Category Archives: Parenting

Parenting according to the Gospel…A Book Review

Simply put, this book is a must read for any parent serious about raising their children according to the Bible. From the moment I first opened the book until I wrote this review, I found myself challenged with how I parent my children.

This is an area that I constantly struggle with and this book has been a great encouragement for me to read. The author does not write from the perspective of having been the perfect parent in that he shares some of his own struggles and what he learned from them. Every chapter begins with a story or a couple stories of a parenting situations every parent has experienced or has seen fleshed out in public areas that leave us shaking our heads. The unfortunate part of the stories he shares, is they are too often all too familiar to me as having done it myself.

But the author does not leave us to wallow around in self-pity knowing how far we have fallen from our big pre-parent aspirations, but encourages you to move forward with the principles he shares and how they can, as the front cover of the book says, “radically change your family.” And this is the best part of the book, it is gospel centered. This is not a feel good book about parenting and how you can do it all on your own and all you need to do is pull yourself up by your bootstraps kind of book. It is a book that causes you to fall at the foot of the cross, admitting you cannot do it on your own and asking God to help you do it. This is not the approach most American parents want to accept but it is necessary for us to raise children in a God-honoring and gospel-centered way. If our goal as a Christian parent is not to raise children who love God, then what is our goal? What are we hoping to accomplish? If we do not have a goal in our parenting, then how can we know whether we are parenting the right way or not? The last things we as Christians should do is just go about our parenting ways with no ultimate end in mind besides helping them be successful adults. Our goal should be to raise children who fear and honor God with their lives and follow Him as a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. If that is your goal, or if that is what you deeply long for your goal as a parent to be, then this book will give you direction and guidance in how to make that happen.

One quote from the book that truly stands out is this one Crossway also posted on their Instagram account:

“The goal of parenting is not control of behavior, but rather heart and life change.”

As a parent, this is a hard pill to swallow. I want to be able to parent in such a way and through what I say get my children to accept what I say and do what I say. But the issue with that is I do not have the power to get any child to change on my own. Only God has the ability to bring about heart change and eventually life change. And this makes it tough on us because it means no amount of yelling or threatening or anything else will bring about the change we hope or desire in our kids, only God’s grace can bring about that change. This book points us to remember that each and every day in each and every parenting situation that arises.

All that said, this is a book I would purchase for every parent in my church if I could. It is a book I would highly encourage and recommend for any parent, soon to be parent or married couple who aspires to have children in the future.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting / Flyby Promotions for providing a free copy of the book in exchange for this honest review.


The Dude’s Guide to Manhood

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This is the second book I have read by Darrin Patrick, the first being For the City which he and Matt Carter wrote together. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about this book before reading it. With a title like The Dude’s Guide, one could get the feeling the author is being prideful in writing a book such as this, claiming to know what it takes to be a man. Using terminology such as “The Dude’s” anything could be a ploy to grab at the heart of any male. However, I have to say this book is neither of those. I am glad I did not let the title push me away from reading it because this is a book that I needed to read and one I believe every man should read.

Why do I say this? Simple. As you read through this book, you are presented with a true, biblical perspective on what a man should be. Culture has skewed our perspective on what men should be. The world tries to say men who are more into video games than work are still growing up, thus why adolescence has been extended to past college. Men who cheat on their wives are in many cases no longer looked down on. Men who work so much they do not have time for their children are in some cases praised. Men are allowed to be vulgar, uncommitted, even lazy among other things. And because society has allowed this, men have dropped to that level. Men and porn are about as synonymous as baseball games and hot dogs or beer. It is not just expected that men will look at porn and we should just accept it. TV shows and movies now present this as just acceptable, even with a married man. All of this is just sad. Men have stooped to the low that the world has said is ok for them. We need a new standard, especially among Christians, to get men to be men.

How do we do this? One way would be to get this book, read it and then apply it to your life. At the end of the book, Darrin ties everything he just wrote together with the fact that for us to be men, we have to start with God and our relationship with Jesus. Without God, living as a true man is impossible. Without God, we will continue to settle into what the world says is ok or acceptable for men. If all we do is try to attempt everything Darrin writes in this book and use it as a 10 step program to become a better man, we will fail somewhere along the way. Without our relationship with Jesus fueling us in this fight, we will become overpowered and live in defeat.

