It is only rest in God’s presence and grace that will make you a joyful and patient parent.

I was recently driving the interstate by myself which allowed some private reflection time that doesn’t happen very often.  As I was driving North, I noticed the beautiful fall foliage and was reminded of an analogy from a recent Bible study and how we were designed for rest and when we take the time to rest, it causes us to reflect on our Heavenly Father and all His wonderful works in our lives.  I used the reminder and spent time in prayer and praised Him in my solitude. By the time I reached my destination, I felt so refreshed and even made the comment to my brother on how beautiful the drive North was and how we didn’t have any fall colors yet in the Lowcountry.

A week later I sat in an office at school and looked out the window.  When I looked out, I noticed that the trees in the woods all around the school had indeed changed colors and were just as bright and beautiful as the ones on the highway the week before.  This made me realize that the leaves had not changed suddenly in a week’s time, but rather I actually took the time to look out the window and notice. I allow myself to stay so busy that I forget to take moments to slow down, rest and reflect.

This is exactly what Paul Tripp is trying to convey to us in this week’s chapter on RestHe has already helped us see that parenting is the most important, tiring, thankless task that we have on this earth.  What a daunting role to accept!  What we need to understand and remember is we don’t have to be anxious about messing up, cry about feeling helpless, or get frustrated and lose our cool.  Instead, we can rely on God’s promises to us as His children to allow us to be the best parents we can be.

Tripp goes on to remind us of two very important promises found in Matthew 28:18-20.

“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me, go therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always even to the end of the age.

This passage is often referred to as The Great Commission because it is a call to go out into the world and make disciples.  He rightly points out that making disciples out of our children is the greatest privilege and responsibility of any parent.  Tripp then goes on to highlight two realities about God that we must slow down to consider each day:

  1. ALL AUTHORITY has been given to Jesus.  There is not a thing that is outside of His sovereign hand. 
  2. He promises to BE WITH US always. 

It is in these two realities that we find the source for strength and encouragement in the midst of all the challenges we face as parents.  Jesus is in control and Jesus is with us!  What greater promises and glimpses of reality could we be given by God?

This means that in every moment when you are parenting you are being parented.  In every moment when you are called to give grace you are being given grace.  In every moment when you are rescuing and protecting your children, you are being rescued and protected.  In every moment when you feel alone, you are anything but alone because he goes with you wherever you go.”

May we take time this holiday season to slow down in the middle of all the craziness and remember reality as God has made it. May we not just remember but walk boldly in these realities.  May this become a daily pattern in our lives as we seek to raise our children to follow Jesus.

For further study into the concept of rest, this a quick, easy read with some great insights: “The Relentless Elimination of Hurry” by John Mark Comer

Hilton Head Christian Academy‘s Life+ blog was created to equip today’s Christian parents with practical tools, thought provoking content, and honest conversation.

This fall, we look forward to parenting alongside all of you through a new series based on a life-giving book by Pastor Paul Tripp: Parenting: 14 Gospel principles that can radically change your family.

Each week we will unpack them chapter by chapter right here on the Life+ blog. We hope you’ll grab a copy and dive in with us, taking time to discuss each principle with your own family and the people God has placed in your life.

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