Category Archives: family

Biblical Principles for Godly Fathers

For more than two-and-a-half years my wife and I tried to conceive.  (If you’re interested in the amazing story, my wife has blogged about it here.)  As soon as we found out we were pregnant my wife bought a book about what to expect during pregnancy – for me, not her!  I admit – I read the book and found it helpful.  As her pregnancy progressed I decided that I needed to also read about being a good father, not just a supportive husband during pregnancy.  But before asking for recommendations or searching for the perfect book, I spent some time reflecting, meditating on biblical and practical principles that truly reflect the essence of biblical fatherhood.

Bryan & KatieAs I spent a few evenings and late nights thinking about what I wanted for my daughter and, more importantly, what God wanted out of me, I came up with eleven principles. The list might have been longer, but just last week my daughter Addison made her grand entrance two weeks early!

Most of you are not new parents.  But these principles can serve as a challenge or a reminder of what God demands of fathers.

1- I will display the love of Christ in my home in a way that draws her to Him and doesn’t portray a distorted view of God the Father.  While Ephesians 5:25 is specifically related to the husband-wife relationship, the command to display Christ-like love in the home has impacts beyond this relationship. I pray that my love is an example of Christ’s love for her and her mother.

2- I will love her mother more than anyone on earth (even more than her) and devote prayer, time, and effort to this relationship, striving to ensure her mother & father are always together.  I could quote statistics about the high school dropout rate or incarceration rate for single-parent children.  But these statistics do nothing more than affirm God’s perfect plan as stated throughout scripture, including Genesis chapter 1 and chapter 2.  God created the marriage relationship for one man and one woman for life, and protecting my marriage relationship is directly in my daughter’s best interest.

3- I will place my family in the penultimate place on my list of priorities, behind only my personal relationship to Christ and above my career.  As an attorney, my career can demand a lot of time and effort.  While the two are not mutually exclusive, if I have to choose between being a great attorney and a great father, I’d much rather be a great father.

4- I will keep my family under the authority of a local assembly of Christian believers, aiming to expose her to the gospel and godly role models from the earliest time possible.  God ordained the family, but He also ordained the church.  I cannot fulfill the biblical role of a father without ensuring my family regularly attends and participates in a church that preaches and teaches the doctrine of Christ.  No matter how busy life gets, church must remain a priority.

5- I will be the godly father she needs, basing my life decisions on the Word of God and her and her mother’s needs.  Selfishness kills many marriages, and selfishness also impacts children.  Basing decisions on God’s Word takes my desires out of the picture.  And, according to I Timothy 5:8, providing for your family’s needs is extremely important.  In fact, if I do not, God declares that I am worse than an infidel!

1084540_10153106929445215_808328346_o6- I will follow biblical commands when disposing of my resources, understanding that if I continue to put God first in my finances, He will ensure all her needs are met.  Understanding that a new life is completely reliant on me and that my decisions will now directly impact her well-being could be overwhelming.  However, because of promises like Matthew 6:33 and Philippians 4:19, I don’t have to be overwhelmed.  All I have to do is make God first in my finances (which takes a great deal of faith!) and rely on Him to keep His promise.

7- I will exert maximum effort each day, at work and at home, endeavoring to bring glory to God and provide for her needs (and, Lord-willing, a few wants).  Giving 100% effort in 100% of the areas of your life 100% of the time is a simply recipe for success – but it is by no means simple.  My preeminent motivation is, and should be, to please God and bring glory to Him.  And an important by-product will be that my family’s needs are met.

8- I will stay engaged in the political process and continue to influence my community, ensuring that she grows up in an environment that is as wholesome and safe as possible. Complaining about “just how bad things have gotten” or the direction of the country is easy, but it accomplishes nothing.  On the other hand, speaking up for righteousness at every opportunity, impacting the next generation for the Lord, and voting in national, state, and local elections do make a difference.  I can’t personally choose the next President or hand-pick every student that will share a class with my daughter.  But there are things I can do impact my country and community, and I will do them.

9- I will care for my physical body, knowing that this is ultimately for both her and my good.  Being a good steward of my body will enable me to be involved in her life for as many years as possible.

