What do kids need more than anything? What do they need from their parents? They need faithfulness. Faithfulness is not sinless perfection. Faithfulness is just doing today, right now what God requires of you. And when you know you haven’t done right, it means doing what God says to do about that. Kids don’t need a picture-perfect childhood. They don’t need experiences dreamed up in magazines, or movies, and or in your own imagination in order for you to be number one mom or best dad ever.
They need mom and dad to simply be faithful. And faithfulness doesn’t mean boring, and it doesn’t mean impoverished. Faithful means fruitful, but it is the fruitfulness of simple faith and obedience. It’s the fruitfulness of the widow’s jar of oil. There only seems to be a little bit left most of the time, but for some reason it never runs dry. It means being thankful when there isn’t as much as you had hoped. It means being cheerful when you don’t feel like it. It means disciplining in love when you’d really rather not. It means confessing your own sins out loud and asking forgiveness when you sinned against the kids. It means giving everything you have all day long and collapsing into bed, only to hear the three year coming down with the flu on the living room carpet and staying up most of the night with her.
You might get to go on vacations, you might not. You might have some fat Christmas celebrations, and you might not. You might have a nice car; you might have the lemon. You might have a decent savings, you might not. But your kids don’t need some graven image of childhood. They don’t need an idol of your imagining what family life is supposed to be like. They need you to be faithful to Christ today. They need to see you looking to Christ, trusting in Christ, holding fast to Christ in the midst of everything, and then smiling a lot because Christ is enough. Christ is sufficient. He is sufficient for the dishes you forgot to do last night. He is sufficient for the lack of sleep. He is sufficient for the bills you haven’t paid. He is sufficient for the serious medical and health challenges you face. He is sufficient for the sins you need to confess and the sins you need to forgive. And He is sufficient for everything in between. This is the oil of the Lord, and it never runs out. And this is what every kid needs.