Rest for Weary Parents

Posted on March 30, 2010 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Gospel, Parenting

Easter Week is a great time to talk about weariness. Christ’s words in Matthew 11:28-30 were given to offer encouragement to weary aliens living in a hostile world. Following Christ was never meant to be trouble-free–but it is meant to be restful. Let me explain!

Look again at Christ’s words in Matthew:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn
from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Christ’s words anticipate that this world is not truly home for the Christian. This truth is illustrated by the struggle of those he calls to himself. In the verses preceding the passage just quoted, Christ had denounced the cities in which he had performed miracles, because they did not respond to him with repentance. These places were too comfortable in their lifestyle to pay attention to a coming kingdom of Heaven. Repentance was the furthest thing from their minds. But there would be others who would come to Christ, who would answer his call. Jesus offers this comfort of rest–then and now–to those who will hear. The rest he offers is to be found by taking his yoke in replacement for the yoke of the world. In commanding his people to have biblical faith, Christ has provided the way to rest. But as Galatians 5 teaches, our flesh resists the call to live in faith.

That resistance is where weariness comes from. The life of faith may be hard, but it is a life of rest. The life of sight–living by the priorities of this world–attempts to offer rest and peace in ways other than repentance and faith. Jesus says that he offers rest and a light burden. But this rest comes from repentance. It is repentance that leads to faith, which leads to rest for your soul. Recall these words from the last post: God is at work in the most intimate details of our lives. He delights in blessing his children with his strength. For this to occur, you must see that God is the one who has brought you to the point of weariness so that you will lean on him and acknowledge him.

Christ is calling parents to come to him. You have tried to survive in your own strength. You have attempted, perhaps in desperation, to practice the world’s conventional wisdom. Parenting advice abounds, and it is all too easy to think that rest will be found at a baby or toy superstore, or simply in a happy meal. But such respites are short-lived, aren’t they? On the other hand, repentance that leads to faith–ah, that brings relief for weary parents.

Anger will not produce the righteous life that God desires. Frustration will not calm a child. A sharp tongue will only produce more wrath. But biblical love, fueled by repentance and faith will bring true rest. (Here are two previous posts about how to love your children biblically. part 1 & part 2)

Easter is the celebration of new life. This new life is begun and sustained by repentance that leads to faith. Repentance may not seem to be the path that leads to rest, but I assure you–it is!

Thanks to those of you who responded with comments to the previous post. We will continue to pray for you. Remember, rest is not found in the world’s ways–for God’s ways and thoughts are his ways and his alone.

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