Encouragement for Fathers

What If My Child Hasn’t Come to Faith Yet?

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Like the farmer who is diligent to sow seed so that there might become crops, parents must wake up each and every day and sow God’s life-giving seed into our children’s hearts. That’s your part. And God’s part is to produce the harvest. It’s up to Him to move your child’s heart. He is the one who brings him or her to a full knowledge of His Son, Jesus Christ.

So rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him in faith. Know that He will do His part perfectly and in His timing. God is completely sovereign. He knows all things and is in control of all things, including how and when He will transform your child’s heart. Remember, the timing of the harvest is in God’s hands (Psalm 31:15).

When you find yourself worrying, don’t!

Don’t get impatient if time is passing and your little—or big—one is growing up and has not yet experienced personal faith in Christ.

And don’t compare how God is choosing to work in your child’s life to His plan for other children’s lives. The timing is totally up to God. You cannot “make” salvation happen. You can only do your part in faith. And you can only sow the seed—and pray. Then your heart can rest in faith.

In Raising a Daughter After God’s Own Heart, Elizabeth George provides an engaging and inspirational resource for every mom who wants to lead her daughter to a godly life by example, encouragement, study, and prayer.

How To Leave a Godly Legacy

Being a mom is in no way an inferior or a secondary calling! No one else is called to love our children but us. And no one else can love our children like us. God calls you and me to love our God-given children. How they came to be ours doesn’t matter. The fact that they are ours means that they are to be loved. God’s high calling is five-fold. If you have children, you are to:

  1. Love them and make loving them your highest pursuit.
  2. Look to the Word of God for His guidelines for being a loving Christian mother.
  3. Look at the modeling of older Christian women as they express Christlike love to their children.
  4. Look to older Christian women to teach you the how-to’s of such love.
  5. Look for—and learn from—such women.

By God’s grace, you can leave your mark on the world by leaving behind a child who grows up to love and serve the Lord… who then also raises godly children to continue your godly legacy for generations to come. This truly would be one of our greatest blessings as a mom after God’s own heart!

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Love Lived Out In You

The only way we walk in love – God’s love – is to look to Him to fill us with His love, the kind of love …

… that is an act of the will,

… that takes action rather than being content with mere words,

… that extends itself to the unlovely,

… that gives for the sake of loving, and

… that involves the sacrifice of self.

How to walk in love today:

  1. Begin loving the people God puts in your path by first loving those people at home. As the saying goes, “What you are at home is what you are!” So walk in God’s love… at home.
  2. Go to God throughout the day for a fresh supply of His love to share. At the first hint of waning love, look to the Lord of love.
  3. Remember that your assignment is to serve (Galatians 5:13).
  4. Remember Jesus, who “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).

As you live out God’s love, be sure to spend time praying to the God of love. And while you are praying about living out God’s love, open yourself up to receive from Him His endless supply of life-giving, life-changing love.

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Calling All Men—The Gift of Friends

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Friends are a gift from the Lord. You should cultivate friendships with other men, especially other Christian men who will encourage you in your faith and give good advice. The Bible says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend” (Proverbs 27:17).

Are you friends with men who are a positive influence on your life, who encourage and build you up in the faith? And are you making the effort to grow spiritually so you, in turn, can be that kind of friend to others?

If you are in need of such friends, ask God to lead you to the right people. And be willing to take time to be a friend to other men who would benefit from your wisdom and experience.

Lord, help me to build replenishing friendships with other men. Whom can I look to as an example? Whom can I encourage? Thank You for my friends! Amen.

A Place of Refuge

“If I can just get home, everything will be okay!” Wouldn’t it be great if every member of your family knew there was one place where everything will be all right? Your home should—and can be—a place of refuge. A place for healing. A place for renewal.

Look around your house or apartment… inside and out. And while you’re looking, make a list of the things that need to be added, repaired, or set up to create an ambiance of a peaceful haven. And don’t forget your attitude. That’s where we’re sometimes put to the test. What is that one attitude that if it were improved-transformed by God-would enhance the feel of your home?

I encourage you to take a new look at your home and how people interact there. Take whatever steps you need to improve the sometimes calm, sometimes fun, and always supportive atmosphere at home.

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Jesus, I so appreciate having a place my family and I can call home. Bless everyone who walks through my doors. I want my home to echo Your love and care. Amen.

Long-Distance Loving

His mother used to make him a little robe.

1 Samuel 2:19

How does a woman who loves God and her family fill her days when her nest is empty?

That’s the challenge Hannah faced. After her many years of suffering, grief, and prayer, God graced Hannah with a son (1 Samuel 1 tells the whole story). As she loved and trained Samuel, her days were happy, full, and rich. But she had wanted a baby so badly that she vowed to “give him to the Lord all the days of his life” if she got pregnant. Because her love for God was genuine, Hannah kept her promise and took her young son to the house of the Lord.

