Love in The Mundane

I am not going to write about Valentine’s Day. I have no gift ideas, no perfect words for a sentimental card, no box ‘o chocolates. This has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day.

But it has everything to do with love. Which, I admit, was partially suggested to me by the nature of this week in February. But more so, this is an outgrowth of where my wife, Alle, and I are living right now.

It’s a stage of life where repetition reigns: we get up, go to work, take care of kids, work on client projects, take care of kids, eat, put kids to bed, work, collapse into bed, sleep, repeat. We form habits, fall into roles and patterns, and most often just make it through the day. And I’ve got a suspicion that this sort of rhythm defines most of married life with children. The details and schedules will change, but the patterns, the mundane, will continue in perpetuity. That’s how life is. Cycles, patterns, rhythm.

I’m learning to see the value in the repetitive. It gives structure and stability, moments and tasks to count on, roles and responsibilities to expect. But the mundane can also drive us into habits, into going through the motions, into not paying attention anymore. Let the ebb and flow of life drive our actions, fulfill the responsibilities, and check out. It’s something I fight against on a regular basis: staying engaged and intentional during a season marked especially by days that look the same. And it’s always compounded, because routines go hand in hand with busyness–particularly with kids in the house. Things never stop, they never slow. There’s always a next appointment, a meal to be made, cleaning to do, there’s always something.

Time and money get scarce; the schedule doesn’t let up; the kids get sick. Days that used to be set apart just for us–anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, and so on–get interrupted, or postponed.

Love-in-the-mundane

So I’m learning. I’m learning to celebrate our marriage in the mundane. I’m learning to just lean in, and take it as it comes, and show my wife in the routine that she is still my priority. It’s usually not a big, romantic gesture. It’s the serving. The words. The attitudes toward her and the kids. It’s learning to let the moments, the tasks, the mundane breathe love for her.

I’m finding ways to show that love on a consistent basis. Giving her the afternoon to go out or work; making sure she comes home to a clean house; cooking dinner; bringing home her favorite dessert for no reason. In the routine, it’s building a routine of affection, concern, consideration– merely showing that she’s always on my mind and heart. Small actions accumulated go so much farther to demonstrate love than the occasional all-out gift.

Love is serving. It is laying down my life–setting it aside–for her good. And this happens not on the celebratory days, not the annual remembrances, not the special occasions; it happens every day, in the mundane. In the rhythm of life love grows deep. In the mundane, passion becomes loyalty. In the routine, I learn how to give extraordinary love.

Lessons Learned From a Family Missions Trip

Family Missions Trip
I’m not sure why it takes me leaving the country to make everything in my brain and heart line up correctly, but it does. I get out of whack here in the US– or, at least, my priorities do. I get into routine, comfort, and expectations for what I believe should be normal, and it all goes south. And impressively fast.

For the past three years, I have taken one or both of my boys on a trip to Honduras to serve with a ministry that we love and support. When I step my foot off of the plane in Honduras, I remember with my very heart what it means when Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” I get to smell, touch and see those who are (by all the world’s standards) poor, but yet very, very rich in what matters. That is something I want my boys to experience as well.

I want my boys to see that they don’t know hunger. As we step out of a van into trash, human waste, and decay, they see a child about 11 months of age. No shoes, no diaper, and a tattered shirt, waiting patiently in line to receive a meal from our team. Possibly the only meal that has not been retrieved from someone’s trash in quite some time.

I want them to know, and I want to be reminded, that I become impatient if my meal takes more than 15-20 minutes in a restaurant. To think that I flippantly say, “I’m starving” if I’ve gone more than about 4 hours without a meal. Yet, this child waits patiently, not complaining, and with a smile on her face. Grateful. I want to be and I want my boys to be hungry like this for Jesus. Hungry to always know our need for Jesus.

I also want our boys to feel. I want them to feel the joy of seeing other believers who love Jesus with a fire and passion that I want them to have. I want them to feel the happiness of a boy who does not carry our last name on his birth certificate, but who has his name branded on our hearts. A boy who knows how to embrace life with arms wide open despite abandonment that left them empty not so long ago. I want them to feel the sorrow of so many that stare into hopelessness day after day.