This book is not for the weak. It is easy to succumb to the world’s pull and allow ourselves to live as weak men. But that is far from what God has called us to be. Our ultimate example of what a man should be is Jesus Christ. How he treated people, how He loved people, how He touched lives should be what drives us. God’s ultimate goal for men is to become like His Son and that is the standard by which we need to measure ourselves, not by those men around us. I am planning on using the discussion guide from this website, http://thejourney.org/media/dudes-guide-manhood, to help facilitate a men’s study at my church.

Men, get a copy of this book. Women, buy a copy for the man in your life. Churches, have your men go through this book. The church and the world need men to start being men again, and not the counterfeit men the world has put before us and claimed is manhood. The men presented in beer commercials are not the men God has called us to be. Even the most interesting man in the world, as one commercial claim, is a far cry from true and authentic manhood. There is so much more to being a man then just sleeping with as many women as possible and drinking beer and smoking cigars. God has called us to this and it is much more fulfilling than the counterfeit men the world produces.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Weekly Scoop 3/14

Time for the weekly scoop. This post features articles that I have come across throughout the week that if you have some time set aside this weekend to do some reading, check these out.

First off, if you are like me, you are often tired. Here are some ways to not get more sleep, but to get better sleep: The science behind sleep.

I needed this post. I am not very good about this and was definitely challenged after reading: 10 reasons why handheld devices should be banned for children under 12.

Another post for parents, this one from Orange Parents. Kids asking “why” all the time can get old and annoying, but as this post points out, it is a good habit for them: Why kids should always ask why.

Matt Walsh responds to another abortion argument: I am afraid of this indisputable pro-choice argument.

Too often in Christian circles, we hear people say “well God will never put more on you than you can handle.” I do not believe this to be the case, and here is a post from the Gospel Coalition on the subject as well: God gives me more than I can handle.

Thanks for checking out the Weekly Scoop. Feel free to share this with friends or anyone you feel would benefit from this post. Let me know if I missed something you enjoyed reading recently. Check back next Friday for another edition of the Weekly Scoop.


Weekly Scoop

It started with my daughter, moved on to my wife and then finally caught up with me. It is not often I get sick but unfortunately, this time, I caught the bug. I am slowly starting to regain my energy and will hopefully be fully recovered this weekend. With all of that said, I am glad I can still share my Weekly Scoop with you and with that said, here are some links I believe would be worth your time:

Here are a few pictures of baby animals in the womb. It’s amazing we still call them babies, but human babies in the womb are only fetus’? Something that can be easily disposed of? 12 Unborn Animals in the Womb.

Are you working with youth in any capacity? This video is for you: How to Ruin Young People.

Celebrity pastors and the issues they can create: Pastor rolls up in a tour bus.

Fathers can and will fail at something in their parenting…but even our failures can be and are redeemed by the blood of Jesus: Daddy Fails redeemed by Jesus.

Here is a challenging but encouraging read for the mothers out there: Steps to overcome anger in the moment.

Are you making any of these mistakes that hinder your child’s leadership development: 7 Crippling Parenting Behaviors.

Do you often post to social media in the heat of the moment? 5 Question to ask before posting.

Are you considering quitting social media? If so, here are two posts that will help you make the right decision: How can I know if I should quit and Why I kissed social media goodbye.

Thanks again for checking out my Weekly Scoop. Feel free to share this with others if you find it beneficial to yourself. Also, if you read anything you believe I should be aware of, share it with me in the comments.


The Gospel Transformation Bible

I can honestly say this is the first Bible I have ever reviewed. I can also say I was extremely excited to have the opportunity to see all the Gospel Transformation Bible had to offer. I knew it would be quality because of the reputation Crossway has, and I also knew it would be quality because it was God’s Word. Thus, I was looking forward to having the opportunity to check it out and give my opinion for the blogging universe. Keep reading to gain a better perspective as to why you should check out the Gospel Transformation Bible.

First off, the great thing about this study Bible is obvious from the title; it is all about the Gospel. The introduction in the front says it well:

The goal of the Gospel Transformation Bible is twofold: (1) to enable readers to understand that the whole Bible is a unified message of the gospel of God’s grace culminating in Christ Jesus, and (2) to help believers apply this good news to their everyday lives in a heart transforming way.

