Monthly Archives: August 2016
Quite often I notice something peculiar about my family that makes me think, “That is really unique to them and it endears them to me.” So I hope to keep an ongoing log, since often these things come strike me as unique but I forget about them until they happen again. Maybe I will use this strategically at some point to show that I am paying attention, and also to express why I love each of them so much. I will update this as content is revealed.
- (02.06.17) My wife is very good at traditions that teach us something about what really matters in life. In the run-up to Valentine’s Day she decorates little sacks with our names on them. She then encourages us to place gifts in those sacks, or to write a note that expresses the reason why we love the one for whom the note was written. She also diligently uses an advent calendar to teach Bella the story of Jesus coming to earth. She is very thoughtful and very consistent. She is a Proverbs 31 woman.
- (04.26.17) She is gentle, merciful and tender-hearted. But she is also learning to do and say hard things that need to be done and said. She continues to grow as a woman and person.
- (08.04.16) He has a sensitive heart. When he has done something wrong, he has come clean. It hurts him to confess, but he can’t keep his failures to himself. I thank God that he has a heart that makes it hard for him to sweep his sin under the rug. This is one of the greatest assurances I have that he is truly a Christian. He also has a soft heart for people.
- (04.25.17) L hit his first homerun yesterday. He hit it to left field and drove in two runs. There was no error on the play and he motored around to score. He was very excited and his teammates jumped up on him to congratulate him. It was the last at-bat of the game and we won by rain-out.
- (09.08.16) Elijah came in from the first day of school so determined to work hard at Mathmasters – a timed math test the students do for awards. His teacher told the class they were going to have work hard and be on top of things. Elijah came home and promptly made flash cards, working diligently to master multiplication – over a weekend no less. He really is a hard and determined worker.
- (02.09.17) I like that E doesn’t really care what his hair looks like. If it is sticking up in the back, no biggy. If I knew my hair was sticking up like Alphalpha, I would be anxious about what others think. Not E. He also doesn’t care if his pants look like he is ready for a flood. He does care about some things, like being late, but I like that he has a degree of not being overly preoccupied with superficial things.
- (o4.26.17) The kid really is low maintenance in many ways. Not all, but most. He does require the coolest brand of clothes. He could really care less about getting new shoes. I have to almost make him go with us to try them on to buy them.
- (08.04.16) She wakes up talking. Seriously, she immediately begins to talk the moment she is conscious, and then she talks til she goes to bed. The first part is entertaining, but the rest can get tiring. A few times on trips she has shared a bed with me and I have actually observed her open her eyes, and immediately begin to talk about the most random things.
- (04.26.17) I like it when she crawls up on my leg and lays back and watches TV with me. It’s about the only time she stays still.
- (04.26.17) She really likes to pick flowers and give them to her mommy. She often sees one or several from the car and wants me to stop so we can pick them.
He will die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he will go astray. Proverbs 5:23
This sentence is the concluding warning to a son about the very real danger of lust and adultery (Matthew 5:27-30). And as much as anything, it is a desperate and passionate plea for the well-being of a son(s). Read and listen carefully to the words of the teacher in Proverbs 5:1-7:
“Give attention to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding; that you may observe discretion and your lips may reserve knowledge. For this lips of the adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps take hold of Sheol. She does not ponder the path of life; her ways are unstable, she does not know it. Now then, my sons, listen to me and do not depart from the words of my mouth. Keep away from her…”
Do you hear the concern, passion and urgency? Thousands of years later, has anything changed that we should be any less concerned than the writer of Proverbs?
My own boys are at the age for which this is a very real threat to their soul because of the easy access to porn. They are on devices regularly and even though we have rules and we monitor it closely, we can’t be with them every single second. If they have a device in their hands, or they are with friends who have access to the world through the web, then danger is lurking. If they go to the grocery store, there are magazine racks full of women clothed provocatively to entice a sell of something. If they go to nearly any movie, even animated ones, the potential for lust is there. Satan has lust-lures everywhere, and every male (not to exclude women, but I am addressing fathers and sons particularly) must determine in his mind not to let his impulses lead him to take the bait and swallow the sin of lust hook, line and sinker. Satan never stops fishing for the ill-prepared.
A point-blank, man-to-man question here: “Is your son prepared?”
Grandfathers, have you asked your son if he has had this talk with his son? Because if your son won’t talk to your grandson and lovingly warn him, someone needs to. It’s biblical. It’s needed. It’s loving. It’s the right thing to do. This needs to be done, and when it is done, it needs to be done again and again. Don’t be a coward to awkwardness. Do Proverbs 5 with your son and soberly say to him:
Lust and adultery will kill you, my son, so don’t go near it! But if you do, flee from it like Joseph ran from Potiphar’s wife! It will cost you more than than a few moments of guilty pleasure. It will start small, but will numb you deeply, stealing your years. Pay attention son, because I know! I know from personal experience and years of observation. This is not something to be played with. This is deadly serious! If you give in to it, you will live in perpetual guilt, and you will recoil from the love of God. It will make you withdraw from God’s word and God’s people. It will make you lazy, because porn is easy. You will not pursue your wife the way God intended. You will not value you her and you will treat God’s design of marriage with contempt. And generally, you will devalue women. You will treat them like objects instead of sisters who were created in the image of God. Son, don’t do porn! Flee from it! God’s way is better and more satisfying.
Fathers and grandfathers, honor God’s protective word and do this. And do it sooner rather than later. As is true in most cases, prevention is better than treatment. Get ahead of this if you still can, but for the love God and your son, do something.
I’ve only know one man who said he never looked at porn, and he said he didn’t look because his dad told him not to. Dad, don’t underestimate the power of hard talks. God uses hard-talk honesty. That doesn’t mean it will work perfectly for you and your son, but it’s better to have tried than to have disobeyed. Trust the power of God’s word and do Proverbs 5.
One last thought to the guilt-laden dad or grandfather. If you are failing or have failed, remember that Christ finished the work of redemption for your sin and failures. Turn from your sin(s) (repent), rest in the gospel (trust/believe) and let it move you to obey (fruit of assurance) as you may have the opportunity. If you have failed, be honest and make much of Jesus and your need of Him. Jesus gives us the freedom to confess and be authenticate with others.
Let’s be honest, men, we need to do this. May the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead make it so for the glory of God together, for the good of others and our eternal joy.