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My first child was born 2 weeks ago. This will not be a long blog because the sleep deprivation keeps my brain from focusing for more than13 minutes on anything but, well, sleep. People always told me having a kid changes you forever. I assumed they were referring to that “lack of sleep” as the change, but there is something much more profound that is taking place. This change started 4 years ago when I got married and is now being amplified by the arrival of my son. That change I am speaking of is the shifting of focus in every area of my life off of myself and onto other people, specifically my wife and my son. I’m not just talking about the big things like their health and general well-being. I’m also talking about little things like surprising my wife with ice-cream or making sure my son doesn’t sit in his own poop for too long. And its not like I think about them first and then me second. Contrarily, I find the most joy in my life in their joy. When they are happy, im not relieved, I am joyful. Just this morning my son smiled at me (im sure it was just gas but still) and I was absolutely elated. His happiness made me happy and it was awesome. If I saw his happiness as a task I had to achieve and once I achieve it I could exhale and start worrying about myself, I would be miserable.

This has really helped me consider how I approach God. See, often I will look at God like a kid or spouse that I need to make happy. So I will do whatever it is He wants (read my bible, pray, go to church) so he will be happy and leave me alone so I can go do what makes me happy. So my interaction with God becomes a to do list of sorts. When I don’t do those things, I feel guilty because God probably isn’t happy and im gonna hear about it. But that isn’t the kind of relationship God designed me to have with him. God created me in a way so that the most joy I can find in life is living as he designed me to live. And guess what, when I live this way it is pleasing to Him, which pleases me all the more! As I find joy worshipping God, he finds joy in my worship of Him. Just like I find joy in serving my spouse because of the joy she finds in how I serve her. So I don’t serve God out of obligation but out of a love for His love.

Here comes the best part: Spouses and children may not reciprocate love and joy. Ultimately they will never reciprocate at all times. That’s because they weren’t created to be the SOURCE of my joy, God was. And God will never fail to love me back. In fact, the gospel message reminds me that God loves me infinitely more than I could love him and NOT BECAUSE I love him. He loves me, and you, regardless of our efforts to love him. There is nothing I can do to make God love me more or less. (ok follow this…) So I have confidence in his faithfulness to love me and that confidence in his love brings me JOY, which is expressed as TRUST, which is lived out as OBEDIENCE to his design for me, which subsequently brings me JOY. Follow that? With joy comes trust with trust comes obedience & with obedience comes joy.

Bottom line, Im being reminded to love God like I love my wife and son: I find my joy in their joy .

Would love your thoughts and feedback on this idea. post them in the comment section below.

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