10- I will provide for her long-term needs in acknowledgment of the reality that her life will likely survive mine, investing in adequate life insurance and expressing my wishes in written, legally-binding will.  I’m not an insurance broker, nor am I a financial or estate planner.  But I believe each father has the responsibility to provide for his family in life and in death.  And with the advent of technology, preparing a will or getting advice for life insurance has never been simpler or less expensive.

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11- I will not allow her to engage in activities or relationships that are not in the best interest of her spiritual, physical, social, or emotional well-being.  The epidemic of “friend parents” is disturbing, if for no other reason than the perceived need to make a child like them, often at the expense of the child’s true best interest.  Understanding that my role is foremost that of taking care of my daughter’s long-term wellbeing is important to keep in mind.

I can’t say this list is absolutely exhaustive, but I believe it represents the core of what God expects in a father.  Do you agree?  If not, what “principles” would you add, or how would you revise those above?  I welcome your comments below, or through Twitter.  Follow me, then tweet with hashtag #BiblicalPrinciplesForGodlyFathers.  May the Lord help me, and may the Lord help you, in being the father that He desires!

Article by Bryan Likins

@bmlesq

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True Treasure

Estate (ist`eit) n.
a landed property. The whole of a person’s property, including real estate and personal estate.

This weekend my family attended the estate auction of my grandmother, Beulah Irene Deckard. There were thirty-two acres with a small house and barn. Furniture sat empty along the walls of the living room and bedroom forming a line of memories out the back door into the yard where there were two tents with tables supporting boxes upon boxes of stuff; much of which I did not remember.

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There were several things that would make the people on those antique reality shows drool. I smiled at the thought as my wife and I walked along the tables looking at everything. But then it happened…we walked by a box of wooden shelves and I saw the crescent moon with a stairwell going from one landing at the bottom of the moon to a landing at the top. There were two of them that hung on the walls holding the small knick-knacks that Beulah’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren had made over the years. The sight of the moons that hung on the walls, among countless pictures, waiting to greet us every time we would visit was too much. I lost it. Just as I was able to turn away and choke back most of the tears, we walked toward the tables (plural) of quilts my grandmother had sown by hand.

After the auction was well underway and the real estate had sold, I stepped into the house and found the new owners standing in the kitchen. The wife remarked, as she closed the oven door, how Beulah was known for her cooking, “But this stove looks almost new.” The tears started flowing again as I smiled, “It is. She wore the other one out.”

Matthew 6: 19-21 says, Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. When I thought of that scripture, I realized the quilts and meals my grandmother’s hands had made for so many years were never her treasures…we were. Anyone who received either from her was given a gift of abundant love. Her family knew the Gospel because her husband was a preacher. They understood the Gospel because she lived it.

As it turned out, I was able to see my grandmother the day before she died. We had gone down to visit with her in the nursing home. When my mother was ready to leave, she took my youngest daughter and walked outside. I stayed behind another minute because I wanted to pray. When I finished, Granny looked over at me and said, “I want to go home.” That was the first time I had ever cried for my grandmother, because when I looked into her eyes, I was sure she didn’t mean her little house in Gamiel, Kentucky.

In the end, Beulah Irene Deckard left this moth and rust riddled world with her treasures in the right place. We left the auction with a few quilts, two moon shelves, and a lot of memories. But the tears I am wiping away from my face as I write this have a lot of joy in them. You see, I have one more treasure waiting for me in Heaven. I love you Granny and I can’t wait to come home.

 

Article by C.S. Depew

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Want a Better Marriage? The Answer Is Surprisingly Simple – Part 2

side-coupleRead Part 1 first.

Jesus loved the church first; Jesus loves even when His love is not reciprocated; He loves unconditionally; and He loves eternally.  There are also many characteristics of His love.  I’ve outlined a couple below, those that I believe are the most important for us, as Christian husbands, to remember.  Jesus’ love is a…

Calvary Love

You might be thinking “Ok, I’m good here.  Even my wife would admit that I would die for her.”  Sorry to burst the proverbial bubble, but there is so much more to Calvary than Christ’s death.  Calvary was the culmination of Christ’s life; it was the crescendo to a life of sacrifice.  Christ left Heaven to become a man; we must be willing to take on things we might believe are “below us.”  In the Garden, Christ submitted His will to that of His Father.  We must also fully submit to the Father’s will for us as husbands, even when it is outside our comfort zone.  The sacrifice associated with true Calvary love will result in humility, in willingness to serve, and ultimately in sacrifice.  Are you willing to give up your dreams, your career, and yourself to better your marriage?

