Category Archives: Fatherhood

Zero Spoilers, One Persistent Theme Embedded in the ‘Star Wars’ Multiverse

“Why is this lobby filling up with so many dudes?” The question arose without warning, fueled by a random observation, but it made enough of an impression upon my consciousness that I felt compelled to snap a quick image of all the guys lining up in the middle of the work day to see the

What Our Kids Actually Need

Back in the days when our home was packed tight with teenagers, many a conversation was had around our dinner table concerning “needs.” Things like the latest iPhone upgrade, parent-funded automotive repairs, a Spring Break trip to Florida with friends (also parent-funded), a shopping spree worthy of the Kardashians…you know, needs as defined by many

In my own bed? Check. Dad awake? Check. Zzzzzzzzz.

Not too long after everyone in our home fell asleep on the evening of Feb. 28th, a fairly-impressive hailstorm hit mid-Missouri. Sometime after 11 p.m., the wind began blowing powerfully enough such that decent-sized chunks of ice began raining down on our rooftop and glass windows, creating a terrible racket and waking our entire family.

Damage, Beauty and Faithful Remembrance

One of the more astonishing passages, for me, in the account of John the Apostle is the rather-morbid moment when the doubts of the disciple Thomas are erased forever by his coming quite literally in contact with the torn-flesh wounds on the hands, feet and side of the risen Jesus. Most of the time, I

Screwing Up and Showing Kids What God is Like

In the Women’s Bible Study class I lead we discussed an icebreaker question yesterday, “Tell us about an authority figure who has influenced you.” One of the women shared about her dad, that he had shown her what kindness and gentleness look like, while at the same time being fair. She remarked that it had helped shape her view of God.

There is a powerful connection between how we relate to our parents and how we relate to God. It’s why “Honor your mother and father” is important enough to make the Ten Commandments (Exod 20:12): if we learn to relate well to the immediate authority figures in our lives, then it will shape well how we relate to the ultimate authority.

But it’s also true that part of who we think God is comes from who our parents have been. That may be what Paul is getting at when he prays to the Father, “from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name” (Eph 3:15). Because parents derive their position from the heavenly Father, we learn about the original from the copy. The character of our parents shapes what we see as God’s character.

As this idea flashed through my head yesterday, my heart sank. Because I’m aware of how much I screw up as a parent. It’s hard enough to think that I’m letting my kids down when I lose my temper, or act selfishly, but to realize that when I do that, I’m also shaping how they see God? That responsibility can feel crushing.

Too Much Like Real Life

“Why do we keep watching this show? It’s so depressing…too much like real life.” These are just some of the thoughts both my husband and I have been voicing about the popular series “Mad Men,” set in the early 1960’s. Our home does not have cable TV, so we’ve been playing Get Caught Up via

A Well-Timed Blessing of Fear

Growing up in a Baptist church outside of Detroit, I never understood how the sentence, “He’s a good, God-fearing man” could ever be received as a compliment. After all, the American Male Mystique – an enslaving mirage, both then and now – glorifies the “real man” to be entirely fearless and confident, self-assured and in

Your Boy (In College) Wants You To Talk

A week ago I was on a retreat with 16 college-aged men. I knew some of them well, but others were new faces. I listened carefully as these young men shared their personal stories. Some battled with addiction, others with self-righteousness. Some grew up in the church, others did not. Some just began a relationship