Boys and Integrity

Boys-and-integrity

 

Today I am guest posting over at boydads.com. Below is an excerpt. Thanks for stopping by. I hope all of you are well as we approach Thanksgiving!

The evening was coming to an end and so were my wits. My oldest was crying in her room. As I went to see what was wrong, my son scurries out of the room avoiding eye contact with me, leaping into bed with guilt dragging behind him. I ask her what he did and in between gasps of air she belts out, “He’s exasperating me!” I ask her how he’s exasperating her and she proceeds to explain he sold her a pen for a dollar and now wants another dollar after she had already given him the money.

I call him into the room.

He peers ever so slowly from around the corner. His head is down. Our eyes barely meet.

He tells me this is true of what happened.

He’s hardly remorseful and more concerned that he didn’t get more than what he sold it to his sister for.

The words, “You need to give your sister back the money she paid for the pen…and she’s keeping the pen too,” rolled off of my tongue.

You would have thought I took all of his toys and burned them with the look I received from him.

Read the rest here over at boydads.com.

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.

Lover of the Mother of My Children

Pregnant For the First Time
In the last bits of light, you plop down beside me with a crooked little smile. You casually toss something onto the bed and wait in anticipation for the question you know will be asked.

The pregnancy test.

Only a year and a half into our new marriage and I was still in school, I ask you, “Is this from the pregnancy center?”

I thought this was a prank, a twisted one to say the least, to see what my reaction would be if you were ever pregnant.

Knowing you had just come back from working at the pregnancy center I just assumed you were trying to be silly. And also knowing there were no ‘plans’ to conceive a child because we weren’t quite ready (who really ever is ready) I wasn’t expecting it either.

Your smile with your eyes wide open betrayed you.

Followed by your giddy laugh full of excitement.

You were a new mom right then and there.

Did I ever tell you, even when you feel like a failure of a mother, you aren’t?

Did I ever tell you I am proud to be married to you because you are a great mother?

Did I ever tell you I married you knowing you would be the best mother for our children I didn’t yet meet?

On days when you feel like you can’t do it any more, yet you press on, know that I am proud to call you the mother of our children.

When laundry is piled high and dishes too, know that you are doing this thing called motherhood well. Do not be discouraged, for each one of our children feel loved and secure and that is what matters most.

I love you and am proud of you.

Happy Mother’s Day.

-me

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.

 

 

Could Life be Perfect if We Had Time Machines?

EllaBlogPost

My oldest daughter and I are playing together when she invites me into one of her fascinating bunny trails…

“You know what I wish dad?” she asks with a sly smile.

“What do you wish?” I respond inquisitively.

“I wish that I could have a time machine to travel back in time!” Her smile widens.

Thinking she wants go to a certain place in time or maybe rehash a good memory I reply,

“Why do you you want a time machine?”

“So that when I do something bad I can jump in my time machine and fix it!”

I silently agree with her.

My mind traces off and I wonder why she feels the way she does. To want to go back in time to change the bad things she has done. Have I made her feel that way? That she only feels loved by me or accepted by me when she is being good? Or maybe it’s just something that everyone thinks about; a secret wish we all have.

I’ve certainly wished I had my own time machine. I would remain inside the capsule constantly, for all the times I screw up. I think of how my life would be if I could change the times where I have failed my wife, my kids, my friends and my God. 

And it sounds pretty good. But then I think…

Isn’t failing part of the beauty in life?

For when we have screwed up royally we get to experience the grace of God in the same way; royal grace.

If my daughter and I had time machines of our own we would never understand the unfathomable grace of the Lord.

I turn to my daughter and tell her, “Ella, if we had our own time machines we would never know the love God has for us. He loves us always even when we screw up.”

At times I worry if my actions towards my children are painting a skewed picture of who God is to them. Am I to harsh or hard on them that I drive them to this time machine? For if I am not gracious to them in times when they need grace will they feel that they are only loved when they are doing good?

Will they judge the barometer of their ‘faith’ as going up and down based on how good or bad they have been?

If they follow all the rules, then they fall into grace, but when outside the lines of obedience do they too feel outside the lines of grace?

My insides turn into knots at the thought of leading them astray by showing through my parenting that they are only deserving of grace based on good or bad behavior.

I want my daughter to know that she will constantly be faced with shortcomings, and that those shortcomings will never go away. That when they fail in their weaknesses that the Lord is there to help them back up.

I want her to know she doesn’t have to constantly fall in and out of grace with Jesus. 

Maybe what God asks of me is be willing to trust Him with my little girl and to be humble with her.  To ask for forgiveness and apologize when I wrong her. To show her what it means to extend grace and to receive grace with each other.

More importantly I want her to know she doesn’t need a time machine, because His grace and love has transcended all of time.

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

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