Next, this is great for any number of reasons but one of the main reasons is it helps point the reader to Christ. However, I believe for a while now, this has not always been preached from the pulpit though in many American churches. Recently though, there is a movement where the Gospel is taking center stage in the church again, as it should. As I have matured and grown in my walk with the Lord, I have come to understand the Gospel is not just what the New Testament has to say about Jesus Christ and does not just begin with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. There is not a different God in the New Testament than there is in the Old Testament. God is one and the same and we come to understand this as we come to understand the Gospel more clearly. The Gospel is preached from the very beginning of Genesis through the history of Israel to the “Gospels” all the way through to Revelation. Everything points to and comes out of Jesus Christ. Colossians 1 paints such a clear picture of how everything is because of Jesus Christ, and everything is for Jesus Christ, and everything is through Jesus Christ. (Colossians 1:16-20) Apart from Him, there is no Gospel; apart from Jesus, there is no grace. This study Bible helps the reader understand this most important fact about the Bible.

As a youth pastor, I get the amazing privilege and opportunity to interact with youth on a daily and weekly basis and in many ways, it has been eye opening. Through simply asking teens the question “What is the Gospel”, you will receive many different answers. This should be a warning sign to the church that we need to take action and help the next generation realize the Gospel does not only begin in Matthew, it begins from the very beginning. Through my time as a youth pastor, I have come to realize encouraging youth to simply “be good” or “act right” or “make good choices” does nothing to really get to the heart of the matter. This is not only true with youth; it is true with adults as well. If the church wants to truly see change, the Gospel needs to be preached constantly and fully. The Gospel Transformation Bible helps us figure out how to do that. The Gospel is the only thing powerful enough to change lives. When people come to God, through Christ, they are not supposed to clean up first and then come to God, Jesus welcomes us as we are and then begins a process of cleaning us up. This is part of the Gospel. The more we understand that, the less judgmental we will be.

With that said, I want to move on because this post is a review, not a sermon. You might be reading this and thinking well that is good for those in the ministry, it will help them teach me better because I do not have time to study all of this on my own. If this is in any way similar to your line of thinking, this Bible is for you. You will not need a pastor to help you understand everything this Bible has to say. This Bible will help you understand how the Gospel can be seen through practically every story in the Bible and help you understand how you can apply this to your life and walk in the grace made available to us all through Jesus Christ. This Bible can help anyone from a teenager to a seasoned adult to a parent wanting a more meaningful time of family devotions understand how all of Scripture contains elements of the Gospel and all of Scripture points to the Gospel.

Simply put, this Bible is worth your investment. It will take your devotional time to a deeper meaning and understanding of how the Gospel is woven throughout the whole of Scripture and how it brings a much deeper purpose to our lives as well as training us to go out and make disciples. Basically, if you are a Christian, the Gospel Transformation Bible should be on your list of things to purchase, especially if you desire a deeper understanding of what it means to be a Christian and a more intimate relationship with the Lord. It is probably a little big for a stocking, but it will be a gift that will reap far more rewards than any video game or smartphone or digital device ever will. Here is a link to the Gospel Transformation Bible on Amazon:

http://rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&npa=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=the027c-20&o=1&p=8&l=as4&m=amazon&f=ifr&ref=ss_til&asins=1433538679

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crossway in exchange for this review. Thanks for taking the time to read this review and feel free to leave comments or questions.


Weekly Scoop

It is Friday, which means I only had one more day to post my weekly scoop. I want to begin with a quote I saw on Twitter earlier this week.

In a hurting world, we need Christians prepared to commit to Christ wholeheartedly, think deeply, give dangerously, and live authentically. – RZIM Canada

This quote speaks for itself as to the content but I dare you to actually think about it and then take a look at your life and ask yourself if this is how your life as a follower of Christ could be defined.

Now, without further ado, here are the links you should take a minute and check out.

Are you busy? Wondering how to slow down or try to retain a sense of your sanity? Ann Voskamp’s blog will encourage you in a couple ways: 1, you are not alone; and 2, you can remain sane during life’s most insane moments: http://www.aholyexperience.com/2013/09/the-key-to-staying-sane-in-spinning-world/

I read this story the other day of a pastor’s first day on the job. Check it out: http://ireporterstv.co/church-members-mistreat-homeless-man-in-church-unaware-it-is-their-pastor-in-disguise/

For this one, I do not have a link to share but something I was made aware of through the internet this past week is something that will sicken you: sex-selective abortions. They are already being done in some areas of the world. Could this be the next thing to rock our country? Do a Google search to read up on this as there will come a time where you might need to be ready to share your opinion on this topic.

If you have an iPhone, make it work for you, not the other way around: http://adammclane.com/2013/09/23/7-ios-7-hacks-for-parents/

Finally, a link that I believe is a must read for any parent, youth worker, pastor, teacher, etc. When I read this, it was eye-opening and we need to have our eyes opened. So check it out: www.annemariemiller.com/2013/08/19/three-things-you-dont-know-about-your-children-and-sex/

That is all for this week. I pray that these links will serve to open your eyes to the world around you, help you manage your life in a better way or encourage you in your walk with the Lord. Are there any stories you would recommend I check out? Let me know in the comments section.

