Tuesday, October 20, 2015

when coffee, tea, and chocolate fail

Life becomes much more of a balancing act with the addition of each kid. Quiet mornings and coffee dates are exchanged for long nights and short naps. More toys than carpet cover your floors and more bottles than dishes sit in the sink. The new-parent hype only lasts so long before even the excitement of having your own child fades.

Heart-to-heart conversations and honest friendships with other parents have shown me that we're in need of some quality TLC. I've come to find that there are five elements we need to honor if we're to keep our TLC tank full: God's rule over our lives, the authority of the Bible in our lives, the nature of the person, the purpose of family, and the reality of grace.

Working each element into my life, even if imperfectly (and it always is), breathes life back into our bones. Our effort to parent has to come from these foundational elements if we hope to be God-honoring parents. This post covers the first of these elements: God's rule over our lives.

God is God over every part of our lives. This is the first and most important element we've got to hold dear. While we mean the best for our families, one of the first habits we can toss out is letting Him work in our lives. We either do our best to control things or don't care enough to surrender things to God.

But God longs to be an active part of our lives (Acts 17:27) and is simply waiting for us to welcome him into it (Rev. 3:20). God not only sees our struggle to be Christ-like spouses and parents, but also wants to help us get there. He's our faithful Father: guiding and disciplining us into His likeness. He's our close friend Jesus: living beside us and helping us stay sane. He's our enabling Spirit: cultivating every good thing in us.

God is the one who sustains us when coffee, tea, and chocolate have run their courses. He's the intimate Creator God who formed us in the womb (Ps. 139:13); He knows us through and through (Ps. 139:1-6) and still loves us perfectly (1 Jn. 4:18). His faithfulness meets us in our need and provides for us immeasurably more.

If today you get nothing else done, let your heart rest well knowing that God sees you right where you are and loves you just as you are. And that yes, that is enough.