Curing Love

Sometimes the answers to the world’s most-asked questions seem too simple.  If you want to be successful, work hard!  If you need to lose weight, eat less and exercise more.  If there are struggles in your marriage – whether they appear to be caused by you or your wife – exercise Biblical love.  There are long-standing problems that might have been festering for years, but the first step in strengthening your marriage is loving your wife like you have been commanded.  God created marriage; He understands you and your wife perfectly; and He has commanded husbands to set the tone in the marriage with love.  I am firmly convinced that the overwhelming majority of problems in Christian marriages could be solved if husbands really and truly would love their wives as they are commanded, as Jesus loves the church.

Article by Bryan Likins

@bmlesq

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Want a Better Marriage? The Answer Is Surprisingly Simple – Part 1

When our nation has a divorce rate that exceeds 50%, I think it is safe to say that many either are or should be asking how to have a better, stronger marriage.  I do believe people are looking for answers.  For example, a search of Half.com for books on “marriage” yields more than 23,000 hits!  These books were written to fill demand created by people searching for books on the topic.  But rather than filling out an online quiz, attending couples’ therapy, or reading a dozen books, I believe the answer to most problems in most marriages is quite simple.  It is time for Christian husbands to get back to Biblical basics.  It is time for us to understand and fulfill the role God has designed for us, as defined in Ephesians 5:25-31.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

couple-arguing

I am a relatively young man, still south of 30.  Though we do not pretend to have a perfect marriage, in our almost 9 years of marriage, my wife and I have attempted to fulfill the role of husband and wife as commanded in Ephesians chapter 5.  The most accurate description I have heard for the husband’s role is “loving dominion” and for the wife’s role is “influential submission.”  Almost every reader of this blog likely knows the word for love used in this passage is agape, or God-like love, yet many men fail at this basic task – loving like Christ.   His love is a…

Causing Love 

As I John 4:19 puts it, “We love him, because he first loved us.”  Similarly, when we display Christ-like love to our spouse, we create a desire within our spouse to reciprocate.  This is basic, but it is important.  And it is important because it places the burden on the husband to create an atmosphere of love in the home.  This also means that if there is a lack of love in our relationship it is squarely our fault!  But be careful not to love or care for your spouse in order to create a sense of indebtedness or obligation.  Rather, love in order to lay the proper foundation for your marriage.   Would your wife say that you create an atmosphere of love in your marriage?

Calming Love

In order to properly respond to problems your wife or marriage might experience, you must react in a spirit of love.  I John 4:8 says that “[t]here is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear[.]”  Whether it is a problem your wife is experiencing at work, an issue with the kids, or a financial difficulty that seems to be out of your control, confronting the problem with an attitude of love will be calming.  More than knowing that “you have all the answers,” you have a “plan,” or you have the money to pay that bill, your wife needs to know you love her unconditionally.  She must know that, despite how enormous the issue seems while you’re in the midst of the storm, you are there to help her get through it – and you always will be.  Do you approach each marital challenge you face with an attitude of love?

Article by Bryan Likins

@bmlesq

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Do You REALLY Care about Your Family?

Do you care about your spouse? Does it matter to you what your children will become? Not what they will do for work – but who they will be – what they will become.

What legacy you are leaving for your grandchildren?

Happy family preparing a healthy dinner at home.

In our parenting journey, Sarah and I have noted essentials for healthy families. Every family can do these!

Discover and pursue their dreams

If you are spending significant quality time with family members, then it’s likely that you are intimately familiar with their ambitions, passions, and dreams. And when you are, you can help them fulfill those dreams.

Nearly every day I do something or say something to help my wife and children take the next step in the pursuit of their passions.

This is important – these are not MY dreams for them. Rather I’m encouraging them to pursue the calling and the passion that lies within them.

Consequently, I must regularly assess my understanding of their dreams as they evolve. And I must evaluate my motivations for challenging them to move forward.

Independence

This area was particularly challenging for me because of my tendency to be too engaged in most everything.

I’m a problem-solver. So I naturally want to fix problems – some before they even occur.

But my problem-solving occasionally robs others of valuable life experiences. So I’ve had to learn to back off of problem-solving and allow others to grow through their experiences.

