When Your Family Life Is Harder Than It Should Be

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mom with out of control kids
Our response to the difficulty on the home front will make or break God's ultimate work in our lives. (iStockPhoto | CREATISTA)

This point is critical and it depends on us: our response to the difficulty will make or break God's ultimate work in our lives. We can embrace the trial or bail out for what we hope will be greener pastures. (The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence, but that's usually because there's more poop over there.)

All this speaks a deeper truth that I don't like hearing.

The God who loves me and who is committed to my ultimate joy is NOT particularly concerned with my comfort or short-term happiness. He is most committed to my sanctification, that gradual process of making me more like Jesus. He knows that when I come to depend more on Him, and thus become more like Him, my life will be full. That means He will sometimes, in His sovereign will, allow bad things to happen in my marriage and family life.

The very things that my flesh wants to run from (hardship, pain, conflict) are the very things that have the power to change me for the better. Think about it: when was the last time your heart and character were powerfully transformed during a comfortable and easy season of life? It just doesn't work that way.

I don't wish hardship or pain on any person. God doesn't either. I pray for grace and endurance for those whom I know who are currently in the middle of a devastating trial. But we live in a sinful, fallen world where we regularly experience the effects of the fall: sickness, death, and even seemingly impossible relationships. God could whisk all the pain away, or He can allow us to experience it so that we can become more like Jesus to a world that so desperately needs to see His redemption power at work in our lives.

That's His plan. And He promises that it will result in His glory and in our joy. Let's welcome that into our lives instead of running from it.

I have to go now. There's an over-active 7-year old waiting on me to dig a hole with her.

 Adapted from infoforfamilies.com, a ministry founded by Barrett and Jenifer JohnsonAfter serving in the local church for 25 years, Barrett and Jenifer launched INFO for Families as a ministry designed to encourage people through speaking, personal coaching and resource development. Barrett served for 15 years in youth ministry before serving for 8 years as the Family Minister at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Atlanta, one of the largest churches in the South. He has degrees from Texas A&M University and Southwestern Seminary, but he and Jenifer have received their best education through the no-holds-barred nature of everyday family life.

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