I just had a really hard discussion with the family dealing with a sinful dynamic in our home. My side was hurting because of the intensity of the emotion. As I type now, my head hurts.
What are some things God is teaching me when I feel emotionally drained, a bit discouraged, burdened still for specific family members, and encouraged by evidences of God’s grace? Here are 4 lessons I discern.
1. God is good
God is good to us in Christ. He convicted us of sin. He kept us from hardening our hearts even more. He let us speak the truth to each other. He enabled children to humbly and lovingly challenge us parents. He reconciled relationships. He gave us time to pray, sing, and allowed me to still bless and converse with each child and my wife before we slept.
2. Parenting is hard
I wanted to just tell everyone, “Let’s go to bed.” But we had to discuss this pattern that has developed. It was emotional for all of us. I wish I could just quote a Bible verse or two and be done with it. Or pray and all of it would be set straight. But shepherding the hearts of each family member while a hurricane batters my heart exacerbated the difficulty. It’s not only hard because hearts are hard and complicated and deceitful, but parenting is also hard because it’s long. This episode is not quite over and even when it is, the continued discipling on these issues and other challenges will continue. Parenting is hard, but God is so good and my family brings me overwhelming joy.
3. Demons aren’t done
The spiritual battle continues. They seize opportunities like these. I’m sure they contributed in some way to the sinful pattern that developed among us. I found myself praying for my family, “deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:13).
4. Grace will come
God has been gracious in sending his Son and his Spirit. He dwells in our family members who are already converted. He has blessed us with church family and extended family who love and support and gospelize us. Tomorrow there are new mercies (Lamentations 3:22-23) that we will lean on to draw near to God and to one another. Our God is able to make every grace overflow to us so that in every way, always having everything we need we may excel in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8). Because of Christ for us and Christ in us there will be grace to face the challenges up ahead.