Parenting: It’s Never an Interruption
Parenting is all about living by the principle of prepared spontaneity. You don’t really know what’s going to happen next. You don’t really know when you’ll have to enforce a command, intervene in an argument, confront a wrong, holdout for a better way, remind someone of a truth, call for forgiveness, lead someone to confession, point to Jesus, restore peace, hold someone accountable, explain a wisdom principle, give a hug of love, laugh in the face of adversity, help someone complete a task, mediate an argument, stop with someone and pray, assist someone to see their heart, or talk once again about what it means to live together in a community of love.
What you do know is that Scripture gives you the wisdom that you need and your always-present Messiah gives you the grace that you need to be ready to respond to the moments of opportunity he’ll give you. Along with this, you and I must remember that our Lord loves our children more than we ever could and his commitment to their growth and change is more faithful and persevering than ours could ever be. Because of this, in his grace and love, he’ll manufacture moments that expose the needy hearts of our children to us. He’ll faithfully employ the little moments of everyday life to expose to us and our children their need of rescuing and forgiving grace. And he’ll not do this only at the moments which you feel are appropriate and when you feel most prepared.
Let me give you an example. We had planned a day at a local theme park with our children. I was anticipating a day of familial amusement park bliss. You know, I was hoping that on this day my children would be self-parenting and if God could throw in a fully sanctified wife that would be cool! Well, we get to the park and are getting out of the van and one of my children said, “Dad, may we have something to drink before we go into the park?” It didn’t seem like a dangerous request. I opened the cooler, which was full of soft drinks, and all of my children sighted in on the one can of soda that they all knew was the best. Immediately, global nuclear war broke out. They were pushing and shoving, grabbing and pulling, throwing ice at one another, saying unkind things and hitting one another’s hands out of the way. I couldn’t believe it, we’re not in the park yet and my day was already ruined!
Continue reading to hear Paul unpack this situation and show how these seeming interruptions are truly God-given opportunities for the Gospel.