1 Peter 1:13-16
My son is learning to pray. A Cub Scout badge required him to pray daily for 30 days. The five-finger prayer guided us: praise, thanksgiving, intercession, confession, and petition. We got tripped up on praise.
“What is praise?” he kept asking.
“Well,” I explained, “praise is telling God something you know to be true about who God is.”
“It’s like, ‘Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed by Thy Name.’ You learned that last year,” I replied, pleased with my quick thinking.
“But what does that even mean?” he insisted.
“It’s like ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, early in the morning, my song shall rise to Thee!”
“Mama, just don’t sing!” he lamented. “I’ll say: ‘Dear God, you are holy.” And we’ve left it at that.
Holiness is the character of God, but it is a big ask of little boys.
I think about all the desires that animate him right now: accumulating points on games, the 12th Nerf gun, the 8 millionth LEGO. I’m prepared to discipline his mind about money and even navigate some tricky differences between his dad’s views and mine on budgeting. But what am I going to say about the holiness of the body when he watches his first suggestive scene in a movie? When his body changes? When he goes to his first middle school dance? When he’s pursued by or pursuing a romantic partner? What will I tell him about the holiness of the body that helps him fully experience it all the days of his life rather than feeling frustrated and isolated by being “good,” or dirty and unworthy from being “bad”? Did Peter instruct set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you (v. 13) for mothers like me?
How does God’s grace attract us to and help us envision what is holy?
God, help us practice holiness with our bodies in every season of life. Amen.