Parenting is a challenging task–at times even overwhelming. Because of this reality, there are countless remedies offered from every corner to make parenting easier and less stressful. Even the makers of the modern family transport, aka mini-vans, have added optional DVD players to help keep children passive while traveling to the supermarket. Yet despite all the advice and devices, at the end of the day, concerned parents are frequently left in a state of weariness. Weary not only because of the trials of the day just finished, but also weary because tomorrow is just a few hours away. In this in-between time, weariness often reaches its peak. The free advice and stress-reducing gadgets offer little consolation in this time. Even Bible verses may seem disconnected from the pressures of getting ready for tomorrow. Perhaps the most discouraging realization is knowing that in the morning you will wake up weary.
While I don’t have a magic wand to solve this state of affairs, I believe that there are some things you can think about that will help strengthen a weary mind and body. Isaiah 55:8 reminds us that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and that his ways are not our ways. Weariness tends to overtake us when we see life’s responsibilities and burdens in abstraction from God’s purposes. A parent looks at his responsibilities as if they were all his own idea. In other words, Having children was my own choice. (If personal choice were all that were needed, fertility clinics would be out of business.) When this type of thinking goes on, the parent takes on the burden of parenting in his own strength. This is at least one reason why parents may become overwhelmingly weary.
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 this point of weariness so that you will lean on him and acknowledge him. Christ has these words for the weary:
“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.” Matthew 11:28-30
To a weary parent these words are words of hope. Christ is not teasing you with empty promises. He means what he says. Your life and your children are not accidents. He has things to teach you and he has rest to give you. Think about this, and we will consider his rest more in the next post. If you are discouraged or weary, leave a comment so that others can pray with you and for you and so that we can look specifically at how Christ offers rest and encouragement to you.