June 19, 2014

Are We Parenting Our Smartphones?

This morning I stopped at Sonic for a breakfast burrito. When I pulled up I saw a dad and his little daughter (I'm guessing she was about 6) at the stand-up order booth by the tables. They placed their order, sat down at a table, and then - like clockwork - dad pullled out his cell phone. I sat there in my Jeep watching this little girl work harder than an army of ants trying to carry a ham - trying with every fiber of her being to get her dad's attention. And as far as he was concerned, he was giving it to her. Heck, he brought her to Sonic. 

What more could she want?

Allow me to answer that question.

She wants her dad's attention.

She wants her daddy to ask her, "What's your favorite color today?" (because you know that changes about every 3 days when you're 6).

She wants her daddy to tell her, "That dress is amazing! Obviously only a princess could wear that dress."

She wants her daddy to play "I Spy". (Like 38 times)

She wants her daddy to share whatever it is that he ordered.

She wants her daddy to comment on her hair and ask her questions and tell her about what he would do with his dad when he was 6.

I sat and watched this in great frustration, not jugdment. I've been that parent before. I've been guilty of it just like he was. Maybe just like you've been. 

I've been deceived into thinking that physically being there automatically meant I was present. I was wrong. I might as well have been absent.

I watched that little girl stare at her daddy, then stare at his phone, all the while making little 6-year old mental notes. Those notes say things like:
"When I grow up, I'm going to look at my cell phone 24-7."

They're not only missing us being there because we're not fully present or engaged; they're also watching us, learning what it looks like to be less than present and living a life somewhere else rather than where we are - giving more attention to people who AREN'T there than people who ARE.

We get one shot at this. 

These opportunities are slipping through our hands like sand. I'm not called to raise or disciple my smartphone. I'm not called to respond to email every 10 minutes. Facebook and Twitter (and everyone on it) can live without me and you for awhile. Our kids can't. They need us. They need us right now!

Let's take intentional steps today to show them that we're here & we're present.
Let's show them what it looks like to love someone by putting them first.

Read John 10:10.
Ask yourself: Would the Good Shepherd tend to the cell phone...or the sheep?

June 16, 2014

Saving Your Marriage Starts HERE

Need help with your marriage?

Don't start with "5 Love Languages".

Don't go through "Love & Respect".

Stop looking for the latest book, study, or conference to fix things. Don't spend another minute trying to treat the symptoms when you can go to war against the disease itself. 

Allow me to give you some potentially life-changing advice.

Saving Your Marriage Starts HERE:

"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, anyaffection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:1-11)

If you want your marriage to heal, you have to humble yourself.

If you want what's broken to be restored, you have to start with you.

If you want to lead your home (husband) like Jesus calls you to lead your home and like He modeled for you to lead, then you have to DIE to yourself.

If you want your home, your marriage, your spouse, and your family to be filled, you have to empty yourself.

Forgiveness is not possible without humility.

Restoration is not possible without humility.

Grace and mercy are not accessible without humility.

Salvation would not be available without humility.

Jesus chose humility. This must be our choice as well.

The first "love language" you need to speak is called DIE TO SELF.

Some of you have forgotten why you started fighting in the first place. You're now just consumed with winning - with the false fantasy of one day being crowned the "winner" of a perpetual, sin-born, death-ridden argument that no one even remembers anymore. 

You're drowning in entitlement. 

You're faking it in front of everyone and yet, everyone knows you're faking it. 

You've literally sacrificed authenticity at the altar of appearances. 

There is only one place to begin:


Seek the Lord. Humble yourself. Die to your rights. Forgive your spouse. Save your family. Seek accountability. Confess your garbage. Allow someone to walk with you and speak truth into your life and your marriage.

Husband, love your wife as Christ loved the church, and gave Himself up for her.

"Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same."

Philippians 2:1-11
Ephesians 5:15-33