Today I want to take a moment to throw out a question that as parents or people hoping to be parents we ought to be wrestling with often:
Do we see our children as a means to an end? Are we looking for contentment from our children’s behavior, performances in school, their social scene, their dreams, their spiritual journeys? Do we think our children can provide contentment for us?
I am thinking about this because my visionary gifted writer of a husband wrote a great piece today for our ministry website (click the link to read it if you have any interest in Jesus and athletics) and though he was writing to athletes who are looking to their sport to give them something that it can not provide, I believe it is something for us parents to consider too. Here is a except from my husbands blog post that is worth considering as you think about the questions I posed:
“We will always end up disappointed when we try to use created things to bring us ultimate satisfaction. C.S. Lewis summarized this misdirected pursuit when he said
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
Lewis suggests that instead of giving up on the idea of attaining contentment, we should understand that too often we’re simply expecting to acquire it from the wrong things. The beauty of Philippians 4:13 is that it offers us the proper transportation to reach the destination of contentment. It’s right to claim it, but in pursuit of a deeper joy that transcends our immediate circumstances.
The book of Ecclesiastes says that God has placed eternity in the hearts of man. That eternal void cannot be satisfied by the temporal things of this world. We need an eternal solution to satisfy our human desire for ultimate contentment.
It is not found in a sport, a job, or an experience.
It is found in a person.
And His name is Jesus.”