The following is from the November “Pastor’s Pennings” I wrote for my church, First Baptist Church Metuchen.
November is a very special month for me. Arius was born in November (he’ll be 5 this Friday), thus, this is the month that I became a father. Being a father is a privilege and great responsibility. I have learned so many things about my relationship with God the Father that I would not have learned otherwise. I will share more on those lessons with you around Father’s Day. For this penning, I want to highlight two lessons:
1. God’s patience and faithfulness toward His family. Through Jesus, God adopted us into His family, so we are His children. However, what we have learned about God’s patience and faithfulness might differ depending on our lived experience. God has always been patient and faithful toward me as His child. He has never left or forsaken me. It reminds me of Jeremiah 29:11. However, as a father, I can see from the other side how God the Father felt when I was rebellious. Whenever I was disobedient and disrespectful, it hurt Him; I know this now because this is how I feel when my children are disobedient and disrespectful. Do I still love them? Of course, absolutely and completely. God’s patience shows His character that is independent of our disobedience. God’s love is unconditional, and it is forever for us who believe in Him. So, two things for us who are parents:
- Our children need us in all seasons.
- They especially need us in seasons of rebellion, disobedience, and disrespect.
2. Our patience and faithfulness toward our families. After I got married and had my first child, followed by three more children, one desire that God put on my heart was a focus on families. I have a deep devotion to marriage and family ministries. You will often hear me say, Satan attacks marriages and families.
Fathers: I believe there is a God-ordained role for men as the head of Christian households; therefore, men are disposed to greater temptation. Let’s connect with other dads. At my church, this Saturday, the Men’s Breakfast is an excellent opportunity to spend a few hours with other men and fathers. I have been bringing Arius with me to be surrounded by other men of God.
Moms: I know that moms play a vital role in the education and upbringing of children, and in Christian households, moms are instrumental in the spiritual teaching of the child. There is so much that can be said, which I am planning to cover around Mother’s Day. But first, get connected with other moms. MOPS is a great fellowship for moms with young children.
Families: Now, let me write a few words on Satan attacking marriages and families. When moms and dads are determined to raise their families, they present a more significant threat to Satan’s plan and purposes on earth. So, let us be aware of this, remind each other of this, stand firm, and look out for ways to do better and be better. Thanksgiving is a great time to focus on the family. This is also an excellent opportunity to reflect and share Christ’s goodness with unsaved relatives. Although you may be going through a lot, and it may seem that there is not much to be thankful for, I will tell you this: there is always something to be grateful for.
Let’s be thankful for the freedom we have in the United States to practice our faith. November is also the month when millions of believers around the world pray for the persecuted church. The International Day of Prayer for the persecuted church is a fantastic time to remember the pain and suffering of our brothers and sisters around the world. Though we may feel that we have it har, learning about other Christians around the world and how they are suffering for their faith gives us a new perspective on life and our hope in the future. I want you to know, in our world, real families with genuine needs are being deprived of freedom and life essentials because of their faith in the Lord.
Photo credit: Anne Nygard/Unsplash