Finally, I want them to be humbled. Humbled by a God that would come down to this earth so that this would not be the end. That created a way for us to live for something beyond ourselves. To give a purpose, a hope, and a future. To have them come undone so that they might come together with a one-track heart and mind.

I know that taking your family to serve in another country is a big commitment of your time and your money. I also know that there is plenty of work to be done in our country as well. But I do think that there is great value in a father showing his son that men must be champions of service. That is better modeled than discussed.

“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next.” –C.S. Lewis

What lessons have you learned from serving with your kids? How has it shaped their worldview?

Sharing the Glory of the Mundane

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I sometimes look around me and wonder how in the world I can communicate a concept to my sons. I have a great batch of guys here, two adults and four younger sons, and I am humbled and delighted by the men they are growing to be, every one of them. God has blessed our efforts to raise them to know their Savior and their duty, and to embrace them both.

But there’s something I recognize in myself that I never expected when I was younger, and no one ever really spoke to me about. Like most young guys, I had visions of the different roles I hoped to play. The childhood dreams of military glory and academic honor moderated to the actual achievements of a decent education and an honorable four years as a lieutenant.  My late-high school decision to pursue an engineering degree led to a useful twenty years in government and industry service, before striking out in a different direction as an entrepreneur (and occasional consultant) – not as chief engineer of a large industrial site, but as CEO of a tiny company of my own.

More intriguing than those kinds of vision changes—after all, who hasn’t changed careers or employers, or recognized their boyhood fantasy wasn’t the stuff of reality—more interesting to me is the change I found in my daily outlook.

When I went to college, my parents gave me a monthly allowance for incidental expenses—a massive $100 a month. Yes, it was a few years ago, but not that long ago. It was sufficient for someone of conservative tastes living in the dorms. I remember my dad remarking, a bit wryly, “You know, I think you have more disposable income here than I do.”

No way, I thought. Dad was always truthful, but surely that couldn’t be accurate.

As an adult, I realized that he was probably right. I’d still like a hundred dollars a month to just spend “however.” But what I never expected was that as an adult, I would look at that and say It’s okay. I would consider the money we had tied up in our house, groceries, taxes, electricity, and say, “It’s the cost of being a grown-up and having a family, and I accept it.” I would see a more affluent friend and not envy the BMW he drove to work, but admire his new 15-passenger van instead.

Recently I read an article by a professor at Liberty University, arguing for the value of marriage as a cornerstone of our adult lives – not a capstone, to add once we achieve our career plans and financial goals, but as a foundational part of our lives that we build upon with those other dreams and aspirations. One phrase leaped out at me: she spoke of learning “to luxuriate in the quotidian.” In other words, we discover satisfaction, and really, delight, in the everyday duties and responsibilities of marriage and family. I never expected that, but I’ve found it to be true. And that is an idea I hope I communicate to my sons—sure, dream, aspire, work hard for noble and ambitious goals, but realize that at the end of the day, there is a treasury of happiness in the simple and profound calling of husband, father, and householder.

Take Aim and Release

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I recently had the amazing opportunity to listen to a challenge from Dr. Duane Litfin. If you are not familiar with the name, he is the President Emeritus of Wheaton College, and brought some great reminders to me in his presentation.

We read from Psalm 127. I have to admit, I had never taken the whole chapter as a single topic, but after hearing this, I felt compelled to share.

You see, I find myself challenged with the notion that my day-job needs to matter. From what I have read in management literature, I am not alone in this. We all need to have a sense that we are not just wasting our days and that we will come to the end of our lives wondering if we really made a difference.  Here is what the Psalmist had to say…

1 Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. 2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves. 3 Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court. (NIV)

I have never really connected verses 1-2 with 3-5 before. Solomon was passing along some wisdom that really struck home with me. It is not an accident that he starts by saying that the Lord needs to be in the center of the work, but then he wraps it all up talking about our kids and the blessing they are.

Solomon was really onto something here. I have always said that my definition of success in this life is that my grandchildren are serving God. Regardless of where I work, and what I do, my first, and most powerful, field of influence is my children.

C.S. Lewis once said “All that is not eternal is eternally out of date.”

