As my time at home with our newborn comes to a close I wanted to revisit a few things I’ve learned from my special time with our family. This season has been incredible and while I don’t have the perspective of those who have been parents for decades, I do know that these moments go by incredibly quickly and can never be experienced later.
With that in mind there are some things that I have learned to appreciate more about my relationship with God:
- If I love my kids and family this much as a sinful and selfish person, how much more does God love us? (1 Jn 3:1; Matt. 7:11)
- My hope for the future and increasing need for grace as a parent is only a reminder of how much I need to lean on Jesus for every bit of my daily resources. (1 Cor. 1:25-29; Pr. 3:5,6)
- God doesn’t put up with me like an overworked parent; He delights in me with a love that says far more about whom He is than who I am. (Ps. 149:4)
Here are a few things I’m appreciating more and more about my beautiful bride:
- Choosing your spouse wisely is a better investment of your time, treasure and heart than any other human relational pursuit. (Pr. 31:10)
- I would be an AWFUL stay at home dad. Balancing tasks and projects with the constant need to love and cherish kids every day is a calling and one that Alyssa is tremendously gifted with. To watch her determine priority and choose joy even in difficult circumstances is inspiring to me and edifying for our family. (Phil. 4:4-7)
- I am so incredibly blessed to share my life with someone that sharpens and challenges me every day, her graceful encouragement and prompting is something that I’m incredibly thankful to look forward to for as long as God gives us breath. (Pr. 27:17)
- Marriage that doesn’t have Christ at the center isn’t difficult it’s impossible. Doing life apart from a connection to Christ, especially in marriage will not work, partnership through challenges requires a cornerstone that doesn’t move when everything else does. (1 Pt. 2:6; 2 Cor. 6:14)
Here are a few about the joy of being a dad:
- One of the common concerns when you have multiple kids is that you won’t love them as much, but the reality of experience is that God gives you an increased capacity of love because kids are a blessing and a gift, regardless of what culture says. (Ps. 127:3-5)
- My top parenting goal is to lovingly pursue their heart and show them Jesus, praying for their lives to be transformed and for a legacy of faith to continue in and through them. (Eph. 6:4)
- While not everything that happens with my kids is my fault, it is my responsibility before God and I need to live with that in mind. (Col. 3)
- While my little ones don’t sit down and study Scripture with me yet, I do have the opportunity to speak Scripture to them, pray for them and make sure that what they see in me is someone desiring to not just shuffle them through but train them up in love and compassion. (Pr. 22:6)
And just a couple about being in ministry:
- With our families living across the country our church has been the model of what grace and generosity look like in the lives of believers. With meals, gifts, notes and love we have been enveloped with a sense of deep appreciation and we’re thrilled for our journey here.
- I think it is just as important for our students to see us as a family as it is for them to hear me teach, in a day when what we say and how we say are intertwined. At the end of the day if this life God gives us, and the pattern for joy and peace He offers works then they need to see that and resist the patterns of this world that don’t.
- The long term effectiveness in ministry and impact we want to have hinges on our ability to prioritize our relationship with God above all else, our spouse as our primary human relationship, our family as a gift to steward well and our vocational calling in a very deliberate order. If these priorities go askew it is only a matter of time before our ministry effectiveness (not mention joy and peace) follows.
We are blessed.