Tag Archives: children

The Deep Love

I was laying on the couch tonight while trying to entice Caleb (our 2 year old) to come snuggle with me. I knew I could run after him and grab him, carrying him over my shoulder back to the couch, but we all know that forced snuggles are never the same as the real deal. It’s not near as special when they are kicking and squirming and doing everything they can to escape my grasp.

It made me think about how passionately God desires our attention and how we often push our time with Him to the back burner. It’s almost like we don’t understand the lengths that God went to, in order to make a way for us to have a real relationship with Him.

This evening I have had my thinking renewed in the area of the time I spend with my Heavenly Father. I absolutely love to snuggle with my kids, and the love I have for my kids isn’t even a fraction of the love God has for His.

Let’s be reminded today that it is within these special times with our Father, that the problems of the day melt like wax, and the cares of this world drift away.

Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. (James 4:8a MSG)

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Where’s Daddy

Father Throwing Baby-2

“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.

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

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Pressing On!

I was out for a run the other night, and my mind started drawing parallels between running, and my life as a husband and father. (I’ve found that running is sometimes the best time for me to think…)

The way I see it, I can tell myself that I need to run to get into shape and leave it at that, or I can push myself harder each time while I race against my own personal best to log a faster time. I’m choosing the latter, I want to be faster, stronger, and healthier!

I see it quite similar in both marriage and fatherhood. I can wear the title of husband because of a paper document I signed and words I uttered, or the title of father because of my contribution to a life; or I can live out these awesome job descriptions with passion on a daily basis!

I’ve been pushing myself harder in both running and my family life lately, and what a difference it is making! I work hard to ensure that when I am home, that my family has my attention. That’s not to say I never pick up my iPad, or check Facebook throughout the day, but it does mean that I’m working hard to keep my family as top priority.

… but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward. (Philippians 3:13b – 14 AMP)

I’m going to keep pressing on, I encourage you too as well. It’s not too late to dust off the running shoes, the wedding ring, or the baseball glove.

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You Can’t Argue With Experience

Church is designed to be a place where people of every age can have a radical, life-changing experience with God.

We as parents, need to continually look for and create these opportunities where our kids can be exposed to the powerful presence of God.
Our kids aren’t the church of tomorrow, they are the church of today! God’s word clearly indicates that we are to involve our kids in the work of the Lord.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Training involves learning to do something under the supervision of someone who has completed the tasks before. The verse doesn’t say we should only tell them, it says we should train them. Let’s remember that.

To me this means that when someone in my family is sick, I get everyone else (kids included) to lay hands on the sick one and we pray for healing in the name of Jesus. When we are in church, I expect my kids to be involved in worship (although I admit it’s tougher with 4 kids now.) Our kids see us working out our faith, and we involve them in it, knowing that this faith of ours will sooner than later become their faith as well. Angela has working on scripture memorization with Talina already, and she is just like a little sponge right now, she soaks it all in and retains so much of it. It’s actually unbelievable how she can memorize so much.

The latter part of this verse says that when our kids are old, they will not depart from the Way. This doesn’t come from continually cramming rules and commandments into our kid’s brains, this is nothing but the law. Instead, we must begin by by introducing them to the Savior of the World at a young age. From there they will learn to hear the Lord speaking to them, they will learn what conviction is,and their motives will be pure.

This way our kids won’t be solely motivated to behave because they fear punishment from Mom or Dad, instead they will be convicted in their hearts when they are doing something they know is wrong. Then they will be come focused on what they should do rather than focusing on not doing what they can’t do.

I have this burning desire within me to see my kids grow up to be so strong in the Lord, to be properly equipped, anointed, and commissioned to go and take on the giants of this world. I want my kids to be mature enough to be on their own in their faith far before they are ready to be on their own physically.

Who else is with me?

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Fair Parenting – An Important Reminder

One thing I pray often is that I would be a fair parent.

I know that we as parents don’t always see the entire situation play out between our kids. I have often responded to one of our kids’ cry, to find one kid laying into the other with a plastic hammer or other blunt toy. It’s easy for me to assume what happened, but I am learning more and more that we need to take time as parents to properly assess or analyze the situations we walk into. More often than not we don’t see the entire scenario play out, we often arrive in Act 2 rather than at the curtain call. We need to put our own emotions on hold and ask the following questions.

What exactly happened? Was he provoked, was he defending himself, defending his brother? Did she mean to hurt him? Did he simply over-react to something? Was he scared?

It can leave our kids hurt and confused when we discipline reactively. In order to properly discipline our kids, we need to use responsive discipline to correct them in love, and we need to have the big picture in order to do this effectively. We aren’t doing them any favors by guessing at what happened.

