Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

As a father who does not live with my two biological kids, I am very mindful of the effect that my abscence could have on them. I could be like one of those dead beat Dads who are nothing more than a sperm donor, or I can do my best to try to be as active as I can in their lives even though I am not always physically there, to try and support them in every way but at the same time still trying to show boundaries. I have chosen the latter but admittedly when the boundaries are different in different homes, it can be hard to enforce and if anything, can be confusing for the child because those boundaries are not clear and consistent. Its especially hard when one is a Christian and the other is not.

For example, when my relationship with their mum broke down, my goal was to still to make sure that the children didn’t receive two different messages from us so that they could play one against the other or that the child felt justified in their actions because ‘Mum or Dad said so’. Even if we disagreed, I wanted us to talk about things ‘behind the scenes’ so that their was a consistent message in front of them.

The reality is things did not work out like that and as much as I wanted us to be at least amicable for the sake of the kids, for various reasons, it was not possible. The end result is that over the past few years, as I have mentioned in posts such as The Pursuit of Happyness and When your children don’t want to follow God, my relationship with my daughter has been, let’s say, less than perfect.

I love my daughter to bits and have always wanted to be there for her. I remember when she was young and I used to make sure that I consciously went out of my way to spend quality time with her, taking her swimming, going to the park as well as other places. I miss that quality time that can so easily be taken for granted when you live with your child.

However, when a father refuses to be in their child’s life, the consequences can be disastrous. Don’t believe me? Watch this video of a girl who wrote a letter to the man who left her behind

When I watched this, it tore at my heartstrings because I never want my daughter to ever feel like that. I will always make sure that I do as much as I can and what is in my power, to keep in contact with her on my side so that when she grows older, she could never say that I have never tried to remain in contact and mantain a relationship with her

If you are a father who has deserted your child for whatever reason, or maybe you are not active in their life, you probably dont realise how much psycholgical damage you may have inflicted on your child and they may justifably be angry with you. It may not always show on the outside but inside, they are hurting. Make a conscious decision today to do something to ‘kick things off’. Depending on the situation what you do will vary and it will be hard for some and easier for others but try something. That may mean a phone call, it may mean sending them a card, it may mean giving them flowers, it may mean taking your child out for a one to one talk, but whatever you do, don’t give up on them. They may not always say so or express it outwardly, but inside, a lot of them WANT a meaningful relationship with you. Sometimes the mother may have filled their mind with negativity so that they cannot see the positive things that you are trying to do but do what YOU have to do and whatever is in YOUR control. Show them that you love them and care for them and that they are always on your mind. Children need their Daddys in their life.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. (Romans 12:18)

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. (Col 3:21)

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

Ten of my favorite blog posts on Real Christianity

Posted: October 31, 2012 in Christian Living, Evangelism, False Doctrine, False Teachers
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I cannot believe that I have been blogging for over five years beginning with How Important is Doctrine and as of today, have written 619 posts, this being my 620th. Every now and then, I go back to my old posts and re-read some of them, if not for anything else to re-encourage myself. So out of these 600+posts, below are ten of my favorite posts in no particular order and my reasons why. Just click on the titles to read the posts

1. The Marks of False ‘Christian’ teachers and teaching – OK, I am going to cheat on the first one as it was my first series (11 parts in total) called The Marks of False ‘Christian’ teachers and teaching starting with A Form of godliness. I saw so much foolishness in churches and on Christian TV and I knew that a lot of people were beginning to question a lot of things but were afraid to say anything. I just said what they were thinking. So I wrote the series and gave my reasons for doing it as I know a lot of people would think that I was just a heresy hunter. If you want to read the full series, just follow the links at the bottom of the posts

2. To tithe or not to tithe – Tithing was one of those things that kept me in bondage early on in my days and I know keeps many in bondage today. Many preachers use old testament scriptures like Malachi 3:8-12 to manipulate people into giving money and making them feel that they have robbed God if they don’t give their 10%.  That was until I searched the scriptures for myself only to find that the new testament principle of giving is proportional giving and giving out of what you have and not out of what you don’t have thus getting yourself into debt. It is also about a person giving what THEY purpose in their heart (2 Cor 9:7) . I wrote this to make it plain why Christians are not under any obligation to tithe anymore under the new covenant.

