There is a Gray Line Between Attraction and Lust

Guard Your Heart's Door

 

Today I am guest posting here at BoyDads.com. Below is an excerpt from the article.

 

How do I tell my son that the attractions he has is normal and ok, but there is a gray line between attraction and lust that will one day make war with his heart and soul.

I don’t want my son to ever feel shame for seeing a woman as beautiful and attractive. I also don’t want my son to ever blame a woman for his lustful thoughts or his wandering eye. I want him to see a woman the way he ought to: To look upon her with dignity and to see her as unique individual who has been crafted by God. And if she is beautiful then that is ok to recognize that. Nothing more.

To read the full article at boydads.com click here.

The Sins They Are Afraid to Admit to You

jesuspaiditall

Every evening when darkness fell, I climbed into bed anticipating the steps of my dad entering my room.

At six years old I would listen as footsteps made their way up and down the hall. Sometimes my room first, other times my sisters’ room.

And so it went every evening my dad would read to me from the Bible followed by singing and praying. One of my favorite songs I heard, was this chorus line we sung together:

“Jesus paid it all,

all to Him I owe,

Sin had a left a crimson stain,

He washed it white as snow.”

I’m not sure why this song has been my favorite for so long. Maybe it’s the simplicity of it. Maybe it’s because the older I get the more meaning it has. When “Jesus paid it all”, there is more all today then there was yesterday. With each passing day there is more all that has been paid. The more all, the more I owe.

Or do I really owe Him?

Pure theologians might argue that we don’t really owe Him anything. This is true, but I think the phrase captures the reality that when He paid it all, there is a debt I cannot pay, which makes my gratitude greater. Knowing that I don’t have to pay Him, increases my gratitude all the more.

I sing this song to my own children, in hopes they too grasp how simple the gospel is, yet how great the impact it has. To know that our sins are like crimson stains that He has washed white as the purest snow. I want them to know that God views us as the purest snow that falls in the winter. I want them to see others the way God sees us.

When sin and heartache ravage people’s lives and families, I want my children to remember, that Jesus has paid it all. Not just part of it or when they repent or get it together. But all of it. For who really has it all together.

He has paid it all yesterday, today and tomorrow.

When I sing this song now, I ask myself: “Do I live like I believe that He has paid it all?” And when I look at others, especially those I go to church with, am I willing to say that Jesus has paid their all.

All of them, all of their sins.

Their present sins.

The sins they will commit tomorrow.

The sins they are to afraid to confess and admit to you.

Are we people who will trust God with the sins of others?

Can we be their friend, not their God.

What I Overheard at Panera Bread {And How it Applied to Me}

I Don't Feel Close To God

Sitting in Panera Bread, quietly munching, I overhear behind me a man sharing the gospel with a woman. I usually don’t eavesdrop on people, but as I was preparing to place my earbuds in to work, his words jumped out at me. He was explaining trust to his friend and how we trust God.

I heard the most profound thing come from his lips, which I know were meant for me, a stranger at his back:

“In the same way we form deep, meaningful friendships based on trust, is also how we form a deep relationship with Jesus.”

I feel close to God when I trust Him.

When I don’t trust Him is when I feel furthest.

All these years I thought if I just read my Bible enough, be good enough, love others enough then maybe I’ll feel close to God.

Even when I thought I was on my ‘A’ game with all the good enoughs, truth is, I didn’t feel much closer to God. Even on my worst days I felt just as far away from Him as I did when I appeared to be doing all the right things.

Something seemingly so simple, so obvious when realizing it, I wonder how I didn’t see it before.

Trust Him.

“Trust Me.” He says.

Trust Me. Trust Me when you don’t know what to do.

Trust Me when all that you thought you had figured out looks nothing like you think it’s suppose to look.

Trust Me when your confused about who you are and where you’re going.

Trust Me and you’ll never feel far away for I, the Alpha and Omega, have been here all along.

Trust Me.

Instead of working on my performance to feel close to Him, I merely have to work on trusting Him. In this paradigm I feel the heavy weight lifted from my shoulders. The more I know my Savior, the more I begin to trust Him.

How freeing to truly feel that I don’t have to perform or work hard to feel Him close. All I have to do is trust.

I have no reason not to feel close to Him. For he promises to be with me always.

 “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mathew 28:20

I just need to trust His promises.

Trust.

 

When My Son’s Error Corrects Me

Often times God uses my children to teach me things. I’ve noticed lately that God has been using my son. Maybe its because I see so much of myself in him. Shocker, considering he is my son. In moments like the story I share in my guest post, I usually enter the situation thinking how I’m going to show my son the errors of his way and teach him a great lesson that I’ll pride myself in. The reality is, I am the one who often walks humbly away, more changed and corrected then he.

Boy Dads Image

You can find me over at BoyDads.com today! This is my first guest post for them, well for that matter, anyone. I will occasionally be writing for them about once a month. A wonderful group of men write here specifically to encourage dads of boys, hence the name BoyDads.com.

 

 

When It Feels Like Satan Wins

Whenitfeelslikesatanwins

It’s pervasive in my thoughts.

Satan always wins.

I say it in frustration when I see him trying to tear our family apart through subtle instances and feel like God isn’t there to stop it.

Scanning the latest bad news across the twitter stream, it’s there. It’s there when I open my local newspaper and see another sexual abuser being arrested. It’s there when I read blogs depicting devastation that has wreaked havoc on peoples lives.

I make silent promises to myself.

I am not going to let evil enter my home. I won’t let it happen to my kids.”

I go through in my mind all the ways I will take action to protect my kids. How I’ll protect their friendships, their activities, who they come in contact with and every aspect of their young lives.

Then the enemy slips ever so quietly into the millions of holes I can’t fill. My kids become ever so slightly infected. I devise ways of plugging these limitless holes with the few fingers I have.

How powerless I feel.

Powerless.

It feels like a curse I have brought upon myself. To make these promises. Promises of being my children’s protector from every kind of evil. How foolish am I to forget that I am a mere finite human being. I only have so much control of life; the visible life.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

When I see and recognize how little control I really have, I become discouraged. I start fearing what tomorrow, next week, next year will bring. I fear how inadequate I will be to parent teenagers. The responsibility with little or no control of what enters our lives feels burdensome.

This thing called fear often affects how I live. The reality is, my fear allows the enemy to pervade my parenting and my choices. Through my fear, I end up missing out on the power of Lord in our family’s lives.

The truth is fear controls me. In return I try to control my fears by attempting to control circumstances and what affects those circumstances.

I want to let go of this fear. There is no freedom in it. It is a heavy chain that burdens me and this burden makes the joys in life I’m suppose to feel become empty.

If fear is cast aside when seeing disappointment and sin in our children, it allows God to work in those moments and be the redeemer that He is. In fact the only one to fear is God himself. Is He not greater than Satan?

When fear is absent, Satan loses.

He loses when calamity strikes and I place my trust in the Redeemer, the one who promises that all things work out for the good.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

I use to hate this verse, seemed so trite and cliche in every sense. The verse always gets thrown around so easily when a travesty happens, as a means to ease the pain that precedes it. I’ve even said it to others then muttered under my breath walking away asking how this is even true, how it seems Satan wins.

But the verse has grown on me.

When I sit down with my son trying to let God work out the mess that is set forth in front of us, I need that verse to be real. I need to know that when the enemy strikes and I feel like I am cleaning up the mess, God has to show up and make good of it.

He has to.

I have to trust that He has to.

When those messes are redeemed, I then begin to see how Jesus uses the messes to glorify Himself. To show me in the messiness of things, he always redeems. In this hope, Satan loses.