The gospel changes everything. Everything. And our relationships help us understand how.
In addition to marriage, parenthood has been God's sharpest scalpel for the necessary surgery on my heart. The gospel provides the framework for how I need to parent my children. And parenthood is the laboratory that deepens my understanding of the gospel.
"You are more evil than you could possibly imagine."
I often tell dating or engaged couples I'm counseling that I never really knew that I was selfish until I got married. And I never really knew the depths of my selfishness until I had children. The early stages of marriage began to slowly create new awareness in me: "Uh, this is not so much about just me anymore." Then with the arrival of children and their absolute disregard for my needs or my time, I was shocked to realize just how much it was truly not about me. The depth of my selfishness, desire for comfort, and concern about others' approval has been unearthed as a result of my journey into fatherhood. Periodically I have moments of devastation when I'm confronted with the evil roots in my heart as they are exposed in my failures as a parent.
[Read the rest of the article at The Gospel Coalition.]