BY REV. DR. BRANDON MORROW - GOOD NEWS COMMUNITY CHURCH
I’m a father to three boys. My life is full of rowdiness, snickers induced by adolescent flatulence. Not only are they rowdy but they’re beautiful, intelligent and winsome human beings. Even though they’re sometimes functional mini-human beings, it still doesn’t mean that I don’t often wonder about what life would be like if I weren’t a parent.
Parenting, for many, equals defeat. There are many mothers and fathers and guardians who are longing for do-overs. Unfortunately we can’t. It is in following Jesus and in the power of the gospel that we have any hope in this thing at all.
Here’s what the good news of Jesus reminds me about my parenting:
My children belong to the Lord before they ever belong to me
My kids love the first Q&A of the Heidelberg Catechism which asks, “What is our only hope in life and death?” We’ve taught them a short answer, “That we are not our own but we belong to Jesus.” It is in this promise that I am reminded that I will most certainly mess up parenting my kids and that’s okay. I will never be too big a failure, or my kids too far gone, for them to escape the love of Jesus.
A spiritual legacy is the best kind of legacy
We want to leave our children with something. I’m a pastor, so I know the chance of a gaudy inheritance isn’t very likely, but what I can leave them is a memory of my infectious love for Jesus, my mercy and grace with others and first-hand encounters of them seeing everyday folk being discipled as they walk through the threshold of their home. I can pray for them endlessly and encourage them as they follow Jesus. I can live a life where my life and doctrine match closely and give them something worth imitating.
We need to be distance runners in a sprint world
I once heard the story of a man who got filed divorce papers because it took him more than 20 years to finish their dream home. I believe the man defended himself with, “she never asked how long it was going to take.” If I’m not in this for the long haul, then I’m doomed for failure every time. Whatever seasons come, I will never stray away from being their father. I think about this in terms of my own sonship with our Heavenly Father: I’ve tried to disown Him a thousand times, but He’s never ceased from being my Father. He was/is/and will be with me through this in the long run.
There’s grace to be found for weary parents especially where the love of Jesus is rampant, and we live in an age where the gospel is flourishing — even when we think it isn’t.