How much of the daily work I do is outdated the moment I finish it? Is my career really all about things that no one will know about, or care about, decades from now? I contrast that against the generations before me, and the generations that come after me. My dad does not have much in the way of material possessions, but he did leave me and my siblings a legacy to follow: A passionate legacy of living a life with God unashamedly.

Am I looking at my kids as a blessing? Many days – yes. Some days I forget and need this reminder.

Am I intentional in how I aim their lives towards the Lord? I need to be more so. When I am not placing a priority on my children, and their need for seeing who God is, it is because I am guilty of placing too much emphasis on other endeavors. Endeavors that, regardless of how noble, pale in comparison to my role as the father, mentor, leader in my home. My boys need to see the God I serve. They need to know that I am here for them. They need to know that true manhood is experiencing a personal relationship with the God of creation.

Disclaimer: I often refer to myself as a Jack of all Trades, Master of None. May I learn to be a Master of One Trade – Dad.

One Of The Greatest Gifts To Our Sons

On April 22 my wife and I celebrated our 18th Anniversary. It’s natural to reflect on the many adventures we’ve shared during those years. As with all marriages, we’ve had our share of challenges. We’ve fought through financial setbacks, weathered thirteen moves, and experienced three different career paths. But the most rewarding aspect of these 18 years has been our three boys. For most of those years, fifteen to be exact, a son has been listening to and observing us together. You could say they have been the source of much of our happiness and delight. They’ve been the source of some of those challenges as well. Nevertheless, they bring an added sense of purpose and meaning to our family. And for that reason I am thankful for the woman that God has given me as a wife and mother.

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When I consider the purpose and responsibility of a family, it’s imperative that I acknowledge how my sons observe the way my wife and I treat each other. How we speak to one another, support one another, and handle conflict are all paramount in raising our boys. Obviously, we aren’t perfect. We have made countless mistakes. Many times our boys have observed our messiness. Unfortunately, they’ve expressed those mistakes and failures in their own life at times.

Therefore, I want to share with you one of the greatest gifts you can give your son(s). For some of you this may seem obvious. To others, it might be unassuming. Either way, do not take for granted how important this is in raising your boys.

Gifts To Our Sons
One of the greatest gifts you can give your boys is the example of loving, honoring, and esteeming your wife. I understand there is more to unpack here than I have time for in a blog post. But here are some questions (and some added comments) that might open the way for reflection. I find myself pondering these often. Ask God to help you be real, honest and humble. By the way, it’s not easy to be real, but the reward is always underestimated.

How does your son feel about girls/women in general? Does he view them as inferior or second-class?

(Your son is learning, whether or not you’re aware, so you be the one to teach him. Is he being taught a clear understanding of how God intends for men and women to relate to each other: work related, friendship, dating, marriage, etc?)

How does he hear you talk about your wife when she is not around?

(This tends to be most telling when you and your wife are experiencing conflict. What does he learn about humility, honor, esteeming another person, responsibility, blaming, courage, and selflessness?)

Is the physical more important than the other aspects of her being?

(Women love to hear that they’re beautiful, but include the inside as well as the outside. Boys need to see the beauty of Christ is multi-faceted as it’s expressed in all of us. This includes a woman’s intellect, emotions, creativity, gifts, talents, and aspirations)

Do you find ways to serve her in front of your son?

(I say in front of your son not to show off or to be a fake, but genuinely offering yourself in a way that honors and esteems her as a woman of God. The small things go a long way. If you don’t know how or what that is, then ask her. This is the beginning step to teaching your son about having a servant’s heart)

Do you participate in discussions, often with other guys, where it casts women in a demeaning or slanderous light?

(Our boys are growing up in a generation where TV, media, and entertainment cast women as objects and men as bozos. Teaching them to treat girls with respect, tenderness, and selflessness begins with being a leader in the marriage)

Do you ask for her opinion or insight when making decisions? Does she feel she is in partnership with you or just a bystander reaping the consequences of what you decide?

(Are you always right? Is it your way or the highway? Teaching our sons to be inclusive to others in problem solving is not only honoring to them, but also helps teach selflessness and tolerance)

Do you compliment and praise her? Her looks, her accomplishments, her attention to the home, the kids, the meals, YOU!

