An introductory note: I started this post back in September, but I had a hard time putting my thoughts into coherent words. I’ve returned now to give it another try…
Over Labor Day weekend, our friends Chris and Jaimie were in town. Per our norm, we spent several hours talking about how life is going. Chris asked us a thought-provoking question: “what are you learning about God as you parent your kids?”
PJ shared that he is learning about how truly patient God is as we sin time and time again. We deal with the same issues with our kids all day, every day. They suck at listening. They obey when it’s convenient. Pride already has a strong root.
Hey…that sounds a lot like how many of us interact with God. I know it’s true for me. I listen really closely to Him when I’m drowning in the mess my sin has made…but maybe not so much when I think I know what I’m doing. (HA!) I obey God when some sin isn’t more important to me. I can think I’m pretty awesome when things go right, all the while failing to acknowledge the source of all that is good. God is certainly not pleased with our repetitive sin, yet He remains steadfast in His love and offers forgiveness through the cross of Christ.
Until we lived with little ones who shove repetitive sin in our faces, PJ and I did not appreciate the patience and faithfulness of God. We tend to respond in sin to our kids when we feel like we can’t take their same sins anymore that day. But He remains unchanging, holy, perfect, and righteous and continues to sanctify us. Praise the Lord!
For my answer to Chris’ question: parenting our kids has given me a desire for heaven that I’ve never had before. Before getting our kids, my life sailed along with few trials. I felt that I was generally in control of my life, and I was pleased with the way things were going. Heaven was a far-off concept that made me pretty uneasy, as the idea of eternity did not sit well with my OCD schedule-oriented mind. How could I desire heaven when it would mean leaving what is here?
But now? Every day is kicking my butt, revealing my sin, and making me know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this world is not my final home. I am now much more eagerly awaiting the day when I will enter my heavenly home, a place free from sin and death. Becoming a parent to our three has given me a much better perspective of my life on Earth—it is for a time, and then it will end. The only things that will last are my relationship with Christ and the legacy I leave in His name here on Earth, until even that burns away.