The Truth That Changes Everything


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I am excited to share a guest post from Kristen Welch with We are THAT Family today!

I couldn’t believe seven people lived in this stifling, dark room. The heat wasn’t as oppressive as the lack of hope. I slid my camera back into my bag because I knew there would be no pictures here. There weren’t any smiling faces or laughing children. There was a sorrow I can’t explain.

The home belonged to the mother of one of the teen moms from the maternity home our family started nearly a decade ago, and our staff in Kenya wanted us to understand why we needed a transition home for some of the girls and their children. And they needed us to know why providing jobs is so critical.

When we asked how we could pray for her, she shared about the difficult issues in her marriage and the abuse by her drunken husband. We held hands and prayed over her. It was hot and hard to shake the hopelessness that pervaded the room. Just as we were preparing to leave her husband walked in the door—drunk.

And just like that, my little family was in the middle of a heated dispute in a dangerous slum with angry words being flung back and forth in Swahili. We sat back down. I held my little girl’s hand and whispered a prayer for peace and safety as we sat there, unsure of what was being said. I won’t lie—in that half hour I didn’t feel brave at all and longed to return to my normal.

But as soon as I thought it I heard the words thunder in my heart: This is their normal.

I closed my eyes and silent tears slid down my cheeks. My God, this is their normal. There isn’t a fun week of spring break ahead. There isn’t peace and provision. There isn’t enough bread for the day. And as hard as this is to experience for an hour, this is their way of life.

It’s easy to get so absorbed in our own little worlds that we completely miss the way the rest of the world lives. And I can say this because it’s what I did for a very long time. But I dare you, I beg you to hear this truth: your normal isn’t the world’s normal, and the greatest deception is that you believe that it is.

Your full pantry isn’t normal for the rest of the world. Your cold fridge with your favorite drinks and closets with clothes and multiple pairs of shoes—this is not normal for 75 percent of the world. In economic terms the global North (United States, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand)—with one quarter of the world’s population—controls four-fifths of the income earned anywhere in the world. Inversely, the global South (every other country)—with three quarters of the world’s population—has access to one-fifth of the world’s income.

In other words, a small percentage of us have access to most of the world’s resources while a large percentage of the world doesn’t have enough for one day. God uses people and builds bridges to connect the two worlds. But the life we are building is wasted if it doesn’t take us somewhere that matters. It’s tragic to build a bridge to nowhere. The only thing worse is leading our kids there.

The world and all its sparkling offerings give us temporary satisfaction. But we were created for the real thing. John Piper once said, “If you can’t see the sun you will be impressed with a street light. If you’ve never felt thunder and lightning you’ll be impressed with fireworks. And if you turn your back on the greatness and majesty of God you’ll fall in love with a world of shadows and short-lived pleasures.”

It’s tempting to think that those with more than enough always rescue those without enough. I have discovered a mutual rescue because I’m just as desperate to see the Son. So with a worldview that acknowledges some have less, others have more, and maybe, just maybe God wants to use us as a bridge—we first need to answer the question, Why do we give?

I know we aren’t working our way to heaven, checking off an eternal list of good deeds to earn our way in and somehow building a bridge high enough to get us there. No, our salvation is only by grace upon grace, mercy upon mercy.

We give because He gave everything for us.

Kristen Welch, blogger at We are THAT family, is the bestselling author of Raising Grateful Kids in An Entitled World and Raising World Changers

 

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Comments

  1. Carmen says:

    My heart is for my daughter to have a strong faith throughout her life

  2. Emily Werger says:

    I want my children to have a personal relationship with Jesus. I want them to be able to one day stand on their own faith.

  3. Kimberly says:

    We’re raising warriors for the Kingdom… and breaking the cycle of violence and substance abuse in both extended families, and more divorces than people in my family tree!

  4. Meghan says:

    For my boys to know how much they are loved, and to love and serve God and others because of that love.

  5. Traci says:

    What a great reminder of how blessed we are and how much there is for us to do.It is a goal for me as a mom to raise my children to know how blessed we are, how grateful we should be and that there are people to serve in the name of The Lord.

  6. Cara says:

    The story is humbling. It is a good reminder to broaden our childrens’ worldview every chance we get. Thanks Katie

  7. Michelle says:

    What a great article and reminder! My heart for my children is that they will love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength for all of their lives!

