This isn’t one of my book reviews. Last year I read Gary Thomas’ book Sacred Marriage and it taught me so, so much. Now I am excited to finally be reading his book Sacred Parenting. Wow! I am only two chapters in and probably almost 50% of it is underlined. I thought I would share a bit…
“In other words, having kids isn’t about us – it’s about him. We are called to bear and raise children for the glory of God….
When we don’t understand the purpose of parenting, the process becomes tedious. When we realize that having children isn’t about us but is rather about God, then the trials and sacrifices of parenting are more easily borne. We see the purpose behind the difficulty, and we remind ourselves, “This isn’t about me; it’s about him.” The ultimate issue is no longer how proud my children make me, but how faithful I’ve been to discharge the duties God has given me. To pin our hope and joy on the response of any given sinner is a precarious move at best. To pin this same hope and joy on the response of a sinner in his or her toddler years or teen years is to beg for disillusionment and to risk waking up in despair.
If we have only a selfish motivation, we will run from parenting’s greatest challenges. Once disappointment seeps in, we’ll pull back into the same shells we inhabited as children and run from the pain, not by retreating to our bedrooms or backyards (which we did as children), but to our offices, boardrooms, workout clubs, Starbucks, or even churches.
….but let’s accept that, for most of us, this is God’s call and part of his plan to perfect us. Once we realize that we are sinners, that the children God has given us are sinners, and that together, as a family, we are to grow toward God, then family life takes on an entirely new purpose and context. It becomes a sacred enterprise when we finally understand that God can baptize dirty diapers, toddlers’ tantrums, and teenagers’ silence in order to transform us into people who more closely resemble Jesus Christ.”
That’s good stuff, right there!