I would never claim to be an expert on parenting, but this blog post struck me as not only telling of many Christian parents, but us as human beings. C.S. Lewis, in his famous sermon “The Weight of Glory,” said ““There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations–these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat.” It is to easy to lose sight of the fact that we are parenting, befriending, and speaking to souls, not just mortal flesh.
Parental amnesia is not just where you walk into a room and forget why you’re carrying the laundry basket with four dirty coffee mugs in it. That’s called normal. Parental amnesia is where we forget about two things: tomorrow and eternity.
First, we forget that Lord-willing our children will grow up to be adults. I have a hard time imagining my 5-year-old as a 35-year-old or a 65-year-old. Her big goals right now are waiting patiently for her first loose tooth and learning to tell what time it is. Sometimes I think she’ll be five forever and do five-year-old things forever.
Second, we forget that our children are more than just potential adults. They are people made in God’s image and they have eternal souls. When the mundane looms larger than eternal life we forget who God is, who we are, and who our children are.
We tend to forget about tomorrow and eternity when our day is filled with the tyranny of the urgent. Do you ever feel like that ball in the arcade game that ricochets off the walls? Supervise homework while diverting toddlers from swishing their arms in the toilet! Hand down verdicts in Mother’s Court about whose toy it really is! No wonder it’s hard to keep an eternal perspective.
For me, parental amnesia settles like a fog in the morning hours. If I don’t renew my mind through the truths in God’s word then the fog doesn’t burn off and let light of the gospel shine in. By the end of the day I am lost in a cloud of discouragement that doesn’t lift.
It’s easy to let our perspective get buried in an avalanche of cotton blends at Mount Laundry. Even so, we must make an effort to remember that our job is more than feeding, bathing, clothing, and educating our children.
You can read the rest here at Desiring God.