From the moment that Robert Dodson said, “We make parenting way too complicated sometimes,” he immediately had me hooked. Why? Well, because we are only a week or two away from adopting our first child.
Ever since we found out that we are set to welcome a new life into our family, thousands of questions have been racing through my mind. Which car seat (carrier, stroller, bottle, pacifier, crib, bouncer, toys, diapers, bib, shampoo, lotion, etc.) is best? When should I take him out in public? Should I just let him cry sometimes or always comfort him? What if he doesn’t sleep enough? Or eat enough? What should we do about his shots? How will we both survive with chronic sleep deprivation? Will Andy drive slower with a baby in the car? (I kid… kind of)
All of that feels, well, complicated! As Robert went on, though, I began to see what he meant. No, raising children isn’t easy. In fact, it is inconceivably difficult. Where many people, myself included, get it wrong is by concentrating on questions like the list above instead of the ones that really matter.
The questions that I should be focusing on more are questions like these: Am I living every moment in complete dependence on the Spirit? How can I show Christ to my children and those around me through my role as a parent? What sin issues of mine get in the way of glorifying God in all that I do, including parenting? As Robert said, am I living out the first five chapters of Ephesians before I focus on the call to children and parents in Ephesians 6:1-4?
Of course, I also need to take time to delve into God specific design for parents. Robert’s points on the commands of “honor,” “obey,” “do not provoke” and “bring them up” gave us much to discuss following the sermon. If anyone missed Sunday and is a parent, a grandparent, might be a parent someday or knows a parent, I highly recommend taking some time to listen to Robert’s encouragement and charge.