When Madison was very young I began allowing her more and more freedom to make healthy decisions – decisions about spending and saving, planning family trips, getting involved in athletics, doing chores.

This week she told Sarah and me about a product that she’d like to invent and how she plans to do it. Another evening she drafted a simple plan for a business she’d like to start.

In reality, she often falls short of her ambition. And that’s ok – because failing facilitates growth.

I want those closest to me to know that I believe in their dreams. And I want them to know that I will do everything possible to support them. More than anything, I want to challenge them to follow their calling with abandon.

Pursue spirituality

I’m not sure if it’s your style or not – but Sarah and I encourage Madison to pursue spirituality. As a result, she loves church. She loves to read Scripture. She loves to pray with us…

Over the past 2 months our family has experienced a significant transition which included moving 1300 miles to a new home and community. So our schedules got all out of whack.

Prior to our transition we’d been praying with Madison every night. (We pray at other times throughout the day too – but our bedtime prayers have become a special time for us.)

This week we’re finally getting back into a routine. So last night I laid down with Madison to pray. She went first – “God, I know we haven’t prayed in a while…” Whoops!

I love that she understands the importance of faith and that it plays a significant role in her life.

It’s a non-negotiable, a top priority for us.

This post is part of the series – Non-Negotiables For a Healthy Family
Part 1: Family – It Doesn’t Have to be This Way

Question: What non-negotiable would you add to the list? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Article by Michael Nichols

@michaelenichols

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Family – It doesn’t have to be this way!

The most heart-breaking stories are those of broken homes and fractured relationships. There’s one reason – because in most instances they’re avoidable.

Broken Home

This post is part of the series – Non-Negotiables For a Healthy Family
Family – It Doesn’t Have to be This Way
Do You REALLY Care About Your Family?

This past week I was told of two families who are navigating incredibly challenging circumstances. In one household, the father has a history of abuse and the family has had enough. In the other, one parent was convicted of embezzling funds in the workplace and is serving a long-term prison sentence leaving behind a spouse and 3 precious daughters.

It didn’t have to be this way

These unfortunate situations are the direct result of bad decisions. They’re avoidable! And many similar situations (not all that different from yours and mine) are avoidable too.

But – and this is the difference-maker – it will require you to be more purposeful than you’ve ever been.

It’s not enough to deal with life as it happens. It’s not enough to succeed in your career and expect home life to work itself out. It won’t be enough to send your children to the best schools your money can buy. Taking them to church won’t be enough. It’s simply not fair to expect your spouse and children to keep it together when your behaviors demonstrate that family is not a priority.

So – if you’ve ever cared about your spouse, what your children will become, what you are leaving for your grandchildren, or what matters most to those who love you most – now’s the time to really do something about it!

Here are 2 essentials for healthy families – and you CAN do them. Everyone can…

1. Time

Sarah and I spend a significant amount of time with Madison and Andrew. And we love it. I’ve previously written about spending time with our children – you can read about it here.

But there was a time when I didn’t. Not because I didn’t want to. Not because I didn’t care. Not because I didn’t love them. I simply had not made home life a high enough priority to elicit a change in my behavior.

It’s true – to most people love is spelled t-i-m-e. Our children love our time together with them. So last night I laid down with Madison in her bed and talked about all kinds of “important” stuff.

A few moments ago, she walked in while I’m writing this post – I stopped and helped her buckle her sandals. And I’ll walk her to school this morning. Why? Because I have more time than the average dad? No – because she is a top priority for me.

If you’re like me, you’ll have to schedule significant time into your calendar for family or it won’t happen. At first it will feel forced because you’re changing old habits. But the longer you do it, you’ll get better at it and it will feel more natural.

2. Full attention

It’s one thing to spend time with a spouse, a son, a daughter, a grandchild. Yet I’m learning that HOW we spend the time together is far more important.

Are we fully engaged in the moment? Do they know that they have our undivided attention? Do they feel as if they are the most important person in the world during our moments together?

Or do they only get our undivided attention when we don’t have something more urgent to do?

Madison craves our undivided attention. For more than 7 years she was an only child. So she was regularly asking my wife and me to play with her. I wish I had done so more often.

We’ll never get parenting right 100% of the time – but we’ll get it right a lot more if we are purposeful with our time.

