Hey Dad and Mom

At Dawn Patrol last month, we focused on what the culture is calling the “boy crisis.” The lack of intimate involvement by fathers and father figures who are “too busy” to be truly invested in the lives -of today’s boys are causing an identity crisis. Many of today’s boys don’t really know what mature masculinity is. They need Godly men who are willing to share their lives with their sons, instead of just buying them things and giving them freedom. We read a passage from a book written by Patrick Morley, the founder of the Man in the Mirror Men’s Ministry. The book entitled, “How God Makes Men,” explains “that one of the greatest needs in our day is to disciple young men.” An incident from the animal kingdom illustrates this.

When elephants overcrowded South Africa’s Kruger National Park, the government authorized killing adult elephants and relocating their offspring to other parks. As the orphaned male elephants became teenagers, they were clueless about what normal elephant behavior looked like. When their testosterone levels spiked, the orphaned bulls turned aggressive. In one park they savagely killed thirty-nine rhinos. A park ranger watched as a young bull elephant intentionally knocked over a young rhino and trampled it. The situation was out of control.

Then rangers brought several adult bull elephants into one of the parks. Just by being themselves, and spending time with the “youngsters,” the older generation was demonstrating to them what normal male elephant behavior looked like. And no more rhinos were killed after the mature bulls arrived.

It’s not easy to become a Christian man in today’s world; many young men today have grown up without fully invested fathers or father figures in their lives. They’ve been left to guess at what it looks like to be a dedicated man of God.

In February, the women of Fellowship gathered for our Life on Life Workshop where they spent two days sharing thoughts and ideas about how both older and younger generations of woman can mentor and mature each other by doing life together…by doing exactly what the Bible commands us to do in the second chapter of Titus.

Providentially, Larry Bruins walked into my office this morning with a sheet of paper entitled, “The Get To Know You’ Questionnaire.” He introduced it as a great way…and a fun way for sons and daughters to get to know their parents better and to initiate some interesting conversations.

Here’s the list:

1. What hospital were you born in? How much did you weigh?

2. What is your full name, and who were you named after?

3. What is one piece of advice your parents gave you that has always stuck with you?

4. Tell me one of your favorite memories from your wedding day.

5. What is one thing you loved to do as a child and still enjoy now?

6. What is one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your life?

7. What is one thing about me that reminds you of yourself?

8. What was your favorite sport as a child/teenager?

9. What is one piece of parenting advice you heard and tried hard to follow as a Dad/Mom?

10. Tell me one of your favorite things about being a Dad/Mom.

11. Tell me about one time that you almost died.

12. Tell me about how and when you were saved and surrendered your life to Christ.

13. What was one of your favorite childhood toys?

14. What is one family rule that was enforced in your home when you were growing up?

15. What was one of your favorite hobbies growing up

16. Where is one place you loved traveling to, and why?

17. What is the name of one of your favorite teachers? Why did you like him/her so much?

18. What was one of the favorite gifts you ever received, and who gave it to you?

19. What is one of your most embarrassing moments?

20. Did you have a nickname growing up?

21. What is your favorite meal that your Mom used to make?

22. What was your favorite Bible story when you were growing up, and why?

23. Who was your best friend in elementary school? Middle school? High school?

24. What was the funniest Halloween costume that you ever wore?

25. Do we have a family heirloom? Tell me about it. Are you planning to give it to me?

26. What is one smell that brings back memories from your childhood, and why?

27. What was your most memorable family vacation?

28. Where did you first meet Mom/Dad?

29. Tell me about an awkward dating moment that you had.

30. What is your idea of the perfect way to spend a day?

31. Where did you go to church when you were growing up?

32. What was one of your fears as a child?

33. What was the first Bible verse you can remember memorizing?

34. Who was your favorite singer/band to listen to as a teenager/young adult?

35. What would you call your greatest athletic or artistic achievement?

Why not spend an evening with your children or grandchildren getting to know them better and growing closer in the process?

Submitted by Jim De Horn

Where Is Your Heart?

Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

R. Kent Hughes (The author of “The Sermon on the Mount: The Message of the Kingdom”) adds insight to these well-known verses by explaining that the Bible’s use of the word heart in verse 21 means much more than our affections or emotions as is the common definition in modern usage. Hughes says that as we read this passage, we must understand that “there your heart will be also,” actually means, there “your whole inner man, the core of your total being, or the wellspring of all you do”—will be also.

Hughes continues, saying that Christ is telling us that where our treasure is, that’s where our total being will be also. The result is that whatever happens to what we treasure, also happens to us.

Now, it’s to be expected that our family, our occupation, our education, even our homes are going to occupy a significant place in our thoughts, but Christ warns against “total earthbound absorption with them.” Therefore, it would be good to question ourselves periodically:

  1. When our thoughts are not consumed by the urgency of the moment, what occupies our mind? When we daydream, what is it about? (Our social status, our material possessions, our physical appearance?) If so, those are the things we really treasure, and that’s where our “heart” really is.

  2. On the other hand, what is it that we worry about the most? (Is it our finances, our reputation, or our health?) If it’s one of these, then we know where our core being lies.

  3. By what things do we measure others? This is a revealing question because we always measure others by what we treasure. (Do we measure them by their education, their clothes, their athletic abilities, by their business success, by the stability of their family?) If so, we know where our treasure lies.

  4. But, maybe the most revealing question of all is, other than our loved ones, what or whom do we most dread losing?

  5. What if the answers to these questions reveal that our “hearts” are in the wrong places? What are we to do then?

We turn to Scripture to help us with the answer. Hughes reminds us that Jesus tells believers that we are not permanent residents of this world—we’re “sojourners.” When we genuinely admit this, everything falls into place. We’ll begin to realize that we’re only stewards of things that God has given us.

Hughes says:

“Our money, our interests, our education, our homes, our positions, our personalities are to be used in the service of God. The worldly man thinks he owns them, but the Christian says, “I am not the owner of these things. I have them on lease—they do not belong to me. I’m a custodian. I cannot take them with me. I can only use them for God’s glory. I must be careful about my attitude toward what I have been given. ’”

So to summarize, God wants us to enjoy the world He has created; to live life fully and authentically. But not to allow ourselves to forget that we’re only exiles in the world and that the things of this world must never occupy the core of our being. Our real treasure awaits us in heaven where nothing can destroy it or take it away from us.

Written by Jim De Horn