The Glory of Fatherhood

Father.  Dad.  Daddy.  Any man that has heard these words from the mouth of a child is blessed.  These three truths remind us of the glory of fatherhood.

Proverbs 17:6  Children’s children are the crown of old men; And the glory of children are their fathers.

God shares His name with fathers.

God revealed Himself to be our Heavenly Father.  He gives life.  He watches over and cares for His children.  He desires a close and personal relationship with each of them.

Matthew 6:1  Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 6:4  That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

Matthew 6:6  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Matthew 6:9  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

I love being a father.  I never tire of hearing my children call me Dad.  What a privilege that God shares this lofty title with earthly fathers!   (more…)

10 Proven Practices to Develop a Heart of Ministry in Children

Every parent wants their children to succeed.  Every Christian parent wants their children to follow the Lord.  How do we develop a heart of ministry service in our children?  Here are ten powerful tips.

Developing a heart of ministry in children

Child rearing is one of the most important jobs on the planet.  We only get one chance to raise our children.  Before we know it, they will be adults themselves.  I am not an expert on child rearing.  I have my hands full with my children.  My child rearing philosophy is simple.  “Obey God the best you can and beg Him to make up the difference.”  This article is born out of my personal search of the Scriptures to be a better parent for my children and to help the families of our church.  I hope it can help you as well.

I rebel against the idea that children and teens are expected to be petty and selfish.  I believe that children reared in Christian homes have the opportunity to be an example of what a believer should be.  1 Tim 4:12  A happy Christian, adult or child, will have a servant’s heart.  The heart of ministry is a vital component of Christlikeness.  May our children have a heart to serve God!

1. Seek Their True Salvation.

John 3:3   Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Every Christian parent wants their children to be saved.  Yet, (more…)

5 Proven Steps to Protect Sexual Purity

The world abounds with adultery, fornication and sexual sin. Yet, God has called His children to purity. How can you protect yourself and your family?  Here are 5 Proven Steps.

Steps Protect Purity

God wants you to be pure in mind, heart, and body.  Sexual desire is natural and part of God’s plan.  However, Sex outside of marriage is a sin.  Satan works to destroy purity and virtue.  Purity is still important to God!  If you are unmarried, you should save yourself for your future spouse.  If you have already committed fornication, ask God for forgiveness now and decide to honor God until you are married.

Married couples are not immune to the devices of satan.  How many marriages are rocked by infidelity?  How many married people struggle with pornography?  How many families have been shattered by adultery?  Being married doesn’t make you immune to sinful seduction and lustful desires.

These five steps are for anyone who wants to honor God with a pure life. (more…)

Simple Tips for a Spectacular Marriage

A Charge to Newlyweds that will Help us All

One privilege of pastoring is performing weddings.  I love being on the platform so close to the action as God unites  a man and woman for life.  I get to feel the nervousness of the groom as he awaits his bride.  I get to hear him catch his breath as he sees her for the first time in her wedding dress.  I am privileged to see the expressions on the faces and the emotions in the voices as they say their vows.  I watch their trembling hands gently place the wedding ring on their new spouse.  Yes, it is a privilege.  Every wedding makes me appreciate my wife more and reminds me how precious is my own marriage. Here are some thoughts I gave to a young couple at a recent wedding that are good reminders to us all.

Newlyweds

The first miracle that our Lord Jesus performed was at the wedding of Cana.  The Lord puts His stamp of approval on marriage in Scripture.  Consider Matthew 19:4-6.

“And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?  Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.  What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

Marriage is the most intimate of human relationships.  It is not simply a legal contract, but also spiritual union in which God works a miracle making 2 separate lives become one. God created, defined and ordained marriage to be a holy union and life-long commitment between Husband and Wife.  This is a relationship so spiritual and so sacred that is to be ended only in death.  It is our privilege to be witnesses of this wedding ceremony.

