Tuesday, February 28, 2012
“…testing produces endurance” –James 1:3
I read an interesting job posting this week. You may already be employed, but I’d challenge you to seriously consider the job described below:
WANTED- Energetic, young couple for a demanding assignment. Must have boundless reserves for patience, stamina, and optimism. Must be able to function reasonably well on three hours sleep, diagnose childhood ailments, and read the same book 27 times without appearing bored. Must together be skilled as a nurse, counselor, teacher, and taxi driver. Full-time position. No paid vacations. Salary not commensurate with experience. Those applying will be screened to determine their sanity.
If case you haven’t guessed yet, the “Position Available” is for parents. And what greater challenge for us as parents is there than to communicate God’s timeless truth to our kids? The key is not for us to lecture or give our kids good books to read, but rather take advantage of teachable moments.
The daily classroom of life such as mealtime, playtime, and bedtime are the best moments to teach our kids. But to teach our kids, we have to be teachable ourselves. I read a quote this week, “Train up a child in the way he should go - and go there yourself once in a while.” As Gary Thomas explains in his excellent book, “Sacred Parenting,” much of parenting is about changing us as parents first, and then changing our kids.
It’s seems the hardest part of this job called parenting is keeping ourselves in shape. The “patience, stamina and optimism” required are by-products of a healthy soul and a vision of faith. Like someone said, “You can't give away what you don't have.”
And what we have, as parents, is a difficult yet amazing job description that cleanses and re-cleanses both our kids and ourselves. It’s not unlike marriage, where only an amazing God could pull off all that He intended in refining and completing both husband and wife. He completes both man and woman, if they’re willing to submit to His plan.
The same is true in parenting. Yes, the job description is tough and difficult, if not impossible. But He promises to supply all the strength and grace necessary to do the job and do it well. Like my good friend, Tim Scheuer, says, “God never supplies death bed grace on a sunny day.” In other words, He gives all the strength necessary to complete a task that He initiates or designs.
And God definitely designed the concept of family. He invented the idea of a mom and dad having kids. It only makes sense that to be the best at the job called parenting, we would need the help of the Master planner- God. Solo parenting never works very well. Like Steve Jobs with computers or Henry Ford with cars, calling on the designer of parenting only makes sense.
So, whether you’ve already accepted the job of parenting or you’re considering the offer, know that there’s no greater opportunity to be used by the Lord in true discipleship. It’s an awesome responsibility, but a job that God will honor and support.
And a job with unlimited benefits.
By Eric Joseph Staples ©