I didn’t want to waste this time at home—I really didn’t! My intentions were to homeschool the kids, teach them how to better help around the house, spend lots of time doing fun things with them, and really spend time teaching them more about Jesus. But when it came down to it, I failed at most of these things. I chose to be selfish and lazy and to just trudge through the days. But, thankfully, not all was lost. We began most days with breakfast and God’s Word and prayer, and I do think that this breakfast habit was helpful. It helped me to talk to the kids about their sin throughout the day as troubles popped up.
Even so, looking back on these past couple months has made me realize that I’ve wasted a lot of time. I haven’t enjoyed my kids all that much, and I’ve largely just felt irritated and frustrated. I’ve been selfish. I’ve gotten annoyed when things haven’t gone the way I wanted, and I’ve spent too much time on my phone doing nothing. I regret not putting the phone down and paying more attention to my kids. I regret not taking the time to show them the joy that I have in Christ, the joy that comes each morning, especially if it was a rough day the day before. I haven’t been consistently in the Word, thinking that I’ve got this on my own. But in reality, I can do nothing without Jesus. It was foolish to even try.
In order to lead our kids to Christ, we need to be holy and fully rely on Christ. We can talk to them about loving each other and treating each other kindly until we’re blue in the face, but if they don’t see us practicing what we preach, they aren’t going to do it either. If we’re frustrated and irritated, oftentimes they are too. 1 Peter 1:15–16 exhorts us to be holy: but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” I’m finding it so hard to be holy, but I do know that I’ll have a better understanding of what I need to do to be holy if I open my Bible instead of Facebook. Plus, I know I’d rather have my kids see me in the Word instead of on my phone.
School is ending soon and restrictions are slowly being lifted, and we must use our time wisely this summer with our kids. I know lots of fun places will still be closed and we’ll still be stuck at home, but we can actively look for ways to enjoy our kids and fight our selfish flesh. It’s never too late to start pointing the kids to Jesus, especially in a way that they can see. As I’ve been struggling, I know I can’t be the only one having trouble during this stay-at-home order. I exhort all of us to join me in getting off of our devices, to lean on Christ, and to follow God’s Word. Be holy, love your kids, and focus on enjoying the small things that they do.
So why confess all this? Why lay out my sins and failures? Why highlight my shortcomings? Because of joy. Or, in my case, the lack thereof. When we’re seeking anything other than God and striving to be anything other than holy, we rob ourselves of the joy that is found in Him. Nehemiah calls the joy of the LORD our strength (8:10b). If he’s right (he is), why would we not seek that joy? Why would we not seek to be holy?
We’re wrong to show our kids that stuff and wasting time and pursuit of the wrong things bring joy, when they don’t. And we’re wrong to convince ourselves of the same. The only joy we can have is in Christ. He’s willing to bless us with it. He wants us to be joyful and holy. He died so we might live. How are you living?
Love, Emily Baechle