3. How do you know that you are saved (that you are a Christian)? – I really enjoyed writing this blog because it became very apparent to me that many people thought that they were Christians but they were actually self-deceived. This troubled me so I wanted to have some kind of ‘test’ whereby a person could measure up themselves to. Luckily the books of 1 and 2 John has such a test and has been one of my most popular posts that is found when people do searches, which tells me that a lot of people really do want to know if they are a Christian or not.

4. So you think that you’re a Christian. Power testimonies from former false converts – This ties in to number 3. When I heard these testimonies, I knew there were countless amount of people in this situation and I wanted to share it because I wanted others to see if they could see themselves in the mirror and if so, do something about it. The worse deception ever is to think that you are a Christian when, in fact, you are not

5. Spending Quality Time with God – This post always comes to haunt me because I know that this is something that I am constantly guilty of not doing but it is a constant reminder of where our priorities should be  

6. When your children don’t want to follow God – This post was and still is a very personal one to me. It hurts me to know that my children (so far) have decided to not follow Christ. I can only pray that God orchestrates the events in their life to point them to him.

7. Every Man’s Battle - I wrote this because it is a taboo subject amongst Christian men but can be a deadly poison if not dealt with….especially when it comes to the summer.

8. The Money Challenge - If anything, this is a shame on most of us as Christians about what motivates us to share the  gospel with others. I never want to be  Christian that as the gospel group, Commissioned, say in one of their songs that we “tend to find security in our salvation. We should constantly think about the lost”

9. Should we ever question what the man of God says – This post goes hand in hand with the post of Touch not the Lord’s anointed. Say goodbye to the untouchable preachers. The reason why I started this whole blogging stuff is because I questioned everything that I had previously heard and decided to go back to the basics of the gospel. You know, things like the cross, salvation, sin, repentance, faith, discipleship and NOT breakthroughs, blessings and divine favour which seems to be so prevalent in churches these days.

10. Christ is the only way, now you choose - I have posted many videos over the years but I love this video because it puts everything in perspective about what Christ has done and how he has provided a way out for those who have repented and put their trust in him

When children decide that they dont want to follow God is one of the saddest thing that a parent can hear. In this post, I mentioned that the relationship between me and my teenage daughter was strained (and still is, if not worst) and in my post about the pursuit of happyness, I mentioned

As a father who does not live with his children but lives for his children, the film struck a chord with me and made me realise how my kids are my world. I understand that my ultimate goal for them is to point them to Christ so that they can receive salvation. I am still grateful for the parenting course that I attended at my church. However I realise that that no matter how good a parent you are, there is still no guarantee that your children will turn out to be angels because of their sinful nature. I mean who is the best ‘parent’ around? Isnt it God and look how we are, disobedient and rebellious. So parents, don’t always keep beating yourself up if your children go off the rails even though you have trained them up in the ways of the Lord.

Our sin does not have any bearing on God’s character and therefore we should not automatically think that the sins of our children is a direct result of bad parenting on our part (even though its hard not to think that sometimes). One thing I have noticed in church is that there seems to be an exodus of young people who have been bought up in church, going to all the Christian youth events, concerts etc but when they reach a certain age, normally their teens, they decide that they have had enough of this ‘God stuff’ and I often wonder where the church (and myself) have gone wrong. My friend S.O, made me aware of this article which touches on this subject.

I have always said that after a certain time, I did not want to force my children to come to church because I didn’t want their view of God to be distorted and viewed as their parents dragging them to church against their will. But at the same time you don’t want to leave them to fend for themselves so finding that balance is a hard one.

If I honest, sometimes I feel like a failure as a parent when it comes to investing spiritually into my children. The thoughts that come to my head is did I not pray with them enough? Did I not talk to them about God enough? You look at other parents in church and their kids are raising their hands in the church service in adoration, worship and praise to God and are active in the church, not because they have to but because they want to and you think “I wish my children loved God like that”.

I once heard Paul Washer preach a sermon where he said that,when it comes to children, the church has put the emphasis in the wrong area. Instead of putting the emphasis on Sunday schools and childrens ministries (not saying that there is anything wrong with these in and of themselves), the church should be putting the emphasis on the parents, especially the fathers because they are supposed to be the leaders in the home because this is where the bible puts the emphasis. This is an interesting thought and one I have to concede does make biblical sense.

Any person can tell you that being a parent is the hardest job in the world. It is a BIG responsibility. To raise a child and mould them into a responsible adult who loves God is not easy by any means. Mistakes WILL be made along the way but, as stated before, every Christian parents long term goal should be to point them to Christ and to make Jesus their treasure.

