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Rest In (not from) Parenting

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There are very few things that can bring a man or woman to exhaustion like parenting.  As a father with three young children, I often wonder when the sea waves of tantrums, mealtime battles, endless requests for snacks, sleepless nights, sibling squabbles, and rooms that could be featured on the next Transformers movie will subside.  To be sure, parenting is immensely rewarding, but it also absolutely comes with difficulty.  How are we to properly see these waves that batter us like an abandoned ship on a shore?  Is there any rest to be found?  I propose yes, but only through seeing that the difficulty is the reward.

In Luke 10, the question of rest comes up.  An expert in the law stands up and questions Jesus asking, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  The question of eternal life is at it’s roots a question about finding rest.  It is a question that harkens back to the beginning of time as Adam and Eve are experiencing the fullness of it.  It is important to understand that prior to brokenness ripping into the cosmos through sin, Adam and Eve are not toiling or experiencing weariness in any form.  The reason that they walk in rest and peace is because they are finding in the only source that ultimately provides it, the triune God, Himself.  

Out of this question of rest from the lawyer, the parable of the Good Samaritan is birthed.  It is a brilliant story from Jesus that is meant to show the lawyer not how to keep the law, but his inability to do so.  Ultimately, Jesus’ desire is for the lawyer to see his need for the grace that only Jesus provides.  The truth of the Good Samaritan is not that we are suppose to be the Good Samaritan, but rather to see that Jesus is the Good Samaritan who shows compassion to you and me as we sit on the shore beaten on by the waves.  

Resources on parenting are endless.  All of them seek to provide help for those in need.  How-to and useful parenting methods are a great thing but let us not be tricked into thinking that they will bring us rest, for there is only One who is able.  In our weakness, may we cling to Him who is strong.  May we see that the difficulty in parenting is actually a reward meant to point us to Jesus.  What if by seeing that we are not enough, we can actually find rest in the One who is?  God doesn’t just use parenting to raise up disciples, but also to conform them.


This blog post from Pastor Rick was originally published on speedoffamily.com.  

Posted by Rick Bartek with