 


Falling in and out of love…

This week, I started my new position as youth pastor at Temple Baptist Church in Covington, VA. As most of you know, I am currently living in Salem, VA as my wife and I have not been able to relocate our family to Covington as of now. This means for the last two days, I have driven back and forth from Salem to Covington. However, it does look like God might be opening the door for Marcie and I to move here in the near future as there is a house we both like and is within our price range. We are still praying though that God would lead us to the house He wants us to have that we can use for His glory.

With that said, I have taken to listen to the radio on my commute and I am surprised at the type of songs that are out there right now. I want to share a quick thought on one I heard the other day. Here is a brief snippet of the lyrics:

Sometimes I love ya

Sometimes you make me blue

Sometimes  I feel good, at times I feel used

Lovin’ you darlin’ makes me so confused

I keep on fallin’ In and out of love with you

I never loved someone

The way that I’m lovin’ you

This song is by Alicia Keys. It has a bluesy type sound to it which is a good fit for the words to the song. As I thought about the words, to me it just described so well the feelings and ideas the world seems to have adopted towards love, and in some cases, life in general. The world portrays love as something that people can fall into, and thus, something they can fall out of. But are our emotions or feelings strong enough to hold our love for someone else? Or do we need to give love a stronger foundation? One that comes from sacrifice and hard work? I have come to realize love is a choice. When I make the choice to love, my emotions follow the choice. I read a quote one time that said “It is easier to act your way into a feeling than it is to feel your way into an action.” I believe this is definitely true. I also believe this is what we as followers of Christ need to be teaching young people. A life based on emotions and feelings will always let you down in the end.

The greatest act of love ever is when God made the choice to send His Son to die for us. He did not have to do this but He did to show His love for us. He made a choice. The Gospel is what it is because of the choice God made. God did not base this choice on emotions or we would never have known grace. So why do we try to base our life on emotions?

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts or comments.

 


First-Time Dad by John Fuller

Whenever I read a book, I like to read something written by someone who understands and knows the topic they are writing about; and not just book knowledge, but an experiential knowledge. If I read a book on how to live by faith, I want to read a book written by someone who has gone through a hard time where their faith is what brought them through. If I read a book on marriage, I want to read something written by someone who has actually been married, not just studied it. I do not believe I am alone in this feeling either. I do not believe anyone would want to read a book on any topic written by someone who does not truly know and understand the field of which they are writing. In First-Time Dad, John Fuller knows what he is talking about and not just through reading books about parenting or doing research and watching families interact. He is writing from the perspective of having children of his own, 6 of them to be exact. For me, when I see a parenting book written by someone who has 6 kids, I know this author will have some good advice and tips to follow.

When I received this book, I was really looking forward to digging into it to see what kind of advice John Fuller would present. I have a 2 ½ year old daughter and she brings so much joy to our lives. I could not imagine life without her now. But, along with that, being a parent was quite the shock and change in lifestyle. John does a great job helping prepare fathers for this change. Much research has been done and shown that the position of father is one of the most important when it comes to how children grow up and mature. Children who grow up without the constant presence of a father have been shown to have a harder time in life than those who grow up with a father who is active and present in their lives. This affects both boys and girls. This fact was another reason I was eager to read this book because as a father myself, I want to learn from those who have been there and done that. I want to learn from their mistakes and glean from their successes in ways that will help guide me in my fathering. John Fuller in First-Time Dad does not disappoint.

John presents many different sides of being a father from the joy that comes from discovering your wife is pregnant to the responsibilities that come from now having to take care of and provide for one more person in the home. This little person is someone who will look up to you for a long time and who will be a part of your life forever. Your son or daughter needs a father who will invest in them and help guide them through their lives. They will need someone to be strong for them at times and other times someone who will cry with them. Every child longs for that relationship with their father and when it is absent from their lives, it will show itself in various ways. As you survey the culture, you see this on display almost anywhere you look. The power a father has in the life of his son or daughter should be constantly on a father’s mind. It is hard to do but to be the father that you can be, it is a necessity. I have struggled at times in only 2 ½ years but I am striving to make adjustments and improvements wherever I can.

