“Hug your kids, kiss your wife, and give thanks to the Lord”

When I read that 58-character tweet, I immediately clicked ‘Follow’ on the Twitter profile.  Here is a man I can learn from, I thought.  Here is a man who appears to have a profoundly biblical perspective on life.   True, the tweet by itself doesn’t express anything extraordinary.  But then you hear the backstory.

R. C. Sproul, Jr.’s wife died less than a year ago.  And at the time of the tweet — September 30 — his fifteen-year-old daughter was about to die.  Shannon, whom R. C. affectionately called Princess Happy, was born with a brain disease called lissencephaly, which left her severely impaired.  (That’s Shannon and R. C. in the picture above.  You can watch a short video of Shannon here.)  Shannon passed away three days later.

Two deaths in the immediate family within a year.  Layered grief.  Sorrow upon sorrow.  That’s quite a backstory.

Over the last month R. C. has shared some of his grief on Twitter, and the blessing to me has been immeasurable.  I have benefited so much from his thoughts that I wanted to share them with others.  What follows is a compilation of numerous tweets over the past month related to R. C.’s suffering.  His journey through the valley of the shadow of death can instruct and edify us all. Read the rest of this entry »

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It has been said that the best way to be a good father to your children is to be a good husband to their mother.  “Lead Me” by Sanctus Real gives us husbands an emotional kick in the right direction.  If chased with a double-shot of gospel comfort and gospel power, we’re in business.  May you have a truly happy Father’s Day.

(HT: Tim Challies, Tom Ascol, William Horton)

Kevin DeYoung writes:

A.W. Tozer was a great preacher and a man of God. But–as we all have our inconsistencies–he was not particularly a good husband. He wasn’t physically unfaithful, just emotionally unavailable.

Lyle Dorsett explains:

With a burning desire to learn and a keen sense of educational inadequacy, Tozer began to devote long hours to reading. He not only read a lot, his mind was preoccupied when he was home, as he continually sorted out ideas and wrote articles in his mind when he could not be alone to put them on paper.

By early 1928 the Tozers had a routine. Aiden found his fulfillment in reading, preparing sermons, preaching, and weaving travel into his demanding and exiting schedule, while Ada learned to cope. She dutifully washed, ironed, cooked, and cared for the little ones, and developed the art of shoving her pain deep down inside. Most of the time she pretended there was no hurt, but when it erupted, she usually blamed herself for not being godly enough to conquer her longing for intimacy from an emotionally aloof husband. (A Passion for God, 81)

Tozer refused to visit relatives and “seemed less than delighted if any of them showed up for a visit.” He also neglected family vacations. A.W. Tozer was a man of spiritual stature, but a man of little warmth when it came to his family.

Men, there would be worse ideas than to talk to your wife tonight, maybe your kids too, show them this blog and ask, “Is this me?” Just to be sure.

Kevin DeYoung

Let Them Come Home

October 7, 2010

Few things can be as gut-wrenching to a Christian parent as watching their child whom they labored to raise to the best of their ability in the fear and instruction of the Lord, abandon their faith in pursuit of lesser things and destructive pleasures. Abraham Piper has written a wise, encouraging and important article on how parents should respond to children who have forsaken Christ, or even perhaps, have never confessed Christ.  Check it out.  Read it with faith and with hope that no one is beyond the mighty saving arm of Christ.

Celebrating “Amateurity”

September 20, 2010

My wife loves Little House on the Prairie. Not the books, mind you, but the late 70’s TV show. The one that played every day in our hometown at 10am and 3 pm.  We own every episode on DVD, and yet she will watch it whenever it comes on the Hallmark channel. Needless to say, I have absorbed a lot of Little House through marriage.

One of the most interesting things to me about Little House on the Prairie is Charles Ingall’s forgotten talent. Every now and then, Pa picks up the fiddle and thrills the family with a jig, a hymn, or a mournful tune. It’s truly delightful to imagine this sod busting, mule driving farmer coming in at the end of the day, hands sore from gripping the plow, and reaching for a delicate violin to draw out some melodies at the end of the day. I’m pretty sure Pa didn’t go to the conservatory. He just picked it up and played. It seems very unusual in our day, but I wish it didn’t.

The arts are just part of the fabric of living. We have always made art, whether in drawing, creating, design, or music.  But there has been a shift since the Ingalls family built their little house. Families rarely make their own art anymore. We encourage children to draw, to write, and to sing, but we put down our creative tools as we grow up. It is as if we equate our amateur attempts at art and creativity, a God-given trait of mankind, with immaturity or childish things. Following in the wake of our consumer culture, we have outsourced the creative process to professionals and accepted the role of observers and critics. We look at paintings and photography, we watch our plays on TVs or at the movies, we listen to our music, and we read our books. I have realized that I am so busy consuming “art” that I am robbing myself from the opportunity of making art. Read the rest of this entry »