Parenting: The Joyful Impossibility

Parents: if you do not know who Paul Tripp is, it is time to find out. He has written parenting books like Shepherding a Child’s Heart, and Instructing a Child’s Heart. He has also written phenomenal counseling books like Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change, and What Did You Expect: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage.

He recently (January) posted this article on parenting and it is worth the read …

It was eleven o’clock on a Sunday night, and I was pulling out of the grocery store parking lot exhausted and overwhelmed. After we had put our four children to bed, later than we had planned, Luella discovered that we had nothing in the house to pack for lunches the next day. With an attitude that couldn’t be described as joy, I got in the car and did the late-night food run. As I waited for the light to change so I could leave the parking lot and drive home, it all hitme. It seemed like I had been given an impossible job to do; I had been chosen to be the dad of four children.

It is humbling and a bit embarrassing to admit, but I sat in my car and dreamed of what it would be like to be single. No, I didn’t want to actually leave Luella and my children, but parenting seemed overwhelming at that point. I felt like I had nothing left to face the next day of a thousand sibling battles, a thousand authority encounters, a thousand reminders, a thousand warnings, a thousand corrections, a thousand discipline moments, a thousand explanations, a thousand times of talking about the presence and grace of Jesus, a thousand times of helping the children to look in the mirror of God’s Word and see themselves with accuracy, a thousands “please forgive me’s,” and a thousand “I love you’s.” It seemed impossible to be faithful to the task and have the time and energy to anything else.

Now, I’m about to write something here that may seem counter-intuitive and quasi-irrational, but here it is: That moment in the car was not dark and horrible. No, it was a precious moment of faithful grace. Rather than my burden growing heavier that evening, my burden lifted. Do I mean that suddenly parenting got simpler and easier? By no means! But something fundamental changed that evening for which I am eternally grateful.

There are two things I learned that evening that changed the experience of parenting for me. Read the rest here.

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