Marriage is a spiritual union.  It must be built upon Christ to reach its potential.  So many people have given up on marriage today as antiquated and out dated.  Others see it as a failed institution.  I remind you that marriage does not fail people.  People fail marriage;  usually because one or both reject God’s design for it.  God created marriage and He alone has the wisdom to help you succeed at it.  Your success in this marriage depends directly on your willingness to submit to God and His leadership.  I believe you will. (more…)

5 Life Lessons Learned From Mom

Mother’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on the love that our Moms have shown to us throughout our lifetimes.  Parenting is a daunting task.  Everyone is an expert on childrearing until they have their own children.  Each of our parents did the best they could with what they knew.  I was blessed to have the mom that God gave me.  She is kind, generous and loving.  She helped mold my mind and heart.  I think of her every day.  Take some time today to remember 5 lessons that you learned from your mom.  Here are 5 that I learned from my Mom out the many I could share.

Paul E Chapman and Mom

1. Love all your children the same.

I was blessed to grow up with 5 siblings at our home.  Not once do I remember my Mom showing favoritism.  She would always say, “I love you all the same.”  And she did.  This didn’t mean that we always had the same amount of treats or privileges.  Things like age and obedience should be factored in to the equation.  However, these differences were never a matter of favoritism or a difference in love.

As a Biblical counselor, I have seen the destruction first-hand that comes from favoritism in families.  The story of Joseph in the Bible should serve as enough proof.  It clearly demonstrates the frustration, anger and politics that favoritism creates.  Some children will be more like you while others are more like your spouse.  Some will be high maintenance and others low maintenance.  Some will have personalities that fit will with yours and others may rub you the wrong way.  Some will be more obedient while others are more obstinate.  Nevertheless, love your children the same and make sure they all know it.

2. Don’t make fun of people.

In our house we were not allowed to make fun of others.  Making fun of someone’s race, size, mental capacity, looks, etc. was a sure way to get in trouble.  Getting a laugh at someone else’s expense was frowned upon and corrected.  There will always be people different from you.  Learn to be a cheerleader of the struggling.  Lift up those who are fallen.  Love the unlovable.  Help others to laugh, but not at the expense of someone else.  Be secure in yourself and you won’t feel the need to tear others down.

3. Choices have consequences.

I thank God for a Mom who disciplined me when I broke boundaries.  Every child needs parents who teach them that choices have consequences.  There is a cause and effect in life.  My mom taught me that if I chose to disobey there was a consequence to my disobedience.  If I wasn’t home on time – consequence.  If I didn’t do my schoolwork – consequence.  If I didn’t do my chores – consequence.  If I chose to talk back, you got it, there was a consequence.

Parents do their children a huge disservice when they shield their children from the consequences of their choices.  Impose consequences that are equal to the transgression.  Teach your children this truth daily.  Help them to know the pain of bad decisions in the safety of your home before they are on their own.  The power to choose comes with a great responsibility.  You can choose your actions, but you can’t choose your consequences.

4. Learn from the mistakes of others.

My mom wanted us to learn from her mistakes.  Like most parents, she wanted her children to have a better life than she did.  She would always encourage us, sometimes with tears, to not make the same mistakes.  We often heard her pray that God would protect us from her bad choices in the past and help us not to make the same ones in the future.  Why is it that we so easily transfer our bad habits to those around us?  Unfortunately, some children become a combination of the worst attributes of their parents.

Beg God that He would help your children to learn from your mistakes.  Be open with your children and teach them how to make better decisions.  Beg them to be smarter and wiser than you were and learn from your mistakes and experience.  Get victory in your own life so you can teach them how to have victory in theirs.  They are made of the same stuff you are and will struggle with many of the same thoughts and feelings.  Be present and engaged in their lives to help them navigate the dangerous waters of life.

5. Have compassion.

Compassion is a worthy virtue.  It changes the way you see the world.  My mom taught me to enter the lives of others.  She didn’t just see life as a series of sterile events, but as people living with thoughts, feelings, fears and hopes.  She taught me to think about how others are thinking and feeling.  Life did not revolve around me.  There were other people in the world and they needed someone to care about them and their situation.

Do you have compassion?  Can you put yourself in other people’s shoes?  Jesus looked on the multitudes and was moved with compassion.  True compassion not only changes how we see the world, but also how we interact with the world.  Show compassion today.

Take a moment and share a life lesson that your mother taught you in the comments below.