I confess: I make macaroni and cheese from that box. A green vegetable, organic or otherwise, has rarely passed the lips of my six-year-old. It's summer, and my kids have not been bathed in days (swimming in the pool counts, right?).
Once a "Dare I say it?" backlash against the picture-perfect family lives portrayed on the web, these kind of parental confessions have become a popular trope around the blogosphere, particularly among Christians. Recently, Jen Hatmaker's "Worst End of School Year Mom Ever," an expose of scavenged posterboard and last-second costume improvisation, went viral enough to land her a televised interview on Today.
Hatmaker, along with writers like Ann Voskamp and Jamie Wright (a.k.a. Jamie the Very Worst Missionary), with their stories of burned dinners and piles of dishes and moments of hair-pulling frustration, are making messiness cool.
But all stories, including self-deprecating humor and amusing little blog anecdotes, have theological implications. As Christians, our current obsession with brokenness may have us getting a little too comfortable with a life defined by often-petty imperfections.
Posts about failing do get so much right, and Christians, of all people, rightly understand what it means to be broken. Before the face of a holy God, we have no illusions about our own righteousness (the great Apostle Paul called his "rubbish"), and we have no need to pretend otherwise. It's no secret that we are the undeserving recipients of grace. We should be authentic, rejoicing with Paul: "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost" (1 Tim. 1:15).
Christ gives true hope to one who is the worst.
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 60+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more