I was recently asked by someone what is normal? I understand the positioning that to be normal is to fit in within a standard of acceptance. In fact, this desire to “fit in” and be “normal” is strong within us. Beginning at an early age we begin dressing the same and acquiring the same fads and clothing brands in order to be accepted by the greater masses.
Yet, normal behavior and practices differ by regions, cultures, and peoples. For what is normal for one group isn’t necessarily accepted by another.
Various movies even make light of the fact that young boys look at porn, for example. “Hey, it’s normal for young boys to look at porn”. Really? This is “normal” and thereby no big deal?
It’s also considered normal to get drunk and do all kinds of reckless things in college too – right?
The world’s definition of normal is always changing and is often swayed by public opinion.
Therefore, normal is not something to be pursued, for it isn’t something we can anchor our lives too. It’s a moving target, but God is the same today as He was yesterday and from the beginning of time. His ways support a productive and confident way of life because they aren’t changing and aren’t harmful.
Granted, by the world’s standards the Christian life may appear abnormal, for we are called to live in the world, but not like the world (John 17:15-16). Therefore, we will live differently, but this difference will be for a greater good and God’s glory.
For myself and raising a family, I know the desire to be accepted as normal is present, but my prayer is that we will actually be far from “normal”. Instead, may we stand out as a family of God whose love so overwhelms our home, community, and church that is far from the normal way of living – produced by our faith in Jesus and His shared love for others.