(The best way to ensure your son learns gratitude is to express your gratefulness to your wife. Show it, say it, and share it…make it a habit)

How does she know you are leading her? What are the ways she would say you are leading in the home?

(This takes humility, so be prepared for her honesty. Having a date night speaks volumes about relationship to your son. He will notice much of what has been discussed above: esteeming her, showing her value, being selfless, and making the people we love a priority)

By no means are these questions meant to be exhaustive, or to “guilt” you into a performance-based way of relationships. Rather, I hope they spark some self-evaluation as you consider the messages your son might be getting as he observes you and your wife together. What a responsibility AND opportunity we have as fathers. We have a direct influence on the next generation of leaders…our sons. We also have an empowering influence on the next generation of husbands and fathers. I would argue there is nothing more important to a man’s success in life.

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Know your role!

Know Your Role
One of the key ingredients to being a strategic and intentional dad is teaching our boys to apply biblical truth to everyday life. I have often found that life as a follower of Jesus gets fuzzier the closer it gets to real life. As fathers, we must understand that we must fulfill three primary roles in the discipleship of our boys.

Dads must be primary teachers.

A father’s goal for his boys should be to root their identity in the existence and glory of God. Far too many times, I parent as if God doesn’t exist. We should never allow our children to believe in a God who is distant and uninvolved. That means we must make it abundantly clear that God is with us in the mundane, ordinary tasks of the day. Our boys must see us glorifying God in all areas of our life. We must seek to embed the story of our sons in the larger story of God.

Dads must be primary counselors.

A father must realize that he is the negotiator in a house full of sinners, of which he is the worst. God’s plan for the family is to be a picture of redemptive community. In order for that to happen, fathers must lead their families in gospel-centered conflict resolution. Our sons must see a godly example from us on how to talk with another, serve one another, make decisions, and deal with differences. We must make sure that we do not give into surface solutions rather than dealing with our son’s heart.

Dads must be primary coaches.

Great coaches prepare, model, and adjust. Dads must prepare like coaches by parenting with the end in mind. We must know our “personnel” and prepare them to be people of hope even in the midst of a fallen world. We must also parent with a humble awareness of our own sin. Last time I checked, I don’t recall Romans 3:23 saying that just our boys sin. Boys must hear from their dads that only through Christ can we truly experience freedom from the things with which we struggle. The hope of the gospel must be the constant theme in the life of our family. Finally, we must be willing to adjust and make sure that we never let the minor trials of life take our mind away from the major issue at hand, casting and modeling vision for our boys about what it means to be a godly man.

These three roles will play a critical part in how we teach and shape the worldview of our sons. My prayer is that we all take each role seriously and that we strive to glorify God through the way we invest in the lives of our boys.

What role do you find the most difficult? What methods are you using in your house to fulfill these roles?

 

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It’s all about giving HOPE to those who need it most. This party promotes the Mother’s Day Special going on right now at MOB. Not familiar? Head here for all the details about this great project to provide meaningful, noble work for women who have been trapped in the sex trade. We need your help to spread to the word about this project!

Need another reason? Enter the giveaway at the MOB society site today, and you’ll be entered to win a great Mother’s Day gift for the BoyMom in your life.  The package includes a Freeset bag, bag of coffee beans from Avodah, and a copy of Hope for the Weary Mom.

See ya over there, Party Crashers!

 

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What A Man’s Gotta Do

WhatamansgottadoMy wife, weak from the stomach flu, came out of the bathroom where she’d been hiding out—hiding by my request, I should say.

“I’m so sorry,” she said, shakily. “I feel like I shouldn’t have left you out there to do that.”

She had just stepped into the bathroom for the bedtime rituals when one of our younger children stumbled to the door of our bedroom and was gloriously sick—on me, on the laundry beside the door, the surroundings generally. Knowing Melanie was in a dicey state already, I had called out to her, “You stay where you are—we’ll take care of it.” Two of my sons scrambled for towels, trash bags, all the stuff needed to get the situation at least stabilized, and in a few minutes we got the sick child off to a different bathroom, the first load in the laundry, and Ground Zero restored to a more hygienic state.