Article by Michael Nichols

@michaelenichols

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The Future of Guys

Well, what is the future for us guys? For men in general? And finally, since it naturally follows, society in general? I can’t get away from the subject. I just did a book review about a book that addresses the struggles of Christian men (Man Alive by Patrick Morley). Then I read a couple of interesting blog posts by Marc Cortez that brings to light some surprising information he gleaned from psychologist Philip Zimbardo, among others.

Would you believe that your daughter is now more likely to get a college degree of any level than your son as well as do excel in school from start to finish? If you view those stats from 1970 to the projected amounts for 2020, an alarming shift is underway. It’s nothing against daughters (I have 3 of them), but what does this bespeak of my sons’ future (I have 3 of them too)? I don’t want to be obsessed with the idea that manhood is under full-scale attack, but something is up!

What I read only got more disturbing. Beyond academic chaos, guys are “wiping out relationally with girls, and sexually with women.”  Mr. Zimbardo is a little blunt in his remarks, but makes sense. To what does he attribute this downward slide? He says:

The real culprits are “excessive internet use, excessive video gaming, and ‘porning.’”

Mr. Cortez, in his fine blog post, focused on “arousal addictions” as the common thread of those 3 reasons. It’s the unreality of the virtual world overtaking the reality of life, the inability to find fun in real life activities, and the inability to distinguish an encounter from a relationship or what intimacy even is. For example, it’s much more work to make a relationship thrive than to satisfy a desire. The sad misunderstanding is that real relationship and intimacy even pays off in most thoroughly fulfilling desires.

The problem is “I want it now.” It wreaks its way through our society. We don’t want to invest time into anything no matter how worthwhile. I want arousal of my senses on every level. He even spoke of men spending more and more time together even if it costs them romance with a lady. (I’m for keeping the women myself, but that’s just me.) He said that there’s a trend of men preferring games over intimacy with a woman!

It takes effort to get a degree for your life’s work, but  we are not into the long term. You know, that’s so non-arousing! This only serves to push men away from the very roles where they are most needed. Irresponsibility murders responsibility.

I suppose here you would expect a pastor to begin a list of do’s and don’t’s, but that will not be the case. Our high-speed, connected world is here to stay. To wax eloquent against it would be like carrying on about electricity a generation or so ago. Moderation, or a Spirit-led life, would, I suppose, be in order. I’ll not define that for you, and I’d prefer you not define it for me, but it is a fair question between me and the Lord.

Then there is what you watch. Pornography, I hope we all agree, is out of bounds and safeguards in our one-click age are a must. Beyond that, the need is not that I tell you what you can watch or where you watch it. The first issue is no help at all because you’d be stuck if I had never said if it were fine to watch or not. The second misses the point because it holds up the appearance of my reputation over the reality of my character. If I keep my character I’ll probably be able to hold on to my reputation to some degree.

We lament these trends among men. The best thing I can do is be a real man. Next I can raise my sons to be the opposite of the age. Finally, I can encourage many of you who are fighting to keep Biblical manhood where it should be. May the Lord help you and me.

Two more helpful posts for men (by Jimmy Reagan):
– Hey Guys…
Man Alive

Article by Jimmy Reagan

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The Marinovich Syndrome

Recently I watched a documentary special from ESPN entitled “The Marinovich Project”. Without a doubt, it was one of the most depressing sports stories I had ever heard. It detailed the life of Todd Marinovich, a kid who was “created” by his father to become the PERFECT Quarterback. Before little Todd was able to crawl, his father began training him to be what others would later refer to, “The Robo-Qb.” He was on a strict diet, a rigorous workout routine, and absolutely no social life — Oh, and by the way this is going on before he even was 7 years old! Groomed from even before his birth to be the greatest quarterback of all time, Todd had set the national high school passing record — throwing for nearly 10,000 yards in his career — and was already being compared to legends like Jim Kelly and John Elway. To make a long story short, Todd’s father, Marv, did indeed build the perfect quarterback.

