Archive for the ‘ Fatherhood ’ Category

Fathers and Prayer

How to pray for your children?

  1. Consistently
  2. Constantly
  3. Fervently

You find when you are a parent that your children reflect many things about you that make you smile and many things that will make you weep.  Often I find I am most frustrated with my children at moments when they are acting just like me.  Praying for your children in their presence will not only have the affect of prayer but also of teaching them that prayer is important to you and therefore to them.

There have been many times when I had to go to my daughters and repent for my temper and I have more than once heard my daughter repenting in prayer on the baby monitor. (Yea I felt bad for eavesdropping but I was too touched to turn it off).  I don’t believe she would have done this if it had not been for the fact that she has seen me do it and had learned from me.

Fathers, understand that raising children up in discipline and instruction of the Lord means more than teaching them facts, but teaching them how to live as a disciple of Jesus, even if you are still figuring out what this means, as most of us are.  Both parents are called to raise children but as the head of your house the largest responsibility belongs to you.

We should pray for our children consistently, creating a pattern of prayer will help them to do so in their own life, making it as natural to their daily pattern as breathing, eating and sleeping.  That is why we pray over our meals, not only because we should be thankful for the fact that have more food than we can possibly eat but because it is good to build a pattern into your life until prayer becomes a habit.

You can not pray too much for your children, I took a tip from Matt Chandler and constantly pray that my children would be protected from my sins.  This isn’t a bad prayer for everyone.  I don’t want my children to learn from my anger issues or my pride; I want them to be spared from those issues if at all possible, I am sure they will have enough sin issues of their own without inheriting mine.

Realize that your prayers will have an affect on your children and will create a passion in you to pray for them.

If you would like a place to start, pray these scriptures over your children.

Numbers 6:24-26

Eph 1:17-23

Eph 3:14-20

Children are Kids Not Adutls

Have you ever had something in your head, you aren’t sure where it came from but it makes a difference in your life?

“Most of you didn’t want kids, you wanted little adults.”  I know it was Matt Chandler but I can’t remember most of the context where he said it but I do realize that is much of my problem.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to have kids when I got married, but I eventually came to want kids.  If I look back at my thoughts of what it would be like to have kids I think I was expecting little adults and not children.  I didn’t have any little kids around me growing up; I am the youngest in my family.  I didn’t really know what to expect from children but apparently it wasn’t reality.

Children are kids not adults.  They don’t have fully functioning brains they are not fully developed and don’t work like an adults. (duh)

Another thing along these lines that has stuck with me came from a former Pastor, Dave Diyanni.  When you are learning hot to discipline your children the bible talks a lot about foolishness but not about childishness and there is a difference.  In Bible terms foolishness isn’t just about being silly but a disobedient no God fearing idiot.  His example was that if a kid spills milk at the table because they were reaching for it and missed that is childish.  Their coordination sometimes fail, they didn’t realize it would stick to the rubber mat when they tried to drag it instead of picking it up.  You don’t discipline children for that.

If they are specifically told not to do something but are defying you and spill the milk then they should be disciplined, not for the spill but for the foolishness of defiance.

Parents think about your children as kids, they are not little adults they will screw up.  Or job is to help them to grow in the admonition of the Lord, to train them up in the way they should go but we can’t expect them to start off where we are.

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now am found
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
We have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

Later added anonymously:

When we’ve been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

This is the song I sing my girls to sleep with almost every night.  Amazingly, my oldest still hasn’t asked me what a wretch is but, she has asked why we will have “no less days to sing his praise”.  That she now seems to understand.  I didn’t grow up with more traditional kids songs like “Jesus Loves Me” so, I sing hymns, which I also didn’t grow up with but I like better.  I also hope it helps to tie them to the universal and timeless church.

My favorite stanza is the second.  I have recently felt as if God has revealed his Grace to me in an entirely new way and it has opened my eyes more and more to what grace truly means.

