HIS LOVE IS ENOUGH
APRIL 23, 2020
ADAM AND MANDY BARKER
Have you ever been scrolling through Facebook and come across a post with an ideal family snapshot of everyone sitting on the back porch eating their “new family recipe” for homemade ice-cream? Or read a blog about a seemingly “perfect” mom whose six kids just wrote out thoughtful, compassion-filled letters for an orphanage in Guatemala, and enclosed them with money they raised from a lemonade stand? How about watched a video of your friend’s three-year-old, quoting Psalm 23, in English, Spanish AND sign language? (sigh)
You want to be encouraged and proud for your
friends, but the reality is there is a restlessness inside of you. Your mind erupts
with a sense of guilt that seems to be rooted in a frustration with yourself.
Is it that you are not living up to the standards around you? Or is it all
about the standards you have set for yourself? As you are sorting through these
emotions, you are interrupted by the shrieking sound of one of your own kids
shoving Cheetos up their little brother’s nose. Whether before, during, or after the Cheeto removal, your feelings of
failure become an indicator of where you are finding your identity.
Even though these feelings are real, I think we can all admit that we need to grow in many areas of our lives and be more intentional with our families. Deuteronomy 6 gives us the overwhelming, beckoning call to train up our children to love God with all their heart, soul and might and teach them diligently throughout the day. Even how we respond to that urgent call from Scripture can reveal where we are finding our identity. You see, if our falling short leads us to wallow in insecurity or shame, then we are forgetting the beauty of the gospel!
Our identity should not be tied up in our failures or successes in any area of our lives. We can’t earn more of God’s love. Jesus didn’t give His life for the future, best version of ourselves. He gave His life for us, knowing how we will fall short in our families: losing our tempers, not being consistent with discipline, being selfish with our time, or just simply not being intentional to point our kids to Jesus! We are desperately loved by Him, despite our failures! It is His love that gives us identity. It is His love that lifts us out of the pit of our response to our own failures and reminds us that we are His and He is ours. It is His love that was so perfectly demonstrated on the cross that leads our hearts to rest in Him alone.
When we rest in this love, we no longer need perfect photographs, well-behaved children, or academic scholars—those things no longer define who we are. Lists of creative ideas no longer make us feel guilty. His love is enough. Let His constant pursuit of your heart move you to pursue your children’s hearts and enjoy time together with them.
25 Ideas for Family Fun
- Board Games
- Cook new recipes together
- Go on
• Bonham State Park
• Waterloo Park in Denison
- Bike rides
- Mosaic chalk art
- Make silly videos
- Watch silly videos
- Poetry night
Games with other families
• Zoom Scavenger Hunt (first one to bring back______ (ex. water to gargle, a rock, wearing someone else’s clothes)
new card games
• Speed (great one-on-one game)
• Slap jack
a book together
• The Wingfeather Series
• The Chronicles of Narnia
- Play your own rounds of minute-to-win-it
- Teach your pets new tricks
- Write encouraging notes
- Work on home projects together
- Plant a garden
- Family dance night (you might even invite another family on Zoom)
- Paper airplane contest
- Family movie night
- Make a blanket fort
- Have a leaf race in the rain
time with God together
• In God’s Word
• Worshiping in song together
• Praying together
out our FAMILY RESOURCES page for more.