Our family exists for the glory of God. During our courtship, the Lord impressed upon us Psalm 67:1-2 “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us- so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.” We have been praying this verse over our lives and our marriage ever since. After just 1 month of courtship, Danny alluded to us getting married within the year so that we could carry on the inner city work that he had started in Newark, NJ and I, of course, was scared to death. Crying out to God for wisdom in the possibility of marrying before graduating college, the Lord met me in prayer with picture of two little streams coming together to form a mightier stream, a rushing one, one that dug a deeper path down the mountain, one that nourished more plants and trees along it’s course, one that was bubbling and alive. (*note* God ALSO confirmed it by my Dad saying ‘yes’ to Danny’s request for my hand in marriage, Thanks, Dad.) Every morning (or at least most mornings) Danny and I are on our knees asking God to bless us and continually unite us, so that our marriage might be a reflection of the love that Jesus Christ has for His Bride, the Church, the people He paid for with His own Blood on the cross. This is the starting (and ending) point of our family. God->His Glory->Jesus winning the heart of His Bride->We get to labor with Him in this endeavor->We have lots of babies to carry on the work when we’re too old, or dead->We get to live forever in His presence, i.e. ->God
Very soon into our marriage, the Lord prompted us to allow Him to grow our family in whatever timing He chose. Sometimes God likes to draw things out to teach us patience, well…. not in this case. Our six year anniversary was celebrated in the hospital just hours after our fourth baby was born. You can do the math. Yes, our oldest was still 4 years old. Fast forward to our ten year anniversary, and we had a total of 6 living children (1 died in miscarriage), and a screeching to a halt adoption. The thing is, we believe in the covenantal promises of God. Thousands of years ago, God made a promise. “for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Deut. 5:9-10) We believe God is going to keep this one. We believe He is faithful to His covenant, and we celebrate every little soul that is brought into this world as part of His family.
From rural Virginia, to Inner City Newark, NJ. to Orlando, Fl. and now, Atlanta, Ga. all following the Lord’s call to make His name known in the various and as sundry contexts He has moved us into. All with a bunch of little people. wooh! We are currently church planting in the Atlanta area, and you might ask, “How does one do ministry with that many kids in tow?” Well, first you should see my disaster of a laundry room, and then we would declare that raising children does not hinder church planting but accelerates it. (I mean, we have our own little congregation here! each kid add a few friends, and we’ve already outgrown our house church space)
The formula-loving part of me says of this covenant “Oh good, if I obey the commands my kids and descendants will be bless to a thousand generations. Watch me work real hard at it!” But one doesn’t have to be a parent long, to realize that if this promise is based on ME then not only am I sunk, but my kids, grandkids, and great grandkids are too…. But GLORIOUS DAY, its not!! Danny’s and my hope is in the perfect Parent. The perfect Son. The one who DID love the Father and keep His commandments. The One that suffered under the wrath of that Jealous God, who demands justice. This is the Gospel. This is our hope. God keeps both sides of the Covenant. The blessing side AND the obedience side. THIS is how our family can exist for the glory of God. We hope in Him, He shows His grace and blessing, and God uses the testimony of weak sinners to make His ways known on earth, his salvation among all nations.