For the better part of...well summer, Hope and Kyle have been like oil and water! Seemingly everything Hope does (from humming or laughing to simply glancing his way) bugs the snot out of Kyle and Hope is exceedingly jealous of the amount of time Kyle spends with Lisa. Actions that I am fairly confident exist in other families the world over. Except in a blended family like ours dealing with issues like this that cross family lines are tough and honestly are breeding grounds for hurt and resentment. What do you do to lessen Kyle's annoyance? Softly humming honestly isn't bothering anyone, but for Kyle, it's like someone raking their fingernails across a chalkboard. And what do you do to lessen Hope's jealousy? Kyle should have unfettered access to hugs and cuddles with his mom, not to mention that he's 8 and she doesn't have very many good hugging years left with him! Since the beginning of summer, we've seen Hope's jealousy increase as well as Kyle's irritation. There are times when they get along splendidly and then there are times that the friction is palpable. Lisa and I have talked for hours about the two of them and their ever increasing angst. We have even tried several corrective approaches...and in a word, FAIL!
Lisa and I have hung in there together about this, but in all honesty I know that we have felt the stress of it. How could we not? They're our children and we LOVE them! And so we've searched for reasons in the "Well, if I only had's" and the "I'm just not good enough's" and have found that a thousand reasons does nothing and we end up back where we left off...trying to resolve it.
Then last Sunday in the middle of singing with the worship team, God spoke to me...and it went pretty much like this:
Me: singing....mentally furrows brow...singing
God: Vince...what was the main message that you and Lisa picked for your wedding?
Me: singing...um, I'm kinda preoccupied worshipping you...singing
God: Yes, I know...what was the main message that you and Lisa picked for your wedding?
Me: singing...uh, Psalms 127, verse 1...singing...unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain...singing
God: ...why aren't you letting me?
The fact is this...I haven't been letting God do the building. I see these issues and fear the potential long term effects they could have not only with Hope and Kyle's relationship, but with Lisa and I. And like many men, when I see a problem I want/need to solve it...the key word here is 'I'. It has nothing to do with me feeling like I can do a better job than God, instead it has A LOT to do with pain. I don't much like pain and so, the quicker a painful thing comes and goes, the better. I want this situation (that is causing pain) to go away...quickly! And so, my impatient, pain avoiding self, picks up the hammer, a hand full of nails and attempts to do the building myself. Except I don't have the blueprints...God does. Have you ever tried to build ANYTHING, let alone a house, without the instructions, or blueprints? Unless you want your house to look something like the tree fort I attempted to build when I was 10, I wouldn't advise it. Not only do I not have the blueprints, but I keep hitting my thumb with that stupid hammer...in essence, causing more pain. We know that growth and learning comes through effort...pain. A diamond can only be made through extreme heat, pressure and time. A precious child comes into this world through the pain and labor of it's mother.
God wants better for us than some ramshackle tree house built with ill cut and badly warped planks. He KNOWS what's better for us and that's why He wants to build our house...your house. And yes, there may be times that are painful...periods of momentary trouble, but God is faithful and through the pain and sweat, He will bring beauty...I KNOW He will!
2 Corinthians 4:17 - For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweights them all.
So, who's building your house?