Today’s post is the last of the five part series here at RefineUs talking about parenting. One of the things I’ve learned over the past six years is finding my identity in anything other than Christ, causes me to compromise relationships to maintain that identity. The truth about both Trisha and myself is that for years we found our identity in ministry.
5. I was more in love with being Jesus than sharing Jesus.
There is a desire in all of us to be significant…to have value and purpose. That desire is God-given and at its core, good. In my life and in our marriage, we took on the burden of not just sharing the love of Jesus with others, but being Jesus in their lives.
- We had to be at an event or people wouldn’t come.
- We had to have a certain couple over for dinner or they would leave the church
- I had to be at a meeting or it wouldn’t be successful
- I had to speak as many times a year as possible or the church may stop growing
There was a subtle shift in my heart and in our family’s DNA that we started finding identity and purpose not in our relationship with Jesus, but in our ability to be the messiah for others. It is why our son was more upset that I was not going to be the pastor of the church than he was that Trisha and I might be divorcing.
As a family, we lost everything in 2005. We lost our church. We lost our home. We lost our friends. We moved to a new city and started over. Without ministry. Without applause. Without a public platform. It was the best thing that happened to us. We detoxed from what defined us and discovered the people God had in mind for us to become.
As a family you can find your identity in almost anything:
- The neighborhood you live in
- The school your kids go to
- The job that you have
- The social circle you are a part of
My challenge to you is to ask yourself this question: If everything in your life went away…your job; your house; your car; your friends; your clothes; your economic status…if you lost it all, would you know who you are in Christ? As parents that is our greatest call in life. To help our kids discover that no matter how popular or unpopular; athletic or non-athletic; academic or not academic they are or aren’t, their true value is found in Jesus Christ. For them to understand that, we have to understand that. It is our greatest challenge as well.
Do you struggle in finding value in things other than Christ?