So it has definitely been a while since my last post...(about 10 months to be exact!)  I really don't like making excuses and never have...It's a nasty habit to break if you start getting comfortable or used to doing it.

Nevertheless, I will say that for the past few months, things have been very trying within my household...My wife went into labor just hours after my last post in March of 2011.  We now have a beautiful baby girl and my life has certainly never been the same.  

I also navigated a transition in ministry (that's minister talk for "After 9 to 18 gut-wrenching months of soul-searching and intense prayer, I got a new assignment from God"), relocated my family about 1,000 miles away from where we were, began a new job (still working in the area of adult discipleship for a church), and celebrated my 30th birthday as well! 

But all of this change, pain, prayer, upheaval, and adjusting has been a tremendous positive.  And as a new dad, I am overwhelmed by the transformation that having a child makes.  The birth of my daughter has transformed who I am.  Here's why.  Let the one with ears to hear -- hear:

As a follower of Christ, we are called to daily deny our self, take up the instrument of our torturous death, and follow Him (Luke 9:23).  When a follower of Christ gets married, it is as though God reveals three things.

At first, God seems to make it easier to obey Him and die to self.  After all, a married person has a more routine daily need to deny themselves.  This is simply natural to any good marriage...You have to take into consideration the interests of another and compromise sometimes because it's not all about you anymore.  It's now about 2 people together laying aside their own agendas to be one.  It's such an immediate necessity, that it should be easier, right?  Wrong.

Soon enough, we realize that God (and our spouse!) is challenging us.  What was seemingly going to be easier turns out to be very difficult.  God has designed marriage as a process by which we are forced to lean more greatly upon His wisdom, relying less and less on our own ability.  In other words, God designed marriage to make you more like Him.  Our selfishness is quite often exposed and we can fail both God and our spouse rather frequently. 

Finally, unless we surrender our selfishness, our marriage is going to suffer.  In fact, our marriage could be a wreck until we sacrifice our selfishness.  Once wed to another, your spiritual life (or lack thereof) now effects someone else greatly every single day.

The day you become a father--which, by the way, is the day your honey finds out she is prego and not simply the day your child is born--everything changes again.  You are called to an even greater amount of surrender to God.  It is SO not about you any longer.  In fact, it couldn't be any less about you.  "Children change a marriage" to be sure...I read that book.  They also change a person.  For the Christ-follower, parenthood is just an even more serious call to die to self, take up the cross daily, and follow the Master.

God has given me a daughter and entrusted her care to my wife and me.  Thanks, Jesus, for making it both easier and harder to drop my selfishness, deny my self, and follow after you more closely.  After all, the stakes just keep getting higher. 

Keep me broken, Lord.   Amen.


P.S. Yes, I know I failed miserably to accomplish my goal of blogging more in 2011.  But in my defense, the lack of comments on the site doesn't exactly display a great amount of disappointment from anyone!  ;)  Lordwilling, there will be more writing forthcoming in 2012.
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On February 3, 2012 at 2:44 PM , Erin Wilkins said...

Very humbling post. 2011 has been one of the best but also one of the worst years for me. Lots of adjusting! Thanks for the reminder that marriage and parenting are not all about one person. As my Bible Study, "Freedom for Mothers," put it this week: "There is no way to be an effective mother and be centered on yourself at the same time." Such a "duh" statement but oh so hard to live out! Love ya babe. I'm so proud of you!