Today’s Mentor Monday is not by a mom, but a dad: Jeff VanVonderen, who is also a seasoned pastor, counselor, and writer. Jeff’s writings have been essential in my growth, particularly as I came out of legalistic religious organizations and belief systems.
“[T]oo often…the work we do as Christian spouses and parents is not the right job at all.
We focus on “unspiritual” or wrong behavior, then we set out to apply pressure, control behavior, and do everything in our power to change our spouse or children.
As I have seen with numerous couples and families, this is the primary cause of exhaustion, depression, and the hopeless sense of wanting to bail out of it all. When people spend their lives trying to transform their spouse and their kids, the natural results is tiredness and discouragement and the desire to quit…
The first step is easy—if we will do it: We must learn the simple difference between God’s job and ours.
God knows you have done the best you could, using the tools you’ve had. But God may be…saying to you, “I can see that you’ve worked really hard to help me and to please me. But—I don’t quite know how to tell you this—you have been burning yourself out doing a job I never meant for you to do…”
I am talking about learning how to be continually empowered by God’s grace, and therefore able to empower your spouse and children to learn and to grow. And to do that, we have to make the frightening step of giving up our fear of people and our drive to conform outwardly to what other Christians expect of us, or seem to.
God’s job is to fix and change. Our job is to depend, serve, and equip. This is the work of grace. And it is more restful than you can imagine.”
~Families Where Grace is in Place by Jeff VanVonderen
Look for my eBook, Fearless Mothering, this fall.