  8. Erika says:

    My heart for my children is for them to love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. That they would call Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior. That they would have the courage and confidence in Him to look different from the world and be a bright light for Him. That they seek His will, love and serve others, and spread the good news of Jesus Christ wherever He takes them.

  9. Emily says:

    Great perspective. My normal is pretty wonderful.

    We all have so much to give. We should be thankful for the opportunity to serve those less fortunate.

  10. Danielle says:

    What a great post! My hope for my children is that they would know and love Christ, walk in His ways and know His voice. That they would be brave in standing up for what is right when no one else will. That they would be a voice and bring justice to those who are living in injustice. But mostly that they would love. That each day they would go to the Father and be filled with so much love that it overflows to all those around them. Even if I don’t win this book, I think I will buy it- it sounds like a book every parent should read.

  11. April says:

    My heart is that my children will live to love like Jesus and aim to please him and share the Good News of the gospel through their words, but especially through the way they live their lives.

  12. Clara says:

    My heart for my children is for them to love God and follow His will for their lives – wherever and however He wants to use them in this world.

  13. Cheryl says:

    My heart for my children is that they would grow to love the Lord and follow His will for their lives. And that they would be world changers ❤️

  14. Nichole says:

    My heart for my children is that they love Jesus and stay strong in their faith. I hope they grow to be world changers.

  15. Sarah Miller says:

    I love this. My dreams for my children are that they would love Jesus, and be others-minded. This idea of knowing that other people have a different normal is so important! I love the way Kristin phrased it.

  16. Carrie Smith says:

    I want my boys to grow up with a hunger and thirst for God and his word. I want them to have servants’ hearts and a desire to follow God wherever He leads.

  17. Elsie says:

    Thank you for sharing this story, and for the reminder of the simple, straight-to-the-heart-of-it reason WHY we are to give–because He gave everything!

  18. Vanessa says:

    I want my girls to have a tender heart for Christ and sharing the gospel with others. I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, and I was only saved back in 2012. I want them to see in Christ what I never got the chance to see in my childhood. My hope is for them to see Him through myself and my husband and have them lean on Him for strength and courage.

  19. Kiryssa says:

    I have 4 little ones 5 and under. My heart towards them is to know and love Jesus. Not just information but deeper and by experience.

  20. Naila says:

    Before having kids I worked in community work with a strong desire to bring hope and opportunity to others. It’s easy to feel that is lost in my new job of caring for my small kids and keeping our household running. I think it’s important to give them a strong foundation, but it’s only now that they’re heading into “big kid” years that I’m starting to see the opportunities to connect to the community and the world outside our home with them and I’m looking forward to the stage that is coming!

  21. Lisa says:

    I didn’t grow up in a Christian home, but know how blessed I was with the pursuing love and protection of God. I try to impress this upon my teen children (2 teens and 1 adult child) – how blessed and fortunate we are.

  22. Melissa says:

    Right now that is something I am trying to get to…their heart. It hasn’t been that way. I live my life day to day, barely making it through, getting overwhelmed with the everyday stresses. I am going to start homeschooling ( I feel this is something the lord is leading me to) in August and I hope that this could help me get to their hearts. But today I took them to chick-fil-a after VBS and we just talked, and we enjoyed ourselves. I hope to have more moments like this with my boys, I hope they can look back when they are men and have fond happy memories with me.

  23. Paris Byrum says:

    To be honest, I do not have the heart for my children that I ought. I find it difficult to war against the sinfulness in my heart and what the world entices me with and the Spirit of God within me and knowing what the scriptures say. I definitely want to grow in this area of missional motherhood, and having growing pains now as I write this. Thank you again for this opportunity to enter this contest.

  24. Kayleigh says:

    What a great giveaway. I have 3 young kids and I’m also just starting the process to become a foster/adopt parent as well and this book sounds like it could be an awesome resource. Thanks for the opportunity!

  25. Sarah says:

    I am just starting my parenting journey, as my little girl is 10 months old. It was my transition to being a mom that led me to your blog!

    I desire for my child and future children to experience Christ’s love, and witness His glory made evident in day to day life.

  26. Kim Henrichs says:

    That they follow a path of joy. Do what you love, love what you do.

  27. Jess reger says:

    Wow! What a wonderful and heart touching post. Thank you!!