Unfortunately, he failed to build a real son. Todd received many accolades and accomplishments: Set record after record throughout his high school years, became a star at USC in California by leading them to a coveted Rose Bowl victory, and became a professional quarterback in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders. Hidden within the glitz and glamour of all his accomplishments, Todd struggled with terrible drug addictions and it would be those addictions that ultimately cost him his NFL career. Yeah, sure … That’s depressing; but what is TRAGIC is the reasoning behind all his poor life decisions. To paraphrase a quote from Todd himself, he said that he wanted SO BAD to have his father’s APPROVAL. It would not be until he was in his twenties, spiraling out of control with the Raiders, that he finally got it from him verbally — But it was too late …

As Christian people, I feel that a majority of believers truly suffer from “Marinovich Syndrome”. Simply put, way too many people are desperate for their Heavenly Father’s approval. There are  people across this nation and this world that are angry and frustrated with themselves for “letting God down” and seemingly never recover. Across this planet, MILLIONS upon MILLIONS of people try to DO things to make God love them and accept them … This is so opposite of what Scripture teaches. No one ever should look at what THEY have done; instead they should look at what Christ DID! The Apostle Paul was right when he wrote, “comfort one another with these words”. There is comfort in the Bible if we actually looked at it:

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; – Ephesians 1:6-7

We do not have to seek God’s approval. As the REDEEMED, we already have it! Isn’t great to know that we have an impartial Father? Why are we not jumping for joy over the fact that you do not need merit to be accepted?! Let there never be a sliver of doubt creep into your mind about whether or not God loves and accepts you. Certainly you will fall and fail, you may NEVER reach your full potential, and your life my go up and down … but there is one CONSTANT: You are ACCEPTED of God! I leave you with one final verse of encouragement:

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39

Article by Kevin Crozier

@kevcrozier

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The Anniversary

My wife and oldest daughter are beginning a Bible study of the Proverbs 31 woman.  On the eve of our 13th anniversary, I realized I haven’t thought of Shannon as a Proverbs 31 woman.  But that was because I never had to.

Verse 11 and 12 says she is trustworthy and constant in her love.  I have trusted Shannon with all the things of my heart for thirteen years and I have never questioned or doubted her love for me or our children.

Verse 13 through 29 tells us this woman is among other things; industrious, thrifty, not idle, willing to do hard work, compassionate, prepared for the future, wise, kind, and not satisfied with the status quo.  I can tell you the life of a railroader is hard for his family.  I can also say I am the sole income for our family.  But that doesn’t paint the full picture.  You see, while I pay the mortgage on our house – Shannon makes it a home.  While I get aggravated when we spend money – she always manages to get what we need and leave something in the bank.  When I am away from home – our daughters are still home-schooled each day.  As I came home and want to rest or play with our children – she makes time to talk to her husband above the daily noises of a busy, chaotic household and still does the chores that my arrival interrupted.  She does without time for herself to make time for her family.

Verse 28 to the end says she is blessed by her family and a woman of God.  But I hope by now you see that she is not as blessed as we are.  I am to be the spiritual leader of my home, but the means by which I am able to do that is Shannon’s love of the Lord.  Our lives are centered around our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but I find our daily reminder of that in my wife, the mother of my children.  Is it any wonder King Lemuel’s mother said in verse 10, this kind of woman is rare?  Yet, I never gave the Proverbs 31 woman much thought because that is exactly the woman I married.

Anyone can make marriage vows when they are filled with “or”:  For richer or poorer, for better or worse, sickness or health.  It takes a special woman to keep those vows long after every “or” has been replaced with “and”.  And I’m telling you, if you’re married long enough, there won’t be an “or” anywhere in sight.  But the “ands” are where God shows you why He gave you each other.  God did not simply give me a partner, friend or wife.  As always, He provided what was missing to make me whole; He gave me “one flesh.”

Article by C.S. Depew

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Save the Males

God didn’t just create you to be male. He created you to be a man. And that’s not a given. Godly manhood is a role that we choose to embrace. God set men down on this planet and said, “Conquer it. Take ownership and leadership. Cultivate and build.” So, at no point, did God tell men, “Go, be gruff, rude, selfish, and step on people.” He has called men to servant leadership, following in the footsteps and example of Christ. So we’re to nurture, to build, and to initiate – in a humble manner – just like Christ does for us and for the church and for all His creation.

Series Notes & Audio Files:

1 – Know Your Role: Cultivate >> PDF  MP3
2 – Cultivate Your Wife >> PDF  MP3
3 – Cultivate Your Kids Pt1 >> PDF  MP3
4 – Cultivate Your Kids Pt2 >> PDF  MP3
5 – Make -Don’t Break- Your Kids >> PDF  MP3
6 – Men at Work >> PDF  MP3

Article by Brad Smith

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