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Husband and I…

March 9, 2008

are both firstborn children. Married to each other. Statistically unusual, I’ve been told.

Perhaps more odd than that, because of our adoptive and biological family blending, every one of our sons, except for the fourth one, is a firstborn child. Birth order books aren’t regular reading around here.

Due in great part to the issues that surround the typical firstborn child, Husband and I, from the get-go made very solemn oaths to one another that no matter how many children God gave us, we would not, ever, ever, ev-ah, cut standards or corners with the last child.

If you must be six years old to get your first bike, then every child must be six years old to get his first bike. Period.

Amazing what you’ll hold onto like a monkey grasping bananas through the bars, huh?

Imagine then my very great chagrin when I realized that my primo firstborn standards had slipped with this last son. Convicting at best, humiliating at worst, as I trotted out the standard pony show of reasons excuses: too tired, too lazy, too overwhelmed, having three boys three years old and under, and so on. I shortened the yardstick for him, and he walked around feeling himself to be taller than he was.

It all comes home eventually. The day of reckoning is never very far off. Its friends, pride and presumption, precede it with fanfare. And the day is very sad indeed for everyone involved. Because I have done him no favors to believe himself so well off in life. An inflated and deceptive image only makes a bigger popping sound as it bursts. Moreover, have I truly communicated a self-sacrificing love for the one that I have allowed to take greater allowances for which he has now spent to a greater debt?

It is into our great debt, 10,000 talents multiple times, that God sends His Son to pay as a ransom with His life. And in paying our very great debt, the Lord is clear to show the yardstick of measure that a Holy God can only and will only accept, the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ alone. He teaches no dilute gospel. He exposes no loopholes. He clearly, certainly, and credibly tells the fullness of our sin and His justification. This is reconciliation. This is redemption. This is salvation.

21But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement,[i] through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Romans 3:21-26

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2008 10:49 pm

    Fascinating illustration, Elle.

    And amen to the message. When we lose sight of our true nature, we build pride a home and become the Prodigal’s Brother — arrogant, resentful, unthankful and without grace.

  2. March 11, 2008 6:21 pm

    Oh yes, I am a far different mother to my last than I was to my first and I’m not sure better. For years, my main instinct was survival so the rule of the house was (though never explicitly defined) “keep the baby happy.” Let me tell you, I have paid for that. A day of reckoning? More like years!

  3. March 12, 2008 3:52 am

    Oh My what wise words indeed!!! My day of reckoning is upon me.

  4. Rachel permalink
    March 14, 2008 9:23 pm

    my husband and I are firstborns and are raising a firstborn (only for now) daughter. You speak right into my tendency to want to keep everything the same for future children. A good intention to be sure, but as you clearly demonstrated it can become an idol or a legalistic pitfall. Thanks for the encouragement to keep our eyes fixed on the redeemer.

    Oh, and isn’t it an adventure being married to another firstborn? Keeps things exciting wouldn’t you say!

  5. March 18, 2008 1:10 pm

    As a first born daughter myself, I am in complete agreement with you! You’ve a beautifully clear writing voice, and its been a pleasure “meeting” you here!

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