My kids are messy. Seriously. By my estimation, we have an active streak of 1,294 consecutive meals with at least one spilled drink! In less than five minutes, they can storm through a clean kitchen and leave it looking like the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
It's not just our big kids. Our baby is messy too. A few nights ago, we were out to eat and our 4-month-old pooped through his clothes and it got all over my clothes. I left the restaurant shirtless and with a nearly-naked baby. It was a redneck moment! Our Kentucky roots were shining brightly!
It's easy to feel frustrated when you're dealing with the sticky messes that kids cause, but the next time you're tempted to make your kids sleep outside to avoid the mess, remember that God is teaching us a MESSage in every mess. Remember this simple truth...
The Bible gives us a brilliant parenting principle in a very unlikely way. This Proverb sounds strange on the surface, but it contains some profound wisdom..."Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest." (Proverbs 14:4)
In the context of parenting, this verse is saying, "Without kids, a house stays clean, but the same kids who create the mess also create so many blessings!"
The Bible is telling us that the source of the mess is also the source of the blessing. Your kids will probably cause your greatest messes, but they'll also be the source of many of your greatest blessings.
Kids are messy, but they're worth the mess. When I step on a Lego barefooted in the middle of the night and want to scream out in pain, I remind myself that there are many people who would LOVE a house full of legos, but their dream of having children hasn't yet come to pass.
Next time you're tempted to complain about sticky fingerprints on the kitchen table, stop and give thanks to God for the precious little hands that made those fingerprints. And remember, YOU are God's kid, and you're messy in your own ways, but despite your mess, God love you more than you can imagine. God has billions of "messy kids," and He loves us all.
So, next time your kids make a mess, teach them the importance of cleaning up after themselves, but also smile and give thanks that God brought such beautiful, messy little blessings into your life.
This article was originally published on Patheos. It has been republished here with permission.