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Or for all ages, rather, I suppose I shouldn’t have sucked you in with that slightly misleading headline…
But, since you’re here… what’s your New Year’s resolution for 2014? Or are you one of those who abstain from making promises you don’t intend to keep? (I’m looking at you, me!) I know it’s cliché to talk about resolutions, especially this time of year, but since when has that stopped anyone from talking about them anyways?
I sort of have two that I’ve been mulling over the last few weeks, but I hadn’t really thought of them as resolutions until the First of January 2014 rolled around and demanded penance from me for the 2013 resolutions I left unkept. In retrospect, it was probably unreasonable to expect that I was going to be able to sample Cronuts AND Ramen Burgers in all fifty U.S. states within one year. Especially since I was not, and still am not, yet independently wealthy. (Note to self for 2014…)
Anyways, I’ve been thinking about how I have not been fasting recently, and about how I have not been properly observing the Sabbath. This is kind of a big deal, seeing as how the latter is one of those Ten Commandment thingies, and God Himself took a break after crafting the far reaches of the universe (and dragons).
A little late to the party, but better late than never, I realized that the matter of observing the Sabbath is really more about being obedient all the time, rather than making a relatively simple, healthier lifestyle change for a year. (Side note: Observing the Sabbath doesn’t get us out of diaper duty. Jesus showed that we’re still on the hook for taking care of people on the Sabbath. And, yes, even on rough days our kids still qualify [technically speaking] as people.) So, as far as a resolution for 2014 was concerned, I was left with fasting, which is both good and bad because I like the flavor of food very much.
I attempted to let myself off on a technicality on my first day, though, when I remembered how we have been struggling with our three-year-old son being particular about both “What” and “When” he will eat. I couldn’t abstain from eating in front of him, that’d be a bad example, so, I thought to myself, maybe it would be better lay aside the whole fasting thing until he’s over this stage. God is a parent, too, right? Surely He’ll understand.
Then I felt a tug at my heart in the form of the mortal words of the incomparable Lee Corso: “Not so fast, my friend!” This was particularly strange since I wasn’t watching ESPN College Gameday at the time. But I knew that it meant I shouldn’t use that as a cop out, but rather as a learning opportunity, both for myself and for my son. If one of the primary points of fasting is forgoing something we need/want in order to focus our desire more fully on God, how can I help my kids learn that at the same time I am?
There are many ways, media fasts being a good example, to include the whole family in a resolution to seek more of God instead of more of ourselves. As a result, my new resolution has become finding a way to include my children in this journey of fasting without giving them another excuse not to eat their broccoli florets. I’ll still do a fast like that on my own, just in a stealthier, super spy-like manner. It’s a resolution for all ages, if you will. (There’s the tie-in to the slightly misleading headline, in case anyone was still looking for it.)
Any plans for resolutions for you and/or your family this year? Or are you still staunchly anti-resolution?
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Jake Roberson (@jake_roberson) is a contributing writer for Dad Matters and a specialist in our Family Help Center at Focus on the Family.
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