This morning was a first for me. The morning started out pretty much like any other morning. There was the getting breakfast together, helping get the kids ready for the day and then finally getting myself ready. I was running through things in my mind that I would like to get done today in the office – sermons for Wednesday and Sunday, reading that I would like to get done, planning, etc.
As I was getting my things together to head out the door, it happened. I don’t know where it came from, but it hit hard. We have never seen this reaction before. Our middle son, Sam, bust out into tears and said that he wanted to stay with Daddy. I was blindsided.
Normally, our boys flock to the mother for EVERYTHING. They are true-blue Momma-boys. I’m okay with that. I was a Momma-boy growing up as well. For some reason today, Sam wanted his Daddy. I would be lying if I said that there was not a feeling of pride swelling up inside of me.
I made the decision to give this thing a try. There is nothing for my 4-year-old son to do in my office other than color on some paper and play in the floor in the corner. I told my wife something along the lines of, “let’s see what happens.” We got him ready and a couple of toys, and it was off to the office with Daddy. Surprisingly, he did pretty good – other than lock himself in the bathroom.
We went home for lunch and I told my son that he would have to stay at the house with Mommy. He was fine with that. He had some one-on-one “Daddy time,” and he was happy with that.
I was reminded during the time together and over lunch that these kiddos are not going to be here in our house very long. There is a small window of their life that we as their parents have to make an impact. Ministry is tough work. There is a lot of preparation, planning, and praying that must be done. But, as I was reminded of today, it should never come at the expense of your family.
As a parent, there are some days that you look forward to with great expectation. There is the seeing the child for the first time. There is hearing them say your name for the first time. As they take those first steps, you are there with the camera (or smartphone) going.
As a parent who is a Christian, there are a whole other set of things that we look forward to seeing in our children. At the top of the list has to be when your child places their faith into Jesus for themselves. This is a point that you pray for from their first day.
This past week was a great week for our family. Our oldest son, Drew, came to us and said that he was ready to trust Jesus. He had been asking questions for a while. This past week, he nailed that decision down. Yesterday, he shared with our church family the great news.
I took a couple of things away from this experience:
1. Be praying for your children. This may seem like one of those “needless to say” statements, but the truth is that the best thing that we can do for our children and grandchildren is to pray for them. Pray for their salvation. Pray for their future spouse. Pray for them to be used for God’s glory.
2. Remember that salvation is a personal decision. One of the hardest things with my oldest son was allowing him the room, freedom, and time to make the ultimate decision to follow Jesus. I wanted so bad to see him saved from the moment he was born. I realized quickly that it wasn’t my decision. Give your children that room to make a decision on their own.
3. Rejoice when one is saved. It doesn’t have to be a family member coming to Christ for us to get all excited. We should rejoice anytime that one comes to Christ. If it is our children, celebrate all the more. Watching my son accept Christ reminded me just how amazing that moment is in a person’s life.
Are you awaiting the day when your child or loved one comes to Christ? Keep praying for them. Keep an open door to them for questions. Let Jesus show them the difference He can make in their life.
Adoption is one the hardest and most rewarding things that can happen on this earth. At least that’s what I’m told from those who have gone through the process. Giving a family-less child a home and family… There’s something special about that. Seems like I’ve heard that scenario somewhere. Oh yeah, it was what Jesus does for every person who places their faith and trust in Him.
When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “ Abba, Father! ” So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. (Galatians 4:4-7 HCSB)
We have some friends who are on this journey currently. They are set to pick up their daughter, Olivia Hope, from China in the coming weeks. They are trying to raise the remaining funds for this to happen. They are selling t-shirts to help raise these funds. Please go to Marconnet Family Adoption to purchase a t-shirt and help this great family bring their daughter home. The shirts will be sold through March 13th.
This morning, I pulled up to the dining room table with my Bible, pen, journal, and a cup of coffee. That’s certainly a good way to start the day. I was looking for some of that “daily bread” to get me through the day. I was jotting down some things that we’re standing out. There were even a couple of things that stood out that might be in future sermons. One thing I didn’t think I was doing was teaching, but apparently I was.
Before long, our three boys who are normally running wild with toys changed their focus. I could hear them in the living room. Our 6 year old, 3 year old, and 2 year old had all gone and gotten their Bibles. They were sitting in the living room doing what Daddy was doing.
I was humbled as I realized that this time of devotion was one of the best teaching times that I had. I want more than anything for my boys to know and follow Jesus like I do – even more. That isn’t going to happen if I don’t model it and show them that this following Jesus really works and is important. I need to let them see me reading the Bible not just in church, but at various times. I need to let them see me praying more than just at mealtime and bedtime.
You may not be intending on teaching, but be sure that there is someone that is watching and learning from you. What example are you teaching?
Hard to believe that ten years ago yesterday, Naomi and I exchanged wedding vows. I didn’t get to post anything on here yesterday, so I thought that I’d share some things that we’re going through my head about this great moment.
It was an overcast Saturday. Not the weather that I would have chosen for the occasion, but we would have to go with it. Crazy how that lesson would come in handy over the past ten years. Things don’t always go the way you would like. You sometimes have to roll with the punches.
Children are truly a blessing. God has given us the opportunity to experience five children over the past ten years. There has been “Peanut”, Drew, Sam, Cole, and our Compassion child – George. Each of these children has helped us learn the important task of working together.
I would not exchange the past ten years for anything in the world. Has everything been just like I wanted? Of course not! But the journey had been one of the things that has made the past ten years so interesting.
To my bride, I say “thank you for the past ten plus years! Can’t wait to see what the next ten have in store.”
And now it is time to wrap this thing up and get ready to go out and finally celebrate this occasion (thanks Nana & Pawpaw for watching the little ones).