First off, no baby #3 yet but contractions have been pretty intense over the last day or so. Less sleep, here I come!
There hasn’t been much time for the blogosphere these days due to constant transition, being somewhat homeless for 5 weeks, struggling to get health insurance so we can get into the doctor for the first time, realizing that our due date was a month off and we were due a month earlier (!!), and a plethora of other circumstances that have made life a little less than accommodating for my blog.
But I definitely wanted to try and do some type of posting prior to losing sight of what has been stirring for quite some time. We still have yet to really debrief our time living in an RV on the road but this blog series is flowing from some of that. Feel privileged because I have had very little time for “sit-down technology”, let alone using that time to blog, so may this be a blessing to the few that read it. After praying I knew that this is what I was to give my little bit of time to.
I knew that I would need to create a blog series because of all that is swirling within. So, there will be three parts. The three posts put together are lengthier than posts of the recent past but because it has been a long pause between my last post and these ones, I feel you can put up with a slightly longer one here and there. :) So, if you make it through them give yourself a gold star.
I realize more and more, day after day, how desperately I need God’s help to live according to His ways. I mess up daily and I mess up a lot. I feel as though the majority of my sin comes at the expense of my children.
I can remember way back, when I was single and I thought that sin was a thing of the past and for the most part I had overcome. I never would have said that but boasting it in my heart quite a bit. I took verses so out of context from Romans, 1 John and many other places to justify my prideful stance of “I’ve made it” or “am getting close”. I was so arrogant. Then I got married and could now help someone else into my “sinless perfection.” I was really arrogant and on a clear path toward the Lake of Fire while holding a Jesus’ banner over my head. I spiritually abused my wife with my self-righteous demeanor to the point where I am surprised she is still following Jesus. And especially surprised that she is still standing beside me. God’s patience, mercy and long-suffering is what I have to boast in.
And then we had kids. (Long pause)
Talk about one of the most humbling ingredients in life. Raising kids. I absolutely love it. No really. But it will press every wicked button that can be pushed inside of you.
Sad to say, I even entered parenthood preparing as much as I could, like I had for everything else, so that I might be super dad and leave all the other dad’s in the dust. Where I would figure it out in order to boast when the time came. Be the guy that others would look to and strive to be. I call it the “Nimrod Syndrome”. Me seeking to build my own little empire that my name might be great. Nothing new since the fall…just trying to take the place of God in the hearts of many.
Other parents would tell me that if I thought marriage was a testing ground, kids would be times 10. I would always cordially nod, put on my face of false humility while in the back of my mind think, “They don’t understand that I was pretty much perfect heading into marriage and have overcome most everything.” Sad to say, my eyes were pretty blinded and my heart was horribly arrogant. I knew that having kids would be tough but just another notch on my belt of life. Now I would take my reputation to a whole other level, using my kid’s backs as the stepping stone. I had prevailed at pleasing men (and God – in my mind) to this point and this would be no different of an endeavor.
Granted, you few who consistently read my blog have a pretty clear understanding of my depravity by now. I think that some can definitely use their depravity as some twisted way of secretly boasting in self. But the reason I mention it in quite a few of my posts is because it actually gave far more life and meaning to the cross, the Spirit and God’s heart versus the self-striving, man-centered spirituality I had pursued for so long.
Well, I started parenthood the way I had started most everything else and was succeeding outwardly for the most part. But inwardly I raged toward my son when he wouldn’t go to sleep at the time I wanted him to so that I could have down time. As he grew older I would struggle not to manipulate through shame when he wouldn’t obey. I justified so much of my sin and it makes me sick thinking about it today.
God began a major work in Grace and I beginning August of 2009. And that helped to expose a good deal of my arrogance which led to some potent repentance and an incredible awareness of my depravity straight from the loving heart of God in much prayer. That is a massive marker in my life and has left me in love with the mercy of God since then.