Children are like trees

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. ~ 3 John v4

If you’re a parent – how are your trees? What have you done today to nurture and strengthen them?

In the clip below, Andrew Peterson explains the back story of and then sings his song “Planting Trees“.

The song starts at 3:55


Cement Children

Last week our daughter commenced a new era, starting full-time primary school. Like almost every parent we mused about how quickly the time passed from when she was just a gurgling baby. The oft neglected urgency in raising children is the limited time you have to influence, shepherd and mold character. Doug Wilson illustrates it well:

In construction work, one of the good things about a concrete pour is that, no matter what, a couple hours later, you’re all done. This is also one of the really bad things about it. You don’t want to start out with a long foundation wall and wind up with a patio.

Kids are a concrete pour. The time they will spend in your home goes past a lot faster than you thought it would.

The Waiting City

A family formed and forged upon a foundation of love will have an advantage over any other. Often couples make the mistake of thinking a child will save their relationship. Inevitably, though, once the child arrives, the problems do not depart and the relationship continues to break down damaging all involved.

The Waiting City‘ is due for release in Australia July 15, 2010. It explores the relationship of a couple who travel to India to adopt a child. Regardless of the means used to form your family (biological or adoptive) if your relationship with each other is not secure then adding a family member isn’t going to solve anything.

One of the greatest gifts, any parent can give to any child is a secure loving relationship with their spouse. Aside from the stability and security it provides to the child, it also ensures that the couple are not relating to each other solely out of their mutual concern for their children. Rather, as you “cleave” to one another, the love that results generously nourishes the children and is sustained until death you do part.

Fathers Day and Pastor Dad

As this coming Sunday is Fathers Day in Australia, I want to encourage all of the men at Grace Church to aspire to like Christ. As they pursue Christ with intensity and passion and experience his grace, forgiveness and redemption they will, as a consequence, grow to be like him and learn to lead, love and joyously sacrifice and ferociously defend their families.

One practical way I can provide some encouragement to the men at Grace Church is linking to Mark Driscoll’s Re:Lit booklet “Pastor Dad”. I’ll be encouraging all the men and boys at Grace to download it, read it and later have a chat with each other about it and what areas they think they can learn from and with which they can help each other out. This little booklet has some great, gospel centered advice and admonition for Dads. It’s also great preemptive instruction for those who are not yet Dads. Even the men (& boys) who aren’t married can read it and get a godly perspective on being a future husband and Dad.

I’ll also encourage the ladies to read it so they can pray for and encourage their husbands. The singles can use it as a prayerful guide to see what the qualities are in the godly man they will marry and not be duped by frauds who pretend to be spiritual on the pretense of snagging a nice Christian girl!

If you haven’t done so already, go and download ‘Pastor Dad’ and have a read. Then forward the link to your brother, father, husband, son, wife, daughter, sister, mother, friend and encourage them to pursue Christ and live a life of service and submission in their family.

Churches supporting Adoptive Families

The specific needs of an adoptive family differ significantly from those of a biological. Yes, there are many common elements to any family, regardless of how it is formed – however if you are involved with adoption, there are many unknowns and stigmas still (wrongly) attached to adoption … This is the case whether you are willingly involved as an adoptive parent, or (possibly) unwillingly involved as an adoptee or extended family member.

Jason Kovacs from Desiring God has put forward some great suggestions to Churches and Pastors wanting to help adoptive parents.

Together for Adoption exists to help everyone understand the significance of James 1:27

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

This includes numerous links to various organisations involved with adoption support for both prospective and actual adoptive parents as well as support for adoptees. It is predominantly USA based, but provides a good international overview. For Australians, there are numerous resources available. Some are in my blog roll on the side of this blog and a few others listed below.

Australian State Government Authorities (i.e. our Adoption Agencies)
This is THE starting point for all Australian citizens adopting from within Australia, locally and internationally.

Australian Based Support Groups

Post Adoption Resource Centre