Category Archives: Seriously

What is Your Level of Confidence?

My heart breaks when I receive e-mails from dads who are in crisis mode. Often, the appearance is that these crises involve problems that likely could have been averted if Dad would rightly lead his family.

I have been sharing Seriously articles with you since March. The feedback has been that they are on target in challenging men as they lead their families. My goal is to keep them short so you will read them. I pray I have earned a level of confidence through what you have been reading in Seriously.

There is so much on my heart that I want you to know so that your family could avoid future heartbreak. I have already written much concerning this in four key books: Keeping Our Children’s Hearts, Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family, Redeeming the Time, and Buying a House Debt-Free: Equipping Your Son.

Will you allow me to get even more serious with you for a moment? I’m encouraging each one of you to check with your wife and see which of those books you already have. Then order the ones you don’t have, and systematically read them. We have audio versions available for two of them if you struggle with reading time, but please read them all.  Be men of action and lead. If you are committed to reading all four, e-mail me so I can pray for you.

Steve

“And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints” (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13).

We Have President Lincoln to Thank

He is the one who in 1863 proclaimed a national day of Thanksgiving and praise for our country. Some will truly make it a special day of proclaiming thanks to our Father in Heaven. Very likely the majority will not. But what about us?

How thankful are we? Do we require a special holiday to voice our gratitude to our Lord and Father? When our family hears us pray, do they know that our thanks come from the very depth of our heart and soul? How often does our family hear us thank our wife for all she does? Do we thank the children for their contributions? Thanking verbally is good, but writing it is even better. May we be good examples for our family in teaching them gratitude. I know I have a lot to learn, but I’m working on it.

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17).

Steve

Get Out of Dodge

When is the last time you read Song of Solomon? It sets forth quite the love and imagery. The love between a husband and wife is a beautiful gift from God. In the busyness of life, it is easy for the marriage relationship to lose its zest. Husband and wife go about life, manage their responsibilities, but forget the treasure they have in each other.

When is the last time you went away with your precious wife for some special time together? I remember one time in particular many years ago when I surprised Teri with a weekend away from home. She shed tears of joy and relief as the weight of her daily responsibilities was lifted from her shoulders for a few hours. It was a sweet time of talking and pampering her. Truly it was a delight for both of us.

May I encourage you to take your wife away somewhere very special? Show her how grateful you are for who she is and all she does. Most of all, l i s t e n to her heart.

Steve

“So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” (Ephesians 5:28-29).

What Voice Are You Listening To?

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105

I was at the Paris Nord subway station at peak transit time. With the sea of humanity flowing around me, I was trying to read the board and find my next train. A man spoke to me in English with a heavy French accent, “Where are you going?” I told him and he said, “I will show you the way because I’m going that way myself.” I thanked him and off we went in the direction I was intending to go anyway. We had not walked more than 50 feet when a French policemen stopped me and said, “Come with me.” This was not a request but a command. I quickly diverted my intended course and went with the policeman. After another 50 feet, he stopped me and said, “That man you were with is a known thief and was leading you into a trap where you would have been robbed.”

Today we are bombarded by a host of  “voices” from media and “friends” telling us what to do and how to live. Could they be setting traps so that they could rob us of God’s light in our lives and the lives of our families? Are you feeding on God’s Word personally, leading family Bible time every day, and obediently living for Christ Jesus?

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” John 14:21

Steve

P.S. I’m excited to see how God will answer our prayers on Monday the 17th! Thank you for allowing me to pray alongside of so many of you men.

Hungry Yet?

Do you have any challenges that you consider quite serious? Maybe you are struggling to lead daily Family Bible time. How have you sought answers? Have you prayed—I mean really prayed? Have you fasted and humbled yourself before the Lord?

Maybe you have never fasted from food for a day before. Maybe you haven’t had a brother who said he would come alongside you and fast with you. Even though I dislike fasting, I love fasting. I love to see my God reveal His will in response to a problem. There are some fasts in response to serious problems that are much longer than one day, but one day is a great beginning.

