Saturday, October 22, 2022

 What’s in it for Me?

 I have come to believe that parenting is one of the top 100 hardest jobs in the world…and it monetarily pays the least.  This is not to say that there are some aspects of parenting that are, in fact, quite simple and easy.  For example, the other day my son asked me, “Dad, will you buy me supper from Dominos Pizza?”

“No! Your mom has supper on the table…like right now…sit down and eat!” 

That was one of the simplest parenting moments in the history of parenting. 

However, there are other aspects of parenting that are much more difficult...i.e. “Mom, where do babies come from?”

Boy, am I glad that sentence began with, “Mom!”

Just this morning, Sarah and I were mandating that our children get off of their screens and go hiking in the north woods with us…all day.

“Ugh! I don’t want to go!” argued my youngest daughter.

“You need to go.” My wife calmly rebutted.

“Why!? I don’t want to go! Why do I even need to? Why do you even care if I go? AND BESIDES…WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME anyway?”

That can be a difficult question. “What is in it for me?”

My wife, however, is much more brilliant than I and immediately responded with the truth, “You need the fresh air, it is good for you.  You need the exercise, it is good for you. You need to get your face off of your brain sucking screen, it will be good for you.”

“So what! I don’t need any of that stuff!”

“Well, we will be bringing snacks to eat in the woods.”

“Ok…I’ll go.”


I would never have thought that such a simple offer could be so motivating.  That is until I saw the snacks…2 kinds of trail mix, meat sticks, dried jerky, summer sausage…AND…PEANUT M&M’S!!!

The psychology of motivation is amazing.  It doesn’t happen very often, but there are times when I slow down enough to reflect on what keeps me going.  What motivates me to continue the battle?  What motivates me to keep up the battle of parenting, working, living, cleaning the house…etc?  What keeps me continuing to testify to the grace of Jesus? I think that Paul helps me to understand the answer in what he writes in 2 Cor. 5:11-6:2. 

There can be many motivators in life.  Fear can be a huge motivator.  Likewise, food can be a magnificent motivator. Yet, what I believe that Paul points to in this passage is the most powerful of motivators…love.  Here we see the love of Christ compels us…AND…our love for Christ…also compels us.  It is like a double edged sword that motivates on both sides!

May we come to be compelled to testify of the grace of Christ.  May we be compelled to love others.  May we be compelled…because of Christ’s love for us…and our love for Him.


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