How often have you thought, “I can’t do this?” Maybe during struggles in parenting, or marriage, or serving Christ these doubts arise. Jeremiah told God he couldn’t do what God was asking, but God had a different idea. “Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak” (Jeremiah 1:6-7).
If we look at ourselves, yes, of course, we are unable, but we need to look at an all sufficient, all powerful God. It is His grace, His strength and His knowledge that enables.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). What an incredible request for Paul to make of the Corinthians. He was confident that his example in following Christ would bear good fruit. Paul said something similar to the Philippians and the Thessalonians so his challenge to the Corinthians was not isolated.
Imagine with me for a moment: what if all pastors challenged their people like that? What would their church be like? Good or not so good? On fire sharing Christ? In the Word every day? What would the families be like? Children obeying their parents? All the children saved and reading the Word every day? Good, solid, respectful, happy?
Whoa, now take it a step further. Dads, what would the fruit be in our children’s lives if they followed our example? I ask not to put a guilt trip on anyone, but that we understand the weight of our example in the home. We will all fall short, just as Paul did in actuality. However, daily may we seek our Lord Jesus–to love and submit to Him. As He lives through us, we can be confident of the example set before our family.
“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14).
Decisions — we make hundreds of them each day. How blessed we are with freedom that allows us to make our own decisions.
Freedom might be best defined by what it cost to acquire it and what is done with it. Our freedom was expensive. It was bought by blood – the blood of servicemen and service women and the most precious blood of all, the blood Jesus Christ.
Are we using our freedom to do what we want or to do what we ought?
What will we have to show for our freedom when we stand before the Lord one day?
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not” (1 Corinthians 10:23).
Were you amazed when you read of how Aaron built the golden calf and then lied to Moses about it? I was! What was Aaron thinking of?
I couldn’t understand why Aaron suffered no consequences for his actions (Exodus 32). I have to wonder, though, if that golden calf didn’t eventually cost him his sons, Nadab and Abihu. Later we read that Nadab and Abihu took censers “and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord” (Leviticus 10:1-2).
Aaron’s sons were learning well the lessons of disobedience to God that their dad “taught” them as they observed his actions. Their disobedience required their lives.
As dads, our lives are impressed upon our families. That impression will be for good or for bad. You choose the outcome by your thoughts, words, and actions. May your life be the best impression possible—the image of Christ.
“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:10).
Raising godly children is a difficult, full-time job. It takes a great deal of time and effort. Will your future daughter-in-law be able to stay home with the children, or will she have to work full time? Will she want to homeschool the children?
The answer to those questions will likely be determined by how you raise your son and by the values you impress on his life. This affects the type of woman he is attracted to for his wife. In addition, it has much to do with the type of leadership he provides for his home. We must purpose to instill in our sons the desire to have their wives home nurturing their children. Now is the time to be working with our sons and developing them according to God’s Word and His leading. (excerpt from Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single Income Family)
“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD” (Proverbs 18:22),
You are so excited when your son’s eighth birthday arrives, you can hardly contain yourself. Your son opens the small box you give him, stares at what is inside, then picks it up with his thumb and forefinger. “What’s this?” You explain that it’s a whole ounce of pure gold and is very expensive. He continues to look at it. Then he asks, “But what can I do with it?” You now realize this expensive gift was a total flop. You were planning on giving him one each year and were sure it would kickstart his saving for a debt-free house.
A month later, you see him happily riding a new bike. Puzzled you ask, “Son, where did you get that bicycle?” He cheerfully replies, “Joey sold it to me.” “Where did you get the money for it?” His response, “My birthday present. I gave him my gold for the bike. Isn’t it great?” Glug.
Most dads understand how difficult it is to teach children the value of money. However, to teach our children to treasure what is of greater value is a difficult undertaking.
There is something far more important than teaching our children to value money – teach them to value time. Time gets us money and other things of value. We can always get more money, but time is vastly limited.
“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).
At a recent conference Teri and I were sharing about how critical it is to establish peace and order in the home. One dad turned to his wife and whispered to her, “Honey, that sounds like a really good system, but I love the way our home is running, so let’s just stay with what we have.” She smiled and whispered back, “Babe, we’re doing their system!”
“Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40).
If you look up someone on Wikipedia, you will find their birth date and date of death. Next will be a summary (slice) of their life.
How would the slice of your life read? How would it read if written by your wife? What about each of your children? What if a lost friend of yours wrote about you?
“If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors” (James 2:8-9).
Self-discipline is an ugly word with many today. The saying “I can resist anything but temptation” seems to be quite accepted. However, on the flip side, fans “Ooh and Aah” over the physique of athletes and ignore it was self-discipline that achieved those results.
Saying “No!” to things is critical and followed by the need to be able to say “Yes!” to the right things.
“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity” (2 Peter 1:5-7).
One morning in January of 2016, I dropped a kettlebell when exercising with Teri. Over a few years we had been progressing nicely in our “bell” routines but something had changed. My right forearm had been progressively getting weaker. Okay, I know it was supposed to be getting stronger but something wasn’t right. I was quite disappointed with this and felt if I couldn’t swing one safely, it was time to quit.
The weakness in my forearm was affecting even small things like mousing, eating and brushing my teeth. I hoped that given rest over time, it would return to normal. No success—disappointing.
Unbeknown to be, Teri did some Internet sleuthing and suggested I watch a video she found on forearm stretching. Over a few short weeks of stretching, I’m almost back to normal. Was the video the answer? Partially. Was it Teri’s love and concern? Partially. What was it? Prayer. We had been praying for months.
Every family is going to face challenges with no obvious answers. Pray, then as God gives direction/light, investigate. We seek His face in all things. As His children, He will never abandon or forsake us. If we suffer, we know He has a purpose, and we learn through it whatever comes. All things, always, work together for good—always. Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”