“Hug your kids, kiss your wife, and give thanks to the Lord”

When I read that 58-character tweet, I immediately clicked ‘Follow’ on the Twitter profile.  Here is a man I can learn from, I thought.  Here is a man who appears to have a profoundly biblical perspective on life.   True, the tweet by itself doesn’t express anything extraordinary.  But then you hear the backstory.

R. C. Sproul, Jr.’s wife died less than a year ago.  And at the time of the tweet — September 30 — his fifteen-year-old daughter was about to die.  Shannon, whom R. C. affectionately called Princess Happy, was born with a brain disease called lissencephaly, which left her severely impaired.  (That’s Shannon and R. C. in the picture above.  You can watch a short video of Shannon here.)  Shannon passed away three days later.

Two deaths in the immediate family within a year.  Layered grief.  Sorrow upon sorrow.  That’s quite a backstory.

Over the last month R. C. has shared some of his grief on Twitter, and the blessing to me has been immeasurable.  I have benefited so much from his thoughts that I wanted to share them with others.  What follows is a compilation of numerous tweets over the past month related to R. C.’s suffering.  His journey through the valley of the shadow of death can instruct and edify us all. Read the rest of this entry »

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Here’s a tease from Paul David Tripp’s parenting resource Getting To The Heart Of Parenting. I’ve already ordered a copy for my family, and hope to share it with some of you via a parenting seminar in the near future. Now, getting to the good stuff, the actual tease.  We sometimes see the many roles we have as parents as interruptions to our lives. We are providers, protectors, referees, mediators, judges, advocates, teachers and more, and reality is that we are often called into action at the most inconvenient times. Our children put their desires in action, which are more often than not sinful, and we are called to respond. These times feel inconvenient because we most often see things from our own narrow perspective, rather than embracing the reality of what God is doing in both the lives of our children and ourselves. Tripp says:

But the reality is different from God’s perspective. The sin, weakness, rebellion, or failure of your children is never an imposition on your parenting. It is never an interruption. It is never a hassle.  It is always grace. God loves your children. He has put them in a family of faith, and in relentless grace he will reveal their need to you again and again so that you can be his tool of awareness, conviction, repentance, faith, and change. And because in these moments he asks you to forsake your agenda for his, this opportunity of grace is not just for your children, it’s for you as well.

Be encouraged. God is not only at work in your family, but if you belong to him as a son or daughter, God is at work in you to bring about His good pleasure in your family. You need only be sensitive to the Spirit that is already striving within you.

If you feel exhausted from the impossible task called parenting, you need to read this article from Paul David Tripp.

That night I began to find joy in the impossibility of it all. The task is way bigger than our ability us as parents, but we are not our children’s messiah, and we are not left to the resources of our own character, wisdom, and strength. Our children have a Messiah. He is with them and working in and through us. The wise heavenly Father is working on everybody in the scene, and he will not call us or them to a task without enabling us to do it.

Let Them Come Home

October 7, 2010

Few things can be as gut-wrenching to a Christian parent as watching their child whom they labored to raise to the best of their ability in the fear and instruction of the Lord, abandon their faith in pursuit of lesser things and destructive pleasures. Abraham Piper has written a wise, encouraging and important article on how parents should respond to children who have forsaken Christ, or even perhaps, have never confessed Christ.  Check it out.  Read it with faith and with hope that no one is beyond the mighty saving arm of Christ.

Tame That Horse

August 20, 2010

Those of us who are raising both girls and boys know that there is a tremendous difference between the two. In fact, you don’t have to parent both to know that the way girls respond to life is very different from the way boys respond. One of the most significant challenges in raising girls is the fact that they are much more emotional than boys.  I found an instructive article about raising girls that was very encouraging. Here’s an excerpt. You can read it in its entirety here.

We tell our girls that their feelings are like horses- beautiful, spirited horses. But they are the riders. We tell them that God gave them this horse when they were born, and they will ride it their whole life. God also set us on a path on the top of a mountain together and told us to follow it. We can see for a long way – there are beautiful flowers, lakes,  trees, and rainbows. (We are little girls after all!) This is how we “walk in the light as He is in the light, and have fellowship with one another.”

When our emotions act up, it is like the horse trying to jump the fence and run down into a yucky place full of spiders to get lost in the dark. A good rider knows what to do when the horse tries to bolt – you pull on the reigns! Turn the horse’s head! Get back on the path!  We also tell them that God told us that if we see one of our little girls with her horse down in the mud puddle spitting at people who walk by, it is our job to haul them up, willing or unwilling, back to the path.The ways that this has helped me as a mother are pretty obvious, but I will share them anyway if you will bear with me.