MAY OUR FAMILIES BE FILLED WITH ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD.
and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
As humans, we have a tendency to equate familiarity with comfort, even if it is harmful. This is why people often go back to their old patterns of destructive behavior. As a pastor, I have counseled many people who continually go back to patterns of destructive behavior, and when we get to the heart of the issue, the refrain I experience most often is, "This is all I know."
As parents, we are not exempt from this reality. Learning about the newness and otherness of God is important to our understanding of the invitation we have received from Him. We are invited to participate in something new and different, something other than what the world has to offer. As exciting as this invitation sounds for most of us, this can be incredibly scary. I am not sure what lies on the other side of my obedience, but I know exactly what lies on the other side of my disobedience. I have been there. "As a dog returning to his own vomit, so fools repeat their folly” (Proverbs 26:11). As horrible as that sounds, all of us can relate. We tend to find comfort in what we know and what we have experienced. We frequent the same restaurants and order the same meals, reluctant to navigate something untried. We tend to think we are adventurous, but something new and untested cannot be calculated fully. There is a real level of risk required to step out into those waters. Changing our parenting styles and natural go-to responses are not easy. They are not familiar. I have to remind myself that God is doing something new. In Isaiah 55:8, God reminds us of an important truth. He says, "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” God is other, He is different, and in many ways we do not understand because our earthly experience is so incomparably constrained, so limited. But here is what I know: God is good. With His goodness comes the invitation to participate in something new. We know that in God, there is life. We know that in God, there is freedom. We know that in God, there is redemption and safety. The more we follow Him, on His terms, in His ways, and in His design, the more we will find comfort in obedience. The same is true for our children.
May our children come to know the all-sufficiency of Christ.
May we experience the fullness of Christ.