God Doesn’t Always Answer The Way We Think HE Should

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Challenging, Dads, Encouragement, Faith Conversations, Prayers

The last two weeks have been difficult. A beautiful, talented, dynamic 17 year old girl from the church where we had served for 12 years did not recover from an injury incurred from a skateboarding accident. As friends of the family and her former youth pastor, I was asked to speak at the service. She was an amazing young woman. I shed more tears in the last two weeks than the last five years. Almost 700 grieving teens, parents, and family members arrived seeking to find comfort and answers.

In the hospital, Haley’s parents and I, holding on to Haley, prayed for almost an hour on our knees weeping, crying out to the Lord of Heaven and of Earth for His healing touch. I recounted all the healings I had personally experienced and those recorded in the Bible. I believed He would answer.

3 Things Every Dad Should Do After Pulling In The Driveway (Part 3)

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Dads, Encouragement, Ideas, leaving a legacy, Resources

3 things every dad#1. Find Mom. (click here for part 1.)

#2. Sit  (click here for part 2.)

#3. LEAD.  (Time: 15+)

Not like a drill sergeant.  Your family needs you to lead them to the heart of God; to be a family that faithfully follows Christ.

“As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24.15

As the father goes, so goes the family.  Our influence as dads is a mysterious wonder.  We (maybe I’m speaking for myself here) need reminding how our leadership (or lack of) impacts our family.  (Read this article I wrote of a compilation of dad stats.)

It is so easy to rely on vacations, cheering at sporting events and dropping them off church, for checking the box of being a good Christian dad.  There is so much more.

Loving Your Children…Their Way

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Challenging, Encouragement, Heart Connections With Your Kids, Ideas

Loving Your Children (of all ages) Their Way

I have seen so many wonderful, loving parents love their children the wrong way and then wonder why they have lost their children’s hearts as they became teens.

Last night, I went on a date with our 13 year old, Sophia.  I asked her what her love language was. After a few seconds of observing her baffled expression, I said, “We all have ways we best feel loved.”  I  described each of the ways, then named everyone in our family and asked her which love language she though each of them had.

1. Words of Affirmation.  2. Physical Touch.  3. Acts of Service.  4. Receiving Gifts.  5. Quality Time    (Here is description of the love languages.)

I then asked her which love language best described her.  She replied, “Quality Time and Words of Affirmation.”  I was given great insight and a reminder to make sure I encourage her and spend time with my princess.

We all tend to love others the way we want to be loved.  What happens if my other daughter’s love language is Physical Touch, but I bring her gifts, paint her room, fix her toys, or remind her of how proud I am of her?  After all this, she still may not feel loved by her daddy.  (The same goes for your spouse, too).  Rather, she would feel loved with a hug or time snuggling together on the couch while reading a good book.  [As a side note, dads, if she best receives love best through physical touch and I’m not loving her that way, as she gets older, she might look for it in the arms of some other man.]

Talk with your spouse about the ways everyone in the family receives love best.  Moms have wonderful insight, esp. if your children are younger.  This would make for a good family discussion.  Discuss each other’s love languages and brainstorm ways you can love each other better.  Don’t know your Children’s Love Language?  Connect with them and let them know how important they are to you by taking this on-line quiz together.

Our Greatest Goal as Parents

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Challenging, Dads, Encouragement, Moms

new greatest goalI remember reminding frustrated youth leaders, and members of our congregation, that the students in youth group who were not believers can’t be expected to bear the fruit of one who knows the Lord.  But they insisted they shouldn’t act the way they do. Following Christ isn’t about behavioral modification.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit…” John 15:5

What about our own children?  Behavioral modification will not produce the fruit a parent truly desires for their child.  It is all too easy (for me too) to fall into the trap of focusing too much on bad behavior (“that wasn’t nice.” “Don’t do that!” “You can do better!”  “You forgot?”)  As parents with a Kingdom vision, our concern is not that they act right.  Our vision is much grander and deeper.  Our #1 mission is that our children join Jesus.  I’ve seen lots and lots of teens do all the right things and then they go off to college and they take a turn for the worse.

We have to remember, Jesus invited us to join Him.  Chuck Bomar, in his new book, Losing Your Religion, states, “The good news Jesus offered was that He invites us into His life. Not vice versa”.   Zacchaeus was a changed man because he responded to Jesus’ invitation.  Jesus said to the disciples, ‘Come and follow me.'”

Our children will not live out a faith in Christ because they attend children’s church every Sunday, attend mission trips, and are a good kid.  They will only grow up and leave the roost following Jesus with all their heart, soul, strength and mind if they accept the invitation to be a part of His life.  There is a difference between inviting Jesus into our life, our plans, our desires and accepting the invitation to join His life, His plans, His desires.

Our greatest goal as parents is to help our children join Jesus.

How are you leading your children to know, love and follow Jesus?

Do they see the Christian life as a bunch rules to follow or an adventure?  What adventures have your family been on?

Love God with everything. Love your kids.  Lead them to the heart of the Father. And with His grace, they will love Him too.

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Get in Touch

694 Hammock Rd.
Melbourne, FL 32904

321.223.1163 jc@homesdevoted.com