Friday, January 9, 2015

Doing the Hard Things

Many in our society don't like to do hard things. If the going gets rough, they quit. If they have a tough teacher, they find another teacher. If their coach is too hard on them, they find another coach. When their marriage isn't turning out like they thought it would, they get out and look for another spouse. Alex and Brett Harris believe in doing the hard things, "Get up early. Step out of your comfort zone. Do more than what's required. Find a cause. Be faithful. Go against the crowd."

"We do hard things, not in order to be saved, but because we are saved," Brett told me. "Our willingness to obey God even when it's hard magnifies the worth of Christ, because in our hard obedience we're communicating to the world that Jesus is more valuable than comfort, than ease, than staying safe." Indeed, we are saved by grace and created for good works {Ephesians 2:8-10}.

In the Harris family, "do hard things" is just a fresh way to say "do good works," Brett said. "We've found it a helpful way to say 'do good works' because we often need to be reminded that doing good works is hard, is supposed to be hard, and puts the spotlight on God ~ where it belongs ~ because it is hard."

Brett's wife has Lyme's disease. He has to bathe her, carry her, and do almost everything for her. He has to put away his desire to write to care for her and he is a young man. "Loving Ana and laying down my life for her is obviously what God wants me to do," Brett said. "What keeps me going is knowing that this is what I'm supposed to be doing. This is not an interruption of God's plan for my life. This is His plan for my life, at least for a season. And at the end of the day, I know this is what I will wish I had done." 

Many people get out of marriage when times get hard. They don't commit to good times and bad times, in sickness and in health. They are not vow keepers. They take no thought of ripping asunder what God has joined together. They tear apart one flesh for what they want instead of keeping the promises they made on their wedding day.

Life is hard. Our society doesn't prepare children for this in many ways. We try too hard to protect our children from hard work and pain. This doesn't prepare them for the hard in life. It isn't healthy for them. If they see their parents sticking together through the hard, they are given an example of true commitment.

Teach your children what hard looks like. Train them to work hard and stay committed to their commitments in the hard times. Teach them that God's ways are not usually the easy way, the broad path that leads to destruction but the difficult way, the narrow road that leads to life. Don't let them sit around all day watching television and playing video games. Give them productive things to do where their minds are stretched and their bodies are worked.

For we are His workmanship, 
created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

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