Marriage and parenting are not easy. They are beautiful gospel realities and blessings. And yet, they are both very hard. They will not always make us happy, but they should not steal our joy. Christian joy is not determined by circumstances. We can’t produce it inside ourselves on our own. Joy is a gift from God. It’s the eternal reality that we belong to God. Joy is the result of us knowing what has been done for us through Jesus Christ, our Savior.
When you and I became believers, we enlisted in a war—soldiers in the cosmic spiritual warfare. The devil prowls and searches the world for someone to devour. But he also creeps inside the rooms of our homes. Our home may be our inner rest and sanctuary, but it is also one of the war’s battlefields. Someone said, “Every source of blessing is a point of attack”. The devil has already been sizing up your marriage and parenting. And though the devil cannot separate us from God, he can sure press us on our way to heaven.
Here are 4 things that can steal our joy in marriage and parenting.
We often hear that “comparison is the thief of joy.” When we compare marriages, husbands, children, and even ourselves—our joy is drained by all the score keeping involved to either win or lose in stature, looks, assets, achievements, character. Our competitive spirit is cheered on by pompoms of scoring superiority (being better), or harping on our perceived inferiority (poor me, I’m terrible).
God has surrounded us, women, with other moms and wives who have gifts we can learn from. God blesses families around us not to spite us or point out our failures. Have you considered that someone else’s gift and blessing may actually be tools in your own life? What for? For the purpose of you growing in loving and glorifying God better. Their gifts can be your growing mercies! As we busy ourselves to learn from them, the gospel frees us to grow in our Savior’s image. What can you learn from the women around you?
The trap in comparison is making too much of others and too little of our Savior who has placed us where we are. God wants to use you in your family, not you against other families. A joyful woman is a woman who rests in what Jesus has already done. She stops measuring and comparing because Jesus has been measured up fully on the cross on her behalf. Instead of being threatened by other’s wisdom, a wise woman keeps getting wiser by feeding on godly wisdom from others. She embraces her lot. She also trusts that whatever God withholds from her family is not useful for now, and that everything He gives her is profitable and useful in her season.
Will you choose to embrace your lot by giving thanks to God for what you have and what you don’t have?