THE INCREASE: Beginning to Comprehend – Chris Maragos

We couldn’t be more excited to have welcomed our third child — our daughter, Cambria Rose — into our family on Oct. 16.

The whole process of having a baby is wild. There’s a baby growing inside the mother for nine months; meanwhile, God is knitting this incredibly special life together. Then, finally we get to hold this baby in our arms and present her to the world. It’s unbelievable to think about all that’s happened to get this baby to the place she is today. Just think about the miracle of the heart functioning and all her organs developing — it’s mind-boggling! How can anyone witness this and not believe in a Creator God?

Being a father is a very humbling process. Knowing God has entrusted these kids to us — that we are their overseers — is a huge responsibility. My wife and I get to build into them, edify them, lift them up, help them grow, and point them to Christ. I can feel the heavy weight all this entails. I know the highs and lows of having two young kids (now three). Parenting is a refining process as we need to selflessly focus on the needs of our kids while continually being humbled by our own imperfections. I fall short frequently and often need to ask for forgiveness both of them and of God.

Each one of our three kids has a very unique personality and I love watching how God has gifted each one with a unique purpose and plan. Our oldest son is super smart — the intellectual. At 6 years old, he knows every score of every football or basketball game that happens. Our second son at 3 years old has such great strength and yet is so tender-hearted. He really encompasses both ends of the spectrum; I can tell he’s going to be a sort of Peter for us — a bit all over the place. Our newborn is a super sweet and very mild baby. Already we can see the tenderness in her spirit.

When you have kids of your own, you began to understand a little more clearly the great love the Father has for us. And yet, we never can fully comprehend the true depths of His love. By having the opportunity to love and discipline my kids, I’ve really grown in my own trust and reliance upon God. I realize that nothing is in my control. When bad things happen or situations don’t go my way, I can more easily accept the fact that God is in control and has a plan. Discipling my children often means situations won’t go the way they hoped they would. But I know the bigger picture, and even though I can’t fully explain that to them yet, they know I know what’s best for them. They might be upset for a while, but in the long run they’ll be grateful.

The same rings true for me and my relationship with the Lord. I need to trust Him, knowing He has a bigger purpose, and though I can’t always make sense of it at the time, I can trust Him because He loves me and has my best interests at heart.

Romans 8:28 says, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Having children has revealed to me the level of dependency I have on the Lord. Kids will test your patience, your selfishness, your generosity — everything. You’ll get a really good idea of where your heart is when you spend time with your kids. But you’ll also experience the incredible blessing it is to care for these precious lives God has entrusted to you. You may also be able to grasp a little bit more (if only slightly) of the great love and care of our Heavenly Father.

Chris Maragos

Chris Maragos is a special teams ace and safety with the Philadelphia Eagles and a regular contributor of The Increase, providing monthly articles and opinions.

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