It made me think about my father, who passed away while I was in college. Dad was a strong man with a weak stomach. My mother used to tell me that if my sister or I were sick, or even needed a serious diaper change, Dad would take care of the cleanup without hesitation or complaint, and when the crisis was over, excuse himself to the bathroom and be privately ill. Mom tried to spare him that indignity whenever possible, but the thing that she remembered and shared with us was that, even so, he went ahead and did it.

I’ve often thought that most Christians are not likely to face lions in the Arena – we brace ourselves up for that – but more often, we’re pecked to death by chickens. My dad never took a bullet for any of us, he never took newsworthy public stands or did remarkable feats of heroism, but he lived a life of quiet faithfulness to the needs of his family. I’m sure he would have run into burning buildings for any of us, but he answered the call of marriage and fatherhood by doing the routine, boring, even nauseating stuff, just as a matter of course.

The old Western-movie cliché is “Sometimes a man’s gotta do, what a man’s gotta do.” I learned from my dad that most of what a man’s gotta do is not the stuff of movies or newsreels, but the simple willingness to sacrifice his own desires and comfort for the needs of someone else. I hope my sons are learning the same lesson from me.

 

Photo Credit

Lights – Camera – Romance??

So here we are in February. And what is February famous for (other than being really cold)? Valentine’s Day, of course. (Okay dads, if you missed this one, this blog is probably too late to save you from spending a night or two in the doghouse.)

All the marketing around romance really strikes a chord with many women. You know … candy, flowers, a babysitter and dinner out, diamonds, cards, sonnets–and the list goes on and on–but let’s talk about how guys see romance for a minute.

I do not speak for all of us guys, but thinking about the action movies I have seen–yep, there have been many–they have a couple of things in common: lots of action, a noble cause, and the damsel in distress. Without the damsel to rescue, it all seems sort of pointless, doesn’t it?

 

RescueThis makes me think of the Bible. To summarize the Bible, I will borrow from a friend who says the Bible is the “ultimate romance novel.” You have the damsel locked in the tower and oppressed by the dragon. The prince, and son of the king, is challenged with a mighty quest to slay the dragon, rescue the princess, and take her back to his kingdom where there is a mighty feast and wedding, followed by happily ever after. This makes sense. This is an action movie at its finest. And it just oozes romance.

Who is Jesus Christ to me? Who do I tell my sons that He is? He is our knight in shining armor; He is our rescuer. He overcame the dragon for us, and He is worthy of loyalty and service. We are the damsel, and Christ rescued us.

Within the last month, my wife and I brought two more children into our home. They have been in the foster care program in our state for a couple of years and desperately wanted a forever family. We felt the call on our lives to expand our family and love some additional children into our family.

In a divine encounter that only God knew was coming, our lives and the lives of these two children changed forever. A sacrificial love that we learned from the greatest lover of all. A love that says, “get out of your comfort zone and try a little romance.” Not Hollywood romance. Not Harlequin romance. The romance that says, “I chose you. I promise to love you forever.”

Without the rescue, the rest is pointless.

Disclaimer: While I did serve in the Marine Corp and trained in demolitions, true romance does not require anything to be blown up. Despite the popularity of explosions in many of my favorite action movies.

John Goyer is a husband, dad, grandfather and computer geek with a passion for families and marriage. He is the father of 6 children (ages 23 to 2), 2 of which he adopted and 2 which will soon be adopted. By day he serves at FamilyLife (www.familylife.com) and by night he chases, tosses, tickles, bathes, loves and leads his children towards a faith in Jesus Christ.

Kissing in the New Year

Hey Dad,

Happy New Year! Hope you had a great time with your family over the holiday and are ready to start the New Year. I don’t know about you, but I’m not always really thrilled to start a new year … I was just getting used to the old one.

Plus, I’m not the kind of guy who likes to make New Year’s resolutions and goals. Like Mary Poppins said so nicely, “Those are pie crust ‘resolutions,’ easily made and easily broken.”

However, I do have two minor … uh … let’s call them pseudo-resolutions. Here they are:

1) Empty the trash can under the kitchen sink.

2) Kiss my wife more.

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Photo Credit // The U.S. National Archives on Flickr Commons

I told you they were minor. Actually, they both came about because of conversations with my wife. For one, she told me that she doesn’t like constantly emptying the trash can under the sink. She even hinted that somewhere in the Bible it must say it’s the husband’s responsibility. I’ll have to check on that one. But I decided I’d like to do that for my wife … and at least it’s something small.

