Christian Parenting: A God Who Longs to Draw Close
We were driving home from preschool when a tiny voice came from the back of the van. I was focused only on lunch and naptimes and what-still-must-be-done. I knew the table at home was cluttered with the remnants of last night’s grade school project, a diorama built in a shoebox showing the habitat of a komodo dragon. Our younger children were amazed with what their first grade brother had learned and created. Explaining it all again and again had made for a late night and the mess remained.
So, with a baby in a car seat and a 4 year old behind me, I was not thinking about theology when that voice piped up.
“Momma,” he began, “did you ever think that maybe everything--like the whole, wide world--was just a big diorama that God made?”
This, I had never considered.
He went on, “Like maybe in the springtime, God takes out the snow from winter and adds the flowers and leaves? Or maybe in the fall, He takes out the green and adds the brown? Did you ever think it, Momma?”
As we turned into our neighborhood, I sought to find my words. I tried to picture what my son was explaining and I struggled with the picture of a God who seemed so far away.
“Buddy, I never have thought of it that way,” I started. And I could recall so many simple conversations with my children while walking along outdoors. I remembered talking about how God created all of this, all of nature, all of the world. I remembered talking about how imaginative He is to come up with elaborate elephants and gentle giraffes. I remembered describing for them how, with His very own hand, he could color the leaves and petals, and how amazing it all was.
But something was missing from what I had taught. And my son was reflecting that back to me.
Missing from his interesting observation of the world as diorama was a God who seeks to draw near to his children. Missing from his creation as habitat was the One who loves us best.
He watched my face through the rear view mirror as I continued, “But you know what I think? I think that you are right. God does add things to His world, like we added to your brother’s project. But I think there is more to see. I think that God loves us so much, wants to be right next to you and me so desperately, that if the whole, wide world were His diorama, He would be trying to squish His great-bigness into that tiny box each and every day.”
My boy giggled. It was a funny picture.
We drove home in silence, both immersed in the important reminder that we are deeply loved by a God who seeks to come close. All of nature may tell His tale, but there is more to see. The beauty is a gift that falls far second to the grace that is given to those who accept His love.
How grateful I am for a boy who helps his momma remember the truth.
Step families come with a variety of challenges to weather from the moment they say “I do.” Ron Deal addresses specific challenges and offers biblical insight as well as clinical experience as a marriage and family therapist to help equip couples for the journey ahead. He offers hope and encouragement for helping families navigate establishing working relationships within the new family as well as with the extended family.
This is one of the best books about what a marriage is. It's really a theology of marriage rather than a "how to" manual, but it's perspective provides ample context for why the How-To stuff works.