As a father, I’ll be thrilled if the story my kids have to tell about me in 20 years is “boring” in the same way. I would like nothing more than for them to say, “I’ve always known my dad loves me. I’ve never doubted that. Never rebelled against it. I just keep seeing his love for me in new ways and enjoying it. And I love him a lot…” (To be clear—I’m not suggesting there are no bumps along the way, just no dramatic rebellions.)
As a husband, my goal is for my wife to have a similar “boring” story about me when we’re old. No questions, no doubt, no extended periods of hostility. No breaches of faith.
In fact, those aren’t “boring” stories, are they? They can be beautiful stories of love and faithfulness, vitality and growth. These are stories about life change—not because of a drastic course correction, but because of steady, enlivening faithfulness.
Sometimes we downplay these stories because they don’t take a dramatic turn. They don’t excite us like a broken relationship repaired, a corrupt person redeemed. But they’re good stories.
What’s my greatest hope and prayer for my kids, and for all of the kids in our church? That they’ll have “boring” testimonies about their faith when they grow up. I’d love to proudly put one of them in front of the congregation each week to tell a “boring” story about faithfulness.
About how that congregation made a covenant to them 20-some years ago and kept it—a covenant to surround them with a community of love and forgiveness and pray for them, that they would become true disciples of Christ.
About how they had always known God’s love. Never doubted it. Never rebelled against it. Just kept growing in it.
Now I know I can’t control this. Not as a father, not as a husband, not as a pastor. I can influence these things (see especially “Finding a church for my kids”), but not control them. The enemy still leads people into rebellion, even from the best of circumstances.
And when that rebellion happens, we’ll seek out any lost sons or daughters and throw lavish parties for any who return. We’ll put them in front of the congregation to share their “less-boring” testimonies, and the extra drama of those stories may result in more tears and cheers than normal. We’ll probably rejoice more over that one lost sheep that returned than over the 99 who never strayed. And that makes sense.
But for me, I’d love to have more “boring” testimonies. I don’t think they’re really all that boring after all.