Do you ever find yourself looking around at other families and thinking that they have it all together? When my children were young, I put myself under a lot of pressure comparing my family to others, and looking at what appeared to be the ideal standard. I remember looking at homeschooling magazines and seeing all the pictures of children sitting at the kitchen table with smiles on their faces, happily doing their school work. That scenario was not a reality in our home on most days!
In fact, during our years of homeschooling, on most days my children didn’t want to do school at all!
I slowly learned to stop focusing on the ideal, unrealistic picture that was continually thrust in front of me, and embraced the reality that I was a sinner who was dealing with a bunch of sinners. It was never going to be a perfect little picture in our home, because the reality was that we are all in a process of growth. A long, hard, process of growth.
What a relief it was when I began to realize that I just needed to pray that God would do His work in my family, and that He would cause us look the way He wanted us to look.
I cannot expect my children to have arrived, because I have not arrived. We are in a process of arriving.
It is freeing to not live under pressure–either self-imposed or imposed by others. We must simply offer up ourselves and our families as sinful vessels and admit that if you see any good in any of us, it is the presence of God in our lives.
One of the things that I have noticed about sin is that if we see ourselves, I mean, really see ourselves and our weakness, it will drive us to our knees. You see, left to ourselves my family would be a mess. Going before the Lord, confessing our sin, and throwing ourselves at His feet draws us closer to God and closer to each other.
If you see any qualities in my family that are good, it’s only because God is doing a work. He gets the glory. If you were to be a fly on the wall in my home, I can assure you that you would see much sin present. I do not mean we should just put up with it, or that there is nothing we can do about it. Sin is a very serious thing that needs to be dealt with.
That is why we need a Savior!
I do not need to strive to have the perfect family. I just need to strive to glorify God in all that I do and encourage my children to do the same. God’s grace takes our failures, forgives us, teaches us, and uses them for His purpose and glory.
I am so thankful that He is a part of my family. He is growing us up, and is doing some incredible things in us as individuals and as a family.
I said to the Lord, You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing. Psalm 16:2
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good; I have made the Lord GOD my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works. Psalms 73:28
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20