Sometimes the world we live in can drag us down, pulling us into a dark despair and distracted introspection of our lives. I’ve struggled with the temptation to just give in to hopelessness. With the ever-increasing bad news and gloom prophesied over us by our news media and political forecasters, it’s exhausting some days not to. As parents it seems we’re wrestling inside ourselves to maintain our sense of purpose. It’s hard to find the conviction to provide encouragement in our homes as we all face such pervasive negativity and frustration everywhere you turn… But we MUST!
I was reminded of the need to encourage and refresh myself and my family of God’s past faithfulness to us. Not just for my personal home life, but for all of us. The responsibility as Christian parents collectively to remember to share with future generations of the reliable nature and faithfulness of our God to His people.
Psalm 78: 3-7 (NLT – courtesy of Biblegateway.com)
“ We will not hide these truths from our children;
we will tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
about his power and his mighty wonders.
5 For he issued his laws to Jacob;
he gave his instructions to Israel.
He commanded our ancestors
to teach them to their children,
6 so the next generation might know them—
even the children not yet born—
and they in turn will teach their own children.
7 So each generation should set its hope anew on God,
not forgetting his glorious miracles
and obeying his commands.
To that end…i’ve decided to consciously limit the amount of national and world news broadcasts I absorb daily and start to increase the amount of hope I digest instead. It’s not a matter of denial or intellectual isolation to avoid the realities of life, but a choice to focus on the good. I’m reminded of how important it is to fill my mind and heart with the hopeful and the redemptive nature of God and to seek out those who are actively following in His path vs. the reports of violence, despair and devastation that streams across our smartphones every second of every day.
I believe if we guard ourselves from endless quantities of bad news.., we allow our hearts and our minds to recover from the restless nature of our environment and become re-established in the strength and peace of renewed Hope. When we do, it changes us subtly… and we naturally begin to influence others with our optimism and courage, including our kids. If your home is struggling to regain peace and comfort in the midst of chaos and uncertainty… it’s probably a good bet you need to consider doing some similar media dieting as well.
When the community of faith regains its memory and testimony of God’s faithfulness in our day to day lives, I believe Psalm 78 is promising that we will recover our kids hearts too. When our youth see the grace and peace of an entire generation of parents who remain calmly hopeful in the face of certain disaster… the sincerity and power of our faith in Christ will shine in the midst of the darkness.
Breath deep of the Hope that is in God’s word, His faithfulness to each generation and His commitment to meet every need of His people.Press on dear parent… you are not alone.