There are two incredibly sanctifying (ongoing) events God has in my life:
I am eternally thankful for God placing my wife in my life, and then placing our daughter in our life.
Well, the answer is fairly obvious to most, but for a guy like me it took being asked by my good friend (and missionary!) Jordan Salisbury “How’s being a dad?” to get me to think through this thoroughly.
Let’s start here: Ephesians 5 says that husbands are to treat their wives as Christ treats the Church.
Marriage has shown me just how amazingly patient, merciful, and caring God is towards His Church. His love and affection never wavers, but rather He is ALWAYS compassionate and giving. He is always there. God never takes a break. His love is sacrificial- even to the point of death on the cross, in order to bring forth a solution for our sinfulness. He walked in flesh, bearing our weaknesses, in order to show his sympathetic love.
As I look at my beautiful wife, I am humbled by the reality that I do not perfectly image Christ. In fact, I am confronted by my selfishness and pride. How many times do I choose my own will and way rather than hers? Am I willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING for her?
“God demonstrated his love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Not only that, but Jesus gave the Church LIFE! Abundant, never ending, overflowing LIFE!
Do I bring her life? Do I cause her to flourish?
Marriage has shown me how much I need to grow. And that is a good thing.
Yes, in fact, a great thing!
As a Christian, I know that God desires to grow and conform me into the image of Jesus Christ. In theological terms this is called sanctification.
Without knowledge of our weaknesses, flaws, and sins, we will not know how we are to grow.
But in this vast insufficiency I see God’s grace and mercy ever more clearly! I see it in my wife’s face when she says “I forgive you.” I see it in her face when we refuse to go to bed angry with each other, but instead realize that our marriage is 1000000000% more important than any measure of sleep (though, we do realize that sometimes an argument happens because we are sleepy, and we just need to say “I’m sorry, that is just grumpiness”).
And I see God’s great joy by seeing my daughter’s smile.
What have I really done to deserve her unwavering trust and love? What have I really done to deserve having her joy radiate through the house?
She is a gift!
Plain and simple. I do not deserve her.
Right now she is sick–threw up 2x yesterday. Runny nose, coughing, and snotty. But she still smiles and laughs. Yes, there are tears, and fits, but that hardly holds a candle to those coos and big smiles.
I don’t deserve this wonderful child, nor her amazing mother. But that is grace. You don’t deserve it. You just thank God for it.