I watched an Amy Grant Christmas special on the Hallmark channel yesterday, and after all the dishes were done and I took a shower I watched the end of a Hallmark Christmas movie.
As I was watching that movie Carey came in to ask me to turn it down, but I could tell she was upset about something. It wasn’t the movie. I chose instead to turn the movie off. I decided to go to bed too, but I did not realize as I turned off all the lights in the living room that she had gone to bed as well. I think she was relieved that I decided to do that. We were going to watch some Gilmore Girls, but that didn’t happen for whatever reason.
I wrote all that to write this. Putting my family first is vital to my mental health. I don’t agree with all the things Focus on the Family does, but their passion to restore and preserve the Christian family is vital not just for individuals like me, but for the healing of our nation. Marriage and parenthood are without a doubt the most challenging and rewarding things I’ve ever undertaken. Add depression to the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for divorce and estrangement. We have fought hard to guard against those two things.
It’s no secret that Jesus is LORD of my life, but sin is also a part of my life that I battle daily. I’m tempted just like you, but there are times when I do not give into that temptation and therefore I do not sin. Trying not to sin is not really a great way to live because it’s like a football team going out in a game trying not to lose. That’s no way to play a football game.
I want to go out in the game of life, especially with my family, being victorious. Going out in fear, shame and dread is a pathetic way to live, and I don’t think that’s what Scripture communicates to us.
We are afraid of not getting our fair share in life, and in the process we hurt the people closest to us. Christians have just as high a divorce rate that non-believers do. Just because someone goes to church does not mean that are exempt from the brokenness that is life.
I have to deal ruthlessly with the crap that comes my way. I have to be on guard every waking moment that my dear wife and daughter are covered in prayers of protection because there’s nothing more Satan would love than for us three to go our separate ways. Even if Satan or his network of angels who attack us aren’t involved life leverages itself against us. A loud television, a bedside lamp, a dirty bedroom, a bad attitude and a number of other things can disrupt “paradise.”
If I had life to do over I would not re-do a single thing. I would decide not to go to Brazil because I fell head over heels in love with Carey Earheart. Had I gone to Brazil I would not have the amazing Chloe who loves God with all her heart, soul, mind and strength, and she loves her neighbor like no other I’ve seen.
Family is vital dear ones. You’ve been through the fire like I have, but this life is far from over, and God is still at work in powerful ways. We hurt, we hurt others, but we also seek forgiveness as we forgive those who hurt us.
Jesus Christ sent us the Holy Spirit, and that Holy Spirit is still producing fruit in our lives. Memorize them. They are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Apply them deep within your own heart and mind so that they can bless others.