I’m a fan of shortcuts. I really am. If I can find a way to do something quicker with less effort and great results I’m straight in there. Why wouldn’t I be?
There are some things you can’t shortcut though.
You can’t shortcut on your kids.
I have tried this and it doesn’t work. Josiah and Esther went through a phase of arguing ALL the time. Arguing, fighting, name-calling, hair-pulling, everything you can imagine an under-5 is capable of. It was stressful. Samuel was really little and I was tired. So instead of dealing with the problem I would employ the live-in babysitter: the TV.
It was magic. 2 quiet, extremely well-mannered children. Problem solved.
The thing is, it wasn’t. I’d just put a plaster on it. The arguments were just nicely brewing up for another time. I remember having to consciously ask myself for several months “Am I putting the TV on to avoid arguments?”. If the answer was “Yes”, I had a decision to make: Go for the shortcut or take the longer, rockier, harder road. The longer road involved refereeing fights and arguments. It involved teaching them how to have a “kind heart” towards the other. At times it involved tantrums, kicking, shouting. But the long-term vision of what I wanted to sow into my kids kept me going.
You can’t shortcut on your marriage.
Maybe you can last a few months of marriage, or maybe even a year if you’re lucky, cruising along in a happy infatuated state without ever having to work at anything. But you can’t keep taking the shortcuts. It takes the long haul. It means making space for one another, communicating, forgiveness, and MORE forgiveness. It means sacrifice, laying your life down for the other, walking through joy and sorrow together.
I guess I’m talking about the principle of sowing and reaping. The shortcuts produce the shallow stuff that will fade away. But the long haul -perseverance-stuff harvests a good crop.
But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.
9-10So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit.
There’s grace in this. Notice it’s God’s spirit who does the work of growth in us as we respond to Him. We put the effort in but He causes the growth. He’s the one who does the “growth work” in us and in our relationships.
Where are you taking shortcuts?
Where do you need to remind yourself of the long-term vision of what you are sowing into?
Where do you need to know the grace of God’s spirit doing the “growth work”?
Posted by Anna