When we raise up Christ and introduce him to our children, talking about him and pointing out where he touches every part of their lives, we demonstrate our hope that their desire will be to see themselves as “friends of Jesus.” By coming to identify themselves in the context of who Jesus is, what he’s done for them, how he helps them make decisions, how he comforts them in times of trouble, they move out of the center willingly and beam with delight when he gets the glory—“That’s my friend, Jesus!” And if it doesn’t seem to be happening willingly, remember how stubborn your heart was before it was redeemed, and don’t give up. Pray to this end out loud and in front of them to show them that you rely on Jesus’s centrality in your life.
The gospels record 307 questions that Jesus asked those he encountered. A simple way to love your spouse better is to spend time discovering things you may not know about them, explore how they think so you can understand them better.
Some of us cope by making lists of what to do in the worst-case scenario. We bury ourselves in research and follow up on our discoveries with changes in where we shop, how we cook, what products we use, etc. Lists and rules and preventatives will save us, and we tend to think this not because they actually will but because just doing something measurable seems more productive than just doing something immeasurable, something that doesn’t have results that can be seen or quantified, something like trusting God.
Persevere, moms, “as the snail to the ark.” (Charles Spurgeon) The ark is ahead. That great deliverance beyond the flood is ours, sealed by the trustworthiness of the Holy Spirit, and we inch forward according to the pace God sets for us. I’m praying for you.
Christina writes with transparency about her own fears and failures, doubts and trials and afflictions. But her focus is on the vastness of the gospel and the promises of Christ, and she examines how faithful and Spirit-empowered obedience to God’s word unveils the perspective we need to face life’s daily struggles. We are so inclined to start with the struggles and end with whatever Christianesque plug we can find to fix the problem. Christina puts things in the right order.
We need to preach the gospel of freedom in Christ to ourselves. We need to remind ourselves daily, hourly, moment by moment, how merciful and patient the Lord is with us.
Maybe —just maybe—the goal in parenting is only partly about how the kids turn out, and perhaps a lot about what happens to my soul during and by the end of the journey.
Here comes a different kind of elderly saint. She has taught me the art of stretching dollars, that home-cooked meals are the best, and that simple vacations and day trips can be amazing. It is from my mom that I have learned about being content with simple joys.