The kissing one is something I’m doing for my children. I was shocked the other day when my wife relayed a conversation she had with the kids in which they agreed that they hardly ever see us kiss.

I was tempted to argue the fact and point out that I hug and kiss my wife all the time … okay, some of the time. Then I decided that if that’s their perception, I’m going to change it.

I know how important it is for my kids to see us kiss and hug. It proves that what I say about loving their mom is true. When they see me kissing their mom, they feel secure in our love for each other. Even if we argue and get mad sometimes, kissing shows that our love for each other is strong and lasting.

It’s that powerful.

Now, my wife gets a little skittish about public smooching in front of the kids. She may put up a struggle … but it won’t work, because I’m ‘da dad and that’s part of my training strategy for fathering. And that’s what I’m going to do. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.

How about you, dad? Got any minor pseudo-resolutions? You might think about joining me in my quest for public wife-smooching. It’s certainly more fun than emptying the trash can under the kitchen sink.

 

You ‘da dad,

Todd

Todd “The Familyman” Wilson

www.familymanweb.com

The Servant Dad {A Role, But First A Response}

Being a Servant Dad ~www.boydads.com

{The celebration continues! In honor of our launch, Patrick Schwenk is giving away three copies of The Dig for Kids, his devotional book for families! See details on how to enter below.}

My father’s wedding ring looks so much smaller in the palm of my hand than it had looked around his finger.  As a child, I would curiously spin this ring of gold around his finger.  I would slip it off, then back on again.  I would sometimes wear it loosely around my skinny fingers, wondering what it would be like to wear one of my own someday.

For 49 years my dad had worn this ring around his finger.  A simple, but sacred, symbol of the vow he had made to my mom at the altar on their wedding day.  Both of them made costly commitments of love to one another that day.

I take you to be my wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, ’till death do us part.

This ring must have been so much heavier to wear than it is for me to hold now.  Its symbolic significance is one of service to a family and for a family.  To be a servant-Dad and husband is not just a role- first, it is a response.  It is a response to the grace poured out on us in Jesus as servant to us.  This grace, received, and then responded to, informs our role as men to our families. As Tim Keller writes, “Jesus redefined all authority as servant-authority.” 

Paul wrote to a group of Christians in the city of Ephesus (Ch. 5), encouraging them to model what Jesus had done for them.  The gospel has to be in us before it comes out of us.  And so Paul uses the picture of Jesus’ sacrificial love and service as a model to motivate husbands and fathers to embody the same for their families.

“25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church.”

This passage is a reminder that wearing a ring is also taking up a cross. Though much could be said here, I am reminded as we start a new year that God calls us to serve our families in the following three ways:

Serve with grace – God does not love us based on our performance or behavior. To serve our families with grace is to unconditionally love them and lead them even when it is difficult.  His grace transforms our hearts and doesn’t just train our behavior.    He is tender, patient, compassionate, and slow to anger.

Serve with sacrifice – God’s love was costly.  It was not merely an emotion or sentiment.  Jesus loved with actions.  As the suffering servant, Jesus looked to the interest of others before his own.  This grace, poured out for us and in us, motivates us (and empowers us) to do the same for our families.

Serve with truth – Serving like Jesus is not merely a duty; it has a destination.  Jesus sacrificially served so that we might walk in the truth and be found growing in the direction of holiness.  We are called to serve our families by spiritually leading them, teaching them, and modeling Jesus to them.  This servant-leadership is for the purpose of leading them toward a living and growing relationship with their Savior.

In this New Year, may God’s grace, which has been poured out on you, empower you to serve your family as Jesus serves his church.  May your role as a dad not just be a responsibility, but may it be a joyful response to the good news of Jesus at work in you.  And may your ring be a constant reminder of your commitment and calling to serve with grace, sacrificial love, and truth.

Blessings in Christ,

Patrick Schwenk, The Dig for Kids

Of the three types of service we looked at today, which is the hardest for you to demonstrate?

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We’re giving away three copies of Patrick’s popular devotional for families, The Dig for Kids! All launch giveaways end 1/31/13. You’re welcome to enter as many times as you like.

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