Monthly Archives: October 2012

Success… and the backstory

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If we were really honest with ourselves, would we admit to looking at successful people and thinking that it must be so easy for them? That if only we could make as much money as they do, or if only our kids behaved like theirs did, or if only we could only get a house as big as theirs…

We think that they must always have more money than month, the ideal marriage, the perfect kids, the massive house, the newest vehicles…

What we don’t normally realize, is that true success isn’t developed overnight, and looks can be deceiving.

We didn’t know that when they were first married, he worked 2 full time jobs and only slept for 4 hours a night for 3 whole years to make ends meet. We didn’t see the sacrifices made and all the hours worked without wages while they started up their own business. We didn’t see the long hours, the disappointments, and the uncertainties.

We didn’t know that he bought a beat up car straight out of high school and drove it for 10 years until his Dad died and left him an inheritance, with which he bought a new truck. We didn’t know that he would gladly trade the truck in for another 10 minutes with his Dad.

We only see what meets the eye, and we get jealous.

This reminds me of Joseph in Egypt after he had been put in power by Pharaoh.
I’m sure there were people all around him, wishing they were in his shoes.

But how quickly would that change if they realized that in order to get to that destination and position, they would have to spend 13 years in slavery, innocently imprisoned, and slandered? Would you be so eager to get into his shoes?

Everyone has a back-story.
The hard-times, the disappointments, and the failures. Some stories are more public than others, but we all have them.

Lets make it our goal this week to pursue the success that God has for us, instead of wanting what others are experiencing. We’re likely to miss-out on what’s coming our way if we’re always rubber-necking.

And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19 AMP)

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When You Just Don’t Know

We as Dads have a tremendous responsibility to be there for our kids as I mentioned in my previous post, “Where’s Daddy.”
When taken to the next step, it’s important to realize that we as Dads are also called to lead our children through life, equipping them with the values, skills, experiences, and attitudes necessary to navigate life until they come of age. Now, this is no easy task, but fortunately for us, we aren’t doing this alone. God’s word makes it crystal clear that He is ready, willing, and able to hand out wisdom all the time. It’s up to us to ask, the effort demanded on our part.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. (James 1:5 NLT)

How awesome is it, that our God isn’t up in heaven thinking about how stupid we are when we don’t know what to do? Instead he’s right there, with his hand outstretched over us ready to give us all that we need.

…for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! (Matthew 6:8b NLT)

I can’t tell you how many times Angela and I have asked God for wisdom in certain situations, and the number of times that the required wisdom has come at just the right time.

Everything from the best discipline techniques for each child, how to be fair in certain situations, and especially for more patience on my part.

Be encouraged this week! We don’t have to have all the answers for life, just for the problems of the day, and God is more than willing to give us these when we are obedient by first asking, and then listening.

So go ahead, ask Him how to handle the situations you are in, His arm is not shortened by our uncertainty, and He will never belittle us for asking for His help.

‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ (Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV)

Have you ever had a time where God totally gave you an amazing answer for a problem you had? One that you never, ever would have thought of? Please share!

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Where’s Daddy

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“Where’s Daddy” is a wonderful game Angela and I play with our kids when they are little.

I take cover behind a baby blanket and say, “Where’s Daddy?” I suddenly drop the blanket and to the baby’s delight I laugh and smile at them while they giggle with surprise. (Kids are SO fun!)
For our family, this is a joyful game of bonding, but for many others this question is a harsh reality that leaves a wake of invalidated and hurting kids.

Some kids never meet their Dad, some only see him as he grabs a cup of coffee on his way out the door in the morning, and others still question (years later) if it was something that they did to cause their Dad to desert the family when they were young.

Our kids crave our attention and they need our affection. We must acknowledge and comply with their yearnings on top of our nine to five.

To put it plainly, there is no easy path in the life of a Dad.

How many movies or shows have you seen where the kid is at their sporting event and scanning the bleachers for Dad? Kids need consistent affirmation and validation from their dads.

Dads are often portrayed as blundering idiots and buffoons in mainstream media. They tell their kids to act one way, while doing the exact opposite. We should all understand by now that this is a gross misconduct of the responsibility placed upon us as Dads.

Too many men are quick to make a deposit, and just as quick to leave when the reality sets in that it’s time to grow up and stop thinking about someone other than themselves.

If you still don’t believe me let’s take a look at the statistics.

Father-deprived children are:

72% of all teenage murderers.
60% of rapists.
70% of kids incarcerated.
twice as likely to quit school.
11 times more likely to be violent.
3 of 4 teen suicides.
80% of the adolescents in psychiatric hospitals.
90% of runaways

I hope I’ve made my point clear, Dads have an unsurmountable amount of responsibility placed on their shoulders the second they make a contribution to a life. Every single child in the statistics above started from an egg and sperm, so where are all the Dads?

It’s no wonder God says that sex is confined only to the marriage bed. A child needs both a committed father and mother to train him/her in the way he/she should go. The statistics prove it.

Being a Dad is easily one of the hardest things I have done and continue to do, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that it is worth it. Much correction occurs, both in our children’s lives and mine, but I won’t stop. Ever.

I refuse to be one of these dads who continuously puts work, a hobby, a vehicle, a raise, his own ambitions, or his own ego before his family. God is my provider and sustainer, He will continue to make me complete in every good work to do His will.

Now may the God of peace—who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood— may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen. (Hebrews 13:20, 21 NLT)

What is one of the things you feel a Dad should always do? Maybe it was something your Dad did for you that made you feel loved, or maybe he didn’t… Please share your thoughts below.

Please don’t forget that you can sign up to get my posts in your email each week automatically. Sign up on the right!

Sources: National Fatherhood Initiative (U.S.A.), US Bureau of Census (U.S.A.), FBI (U.S.A.)

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