Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Nutella Sandwiches & Loving Jesus

So what is it really about preparing Nutella sandwiches that makes meaningful moments every single day?  I’ve always wanted to do something great and noteworthy in my life yet, here I am, folding endless T-shirts and playing referee and judge in wrestling matches between a 6 and 13 year old.

I was recently in a baby shower party and in one part of the program, the ladies were asked to give tips, wishes & advices for the soon to be mom.  And these reminders from Deuteronomy 6:5-7 came to my mind... 

It has too often been the wise counsel to many new parents to put Christ in the center of their homes.  But what does it really mean?  Where does that fit in between the morning rush to school and work?  How is that achieved in the midst of our busy schedules—juggling piles of laundry on one hand and helping the kids with homework and driving them to soccer games and ballet lessons on the other while planning and executing the weekly breakfast, lunch and dinner menu?

We are commanded to wholeheartedly love the Lord and diligently teach the same to our children.  When we love someone, that person is constantly in our thoughts and conversations.  Our daily tasks no longer become a burden but a delight to accomplish for the one that we love.  Sacrifice becomes pleasure for the sake our beloved.  Thus, to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and strength is to make our world revolve around Him.  It is making Him more than just a part of our families, but making everything start and end with Him.  His kingdom agenda and righteousness now become our priority.  We love each other despite our faults and differences because we are loved by God, our Father the same way.  And following His example is what will make Him happy.  We should talk about Him over dinner and while we walk the kids to school.  We should make Him and His desires the subject of our discussions and bedtime stories.  We should find time to remember Him, to listen to Him, to consult Him, to thank and praise Him together in prayer and as we study His Word and obey Him.

To make Jesus the center of our homes means making Him the source of our joys (not the new dishwasher we’ve always wanted to get); the source of our strength & security (not Daddy’s job nor a bottle of Tylenol); the source of the calm in our chaos (not shutting up the kids when they’re fighting over the last KitKat); the source of our comfort (not the most longed-for lazy Saturday mornings nor the dream vacation to Disneyland); and the source of our hope (not our child’s straight As and the bright future it so promises).  Of course, God can bless our families with many good things which we are to be grateful for.  However, even without such things as money, new pairs of shoes, good health, an employment one can truly be proud of, perfect kids, a nice house or a well-groomed garden, we can still find beauty and sense to our days—be it good or bad—when God is in the center of it.

Our family is far from perfect.  We yell at each other and fight.  We have unfinished chores, overdue bills and stains on our walls.  Yet in the middle of it all, there are lessons to be learned.  Love grows.  Understanding clears hazy windows.  Character builds.  Forgiveness finds its room.  And an unwavering trust and dependence on God open doors for His grace to make wonders out of our weaknesses.  Bringing Christ in the midst of all the disarray is what gives meaning and purpose to both the trying and the mundane.

"Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do...but how much love we put in that action."
 --Mother Teresa

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