. Over time, however, I have begun to see how selfish and sinful my thoughts and actions were. And, over time, God has softened and changed my heart about these topics, as well as many others. The point of this is not to tell you in which topical camp my family has pitched their tent. I won’t delve into our thoughts on schooling, or whether or not our children will dress up and seek out candy tonight in our neighborhood.

The point of it is this…can we all be a bit more gracious with one another? Can we all agree that we live in an imperfect world? A world stained with sin and filth. A world that needs not our strong opinion on various topics, but God’s love? God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live among the human race. To love us, serve us, and to die for us. That is of the uttermost importance.

Can we all understand that the decisions in life are often faced with much thoughtfulness, searching, and prayer? Can we understand that God guides and directs the paths of His people, and often times those pathways are not identical? This is not to say that all decisions in life are relative. There is an absolute path that I believe in and will follow until the day I die….the pathway to salvation and freedom through Christ. The Bible teaches that Christ alone provides the way to salvation, and that is a truth on which I will not waver.

Maybe knowing and experiencing God’s love and free gift of salvation is what has, over time, shown me these things I’ve shared today. God loves you deeper and higher than you could ever imagine, and that love will never change. He loves the parent who’s handing out candy at their front door on Beggar’s Night just as much as He loves the parent choosing to keep their porch light turned off. He loves the homeschooling parent just as much as He loves the parent who sends their child on a bus to school each morning. His love is deep, dear friends. And so should ours be.

So maybe I’m saying this just as much to assure myself more than anyone else, but dear parent…if you’ve felt overwhelmed lately with the myriad of decisions that face you each day…if you sometimes feel judged by others’ outspoken opinions…take heart! Know that you are loved by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Know that He offers His free gift of salvation, and it’s your gift to open if you’ve never done so. Know that He loves your children more than you do, and that His plan for them exceeds any you could ever contrive. Know that if you seek Him, He will lead you in each and every decision you face.

If we could all offer open arms and a loving heart more than we offer opinions and statistics, that alone will speak volumes to our children. They’re watching. They’re listening. They’re imitating. May they see Christ’s love in us.