O Come, O Come God With Us
Why do we call upon Jesus Christ in the mess of our lives? Because he did what we are trying to do.
It has been said that while Lent is akin to spring cleaning, Advent is more like sprucing up before a beloved house guest arrives. In our home, cleaning for company comes with a sense of excitement and heightened urgency. It’s all hands on deck, and that totality is key to individual and overall success. While the principle of modeling the behavior you want to see in your children is foundational (and obvious to some parents), I have not always understood how important it is for our children to see my husband and me doing our part along with them. Instead, he and I have been known to yell: “GO rake the leaves,” and “GO finish cleaning your room!” For years, my husband and I have tried parenting at a distance, setting our family up for unfulfilled expectations and mutual frustration.
Only recently have I realized that our children do a more thorough job, with more joy and a sense of being loved, when we roll up our sleeves and work alongside them. This approach extends to all areas of their lives, not just in the stewardship of our home.
From long division to college applications, there are life moments that seem overwhelming. These are opportunities for us to be present to our kids, to let them know we are with them and rooting for them. Rather than giving in to our own weariness, we need to say a quick prayer like, “Come, Holy Spirit!” or “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Those quick cries for help also are important for our kids to hear. They can use such prayers, too.
And why do we call upon Christ in the mess of our lives? Because he did what we are trying to do.
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