So how does a mom fill her days when her children have moved out? Rather than give in to sadness, Hannah worked on long-distance love. Each year she made Samuel a robe and took it to him. Hannah, whose life was such an exquisite weaving, became a weaver herself-making clothing for the next generation.

Imagine the rich variety of colors she carefully selected for Samuel’s warm and beautiful coats. And imagine the memories she rehearsed before the Lord-memories of lessons she’d learned from the Lord through the years. And don’t you think Hannah, who prayed so fervently for a son, prayed for him also as she made his robes?

What can you do today to love your children and grandchildren across the miles? As a loving, praying mom after God’s own heart, reach out to your children today-and every day!-with your prayers and your love. Call, write, text, send emails, give gifts (large and small) — and always tell them you love them.

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From Jim’s Heart—Your Wife’s Best Friend

He who finds a good wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.
Proverbs 18:22

Let’s revisit your courtship with your wife. Did you strive to be her best friend? I know you did! You were probably a little jealous if she spent time with any person other than you. Did you like being in her company and doing crazy things together? Elizabeth and I were the same way—we were best friends while we were dating.

During courtship, it seems as if the pure joy of just being together will never end. But after marriage, for some reason, that seems to fade away, doesn’t it? What happened? Here’s a basic formula that seems applicable to many of us:

time + familiarity + distractions + duties = diminished interest

In other words, the demands and distractions of daily life crept into that beautiful friendship and began to erode the relationship.

How can you recapture that friendship you enjoyed with your wife while you two were dating? To begin, think back on those days. What did you do to nurture your relationship with your wife-to-be? Take a moment to write a list. Then make a commitment to do some of these activities again—the activities that helped you to become best friends. After all, after your friendship with God, your wife’s friendship is the greatest treasure you possess.

From Jim’s Heart—A Dad Feeds His Flock

Putting food on the table for your family is one of your key roles as a father. You would never think of letting your family go hungry for physical food. Others would see your conduct as unthinkable, and God would consider you to be worse than an unbeliever (see 1 Timothy 5:8).

So why should it be any different when it comes to spiritual food? Part of being your family’s spiritual shepherd is providing spiritual food from God’s Word, the Bible. To take this task seriously, find ways to…

  • Make sure your children see you reading and studying your Bible. Make Paul’s cry your own: “Imitate me’ just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).
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  • Make sure your children read their own Bibles. Remember, a good shepherd “makes” his sheep lie down and feed in green pastures (see Psalm 23:2). When your kids see how important it is to you to read and study your Bible, it will become important to them as well. A shepherd always leads the way.
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  • Make it a practice to have devotions with the whole family. This will reap untold spiritual blessings in the lives of your children. This practice certainly had an influence on the life of Jim Elliot, the great missionary martyr whose commitment to Christ was forged as he participated in regular devotions as a child with his family.
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  • Make sure your children go to church and youth group regularly. Who in your family is to lead the way to faithful church attendance and involvement? Why, you are, Dad, as the leader of your flock!
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  • Make sure you pray. Ask God daily to work through His Word and by His Spirit in your children’s hearts.

The In-law Factor

Let’s talk about your relationship with your parents and in-laws. The Bible is full of teachings about the respect and honor parents are due. Ephesians 6:2-3 says, “Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise; that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” It’s not optional—it’s a command!

There are no excuses. As a Christian you are to honor your parents, and you are to show this same respect to your in-laws. You reveal the level of your spiritual maturity in these important relationships. God has given you all the grace and all the character resources you need to get along with anyone—including your parents and in-laws. And don’t forget you are modeling to your children how they should treat you and their future relatives.

Father, give me a heart for my parents and my spouse’s parents. Help me work on deepening our relationships. Encourage me to lead my children to nurture these important connections to family and to their heritage—in life and in faith! Amen.

From Jim’s Heart—A Dad’s Look of Love

What does an overflowing love look like in real life? From the first moment you know a baby is on the way, all your thoughts, dreams, prayers, and goals should be focused toward that little one. You should be completely consumed with understanding what it means to be a dad, and specifically, a dad after God’s own heart.

Your love for that anticipated child should start with helping your wife begin to prepare physically for the baby’s arrival by making sure she takes care of her health. A healthy mom is more likely to have a healthy baby. It also means helping your wife set up a nursery area—especially those things that require Dad’s “special touch” like painting, remodeling a room, and assembling a crib, chest of drawers, and a changing table.

Then, as dad and leader of your growing family, your love looks to the financial needs of those in your home. This is a good time to sit down with your wife and discuss the future. If she’s working, does she want or need to continue working? Do you need to get a second job? Take on additional shifts? Work some overtime? In relation to your wife’s job, what arrangements need to be made for her departure or leave of absence?

God’s first assignment to every dad is to love Him supremely. When you do, you will be much further down the road to being the kind of dad who, by God’s grace, will seek to raise children after God’s own heart. When all of you—your heart, your soul, your mind, and your strength—is centered on God, your love will overflow to your family, and your heart’s desire will be to teach your children to love and follow Him too.

© Copyright 2017
Elizabeth & Jim George


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