As I rocked my daughter to sleep for what I know now was one of the precious last times, I distinctly remember thinking of how incredible it is that God made us fit together like pieces of a puzzle.
How her sweet forehead swept down to her nose, which fit my lips and chin perfectly for kisses as she snored softly. The way she didn’t care about my past mistakes. She cared only that I held her close and gave unconditional love—the kind you have for something you co-created.
Identifying the Wonder in Our Own Families
I don’t know if I had fully paused to appreciate that wonder with my first three children. I found myself stealing those moments of wonder and appreciation for God’s perfect family plan during late-night feedings and cuddles, in moments of sickness or pain.
Now I look back, with children launching into adulthood and nearing more precious lasts. I frantically grasp to hold on.
I marvel at the reflection of God’s triune relationship in His relationship with us. The intimate relationship of the Father, the willing sacrifice born of a love of the Son, and the daily guidance of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
I can’t help but hope that my own children will be impacted by the relationships of the family that are indicative of a Creator God who desires a relationship with His people.
The triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—points to this God of relationship.
When Jesus prays for all believers in John 17:20-24, He says:
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”
Relationship was always an attribute of God. Before the creation of the world, the Father was loving the Son. He’s a Father who delights in His creation. He created out of a love for His Son that was before the creation of the world.
Emphasis on Family
This puts an incredible and beautiful emphasis on family. God created not because He needed us, but because He loves His people and desires that they would experience relationships with Him and with each other.
Discerning the Voice of the Holy Spirit
We give voice to the way the Holy Spirit leads and guides us so that, as our children grow and our voices are not as near, they can discern the voice of the Holy Spirit above all others.
Observing the disparity between a child who has grown up within a loving family and a child who has experienced trauma is one way to see the wonder of family. While we sometimes take for granted the child who grows gradually from infancy knowing nothing other than the love of a parent and the guidance of their discipline that desires discipleship, we marvel at the obvious transformation.
Centering Our Calling
It’s important that I center my calling as one who lives in a relationship with God. I am called to make passionate disciples of moms, dads, and their kids who live in relationships with each other.
When I focus and lean into the fact that God is a relational God who knows His people and delights in them, ministry becomes so much more than something I administer. It becomes something I wonder in and am humbled by—a reflection of my relationship with God and His relationship with families.