You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Family’ category.

Kevin DeYoung has a great little post about Valentine’s day, particularly in his advice to married couples. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud when I read the following regarding pursuing your wife:

Words are wonderful, but pursuit may be even more powerful. Now listen, guys, don’t get all weird and stalker-like. Remember, you should pursue her as she likes to be pursued, not as you do.

DeYoung has a quirky, tell-it-like-it-is sense of humor that I absolutely resonate with deep in my bones. Maybe you didn’t find it as funny. Nonetheless, check out the whole post. It short, instructive and encouraging.

Advertisements

Tonight during dinner with my family I was talking to Emeline (5) about her lack of understanding regarding our instruction leading to disobedience (I didn’t phrase it quite like that). She turned to me in complete exasperation and desperation and said, “I guess I am just going to go to hell. I can’t be good enough to go to heaven.”

Honestly, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, shout “Hallelujah!” or “Don’t say that!”. How can someone utter such dreadful words and frame them with such cute sincerity? Oh, but how close to the Kingdom she might be if the truth of her words takes root in her heart!

It was a wonderful opportunity to tell her that she is exactly right. She can’t be good enough to go home to heaven with Jesus. No one can. I told her that this is precisely why she needs Jesus. Jesus must be her “goodness” (i.e., righteousness) and he died upon the cross, taking upon her sin, so that she might receive his “goodness” and be adopted as a daughter of God. She continued to talk about how “sinful my heart is” and that she “believed in Jesus”. Tonight she told me that she wanted me to pray for her that she would trust Jesus more and soon become a Christian.

And, so, that is precisely what I am praying. We are eager to see the Spirit at work and the seeds of the Gospel taking root in her heart while bringing forth life. If you think of her this week, join us in praying for Emeline.

Russell Moore posted an insightful article about the potentially devastating impact that unsupervised and unfiltered text-messaging may be having on the souls of pre-teen and teenagers.  Moore writes:

A pre-teen or a teenager with unrestricted cell-phone usage (or Internet or television consumption) is being placed in a very, very difficult place of temptation. The company of that young man or woman is now away from the scrutiny of parents, and is now left only to his or her discretion or conscience.  Are there some young Christians who can handle such? Of course. Should you assume your child is one of them? Your Father is more careful of you than that.

Moore’s point is helpful. Cell phones themselves, and the easy-access world of text-messaging, aren’t inherently sinful modes of communication. They can, however, become a toxic host for an abundance of sinful habits. Read the rest of this entry »

One of the college students at my church recently asked me an excellent question.

I want to start preparing myself to be the kind of guy that can lead a godly household.  I know that I can begin praying prayers to the extent, but is there anything else I can do? My biggest fear regarding marriage is being a husband that does not love and serve his family the way that I should. Is their anything I can do to start preparing, even now as a college freshman?

It is pretty insightful and encouraging that this young man realizes that the road to becoming a godly husband and father begins well before our wedding day. Here is a summary of my response to him. I hope that you find it thought-provoking, challenging and sanctifying, particularly if you are a man. Read the rest of this entry »

The Byrnes Rebels are a national high school football power, in part, because of Bobby Bentley. Bentley lead Byrnes to a 107-52 record over 12 seasons. While serving as the head coach they won 4 consecutive AAAA State titles (2002-2005) before leaving to take over as the head coach at his alma mater, Presbyterian College. Byrnes began this season ranked as the No.1 high school team in America by USA Today. They finished this season 15-1 and won their 6th state title in 7 seasons.

Bobby Bentley’s dream was to be a head coach at the college level, a dream realized when he became the head coach at his alma mater. But being a coach at the college level was more demanding than Bentley anticipated and he began feeling the unrelenting tension between being a committed football coach and a godly husband and father. Yesterday Bentley did something that flies in the face of the narcissitic worldof college football.He walked away from his dream, from an opportunity to advance his career, and from the chance to make a name for himself. And he did it all for the sake of his family.

“The personal challenge to me was to balance being a father and husband with being a successful college coach. The challenge was difficult. The last two years was a trying time for me to be a father and Biblical leader of my household when I’m not at home.”

“You never know until you’re in the college (coaching) profession about the demands of your time,” he said. “You’re pulled in a lot of directions. I was basically a dad during the summer. I don’t want my kids to grow up and say that their dad was a good football coach. I want them to say their dad was a good father and good husband.”

Bentley’s decision brings into focus what should be priority number one for every Christian husband and father. Part of the command to make provision for our families involves our presence in their lives. It is not enough to simply provide the comforts and luxuries of consumer products. This isn’t the essence of what it means to lead a family. Biblical leadership involves a presence that provides, nurtures, disciples, instructs, rebukes, loves, and disciplines those underneath our authority. These can’t happen if what it means to be a godly husband and father is reduced to the disposable income his career provides. I applaud Bobby Bentley for discovering and acting on what matters most, knowing that it meant recognizing that our dreams can often become idols that require the sacrifice of our families in order to be appeased.

