The challenge is this: My oldest daughter and her 5-year-old son are living with us while her son's dad is deployed to Afghanistan. I home school my kids and the youngest is 12, so having a 5-year-old in the house is a challenge all by itself. There is extra noise and extra chaos; and this is a lot of extra work on my part - emotional work that I don't feel up to.
How does my theology play into this? In several ways:
1. I must keep my relationship with my daughter as a priority. This means I might have to overlook some inconveniences and allow her to "go first" in the kitchen, etc.
2. I must keep my relationship with my grandson as a priority. This means I have to remember my role and place in his life & not usurp his mom's authority.
3. I must keep school as consistent as possible for my 3 kids who are still in school. This means I can't allow 2 new people in the house to disrupt school any more than is necessary. So, I have to get a little bold & ask my daughter to conduct phone business in her room so as not to disturb the boys' studies in the dining room (which is where we home school). I also must retain discipline in their lives so that they learn to give and sacrifice, too. But, at the same time, my relationship with each of them is also a priority, so I can't sacrifice that and they need to see that they are still a priority even with the added people living here. And I have to accomplish this while making dinner, or folding laundry, or schooling them, because moms do not get to take sabbaticals.
4. First and foremost, I have to keep in mind my objective as a believer in Jesus Christ. At the end of the day, I want to lie down with a clear conscience, knowing that I've done right by my family, to the best of my ability, and also done right in the sight of God.
As I think of my challenge in a theological way, it's easier to bear, although it's still a challenge and very stressful.
Theologically speaking, nothing about God changes when our circumstances change. This realization is representative of how theology influences my life. It's not about ME; it's not about THEM. It's about HIM. The verse which comes to mind on this one is Hebrews 13:8 - "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever." Praise the Lord, HE never changes. So, I will rest in this: that HE never changes, no matter how much my daily circumstances change. And my main focus, even in all this chaos and uncertainty, will be the Lord Jesus Christ, and not myself, my family or my current challenges. Just Him.