April 28, Saturday

Today’s AMI Quiet Time Devotional is written by Pastor Ryun.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“The Meaning of Raising Three Little Munchkins” (Part 2)

Mark 9:21-2

“Jesus asked the boy’s father, ‘How long has he been like this?’ ‘From the childhood,’ he answered. ‘It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.'”

As I was reading a blog that I wrote in 1998, I don’t really remember what led to writing this at that time: “The other day my wife confessed that raising three kids has changed her personality for the worst. Why? Well, when you have to yell as often as my wife and I do to prevent my young ones from hurting themselves, not to mention breaking up ‘fights’ between them, you would become a Dr. Jekyll and Hyde too.”

Then there is this aspect of parenting that really is a bummer: you no longer have a life of your own but it’s is dictated by your kids; or rather, their school—more specifically, all that the school asks the students to do at home with the parents. I was so relieved the other day after finding this out. Earlier this year, Christy had to do a special project for her second-grade animal book project. For that, she had to cut out the pictures of at least two animals in six categories and also write something about each of them. I had to help her and it was a lot of work—especially the writing part. So when I was told that her third grade teacher also wanted to do an animal project, but this time five animals in each of six categories, I was genuinely feeling anxious. But, oh, what a relief it was when Christy told me that the writing part is done in the class! This meant that all I had to do is help her find the right pictures and cut them! The pressure is definitely off!

So is this all worth it: constant doubting about your judgment and ability to properly discipline your kids, changing personality, and a significant loss of your personal space? Of course it is, otherwise, we would have put these munchkins up for adoption by now.

So what makes it worthwhile? It’s the joy of seeing them forgive and care for each other; seeing their awareness of God increase by leaps and bound each day; the joy of hearing their kind words of appreciation for us; the relief and thrill of finishing the project together; and to sit around and having family devotions, which always seems to turn into something else in the end—yes, it is all worth it.

Lastly, I find that there is nothing quite like parents’ concern for their children that drives them to Christ. Why? It is because you feel so helpless as parents, much like how the father, whose son was afflicted by an evil spirit, felt; so, as this father did, you go to Christ and plead for mercy for your children’s soul. I just wish that when my kids read Proverbs 17:6b (“Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children”), they will say, “Yes, that’s my parent.” I wish that when the Lord reviews my life, He will say, “Good job ‘bring[ing] them up in the training and instruction of the Lord’” (Eph. 6:4b).

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Timothy 6 & Philemon 1

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