Parenting is difficult. Healthy Marriages take work. Being good at your job is not easy. Keeping close friendships is messy. Life is just hard.
I think over the last few weeks I’ve seen, heard and experienced all of the above. What I struggle with, and I am sure many others do, is what do I do when I’m not successful at all of these things. Do I not know how to adult well?
Most of my life, I have felt that I am supposed to have it all together, that a bad day is not Christian. I’m supposed to be full of joy right? I’m supposed to have faith that everything is ok. But why is it, that I can’t just have a bad day. Why can’t a Christian and his spouse fight? Why can’t we be frustrated at our kid’s behavior? Why have I/we been told this for so long?
I fully believe that the reason we feel this way is because the father of lies wants to kill, steal and destroy our faith. He wants us to believe that we aren’t worthy of God’s love. He wants the world to believe that our faith isn’t real. He wants us to doubt.
As you read through scripture, you consistently see men and women of faith go through struggles. You read about people who fight with their families, struggle with their jobs, have a tough time building and keeping friendships. So how did they, and how should we respond to these areas of our life.
Hebrews 4:15 (ESV) tells us “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” God gets it. He understands what we are going through. He can sympathize with us. How amazing is it to think that the God of the universe can sympathize with you?
When my children make a mistake or go through something difficult, it is remarkable to me how much just a hug from Mom or Dad, and a word of affirmation can change their whole demeanor. It’s funny but for me, the same thing works with our heavenly father. In these times, I curl up in his lap, hear him say “You are my child, I love you.” It changes my whole demeanor. His love for me is not dependent upon my obedience, but rather his Son’s. Because his son was obedient, even to His death, I now live in peace with Him, because of my faith, not my works.
I believe that when we put on a front, and say that everything is OK, that we do a disservice to the world around us and ourselves. Why can’t we just speak truth? Life is hard and we are not going to always get it right. When our friends and neighbors see that we are human, we get to show them what gets us through it. We get to share Jesus.
I have seen too many friends wait until it’s too late to share that they are going through a tough time. Often they keep putting off how they feel until things have gotten really bad for fear of what others may think. I’ve lived this. I’ve done it. It’s easier to just pretend it will get better. There is no freedom there. It’s miserable. May I encourage you, be honest, seek the Lord, curl up in his lap and hear “You are my child. I love you!