A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion (Proverbs 18:2).

Communication is a critical element in any relationship. However, communication implies a two-way conversation. One of the things I’m learning about myself is that in my communication I often want an audience, not an equal participant. In other words, what I love is my own voice and my own opinion more than I long to gain understanding in my relationships. At the root of this foolishness is the sin of pride.

Proverbs 18: 2 reveals several important (and destructive) truths about pride:

  • Pride loves to talk, and at the heart of this talk is self-exaltation.
  • Pride is quite content with what it already knows.
  • Pride assumes that I already understand everything I need to know since I take no pleasure in understanding.
  • Pride assumes that I don’t need help.
  • Pride denies what the gospel reveals about my fallen condition (Proverbs 10:19).
  • Pride sinfully prejudges the response of others to what I am saying because of my failure to listen in response to all of my words. It assumes that what will be said in response is of no benefit to me.

If you are interested in learning more about this issue and the appropriate response to this issue (which is humility), I encourage you to read chapter four titled “Relational Intimacy” in Gary & Betsy Ricucci’s book Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace.

I recently read a post castigating Mark Driscoll for his thoughts about the relationship between the nuclear family – particulary his family because he is a pastor – and the church. Driscoll said:

“There is no office such as pastor’s wife or pastor’s children and I work very hard to ensure that our family remains our top priority over the church. Too many pastors put their ministry above their family and their wives and children get active in the church just so they can be close to their husband/daddy which is tragic. We have a normal fun family life and by God’s grace my wife and kids love Jesus, me and our church.”

I interpret Driscoll to mean that too many ministers sacrifice their families on the altar of ministry. The Scriptural reality set before the husband and father is that he is responsible for the sanctification of his wife through the washing of the water of the Word (Eph 5:25-29) as well serving as the primary discipler of his children (Deut 6:4-9).

However, this post accused Driscoll of “idolatry of the family”. Read the rest of this entry »

One of the arguments against adoption rights for gay and lesbian couples is the fear that nurturing children in a homosexual environment will encourage homosexuality in children raised in this particular environment. Devin and Geoffery, a gay couple who resides in Seattle, Washington, recently adopted 2 four year-old twin boys and their 3 year-old sibling. MSNBC ran an article today about their journey into parenthood and their goals for their boys. In the attached audio file to the article one of the parent’s says the following:

They [Zeth, Zayn and Zack] are goiing to be who they are going to be, no matter what we do or don’t do with them.

This is probably standard argument for those who argue for a biological cause of homosexuality. But let me ask this question: If young Zeth suddenly begins exhibiting destructive pathological behaviors that may or may not be triggered by a biological or chemical cause in his body, behaviors that are trigger by exposure to certain kinds of violent media, do you think that Devin and Geoffrey will sit idly by as parents and watch Zeth walk down a path to destruction, a path that will certainly bring harm to himself and perhaps others, simply because Zeth is “going to be who [he] is going to be, no matter what [we] do with [him]”. Certainly not, or at least if they do, they are demonstrating a lack of care and concern for their son’s emotional, spiritual and physical well-being.

Discuss. Is it true that people will be who they are going to be regardless of the kind of nurturing and instruction that takes place in their lives?

I wish I could think of a shorter title for this post. In the comments below Winnie asked if I thought one’s view about corporate worship as it pertains to children (whether or not corporate worship should be fully-integrated – meaning the church does not provide any form of childcare during corporate worship) is a sin issue. In the passage quoted in the post “All the Assembly…Even Little Ones” from Joshua 8, we see that when Joshua gathered together the people of God for covenant renewal, he did not make distinctions about who was and wasn’t welcome. The assumption was that the curses and blessings of God’s Law applied to those who had aligned themselves with God’s chosen people either by choice (alien sojourners) or birth (children). From this perspective it would be sinful to deny children the opportunity to hear God’s Word when His people gather.

But that isn’t really the issue here. Read the rest of this entry »

Last week the question was posed, “Do young children have an appropriate place within the corporate worship gathering?” Opinions on this issue surely vary. Infants, toddlers and even preschoolers struggle to engage in and understand corporate worship. The length of most corporate worshipers services is difficult for young children to manage. The ability of parents to focus during worship can be hindered by wiggling children full of questions and complaints. Furthermore, why should we bring children into worship when we have the opportunity to disciple and instruct them in their level? If we have willing, loving, Jesus-fearing adults who want to care for children in the nursery and in children’s church so mom and dad can worship with undivided attention and affections, why shouldn’t we provide this service to our families (of course, the assumption presupposes that every parent enters the corporate worship gathering anticipating hearing from the Lord and desiring to worship Jesus in his greatness and majesty)?

There are many complexities to consider regarding this issue. Here are just a few: Read the rest of this entry »