Last year, in a conversation with a friend about parenting, he made a statement that stuck with me. He said, “I think the best model of parenting my own children is the way that God relates to me as a father.” I didn’t really get it at the time, but for some reason it has stuck in my mind.
Over the past weekend we have welcomed the newest member of our family and I have naturally wandered back into reflecting on the past year and the nature of parenting as it relates to all of life. I come back also, to this statement, and I think am starting to catch on to its meaning a little more.
I think the key issue is to see the basis and beauty of personhood in parenting.
Real christian love changes us. It makes us a completely different type of people. In a world of people seeking satisfaction and security, those who are in Christ are full to the brim. He gives himself to us so that we may be able to give ourselves to others.
There are two distinct changes that love makes in us. First of all, it fills us and creates within us a heart that is burdened to serve others. A heart full of Christ and his truth is a heart that cannot just sit still and stay selfish. Secondly, the burden of love that Christ puts on us drives us to discipline, diligence and perseverance in serving others. Although it impacts our heart powerfully, Christ’s love spreads to the whole person. It causes us to stop and think. It pushes us to evaluate our lives and find ways that we can and must serve most fruitfully in the church and in his kingdom.
If your heart is full of Christ, it will drive you to think deeply about the life of the church, it will cause you to evaluate the purpose of the church and all the different ways that you are present there. It will push you to look into how God is working in those areas and how you can give yourself. Having a deeper perspective on the work of God around you will help show the deeper significance of the “little” ways that you choose to serve. It teaches us to see that in God’s kingdom and in his work, there are no “little” people or “little” moments. Every act of Christ-driven love is an opportunity to make eternal impact on those around us. There is nothing more central to the practical christian walk than growing in love.
A couple of weeks ago, our youth group had a small cabin retreat, during which we took some time to think on the issue of pain and suffering. Here are some of the key quotes that I found incredibly insightful from C.S. Lewis on the subject. It is important to note on the outset however, that he is saying these things on the presupposition that we have established (see previous post) the reality of suffering in our world, the existence of a good and loving God, and therefore the reality of true purpose in our pain. Continue reading
Every year the father’s and mother’s days roll around and we spend time in reflection on the impact that our parents had on our lives. This is a wonderful thing indeed. Especially for us millennials in our young adult years. We are a generation that is independent, driven and consequently, often distant from our parents. After all, they are so different. Some of them are still using flip phones and find Facebook and Instagram mystifying. And yet we reflect on, and respect all that they did for us. We are thankful for how hard they worked to give us better lives and opportunities then they had, we think on ways we can improve and deepen our relationships with them. This is all very valuable.