Sunday, November 6, 2011

09.29.11 Parenting Through Pain

At my job, I encounter women who chose to abort their babies and are back in our clinic with a positive pregnancy test. Others are carrying their 3rd or 4th child, with almost as many fathers. Most of these moms are unable (or unwilling) to provide basic necessities for these precious little ones, who suffer from absent fathers, physical poverty, and other issues of neglect.

Meanwhile, I know three sisters in Christ who have suffered miscarriages this year. Another gave birth to her stillborn son at 35 weeks. And many more struggle with infertility.


From a worldly perspective, life isn't fair. Irresponsible parents should not be allowed to bring children into their cycles of destructive darkness. Healthy marriages should be able to produce blessed kids. Our hearts long for justice, for wickedness to be wiped out and for Goodness to prevail. Especially for the sake of our kids.

But, in this world, we have no hope for that ever occurring. In this world, our three-fold enemies of death, Satan, and sin are still at work. And in this world, in our natural, worldly state, we - the non-addicted, still-married, employed, responsible, followers of God - we are no better and no more deserving of blessings than any other parent. Which means that, in this world, there really isn't any more hope for our kids than for the children of those "other" parents.

We must look outside of this world for hope. But the fact is, from a spiritual perspective, life isn't fair, either. It isn't fair that the Most Perfect Parent watched the brutal execution of his Perfect Son. It isn't fair that God's innocent child bore the weight of guilty children's sin, that he suffered at the hands of Satan's servants, and that he laid in the chill of death. It isn't fair that Jesus fought - and defeated - our enemies and that WE get the rewards.

God's grace isn't fair but it is just. And it offers the only hope for comfort in the face of death, courage to resist Satan, and power to turn from sin. If we want a life full of Good, then it must be full of God.

Only God makes the parenting playing field level, for none of us comes even close to his patience, his mercy, his generosity, or his delight as a Father. Only God sustains us through the frustration and fears of dealing with disobedient, whiny, rebellious children. Only God can create life, faithfully watch over it, and redeem it to himself. That is the standard of good parenting to which, by God's mercy, we can aspire. Lord, help us!

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