Thursday, April 10, 2008

Christian hedonism

I am often told, "You don't look like you have five kids." This has always perplexed me, as I am sure they are not referring to my svelte figure (snort!). Finally, last week, when someone said this to me I asked them, "What should a mom of five kids look like? Should my womb be hanging between my legs or something?" She laughed and said, "You know, worn out, tired, unhappy, bags under your eyes." Where did she ever get the idea that children are so burdensome that I would look like a refugee from a slave labor camp? Maybe from the world?

I have a dear friend who told me that she knows homeschooling would be best for her kids (not that I am making a blanket proclamation that homeschooling is the way). But she says she doesn't think she could stand to spend that much time with them, and that it would really cut into her "me" time. I didn't say anything at the time, but I was saddened by her statement of priorities. If she feels convicted that homeschooling is what God would have her do, and yet refuses so she can spend more time pleasing herself, she is really missing out.

Our modern world tells us we need to "get away" from our kids. Some of my happiest times have come just enjoying my children. They are funny little people. We have found that as we lose ourselves in Christ and immerse ourselves in serving Him by raising our children that we are fulfilled. The Psalmist said, "Taste and see that the Lord is good, happy is the man who takes refuge in Him." (Ps 34:8). Why do we act surprised when the Lord tells the truth? He tells us we will find true joy when we serve Him. How are we supposed to win people to the Lord when we are not truly convinced that He alone holds the keys to true fulfillment and pleasure? Leading folks to the Lord shouldn't be like convincing them of the necessity of swallowing a bitter tasting but healthy medicine. It should be like inviting them to a lavish banquet and telling them to eat up.

Now, I'm not saying that we should entice people with smooth words and slick promises of a rose-petal strewn path to Heaven. Certainly, there will be suffering along the way. But as the Creator of our souls, God alone knows what will make our hearts most happy and fulfilled. And we will not find those pleasures apart from Him.


Janet said...

Seriously, I don't think it's possible for me to enjoy your blog any more than I do. I want to take you out for lunch and talk.

pfamilygal said...

Aww shucks. You're too nice.

Jaala said...

I could not agree with the content of your blog more, Tamera. I really enjoy it. Hope you are well. :)


Terra said...

I'm firmly convinced that my children were sent to reveal my own selfishness. I love your thoughts.

A Jersey Girl said...

I truly wish I could find my way to the lord as you have. I admire people with faith as strong as yours and hope someday to find it myself.