First Time Dad is written in a way that is easy to follow and keeps you interested from page to page. John shares stories from his own experiences as well as stories from other parents he has had the opportunity to interact with throughout his time at Focus on the Family. He is not shy about helping fathers understand the changes that are to come in that he helps a new dad understand more about how a baby will affect their family. He writes on how to love your wife and guard
your marriage because that is the most important relationship your child will be exposed to. Time and again we see that when marriages involving children fall apart, the children involved in that relationship often fall apart as well. It is disheartening to see. Many marriages with children that fall apart do so because the marriage was not guarded and the mother and father drifted apart instead of drawing on each other even more. Two other important parts of this book is a chapter on the differences between boys and girls and one on the important part father’s play in the spiritual formation of a child’s heart. Fuller brings this book to a close with a chapter on just how fast life goes once you have a child. I can definitely relate with this part in that it seems like just yesterday, we were bringing our daughter home from the hospital and now she is full of life and singing and dancing and running around endlessly on a seemingly non-stop sugar rush.

I would highly recommend First-Time Dad for any first time dad who might want to go into fatherhood with their eyes opened. I would also recommend this book for any father who already has a child or two but notices some areas that could use some improvement. This book is one that I will go back to many times as a father. So for all you dads out there, let’s remember the importance of the position we hold in our homes and families and be the dads we need to be. One step that might help you could be picking up this book.

Thanks for taking the time to read this review. If any of you dads who read this have any stories of successes or failures you would want to share, please feel free to do so.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Moody Press in exchange for this review.


Family Shepherds by Voddie Baucham Jr.


I chose to review this book for a couple reasons. First, I heard a message by Voddie Baucham speaking at Passion One Day from the 90’s that was inspiring and so when I saw he had written a book, I knew I wanted to read it. Second, a couple of my friends, Matt and Carolina Price, mentioned another book of his which caused me to look for other books by him. Thus, when I came across Family Shepherds, I knew I wanted to read it. I am extremely satisfied and happy that I did in fact get this book. It was both challenging and inspiring as I strive to be the leader, husband and father that God has called me to be.

The back has this to say about the book:

“It’s hard to overestimate the importance of the family and that of father’s in particular. We’ve heard it said, ‘As the family goes, so goes the nation.’ But it can also be said that ‘as the father goes, so goes the family.’”

As a youth pastor, I could not agree more with this statement. As I view families in public, it is extremely easy to notice families that have disconnected fathers and those who have non-existent fathers as well. We question why the country is going the way that it is but all we need to do is look at how men are beginning to act. You see it from celebrity fathers all the way down to “regular” fathers. Men are not taking responsibility to raise their own children; and then they wonder why their kids eventually take a turn for the worse at some point in their lives.

God has given men the position of leadership and it is in our nature to lead in one way or another. The sad thing is that most men are leading in a negative manner. Multiple studies have been done by both Christian and secular groups and they are finding overwhelming evidence of the impact that fathers have on their children. Voddie does not just present the evidence but goes in depth with ways that will challenge men to lead well and become a true man of God.

Family Shepherds is divided into 5 parts: 1. The need to equip family shepherds, 2. Family discipleship and evangelism, 3. Marriage enrichment, 4. The training and discipline of children, 5. Lifestyle evaluation.

Each section is filled with Scripture to back up his points and written extremely well to inspire any professing Christian man to step up because the church and the world need us to. However, one of the most challenging parts of this book was how Voddie constantly challenged men with knowing what they believe. No man can truly lead his family in a God honoring manner without being a student of the Word; it is not possible. For us to be Godly men and leaders, we have to be men of God’s Word, who study, read, and love it. Apart from God’s Word, it is impossible to be a Godly leader. Yes some men might become good fathers and husbands and men, but only God can lead men to become great fathers, husbands and men. We need to be able to pick out false teachings on raising children and being men. The world is constantly coming out with self-help books and “instruction manuals” that have some pretty good advice, and even when put next to God’s Word, it is hard to pick out the lies from the truth. That is why we need to be men of the Word if we are to lead our families to become disciples of Christ, so we can pick out the stuff that misses the mark of the inerrant Word of God.

This book greatly challenged me in how I am going about leading my family? How am I leading my wife and daughter into a closer walk with the Lord? Or am I going about my life just hoping they grow closer to the Lord? As men we are to lead. If we are not leading as we should, there is not much of a hopeful future. I sincerely challenge any man, whether you are a husband and father yet does not matter, to get this book. You will come away challenged and inspired to be, first off, a devoted follower of Christ and second, the leader God intended us men to be.

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Crossway in exchange for this review.