We need to been responsive rather than reactive in our discipline. Responsive discipline means putting your own emotions and feelings on hold for a minute or two while you find out exactly what went down.

I know it isn’t always possible as we are all humans, but fairness within the family is one of those key issues to keeping peace in the home between siblings. This can avoid many headaches, arguments, and resentment in the future.

We as Christians have access to a supernatural surveillance system rivalled by no-one. We need to pray that Holy Spirit would give us supernatural insight to ask the right questions, so that we can discipline effectively.

Let’s choose to always ask Holy Spirit to give us insight into what really happened, starting right now!

**APOLOGY**

I need to apologize for not posting last week, but with all that’s going on with Brody, life has been more than crazy. Here’s a quick update on his situation in case you are interested.

Brody is still in the NICU in Lethbridge and doing very well. He made the move from the isolette (incubator) into a crib over the weekend which means he is regulating his temperature very well. He is steadily taking more feedings by bottle rather than the feeding tube which is great! Once he is consistently taking his feedings by bottle we can bring him home! We can’t wait for that day, it seems like he has been in the hospital forever (just ask Angela J.) Thanks for your continued support by way of prayers, meals, watching the kids, and all the other ways you have helped. We have been blown away by the Body of Christ in action all around us. We are loved and blessed! We give God all the praise and the glory through this difficult time, and we know the battle is His, and the victory is ours! Hallelujah!

**Don’t forget that if you like what you are reading that you can “subscribe” to my blog and get an email automatically sent to your inbox when I post something new. Also, please let me know what you think, I would love to get some feedback or potential future topics you would like me to blog about.

I leave you with a quote.

“Normal is a setting on a washing machine.” -Phil Cooke

Be Blessed!

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From One Dad to Another

It is my honest belief that Mom’s should be given one night a week off, and that Dad should take the kids. Not a babysitter, not Grandma and Grandpa, not an Aunt or Uncle…

Dad.

First off, I want to clear something up. If a Dad is watching his kids, he is NOT baby-sitting; he is investing time into his kids. I’ve heard a few dads say that they are babysitting their own kids, and it irks me to no end. Let’s change it from an obligation to an opportunity.

Husbands, dads, your wife NEEDS a break! Whether she goes out for coffee with a book, or out with friends, or even shopping (preferably not for groceries.) On top of that, you need time to connect with your kids, and they need time to connect with you. You are your kid’s hero, the force to be reckoned with (just ask their rear-ends…) Where do you think the saying “my Dad could beat up your Dad” came from?

My wife Angela plays for the Lethbridge Syphony Orchestra, she has done so for over 6 years now and I am so proud of her. She made the choice when we found out that we were pregnant with Talina (our oldest) to take a break for a bit after we had Talina.

Once Talina was 2 months old however, Angela mentioned that she would like to go back. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t totally freaked out at the prospect of watching our brand new baby girl from 7:00PM-10:00PM every Monday evening all by myself. It was intimidating, I felt like Shrek on Shrek the Third… “They cry when they poop, and they poop when they cry…” But week by week I became a little more confident in my role as a parent and caregiver. I could do this. That was four short years ago.

We now have 4 awesome kids that I get to invest my time into. Talina just turned four, Jarel is two-and-a-half, Caleb is 14 months, and Brody is just over a week. I treasure and cherish my times with the kids, (especially Brody who is still in the NICU.) At home we build forts out of blanked covered furniture, make a colossal mess with watercolor paint sets at the kitchen table, snuggle up with a kids book, or play house-wide tackle football (which is not for the faint of heart.) When it’s nice out we go for walks, or to the park. Sometimes we just do a “movie-night”, complete with fancy drinks and popcorn.

I truly believe that when you take the time to invest into the relationships with each of your kids when they are young, that that gives you a rock solid foundation to build the rest of your relationship on. It’s become more apparent to me that kids being raised today need a strong support network to remain in the faith, and to really be who they are wired to be. Our culture does everything it can to make people feel inferior, but we need to show our kids that they need to be real, authentic, and exactly who God has designed them to be.

As dads, it’s vital that we realize sooner than later that the relationships/bridges that we build with our kids have limits as to what can be carried across them until they are firmly established. We can’t expect them to support the heavy discussions that we need to have with our kids if the bridge is still under construction. Ultimately, I am planning on having amazing relationships with my kids as teenagers because I am starting to build those foundations now.

I pray that you too will experience phenomenal relationships with your kids as a result of having a good foundation established early on in their lives.

Who’s up for the challenge of telling your wife that you want her to go out with her friends for the evening while you watch the kids?

Be prepared though, this is going to make your marriage even better!

Ready, set, go!

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