I’ll warn you in advance this will not be a neatly written treatise or anything like that. I simply want to share something, hopefully briefly, that I believe the Lord is showing me. So…no catchy introduction.
Background: I really love my children. I am very dedicated to my children. I want to see them grow into a passionate Jesus-loving, kingdom-building, earth moving man and woman. I want Isaiah to be a good daddy and great husband. I want Hannah to be a good mommy and great wife.
I’m also a sinner. I have idols. I have ridiculous self-righteousness. Part of the reason I want my kids to be “good” Christians is because I want that to reflect upon my super-awesome parenting. My children are (at least in part) a reflection of my relationship with Jesus. And I want to look good.
At the same time that I am passionate about my children I also have a sinful tendency to disengage and shut-down when I get overwhelmed. I know this about myself so I fight it extra hard. Part of this fighting extra hard sometimes leads to me cleaning the outside of the cup and neglecting the inside. It pains me to say it but sometimes my time with my kids isn’t from the heart it’s just me faking it.
The Point: I’m going to chill out and rest in grace.
Instead of reading a million parenting books and trying to get my Christian-parenting down to a science I’m going to try to make it simple. I am going to radically pursue a day by day relationship with Jesus. One with bumps, bruises, failings, successes, gritty-honesty, shameful hypocrisy, and everything that comes from a desperate (and sometimes prideful not-so desperate) sinner relating to a sinless Savior.
Same thing with my children. I’m just going to be dad. Probably the greatest thing that I can give my kiddos is to just be present with them. I’m going to sin against them. I’m going to be angry at times. I’m going to discipline when I should have just let things slide. I’m going to let things slide when I should have probably disciplined. I’m probably never going to win a dad of the year award. But Lord willing, I’m going to be there.
Even if at the end of everything my children look back and say, “dad was pretty screwed up, he had a ton of faults, but he loved Jesus, he was growing, and he was always there for us.” If that’s what they say I’ll be happy. And I’d also like for them to say it with a smile on their face.
I want my kids to smile.
I want my kids to rest in grace because they learned how to do that from their daddy.
I want my kids to see that God’s grace is sufficient and it’s something to be enjoyed.
I want my kids to grow up in a home that dances (interpretively moves if you’re a Baptist) at the victory that Christ has already won instead of a home that mumbles, grumbles, and labors as if the gospel only won a partial victory.
May grace reign!