John Newton published this song in 1779 and it has been called his biography in verse.  I think that rings true to every Christian which is why the song has been around and popular for over 200 years.

Repenting to my kids

There is nothing more humbling than having to repent to your two and four year old.

Not twenty four hours after I spent the day at a Conference dedicated to helping Men be more Godly I snapped at both of my little girls and my wife in major way.  I will be completely honest and let you know I have a temper.  It usually takes a lot to push me to the point where I snap but when I do it is embarrassing.

Sunday afternoon I snapped and startled both of my little girls.  They were crying and I was mortified.  I went downstairs and took them in my arms as I asked them to forgive me.  I explained, more to my oldest, that I had sinned in my anger and I was wrong.  She answered the way she always does, “It is OK daddy, I forgive you” I then asked her to pray for me that God would help me to control my temper.

I hope in this way my daughters can see that I am a sinful imperfect human being saved by the grace of God just as they are.  I hope to model repentance to them but maybe not about the same things all the time.

Thoughts?

Act Like Men

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.”
1 Corinthians 16:13

Act Like Men is a one-day conference in Columbus, Ohio that exists to rally and challenge men to live into Paul’s call for Gospel transformation in every aspect of their lives. This event features local and national speakers addressing what it means to Act Like Men. Key topics will include: personal responsibility and leadership in their homes, families, churches and culture; Godly use of time, finances and resources.

As any of my friends will tell you I have a certain passion for seeing males stop being boys and start acting like men.  I helped to start a site dedicated to looking at why men hate going to church and how we can more affectively minister to men in this way.

Act like Men will kick off tomorrow at 9.  I will be tweeting and doing some live blogging although I am a volunteer so I hope I can have the time to write as well.  If you are interested there is a live video stream being set up.  Just tune in early (9:00am EST) and you can hear 400 men worshiping the LORD in a serious way.

What a stange encounter

Heather and I had a very strange encounter last weekend.  We had decided to get my free birth day burger at a local restaurant and after asking to be moved away from the door and the negative wind chill we sat with the girls quietly waiting for our food to arrive.  It took a little longer than we though but nothing really unusual happened.

When suddenly the couple in the booth behind me got up and the gentleman turned to our table and said “I just want to commend you both on being such excellent parents.”

I was shocked, and humbled all at the same time.  I quickly thought through all that I had done with Alora since we sat down but couldn’t think of anything remarkable that would entice this man to walk up to two perfect strangers and remark on their child rearing.

We expressed our gratitude and talked about the couples three grand children before saying our good byes.  Heather and I stared at each other almost with tears in our eyes.  We try to be very deliberate in how we raise our children but never think we are doing well enough because we see all of our flaws.  But it is wonderful to hear from someone else that you are doing a good job.

Am I to much of a freak?

My wife grew up listening to a series of records staring Psalty the singing song book and because of her love for this series she has purchased them for my daughter and Alora loves them.  I however do not.  I dislike them, not in the same way I do all of the other kids shows but because this “Christian” character teaches bad doctrine.  One of the songs chorus goes “With Jesus I’ll do my best he’ll do the rest,” it is talking about things like climbing a mountain using Phil 4:13 as the refrain.

I want my daughters to realize that you can do nothing on your own.  Our total inability keeps us from pleasing God on our own.  It isn’t about some sort of moralism where we do our best and Jesus makes up the delta in our righteousness.  We are completely incapable of doing any thing in the way of righteous and it is only because of the imputed righteousness of Christ that we are acceptable in the eyes of God.  Much like our beloved vegetable shaped characters they only teach that you have to be good.  It is a moralism that will damn you to hell just as fast as any unrepentant sin.  As my friend Scott said “There is a non-smoking virgin section of hell” and without the Gospel far too many “Christians” are heading there.

Am I being too much of a freak?  Or should I be worried that I am setting a poor foundation that I will have to rebuild later?