But perhaps this sensitivity to the "normal" family experience of marriage at 21 with five kids by age 30 (five is the new two) has given us some perspective that may have escaped the Normals. It came to me this Sunday while sitting behind a family with six or seven kids and listening to the pastor talk about the things we sacrifice to God's agenda. He was talking about how the disciples had ambition for the wrong thing---power in an earthly kingdom. He went on to apply that faulty expectation to misplaced ambitions in our lives: wealth, power, and fame. He clarified that these things are not inherently, incurably wrong, and some devoted Christians do indeed gain wealth, power, and fame. But he spoke of the lust for them, the chasing after them, the have-to-have-them, the sum-total-of-my-being, as being the problem. He quoted David Powlison: "good gifts, bad gods." True, powerful, and convicting words. And it struck me that those examples---wealth, power, fame---are primarily idolized by men. Sure, women may want some of those things. But more often men fantasize about being the richest guy, the prodigy in their field, wielding power and influencing people, being known and respected. A family may support him off to the side, but he's longing for the accolades, the respect, the riches. But I found myself, while he described the feelings of idolatry---the sense that this is my whole life, this is what I live for, this is what I dream of, this is what completes me and gives me significance---thinking that, for me, this is family. This stuff of many women's fantasies includes an adoring, faithful spouse; attractive, obedient kids; people who depend on you, love you, give you a reason to get out of bed, regularly stand up and sing your praises. And it is idolatry, just like money, power, and fame. It's the thing that causes the mom in your women's Bible study to post the 67th picture of her daughter's birthday party on Facebook. It's the reason for the magazine-quality family pictures all over the house. It's why the mother-of-the-bride obsesses about her daughter's wedding and treats it like a part-time job. It's (at least in part) why Christmas letters get sent and then end up making their recipients feel mad and competitive.