“Will you and Daddy ever get divorced?” My 6-year-old’s anxious question pierced my heart. It wasn’t the first time one of my children had asked this of me. I remember asking my parents that same question around his age.
How do I want to respond his question? What does my child want me to say? “Never, sweetie! Never! Never! Never!”
I mean, my husband and I are both devoted Christians who took a vow 16 years ago to one another. We take that promise seriously, love one another very much, try to serve one another and work through conflict, and know we are accountable before God. But, is that enough? Can I really say we would never get a divorce?
(Note to my Mom: Don’t worry, this post isn’t a cry for help or warning sign. Everything’s fine!)
At age 38 and after working in ministry at The Crossing for about 16 years now, I know the reality around me. My children see the reality around them, too. Fifty percent or more of families are torn apart by divorce and far more are affected by it in some way. And Christian families certainly aren’t immune.
Perhaps even more alarming at times is intimately knowing the sin that lies within my own heart. And every human heart. We are a broken people who, despite our fervent promises and good intentions, are in a war against discontentment, selfishness, pride, lust, and so many other temptations that threaten to pull us away from our spouse. Every day.
So, how should I answer my child’s question? Three options come to mind.
I never would have thought this would be the case 15 years ago, but God had it mind.
In 2001, my husband and I recruited a few couples from The Crossing around our same age, in our twenties at that time, to be in a small group Bible study with us. We met twice a month to eat a meal together, study the Bible–or sometimes watch games if I’m honest–and pray for one another for nearly 13 years.
When I think back to that first small group, we actually experienced a lot together. We celebrated births of babies and new jobs, helped each other move into houses and put on a new roof, we fed each other good food (lots and lots of good food!), and celebrated milestone birthdays together.
We moved to a new school last August. My 3rd grader in particular has a hard time with change, so Nathan and I were nervous for him. Overall he did very well with the transition. However, one of the new parenting challenges that reared its head at that time was an intense “I need to fit in” complex. “Mom, all the kids wear brand named athletic clothes! I need Nike and UA shirts and shorts!” Of course I didn’t want my son to feel out of place at his new school, but was giving into his persistent requests for more what was best for him?
As parents we love to give our kids good gifts. And, I think this desire reflects our Father in heaven who also loves to give good gifts to his children. But, maybe you have noticed like we have that oftentimes the more we give our kids, the more insatiable their appetite for more becomes. More toys. More sports. More treats. More time on the Wii. And a curious thing happens at least in my house. More stuff does not equal more grateful attitudes. It often breeds discontentment and entitlement instead of a heart overflowing with thankfulness.
The letter below was sent to the Kids Club 2010 volunteers, but I thought it would be encouraging for anyone from The Crossing or whose children attended to read how God worked last week. Nine years ago when we started Kids Club, 30 kids and a handful of leaders convened at a local park for
Children learn, grow and are shaped more in the first five years of life than any other time! What a wonderful opportunity we have as parents to hide the amazing, life-changing Christmas story in their little hearts this time of year. Although, I’ve listed ideas for teaching the story of The Wise Men below, feel
Nathan began a series last week that explains what we are planning to do with our young kids to prepare them for Christmas. We had so much fun at breakfast playing with our “nativity set” (i.e. a mish-mosh of Little People sets) and acting out the journey to Bethlehem (see picture of our 2-year-old at
I’m thankful for my Thanksgiving lesson this year. While spending time with my husband’s parents this holiday weekend, one late night discussion turned to the topic of their childhood. What an incredible difference their way of life was from my current lifestyle! Consider some of the dissimilarities I learned of… Me: Wake up toasty warm