Thanks for sending in your awkward family pictures.  We’ll be posting them soon.  What we love about them is they help us focus on the bigger story God is writing, not the better picture of family we all feel pressure to embrace.  It’s a subject we’re passionate about and write about in our book, Parenting Beyond our Capacity:

“The truth is, there is a degree of dysfunction in every family. After all, a family is merely a gathering of flawed human beings. It’s easy for us as parents to get discouraged, especially if we have been trying to fix the family. History is not on our side. But what if our job is not to fix the family so we all look like some retouched picture? What if our purpose as parents is to illuminate the bigger story, to influence the next generation to experience God in a more genuine way?

What if you simply decided to start looking at your family through the context of a bigger story? What if you purposed, regardless of your situation, to become a living demonstration of how something that is broken can be restored? What if you invited your children into a bigger story, instead of encouraging them to conform to a superficial ideal? Then maybe you will begin to have renewed potential as a parent to give your children a lasting sense of hope.

You will gain fresh opportunities to affect the way your children see their future. You can begin to impact how your children embrace an everyday faith, understand their purpose, and pursue right relationships. When you add a bigger-story perspective to your children’s world, you add something that goes far beyond your capacity as a parent.”

Excerpts from pages 45-47 from Parenting Beyond your Capacity by Reggie Joiner and Carey Nieuwhof

Question: Can you share a flawed moment in your family life that you resented or resisted at the time which, in the end, turned out to be part of of a bigger story you believe God is writing?