No growing occurs, however, without the realization that we cannot progress in our faithfulness to God without the supernatural work of the Spirit. This acknowledgment keeps us from pride in our maturity, or from too hasty judgment of others’ spiritual condition. For instance, I can be tempted to take pride in my parenting by virtue of my children’s wonderful record of scholarship and conduct. However, I may learn upon my entry into heaven that the reason God so blessed me was that my faith was too weak to have persevered with the more troubled children of other Christian parents (whom I too frequently judge for the apparent failings). The challenges of raising a child are as much for the sanctification of the parents as they are for the benefit of the child. Perhaps this is the reason that childbearing and rearing come so early in our adult life cycle. Growing families are God’s pressure cooker to mature many of us quickly for the spiritual trials that he knows are ahead. Only the Spirit knows what is best for the spiritual nurture of each individual, and he matures us by means natural and supernatural that will be fully revealed to us only in glory. Our cause for rejoicing now, however, is faith that our union with Christ makes available to us the work of the Spirit that enables us to change.