Paul Tripp begins a post called “Parenting the Joyful Impossibility” this way:
It was eleven o’clock on a Sunday night and I was pulling out of the grocery store parking lot exhausted and overwhelmed. After we’d put our four children to bed later than we’d planned, Luella discovered that we had nothing in the house to pack for lunches the next day. With an attitude that couldn’t be described as joyful, I got in the car and did the late night food run. As I waited for the light to change so I could leave the parking lot and drive home, it all hit me. It seemed as if I’d been given an impossible job to do; I’d been chosen to be the dad of four children.
It’s humbling and a bit embarrassing to admit, but I sat in my car and dreamed of what it would be like to be single. No, I didn’t want to actually leave Luella and our children, but parenting seemed overwhelming at that point. I felt that I’d nothing left to face the next day of a thousand sibling battles, a thousand authority encounters, a thousand reminders, a thousand warnings, a thousand corrections, a thousand discipline moments, a thousand explanations, a thousand times of talking about the presence and grace of Jesus, a thousand times of helping one of the children to look in the mirror of God’s Word and see themselves with accuracy, a thousands “please forgive me’s” and a thousand ” I love you’s.” It seemed impossible to be faithful to the task and have the time and energy to do anything else.
Now I’m about to write something here that will seem counter-intuitive and quasi-irrational to some of you, but here it is. That moment in the car that Sunday evening was not a dark, horrible moment at all. No, it was a precious moment of faithful grace. Rather than my burden getting heavier that evening, in a way that was personally significant and life shaping, my burden lifted. Do I mean that suddenly parenting got simpler and easier? By no means! But something fundamental changed that evening for which I am eternally grateful.
There are two things that I got that evening that changed the experience of parenting for me.
To find out what these two things were plus for a wealth of other parenting resources from Paul Tripp head over here.