This has been a theme in many of my conversations lately and so I thought it would be a great time to throw this simple reminder out into the blogosphere.
We all know how the story goes… when you were young and dating it was all about fun. Of course it was, at that point you did not even fully understand what the word responsibility meant. As things progressed past just phone calls with your special friend (and emails or text messages depending on your age) to non-stop hanging out, you were all about having fun.
I’ve had a lot of local community members that I’ve know from living in the Katy area for many years, coming up to me and congratulating me on the ‘growth’ of Crossings Community Church. Invariably it comes out something like, “Aren’t you so excited…” or “Aren’t you so encouraged…?” The answer is a resounding, “Yes, I am so excited and encouraged about what God is doing at Crossings Community Church.”
At Crossings Community we spent the weekend talking about the family and what it means to own the responsibility of discipling our children. We also spent some time talking about how the church is desiring to equip, support, and resource the parents as the primary faith-trainers in their home.
Resentment is a tricky thing in the parent/child relationship. The word communicates an idea of not being treated fairly. I will be the first to admit that I am constantly preaching to my children the fact that nothing in life is fair. Every time one gets more nuggets than the other it is inevitable that a fairness case will be presented from the court of children in the dining room. I LOVE telling them about life and that life is not fair and that they will always face situations that feel unfair.
My bride and the kids had left town for a couple days to see some family and I was faced with a considerable challenge. I’m blessed with a wife who makes coffee for me almost every day. After I had recovered from the morning emotional distress of missing the presence of my family, I was faced with the reality that my coffee was not going to magically appear. I’m ashamed to say that my chosen path was to get in the car and drive a few miles and find the drive-thru window for my morning cup of black gold.
Aside from walking up to a pregnant women and telling her how big her baby must be… teaching on marriage and parenting can be one of the most dangerous mine fields. It is so touchy because none of us carry the title Master of The Universe when it comes to marriage and parenting. To even further complicate things, it is one of the most personal topics that we could possibly discuss.
Books are full of maxims about ‘what you measure.’ You are what you measure. You get what you measure. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. There are some principles of truth within these maxims which apply to our spiritual journey. We do not like to talk about measuring anything when it comes to spiritual things because we do not want to create a performance mentality. Just as dangerous, we do not want to malign a biblical definition of success with one that is convoluted by measuring man-defined performance.
I remember late in my college career I got this wild idea to run a marathon. The most I had ever run was about 10 miles and the marathon was about 6 weeks away. I was young and stupid. I’m so stubborn it took me a couple weeks of trying to jump into the training schedule as wells as some knee issues to realize it was too late. It was just too late. I didn’t continue running after that realization. I felt like if I could not do things on my terms I could not do them at all. Again, young and stupid.
I hear this same logic in parents often times. The dreams they had for their own parenting journey had been confronted with the realities of life and the opportunity had passed them by. Because things had not worked out exactly as they had hoped, they have, in a sense, thrown their hands in the air signaling their surrender.
I have to begin by saying that I am no expert. As a matter of fact, I am about as far from an expert as I could be in this area. That being said, I have come a long way over the years. Some googling could probably take you to some really great thoughts by people who are so much better at this than myself. However, maybe I can save you a little bit of time by sharing some of my rookie lessons learned so that you can push ahead on your journey.
First, as I mentioned in Intoxicated by Connectivity there was a transition that needed to happen for me before the practical strategies for disconnection would even be useful. If you are not at that place of peace and trust yet then I would urge you to stay there wrestling with those truths and praying for that kind of peace. Without it, nothing here will be of any lasting help.
I was on vacation the week of July 7th. In a recent post I described some goals for the month of July. Lori and I had a GREAT time going to Chicago and taking in the beauty of the city as well as catching two (yes, two) wonderful baseball games at Wrigley Field. Lori enjoys baseball almost as much as I do so it was a blast for us to experience such a historic ballpark. Since arriving back I have been deep in planning, working out the sermon and church calendar for the next 12 months.