John and/or Kate Plus EightSo my wife was watching the season premiere of John and Kate plus 8 last night (which if you are not familiar is a show about a couple who has 8 children: quints, twins, and a singleton). I peeked in from the other room (where the Lakers and Nuggets were playing) occasionally because they were going to be talking about the news of their marital problems (news came out in the past weeks that maybe John was cheating on Kate). When they finally talked about what was going on, the idea was repeated by both of them over and over that they were here for their kids. She worked for her kids. He quit his job to stay at home for their kids. All the sacrifices made were for their kids. Their lives revolved around their kids.
First off, marital struggles in a family of 8 children do not surprise me. Marriage alone is difficult and kids make it more difficult to spend the time with your spouse that you each need. Having said that, however, this situation is pretty typical of American evangelicalism as a whole in that something other than Christ and His cross is elevated to first priority. In the case of John and Kate it is their children. For many others of us it is work, spouse, activities, or ourselves. Whenever Christ is relegated to anything other that first priority, it is only a matter of time before our lives begin to unravel.
John and Kate's children cannot save their marriage. Their children cannot help Kate forgive her husband if indeed he has been unfaithful. Their children cannot help John love his wife when he doesn't feel like it. Only Christ can do that. But when children are elevated to Christ's proper place we choose to ignore the power of God to restore and heal us when we need it.
Everything and everyone in this world will let us down. Everything and everyone in this world is flawed and imperfect. Everything and everyone in this world lacks the ability to give us real life.
Only Christ is always faithful, is perfect, is all powerful, and is eager to shower His love, mercy, and grace on our broken, imperfect lives.