A few weeks ago Melissa and I ministered at a church with some friends. During worship, and even some time before, we felt strongly that the Lord wanted to help marriages and families. I love the way that God speaks through His people. Every person on our team sensed the same direction and spoke on different aspects: kids, marriage, family, fathers, mothers, the fatherless and the widowed. It was as though a single message came out of a group of people singing in harmony – one heart, one mind, and one spirit. Family isn’t just an important thing, it is everything.
I never understood the personality of God until I became a parent. I used to think pleasing God was difficult, like an ever increasing list of requirements stacked next to my failures, all presided over by a scolding, cranky old judge. I would never add up, try as I might, because I just didn’t have what it took to be his star pupil. This would not have felt so hard to bear if I had been a star somewhere else, successful or significant on another plain, but it felt soul crushing to my hungry heart.
And then I had children. My heart filled up like a rain barrel in a monsoon. My love was sudden, torrential, uncontainable. I was swept downriver and my view of God flipped end over end. Suddenly I knew, this is how he had always loved me- without reason, without limits or end. It was there all along! My eyes hungrily drank in the proof all around me. His generosity to me, his daughter, could never be tapped out.
A friend said to my husband Steve and me recently, “Most people joke about having a ‘mini me’ but you two really do.” It’s true, our daughter is a facsimile of me and our son is a miniature of Steve. I’m not just talking about insane good looks either, I mean the whole package – quirks, talents, expressions, preferences. Perhaps it’s because Steve and I have worked at home parents since our eldest was born. At ages 11 and 7, Adrienne and Addison have already spent way more time with their parents than the average American kid.