Category Archives: wisdom

The Difference Between Growth and Maturity

We turned a corner with our bedtime routine tonight. I lay below my 2-year-old Jesse on a small futon while he goes to sleep in his crib. Usually he insists on my hand being stuck through the slats and cocked in an unnatural position so he can lay his head in my palm. But that isn’t what he wanted tonight. He lay with his arm stuck through the slats for me to lay my head on!

I don’t know exactly what this meant to him, but I tend to think that he feels comfortable enough without my hand being in his space that he is returning the favor of an assuring hand to me. I also think that he is gaining some independence, but he still wants to know someone is there.

Signs of growth are always exciting- and I believe that is what I witnessed tonight.

But I’m not ready to leave it all up to him to care for me- he isn’t mature enough for that. When I have my hand in the crib for him to lay on, he twists it up so uncomfortably until it is in a comfortable position for him. And though he offered his hand to me tonight, he still wasn’t happy unless I used it the way he wanted me to (and he let me know, nice and loud!)

So here is a quick picture of the difference between growth and maturity:
Young and immature: I’ll help myself…
Growing but immature: I’ll help you in my own way…
Growing and maturing: I’ll help you in the way that is most helpful to you.

How frequently do we adults say (in our minds) “I’ll help you, but in my own way?” When/with whom are we most prone to be that way? How do we snap back to maturity?

Thanks for your “likes” and comments!

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Every Child Should Have a Father Like This…

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I’ve been blogging for a long time now. I write about faith, family, and fatherhood. I’m very passionate about it and becoming much more intentional about the impact I hope and pray my efforts make.

Narrowing down your focus can be difficult. But I discovered this week that it doesn’t have to be. Deciding what my focus should be came very easy when I stopped to look back at what has made the biggest impact on me as I have learned to be a father to my children and a leader for my family.

And so I make the following declaration, which will be the focus of my assertion and exertion, personally and in my work to strengthen fathers and families:

Every child should have a father.
That father is to be loving, wise, and just.

There is the Father of all, Jesus Christ, whom all must know. He also is the benchmark for love, wisdom, and justice that earthly fathers must imitate. And so my efforts would be two-fold: know the Father, and imitate Him. By teaching on love, wisdom, and justice, I would hope to inspire those who would be like Him for their children, as well as the fatherless of the world.

Simple, huh? Well, simply stated at least. If it were easy, then there would be many more happy children of all ages. There would be stronger families and a better society. I know I am one of many voices that are saying fathers need to step up for their children and families. But until every child has a relationship with their Father and the example of a father, I’ll keep speaking out in the best way I know how, in the way God has revealed to me to do so.

Don’t You Have Somewhere To Be?

And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem. (2 Samuel 11:1 KJV)

“Don’t you have somewhere to be right now?” is a question we have all heard at some point. The person asking, usually a parent, teacher, or spouse depending on your age, typically is not asking for their own benefit, and they usually know the answer already.

If there had been a higher authority than King David in Israel, then perhaps someone would have posed this question to him as he stood in the comfort and safety of his home. He was supposed to be off to war. But he was in the wrong place at just the right time to make a huge mistake. In due time, David committed adultery with Uriah’s wife.

Big trouble happens when we aren’t where we should be. It becomes easy to lose track of important priorities when we aren’t attending to our duties. Plenty of people mess up and blame some sort of character flaw for their fall, but much more often, good-intentioned people fall into moral, ethical, and spiritual pits because they are not spending time in the right places, working on the right things.

Be at home working on your family relationships. At work earning a living. In school getting an education. There is a time for everything- for fun, for rest, for work. Take work home less and be involved at home.

Wives and children get neglected when time passes without the presence and involvement of a husband/father. Whether physically or emotionally absent, there are consequences for not fulfilling your role in the lives of those around you. Don’t you have somewhere to be right now?

Starts with Dad, Starts at Home

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. (Genesis 18:19 KJV)

Does the Lord know this about you, dad? Is the legacy and the blessing safe with you? Will your generations to come call you a blessed example, a great believer, a strong provider, a faithful teacher? Can God deliver on the promise that is meant for your family through faith, because you impart faith to your family?

Live simply. Love completely. Lead diligently. Serve humbly. Start at home.

Love Mercy

He hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:8

The words of this scripture are significant to me in a number of ways. I have heard them most recently in the song by Casting Crowns entitled “Courageous,” featured in the movie of the same name. This scripture is the key verse for the Union University School of Social Work, from which I graduated. It is but one of many scriptural iterations of what pleases God in our daily lives.

To love mercy requires that we be satisfied with God’s sense of satisfaction, exacting no more from anyone than He does. It also requires each of us to realize that no greater price has been exacted from us than what He has required for wrongs done, mistakes made. People may be cruel, but Christ is not. And I must love His mercy by following His example, not man’s.

True Wisdom…

Is rooted in God’s truth.
Is a fruit of faith and Godly living.
Makes difficult decisions easy.
Impacts daily life in a practical way.
Is skill in the art of simple living.
Works.

Do Justice

He hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6:8

The words of this scripture are significant to me in a number of ways. I have heard them most recently in the song by Casting Crowns entitled “Courageous,” featured in the movie of the same name. This scripture is the key verse for the Union University School of Social Work, from which I graduated. It is but one of many scriptural iterations of what pleases God in our daily lives.

To do justice may involve many things. When I think about the family, doing justice by our children involves giving them the discipline and training required to be successful in life, before God. It means taking a long-term view of living that sometimes denies the desires of the present in favor of sustained happiness in the future. Teaching children to wait with patience for those things that are most important in life and will lead them to peace, without fear of negative consequences. Instilling good habit the importance of work, the value of prayer, the value of helping others.

How else do we do justice by our children? I invite you respond!