My daughter found a photo of me with long hair. I used to rock a man-bun. But the day my son was born, my wife needed my ponytail holder. In light of everything that she was doing (you know...birthing my son), I gave it to her. In the picture, my wife and I are side by side holding our newborn son and hair is down to my shoulders.
Whenever my daughter was 2, she found the picture and said, “Look daddy. A picture of whenever we had 2 mommies. Mommy was a mommy and Daddy was a mommy.”
In that moment I was stuck between two options to respond with:
I could look my daughter in the eye and say, “I love you so much. And because I love you, I will give you from now until the day you die to repent. But if you don’t apologize for your sin against me, I will send you to hell where you will experience constant and conscious torment for all of eternity for your blasphemy.”
I could take a moment to think about what I understand of what it means to be a mother. The strength, boldness, courage and bravery that it takes to bring life into this world, sustain it and nurture it (through birth or adoption). Then, I could look her in the eye and say, “Thank you so much for the beautiful compliment that you have given me.”
I think back to Genesis 1: 27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female He created them.” I like to think that if I’m made in the image of God, then I’m not the only one who can pick option 2.