Modesty: An issue of the heart

Recently, I read a couple blogs on the topic of modesty. They were very well written and presented their case very well. Here are the links in case you want to read them: Krista’s Heart, Is Modest Really Hottest, and Jesus Needs New PR. These three blogs do a great job of showing how there is a hole in how the topic of modesty has been presented in the church up to this point and now, because of this, we see new church plants going away from the whole topic and people dressing however they want to, some modest and some immodest. You can read their blogs in order to see their points but I just want to make a couple observations from my perspective.

Krista does a great job of including the Bible, but the other blogs go about just showing the issue but not giving any kind of response or resolution to the issue. I am a huge proponent of using the Bible in anything pertaining to life and thankfully, the Bible is not silent on this issue either. I think the main reason most churches up to this point have made more of a point of addressing women when it comes to modesty, is because that is who is addressed in the Bible when it comes to modesty. For instance, 1 Timothy 2:9 – “likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire…” When you look into this passage and why Paul writes this, it is because during this time, prostitutes use to braid their hair and wear jewelry to draw attention to themselves. Thus Paul encourages women to dress in a way that separates them from prostitutes. It seems to me like a good principle worth following.

Something else that a couple of the blogs mention is how the issue of modesty objectifies women and, with how the church has responded to it, continues to do that. I would have to defend what has been the church’s stance on this because of how the world has always objectified women. It is not something that just recently began, but has happened since the fall of man. So if we say the church and how it responds to modesty is objectifying women, it is because the world has already done that. But, the world has also objectified man in many ways as well and it’s nothing new. There is another passage that speaks directly to the point of modesty. It is 1 Corinthians 12:23 but this verse would require a whole post to get into what it is about. I will save that for another post.

Second, the issue of modesty comes down to being an issue of the heart, just like anything we do. A couple questions that could be asked in regards to what we dress could be as follows:

  1. Is what I am putting on going to bring glory to God? Or is it more to bring attention to myself so people think I am a good dresser?  1 Corinthians 10:31
  2. Is what I am putting on going to hinder my testimony in any way?
  3. Is what I am wearing going to hinder me from representing Christ in a way that is Biblical and God-honoring?

In regards to men and the issue of modesty, I think we do need to be careful with how we dress and carry ourselves. We need to mindful of women in this time as well and not just feel like we can do whatever we want and that we don’t have to worry about being modest, because we do. We need to be just as careful in following those principles just like women.

I want to make one quick note and this is just a personal perspective. Now that I work in youth ministry at a church, the whole issue of modesty has been going through my mind lately. One thing I notice is that with young men and young ladies in the church, the way they dress is not much different than those who do not call themselves Christians. It is kind of sad how young people have been swayed by the world. Also, I have seen pictures from young people who consider themselves Christians at parties and pictures from parties where no Christians are, and in many times, there is no difference. Is that the future of the church? This may sound old fashioned, but shouldn’t there be a difference in how people who profess to follow Christ dress?

Another big happening in my life lately that has me thinking about modesty is I am now a father to a beautiful daughter. How do my wife and I want to raise her to view modesty? Do we want to raise her to dress how she feels comfortable and not worry about what others think and that she is not responsible for how others look at her? Do we want to raise her to where she strives to glorify God in every aspect of her life, including how she dresses herself? I know that we want to raise her in a way that causes her to view everything she does through God’s eyes.

Another quick point, I am in no way trying to get rid of the responsibility of both men and women to learn self-control. This is honestly something I have had to learn as God has brought me into a more intimate and personal relationship with Him. I am responsible for what I look at and how I think. However, with guys and girls, we should be willing to help each other out and not make it difficult for each other to keep our thoughts pure.

Lastly, when it comes to the issue of modesty, men AND women should both take into account how it could possibly affect those of the opposite sex. We should care for members of the opposite sex as though they are a brother or sister. The church is meant to be lived in community but with how the world is becoming more and more individualistic, the church is also becoming individualistic and the church needs to remain strong in this. With that said, we have to realize that even though we cannot control what other people think or whether what we are wearing causes someone to lust or not, we can dress in a way that does not make it difficult for someone. Do we have the freedom in Christ to choose how we are to dress? Yes and no. Yes we can choose what we wear but God, through the Bible gives clear guidance as to what principles we should keep in mind with anything that we do, be it how we dress or anything we do.

But, what I want to bring this back to and what should be the main point of any issue or topic or debate, what brings God the most glory? That is the heart of all that we do as Christ followers. So is what I am wearing going to bring glory to God or in any way detract from it?

Those are just some thoughts. I would love to see how you respond.