  28. Kyla says:

    This is a beautiful blog post. Beautiful because it inspires change and makes me want to do more to help others. I often feel like the things I do don’t matter enough or don’t reach enough people, but when I realize that my efforts DO matter, it inspires me to want to do more… remembering that the ‘treasures’ we take to heaven are the souls we touch along the way. Thank you Kristen for your inspiring message. My hearts desire for my children and grandchildren is for them to be inspired to make a difference also, and I want to do all that I can to be an example of what it looks like to ‘give unto others’.

  29. Ashley Oliver says:

    My prayer is that my children would be warriors for the kingdom. That they would love God with every ounce of their being and would have a passion for evangelizing.

  30. Jacqueline says:

    Wow, thank you for the post. We take so much for granted and I hope to teach her gratitude and love.
    I pray to raise my daughter in a way that she can see each individual as a child of God. That she love on them and the Lord protect her throughout.

  31. Lisa says:

    What a convicting post! My prayer is that we won’t build a bridge to nowhere, nor will we teach our children to do so. My prayer is that we will make and take the bridge God intends us to. Thank you for sharing this.

  32. Laurie says:

    I hope my sons will desire earnestly seek God’s will for their lives and live to please Him.

  33. Melissa says:

    My heart for my children is to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord for His glory and their best. Psalm 100!!

  34. Chesca says:

    I have 3 littles & they are all at different stages. For my oldest (7yrs), my heart’s desire is for her to learn to apply what she reads in God’s Word. For #2 (4yrs), my heart’s desire is for him to grow in his faith/belief in God. For my baby girl who just turned 1yr, my heart’s desire is for her to “see” God in the beauty that surrounds her. I know my heart/desires/prayers for them will continue to change as they grow & mature.

  35. Sheri Centifanto says:

    Thank you for sharing.

  36. Lori in NY says:

    I hope my children will have such a deep relationship with God, that they will not be discouraged with how people respond when they serve, but will focus on WHO they are truly serving!

  37. Hayley Stevens says:

    I have four small kids. Who I’m trying and struggling and praying and hoping I can pass on this wisdom… I would love to read this book!!

  38. Kristy says:

    My heart for my children is that they would be able to live unattached to the things of this world and that they would be able to willingly go where God calls them to go knowing that this is not their final home and that we are here as servants of the Lord.

  39. Bethany says:

    I want my children to be grounded in the Word of God and obey what it says. We are commanded in God’s Word to share what we have with those in need and I don’t want the things of this world to have a grip on them, but that they either use what they have for God or give it away.

  40. Kim says:

    My heart for children is my love for my two little ones, and I just love kids and want then to be safe.

  41. Karin L Swanson says:

    Thank you for sharing her story. I look forward to this book.

  42. Mangala says:

    I wish my son grows into an empathatic individual – loving and caring everyone…

  43. Ana Derenoncourt says:

    My heart’s desire is for our three children to know and love the Lord and be light and salt, “aliens” in their generation.

  44. Mariel E Faber says:

    My heart’s desire for my girls is for them to become godly women and to pass on their love of Christ to the generations after them. For my son, I wish for him to grow up to raise a godly family, to lead his family in their spiritual lives, not to just watch from the sidelines, but to intentionally lead them and encourage them. I wish for my children to model Christ in all they do, both in the home and out in the world.

    Many people think just of themselves and their relationship with God, and “Am I going to Heaven?”, but I want my children to think of not just themselves but the generation after them and even the generation after that one.

  45. Sharniie Tunnell says:

    Oh wow! What an amazing thing for your kids ( and you!) to see and to be a part of! I pray I raise my children to love the Lord and to be Kind, because kindness matters! I think this world would be a little better if we were kinder, to others and even to ourselves

  46. My heart is that my daughter will grow to love the Lord with all her heart, mind, soul and strength. And that she will then live out that love by loving people well.

  47. Amanda Cochrane says:

    My hearts desire for children is that no matter what they do in life, they share the gospel of Jesus’ love with others.

  48. Evelyn Rennich says:

    Oh this post resonates with my heart so much! I desperately want to raise kids who are world-aware and yet feel out of place anytime they are out of the will of God, so at home in His Spirit that they know His voice.

  49. Jennifer Waddle says:

    My heart for children is to see a revival of the Bible in the next generation!

  50. Joanne says:

    I’m raising my grandson, and my hearts desire for him is to love the Lord with all his heart, and to love others well. The world breaks my heart.

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