Lately it seems as though peace has been non-existent in our home. Sure, we would see glimpses of it here and there, but for the most part struggle seemed to have the upper hand for my kids, my wife, and myself.
Our family is together a lot…almost all the time. I work from home and my wife home-schools our five kids, grades K through 7. There’s not a lot of what we do that is not done together. Which in many ways is great. But, as mentioned above, it can have its moments and prove to be very difficult. With five little personalities constantly mixing and vying for attention, my wife and I have grown weary as parents.
Recently my wife and I had a chance to talk about how we’re feeling and what we see regarding our parenting. It would have been far easier to focus on what the kids are doing wrong and how they need to make changes and work on first time obedience and stop the pesting. But we knew that it was more than addressing their faults and pointing them to Jesus for the millionth time; we needed to look deeply at our attitudes and actions and consider where we’ve missed the mark.
The result has been a renewed commitment to choose God’s way as parents, confess where we’ve fallen short, and begin again. I praise God for his amazing grace as we walk this road of parenting. There is great reward watching your kids grow and mature and press into the things of God, but it’s easy for this perspective to be blocked when peace is absent and the struggle seems to be constant.
One of my wife’s honest and raw questions as we were sorting this out together was: “If Jesus is enough, where’s the victory?”
What a great question. I’m so proud of my wife for asking it and wrestling with it, because our God can handle this type of question. At the time this question can be unsettling and call into question so many things that we believe, but it can also give us the opportunity to experience the presence of Jesus like never before.
Victory is here, and it’s also on its way. We are both realizing that the small victories day to day are still victories. And so, when I recently asked my wife how her day was going, she commented by saying: “I’m drinking soda.” That might not make any sense to you, but I knew exactly what it meant.
You see, my wife enjoys soda a lot. One of the things that she decided for herself was that she only gets to drink a glass of soda at lunchtime if she was able to keep her cool and refrain from yelling at the kids. So, when I heard her answer to my question I rejoiced in the victory that she was experiencing.