Remember, they need salvation too.

If you were brought up in church but have now left. Please can you leave a comment and tell me your reasons why as I really would be interested to know. If you would like to remain anonymous and give a fake name, that’s fine. Thankyou

As a parent, I recognise how easy it is to take it for granted that I am able to have children , as I know that there are many people that cannot but I also know about the awesome reponsibility that I have to raise my children to know God and ultimately be saved. In an era where there is so much peer pressure and distractions for our young people, I have to readily admit that this is a challenge. For  me, it is especially difficult as my 11 and soon to be 16 year old do not live with me and their mum is not a christian so I have to try and influence from afar and when they visit.  I love this quote from Tedd Tripp

You must equip your children to function in a culture that has abandoned the knowledge of God. If you teach them to use their abilities, aptitudes, talents, and intelligence to make their lives better, without reference to God, you turn them away from God. If your objectives are anything other than “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” you teach your children to function in the culture on its terms.

The Brady story below is a very touching one which explains how God in his sovereignty and providence used a devastating circumstance to bring about the salvation of a young boy and how the parents had ‘done their job’ in ultimately directing their son to the Savior.

May this encourage us as parents to prioritise what we input into our kids spiritually. I for one have been guilty of not doing this and intend to make it a priority for I do not want them to live to 70 and die without Christ.

Related Post:

Leaving a Legacy: An Interview with Voddie and Bridget Baucham

Yes, after taking my break from blogging, I have returned. I am definitely more focused and hopefully I will be consistent in my prayer life which was my weakness.

In the space of a week, God revealed areas of my life which needed to be addressed, the disagreement with my daughter took a turn for the worse (but is now on the mend, thank God) and a fellow person in the music ministry in my church died suddenly from inflammation of the brain. It was a total shock as nobody expected it but we can be rest assured that we do not mourn as those who have no hope (1 Thess 4:13)

Anyway, I will be reading some of your blogs that are in my feeds so it will take a bit of time for me to get back into the swing of things

BTW, thanks Isaiah for posting that post. Sometimes, we never know how our blogs can help others

I know I am very late but a few weeks ago, I watched that great theological film ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’. The synposis reads as follows:

Will Smith stars in this moving tale inspired by a true story of Chris Gardner, a San Francisco salesman who’s struggling to make ends meet. When his girlfriend Linda (Thandie Newton) walks out, Chris is left to raise their 5-year old son Christopher (Jaden Smith) on his own. Chris’ determination finally pays off when he lands an unpaid internship in a brutally competitive stockbroker-training program, where only twenty interns will make the cut. But without a salary, Chris and his son are evicted from their apartment and are forced to sleep on the streets, in homeless shelters and even behind the locked doors of a metro station bathroom. With self confidence and the love and trust of his son, Chris Gardner rises above his obstacles to become a Wall Street legend.

I absolutely loved the film. For some reason though at certain points, I’m sure someone brought some onions in the room because my eyes were watering ;-)

As a father who does not live with his children but lives for his children, the film struck a chord with me and made me realise how my kids are my world. I understand that my ultimate goal for them is to point them to Christ so that they can receive salvation. I am still grateful for the parenting course that I attended at my church. However I realise that that no matter how good a parent you are, there is still no guarantee that your children will turn out to be angels because of their sinful nature. I mean who is the best ‘parent’ around? Isnt it God and look how we are. Disobedient and rebellious. So parents, don’t always keep beating yourself up if your children go off the rails even though you have trained them up in the ways of the Lord.

At the moment, myself and my soon to be 15 year old daughter are not on the best of terms and she has decided not to stay with me for two weeks during the summer holidays so it is just me and my son. I am asking God for wisdom in dealing with this situation as its not nice and it’s very awkward at the moment.

For me, I never under-estimate how important the job of a parent is, especially in the early years and like Chris Gardner in the film, I want my children growing up knowing that I did everything possible as a parent to give them the best in life in every way and that includes spiritually

I saw this video and for some reason it made me just stop and think and it also made me chuckle. Have a watch

Maybe its just me and maybe I think too deep sometimes, but I watched it and thought how good God was that he could allow Matt to have this fun in so many different countries. Also to see so many nationalities in the video made me thank God also. I hope you enjoyed this video as much as I did