Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Lent, Day 7: "Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet"
Tony Woodlief is an author (a booklet on raising boys) and a columnist who has written for, among others, the Wall Street Journal and National Review Online. Mr. Woodlief lives with his wife in Kansas on a farm where they home educate their four boys. You can read his blog here. Recently, he was interviewed about parenting by the authors of the "Start Your Family" blog (link takes you to the interview). I found the following especially insightful advice about parenting, especially this season where we pour ourselves out to be filled with Jesus.
When asked how having children affected his marriage, he responded: "We probably wouldn't be married right now if not for our children. There comes a point in some marriages when you face the reality that you both would probably be happier without one another. These children remind you—or at least they should remind you—that marriage isn't, as Gary Thomas rightly notes, about your happiness. The Perfect Marriage fantasy is a lie promoted by secular society, and too often parroted in subtle ways by churches. Your marriage is an institution of sanctification, and children are the natural fruit of that God-ordained path. And the secret is, the greatest happiness lies along this path of self-sacrifice. You will definitely have more opportunities for immediate gratification if you remain childless. And you will also never know the fear that only parents can understand. But you will experience the greatest joy, too, which springs from a self-sacrificing love that draws us closer to one another and to our God."