Imperfect Prose: The Radio and The Rules

In the 80’s I watched all God’s people and my parents work hard at perfection.
We followed the rules in our family. We didn’t say “butt” because it was rude. I went into Kindergarten convinced that “stupid” was a very bad word. Madonna was second cousins with the devil.

And I was exhausted. If you can’t say “butt” think of how hard it is to mind the other, more terrible sins?

Now I’m thirty and yesterday? I listened to Katy Perry on the radio and I enjoyed her song. It was catchy.

I don’t think God cares if I listen to Katy Perry.

He cares if I am keeping his commandments.

Love. He commands us to love. To love Him and to love people.

Maybe on a certain day, for a certain person, loving God means not listening to the radio. But for me on that day, it didn’t and I thanked Him for it. He is not the harsh god of the 1980’s, and I don’t  think He worries about what term we use for our rear ends.

I’ve spent so much of my life trying to chew with my mouth closed and hiding from culture. With my head in the sand and my sins tucked away, I told myself and the world that God is for the try-hard, polished, happy-marriage, good-children people.

Ironically, those people are the ones who don’t need Jesus. They seem to have saved themselves.

We add so much to the gospel, in the name of holiness, that we forget about the things God has actually asked us to do.

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” -Micah 6:8

Join me every Wednesday at Imperfect Prose, an online community where we battle our desire to save our self and encourage one another in our weakness. Because God is big enough.

If you have a post, or a piece of art, or a poem that illustrates imperfection and God’s redemption, please head over there and link up.

25 thoughts on “Imperfect Prose: The Radio and The Rules

  1. i grew up much the isolationist religeon that seems far different than the one jesus lived honestly…look who he hung with and ask yourself why…i def am not perfect…smiles.


  2. growing up the daughter of a minister? you know I feel myself here in your words. Now as a mom, I'm trying desperately to find the balance. teaching my kids that it's the heart that matters, more than words, more than popular culture… it's the intent that matters. the rest? Jesus took care of. loved this. and love feeling a rising of this type of example and movement.


  3. I grew up with going to confession and repeating prayers over and over again. I am so glad my son is learning God just wants to hear our voice sharing with him the ways we have done well with his help and the areas we need help in.


  4. Yes, following all those man made rules make it hard to hear what God has said. There is such freedom in grace, if only we embrace it. That verse from Micah – love it!


  5. I love it! And you're right: it's hard enough to stay true to what's spelled out in black and white. We're not supposed to be judging each other about anything, let alone about stupid stuff, and we're supposed to be seeking God face when it comes to what isn't spelled out in black and white. Your new header is fabulous!


  6. First of all, I love your header. Turned my computer around today to show my teenage daughter and it made her smile too. And this thoughtful, raw post on what is really important as we walk with Jesus, its pretty awesome too. So glad to meet you through Imperfect Prose.


  7. First–nice to meet you through Imperfect Prose.
    Second — I can so relate to this! I wasn't allowed to say butt either. or stupid. or even talk about madonna growing up.
    Third — Now that I'm in my 30's raising a child, I find myself asking where I need to put the fulcrom. Where to balance our playing field. Parenting is so hard. I still think you should be able to major in it in college…but who could prepare you for what God has in store other than…Him?
    Thanks for making me smile today! and reflect. and encourage me to think about where that fulcrom should go!
    All for Him,


  8. you always get me.

    i wasn't allowed to say fart. i still feel a bit giddy for even writing it. but every time i say it (fart, fart, fart) it's like a prayer, releasing me from the God of rules and handing me over to the God of love.


  9. Those rules were imposed on us as well. So many “don't”s. Hard to see the good past all the bad we're reminded of every single day. My view has changed over the years. So a hearty “Amen” here, sister.


  10. Oh boy. You always make me laugh. And think. My pastor said in his sermon on Sunday that we ought to suspicious of “good people”. I feel that, I really do. I can't read books about how to be a good mother because I know I can't do it. Be everything for me, Lord Jesus!


  11. i saw the f word up there with miss emily! o laugh! my mother-in-law thinks the “f” word is fart. no kidding. we make our children say it in her presence just to irritate her. it's good fun.
    i didn't really know God or church or Jesus in the eighties except for the occasional billy graham special on tv. but i did know madonna and i liked her very much and i still do! the immaculate collection is my “serious” housecleaning music on my ipod.
    i'm happy you no longer live in the rigid 80s and can now enjoy katy perry in all her gloriousness! 🙂


  12. I cannot relate.
    And I can.

    and my parenting is all over the map. you might be rather shocked . but?

    I know without a doubt that more rules and opinions and ideals equals more judging and less unconditional.
    I wake up every morning hoping God will use me , try to get out my own head and skin and into a place of the love. That's hard enough some days. I went to church alone on Good Friday. None of us went on Easter. It's okay. It is . And I wasn't aloud to say much of anything as a kid,( not for religious reasons) and my Italian husband says everything and so do his sisters and parents. They always mean love even it's it's the other f word. My parents? They oozed anger . Even in the silence. Now I live a life of guilt and shame and bitter all mixed in with my blessings and abundance and gratitude.

    we're all so messed up aren't we. Grace.


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