“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” – Malachi 4:5-6
As a family, we had a helpful argument earlier. At least I felt like it was. God really broke my heart for the ways that I haven’t loved dad well and the Spirit started to change my heart toward dad. A few days back up until today, I was just really bitter that he wasn’t taking responsibility and felt that he was selfish and didn’t love us. However, after talking about the ways in which he has tried, but being just fronted and mom and I giving him so much crap, I can see how easy it is for him to lose heart. I’m not excusing parts of his laziness, but it was eye opening for me to grow in my respect for dad knowing that he does care, that he does try, that he’s not just all selfish all the time, and an utterly hopeless soul. He is a real man who needs a real savior who is Jesus. I’m praying that Jesus would use me to love and honor him well as a son and to not get in the way of Jesus’ pursuit of him, but to come alongside Jesus as he is pursuing my dad through me and others. Also, learning to communicate with my mom to learn how to communicate with dad to be more respectful and submissive wife so that dad can grow and not be nagged all the time. Though her disappointments and frustrations are real and legitimate, her sinful responses aren’t. That goes for her and for me.
So the Spirit has been putting a few things on my heart lately:
- Don’t work your ass off to gain wealth thinking that it will help fix your family – that was the lie that got you into this whole mess to begin with
- Focus on Jesus – he is your hope, your king, your sustainer – continue in growing in your hope and joy of the reality that you have been loved and blood bought by him. Your security lies in him alone and nothing else.
- Respond to Jesus in your life – your work, your interaction with family, your planning, your emotions – all of that respond in light of Jesus and no other functional idols. Begin to live free as you have been set free.