I have declared myself to be a crazy mom. Not because I get angry or lash out, but because my husband and I have decided to raise our kids how we choose, even if it puts us in a place where we are different than everyone else.

Some of these crazy mom things include no screens during the school week unless they have spare time before school after getting themselves totally ready. We also do not use our phones or screens during meals. I don’t let them watch YouTube when I’m not in the room. Headphones are a hard no. And they can’t go to friends houses until I meet their friend’s parents. My son has never played Fortnight, and my daughter isn’t watching certain doll-oriented shows on Netflix.

I force them to clean their own rooms and bathroom, as well as help me in the kitchen with both cooking and cleaning. They put away their own laundry, and are solely responsible for all cat duties.

This is just a snapshot of the long list of ways I have become a crazy mom. Sometimes, my kids love it. They experience the uniqueness of a family dynamics as a novelty and special. Sometimes, they can get trapped in comparisons and would prefer more freedoms that look like the rest of their peers.

These standards help our household run smoothly and help fight against the pull of potential obsessions. I want the important things to be given more time and space than things that don’t matter. There are reasons behind most standards, even if the kids don’t understand all of them.

However, because everyone else is doing it, and they are getting older, they will often ask the question, how come I have to do is this way? After hearing our hearts as parents who passionately love them and care about not only their current situation but their future, they understand.

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Sometimes. Sometimes, they would prefer to negotiate with a more lenient line. For those particular issues, they tend to go as far as they can without breaking the line, and after riding the line for so long, they feel confident enough with my love and grace, that crossing the line is not a big deal. Big mistake.

I often feel this same tension in my own spirit. I see everyone doing a thing. Like speeding for example. I know speeding is against the law. But when every person on the 198 is doing 75mph, it absolutely feels natural to also drive 75mph. Does this make it ok? Does the quantity of offenders make the standard lower? Nope. But it gives me the feeling of justification.

As Christians, we have justified lying, ignoring the lost and hurting, and allowing our words (verbal or in print) to tear down other people or groups. We can easily justify this when everyone else is doing it. It just becomes a part of the noise.

I have recently been convicted of how closely I have decided to ride the line to appear more like other people, instead of staying close to the standard set by my Jesus. This is partially out of convenience. Following Jesus’ way is expensive both in time and money. It’s inconvenient because it will not require my lazy attitude. And it is self-sacrificing because it will mean the needs of others are just as valuable as my own needs.

Do you sometimes feel like we serve a crazy God? As if His way and standard are too high? Me too! And it’s true! We cannot live according to His will and way alone. We have to have His help.

I am grateful for the covenant relationship, which means there is a mutual partnership in the process. He both sets a standard, and helps us reach it, and loves us when we fail. As a Father, I am looking for His heart in the standard not just His rule. As I understand why and where He is leading, I am more inclined to get off the line, and further into obedience.

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Candace Cortez is the Executive Pastor at Koinonia Church. Any comments may be sent to candace@kchanford.com

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