I've been reading and relishing this amazing book. Gary Thomas also wrote "Sacred Marriage" which had the most powerful subtitle: "What if marriage were designed to make us holy instead of happy?" I just loved that line. So very true! Marriages end because couples think it's all about their happiness. If that were the case, it's a miracle any of them last beyond the honeymoon! Marriage makes us more Christ-like. That, or we choose misery.
This book is the same concept for parenting. Either parenting makes us more like Christ, or we will be frustrated, considering our children, our gifts from God, a burden.
The world says that children are a burden, a thing to endure until they are 18 and can leave the nest. How depressing! Here Mr. Thomas explains the sacredness of parenting:
Why does parenting offer such a potent pathway to personal growth and reflection? The process of raising children requires skills that God alone possesses, and we are decidedly not God. . . . parenting regularly reminds us of our absolute humanity. We do not love perfectly, as God loves. God uses these children to shape us, spiritually speaking.
In order to be great parents, or to raise kids for greatness, we must rely on God. He alone possesses the traits parenting requires. "Ask and you it shall be given unto you. . . " If the Holy Spirit isn't parenting through us, all our efforts will fall short.
I remember early in my parenting journey, coming to the overwhelming realization that I cannot teach my children any virtue that I do not possess. Unless I have integrity myself, I can't teach my children how to have integrity.
Children are our greatest blessings, simply because they draw us closer to God.