The other day when I was at the commissary with my three children, I realized that they needed sleep more than a trip to the park. I told the children we would go home, explaining that my decision was based on their difficulty with whining and complaining.
Now, we all know that a lack of sleep does not excuse sinful behavior, right? Sin is sin, right? Thus, it might seem inappropriate to point out to my children that we’re taking a particular course of action because of their fatigue. They might get the wrong idea. They might think that fatigue excuses sin.
I have fatigue on the brain, and I need sleep more than my children. I’ve been staying up late in order to talk with Lee (even just hoping that he’ll be able to call). I’ve got a house full of family that I see far too seldom and who keep late hours, and it has been a blessing to talk with them. In the meantime, I’m a little more irritable when I’m tired. I worry. I don’t have the energy to think God’s thoughts after Him. Recognizing that at certain times I predictably struggle does not mean I deny the sinfulness of my actions or my responsibility to choose to do right. However, when I recognize times of weakness, I have the opportunity to prepare myself for the battle.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; Ephesians 6:10-17
Thus, I don’t think that acknowledging my children are tired is a bad part of the conversation when they’re struggling to behave. It does give me yet another opportunity to explain that we need God’s grace to obey even when we’re tired. We must deliberately seek it out, humbly, with a heart of repentance (see James 4).
In my own life, knowing my fatigue, knowing that Lee is far away for several more months, knowing that I am vulnerable to think wrongly, I must examine myself. Am I preparing myself, as the apostle Paul commands?My answer right now is no, and my responses are evidence of this lack.
I need more of God’s Word this week. Pray for me!
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel. (Ephesians 6:18-19)
Lyn Marshall says
I have been and continue to. And I agree with what you have written here!
I know what lack of physical rest can do to a person. I will be praying for you and your children.