I’m excited to do a fast day with some of you brothers who read these Seriously articles. The fast day will be Monday November 17th. If you have a situation that is burdening you, and you are willing to fast over it, I’ll fast with you. Please respond here, if you want to be a part. I’ll email with specifics. Will you join me with other dads who want to see the Lord work in their homes? 

“But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:17-18).

Steve

Bob the Builder or Dan the Destroyer?

It takes months to build a house but only a day or two to tear it down and haul it away in a dump truck. It is so much easier to destroy than to build.

What consumes your thoughts—ways to build up and encourage your family and others or ways to tear them down? It takes no depth of character or life in Christ to be a destroyer. It is easy to criticize but harder to build up and encourage. One is fueled by pride (“I am so intelligent, spiritual and righteous, I can put you down”), while the other takes courage, strength, peace and security about “who you are in Christ Jesus.”

Criticism becomes easy. It’s the only thing some people seem to know how to do, and tearing down what others have built makes them feel good. “For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak” (Psalm 59:12). If you are a destroyer, repent—do something profitable.

If you have a destroyer troubling you, don’t give him a second thought. He isn’t worth your time. You have building to do with your time. Pursue the Lord Jesus with all your heart, soul, and mind, and be busy about His business. Be determined to build up your family in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Steve

Day of Reckoning

Remember this Seriously article? Character/Spiritual Link Discovered

Today is evaluation time. A man will do what is important to him. Are you ready to find out what is really important to you? Are your heart and mind set on things above (things that matter for eternity) or things below (provide short-term gratification)?

How many days out of the past seven did you have a quality personal time of reading the Bible and praying in the morning?
How many days did you lead family Bible time?
How much time did you spend with your wife?
How much time did you spend with your children?
How many times have you lusted for other women?
How many times have you deceived or lied?
What did you spend your time on?

The easy choices are seldom, if ever, the best choices.

“Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth. I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.” Psalm 26:2-5

Steve

Are You a Reliable Guide?

Paul said, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). If we encourage our children to follow our example, will they draw closer to Jesus or farther away? Would they read their Bibles more? Would they be more Christ-like? Would they have a greater concern for the lost?

Steve

 

What’s With the Numbers?

No doubt you’ve noticed the progression of numbers at the bottom of the last ten articles. I began with 3 numbers, 1, 2, and 8. The purpose was a visual demonstration of the reason why our country is now pagan.

The first number is 1 to the exponent x, second number is 2 to the exponent x, and last is 8 to the exponent of x, where x represents each passing generation. Each week the exponent was incremented by one indicating another generation passed.

Typically, we think of a generation as twenty years and so ten generations (exponent 10) would equal 200 years.

Now notice that the believer who reached and discipled just one other believer in his lifetime results in one believer actively sharing his faith in the tenth generation. The believer who reaches two others, with each having the same goal of reaching (and passing on) two more in their lifetime results in 1024 actively sharing their faith in the tenth generation.

However, the believer with a lifetime goal of reaching 8 others who would pass on the lifetime goal of reaching 8 more, in the tenth generation there would be 1,073,741,824 believers actively sharing their faith. That would have been more than the United States population of 350 million. In the next generation, the entire world would have been reached! Can we now see why the Christian faith has been imploding rather than exploding?

If God gave us another 200 years before Jesus’ return and we purposed to share our faith, can we see how things might be different?

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:19-20).

Note: My “2” column was one generation lagging beginning in the fifth generation and I corrected it in the tenth.

Steve

He’s a Hero to Me

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25). A man recently wrote asking for help for his wife. Seriously, I was so touched by his love for his wife that I almost wept. He understood his place before the Lord to love and protect his wife by helping her or seeking help. What a guy!

Contrast this man to the guy who told his wife he was tired of her and wasn’t sure he was going to stay married to her.

How serious are we about our wife’s joy, peace, and success? How committed are we to seeing her successful in all she sets her hand to? How deeply will we love her?

Steve

1                       1024                               1,073,742,000