Monday, January 14, 2008

The Ties that Bind

A very unexpected, unplanned, quick trip to Arkansas the end of last week reaped immeasurable blessings for me.

Thanks to the flight time, I was able to finish off two excellent books that I want to highly recommend. Lee Strobel's The Case for a Creator is a wonderful exchange between Strobel and experts in various fields of science that argue for the account of creation in Scripture. Anyone looking to arm their faith with scientific data that backs up the claims of Scripture will be encouraged by Strobel's work.

Strobel sums up his writing this way: “Unlike Darwinism, where my faith would have to swim upstream against the strong current of evidence flowing the other way, putting my trust in the God of the Bible was nothing less than the most rational and natural decision I could make. I was merely permitting the torrent of facts to carry me along to their most logical conclusions” (285).

The second book was one I picked up on Friday at the Lifeway Book Store in Rogers and finished somewhere over Utah. Dr.'s Les and Leslie Parrott, experts in the field of marriage, have written their first book on parenting entitled The Parent You Want To Be: Who You Are Matters More Than What You Do. They close their book by quoting family therapist Jean Brautigam Mills:

"The good-enough parent is all that is really needed to raise children who become normal adjusted adults. Let's start by giving up this 'perfection' business. No one is perfect -- not you, and not your child. Mistakes in parenting are opportunities to teach our children that when mistakes happen, there is a process whereby we can admit it, know what must be done, and move on to recovery and forgiveness.

What is to be gained by this 'good-enough' perspective? Well, parents who accept good enough on occassion are bound to be far happier than those seeking perfection. And so are their kids"

The real blessing of my trip, though, came in the form of renewal through relationships. I was able to spend some really quality time with my dad, my mom, my grandfather and grandmother, my sister and brother-in-law and their twins (pictured above).

In a powerful way, as only God can do, I was reminded that the truest joy in life is not about perfection or the appearance of perfection, but about relationships and the joy that comes from shared lives.