Being dependent is a good thing!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Parenthood

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Matthew 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

It never ceases to amaze me how our little girl, Elianna is growing and developing. I remember when she first came into this world, she was so helpless and frail — she couldn't even move her head without our help. Now, just having turned two, she's running around and tumbling, jumping, singing and dancing!

Once, back in those days when Elianna was much more dependent on us, she was crying about something or another. And on this particular day, nothing would comfort her until I picked her up into my arms. I remember thinking that day, how good it was to feel needed and loved by this little one — and how wonderful it felt for that moment, that only I could make her happy.

And this got me thinking about something.

How easy is it for us to find our identities in the things we do in this world? We're good fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, good employees, etc. Now, it's not wrong to enjoy these positions. The problem comes, though, when we feel so accomplished in these things that they become who we are. And later, when we're wrapped all up in that identity, and we don't do such a great job at it, we feel like failures.

It's much harder to find our identity as a child of God, than it is our earthly occupations. I mean — which would you rather be, a great mom, an employee who's just earned a raise, an appreciated pastor — or a little helpless child who must be totally dependent upon His Father for every need? But it's SO important to first find our identity as children of the living God, and then in these secondary things!

Let's ask the Lord to help us get into a new mindset today. It will help us stay humble and care free, knowing that we are but children of a Father who will take care of it all and striving to stay dependent upon Him!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Parenthood

Build a Lasting Legacy!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Parenthood

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

Proverbs 22:6  Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

In his book, A Spiritual Clinic, J. Oswald Sanders wrote about the lasting family legacies of two families from New York.

"Two families from the state of New York were studied very carefully.  One was the Max Jukes family and the other was the Jonathan Edwards family.  The thing that they discovered in this study is remarkable: like begets like.

Max Jukes was an unbelieving man and he married a woman of like character who lacked principle.  And among the known descendants, over 1,200 were studied.  Three hundred and ten became professional vagrants; 440 physically wrecked their lives by debauched lifestyle; 130 were sent to the pen for an average of thirteen years each, 7 of them for murder.  There were over 100 who became alcoholics; 60 became habitual thieves; 190 public prostitutes.  Of the 20 who learned a trade, 10 of them learned the trade in a state prison.  It cost the state about $1,500,000 and they made no contribution whatever to society.

In about the same era the family of Jonathan Edwards came on the scene. He was a man of God, who married a woman of like character. The study yielded the following concerning Jonathan Edward's descendants:  Three hundred became clergymen, missionaries, and theological professors; over 100 became college professors; over 100 became attorneys; 30 of them judges; 60 of them became physicians; over 60 became authors of good classics; 14 became presidents of universities.  There were numerous giants in American industry that emerged from this family.  Three became United States congressmen and one became the vice president of the United States."

Never forget the impact your life decisions will make…in yourself, your marriage, and on your children.  In ways you will never know in this life, you are building a legacy that will last for generations!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Parenthood

Good Parenting Works; Look to Your Heavenly Father!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Parenthood

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

I ran across a profound story that shows what happens when the family structure breaks down — but this didn't have to do with people — it had to do with elephants.

In Kruger National Park in South Africa a group of adolescent bull elephants whose family members had been gunned down during a culling operation were transported to another wildlife reserve. While at the other reserve, the young elephants embarked on a killing spree that lasted several years leaving more than 100 animals dead, including 40 white rhinoceroses. To stop the killing, a strategy was implemented to ship in older male elephants from Kruger to establish a new male hierarchy which would keep the adolescent elephants in check. Thus the killing stopped.

Like human society, the elephant family defines established roles for training and discipline in family life. And like humans, young elephants require a prolonged period of nurture with family units to prepare them for adult life. Damage and loss in family life will produce painful and sometimes devastating results. In this situation the loss of the mature males was catastrophic.

Many of us in the body of Messiah have not had healthy parental role models, and some have had none at all; but our life as a believing family will generally begin to improve, correct, and heal the results of broken family life which many suffer from. Mature believers ought to be role models and examples, not only to our children, but also to younger believers.

Ideally, Christian leaders will be healthy role models, but many are themselves, deficient and unhealed in certain ways. We all ought to have grace when it comes to this area of body life. Our expectations will not always be met and may even be severely disappointed. Our saving grace — and it is truly an amazing one– is that we all have a Heavenly Father who is a perfect parent, and who can love and nurture us in both male and female ways, and who is also able to provide human role models and healers to help bring us to wholeness.

Be thankful for any good parenting you have received; forgive all that was negative or deficient. Then ask your Heavenly Father to parent you by His personal parental love and providence in your human relationships. This will free you from deep resentment and bitterness, and will begin to move you toward maturity and peace, and will prepare you to be a good parent and role model for others.

Read more Christian Devotions on: Adversity, Appreciation, Catastrophe, Forgiveness, Maturity, Parenthood

Worthy Christian Devotions » Parenthood

Need an Extreme Makeover?

Worthy Christian Devotions » Parenthood

Psalms 90:17 And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

Charles William Eliot, former president of Harvard University, had a birthmark on his face that bothered him greatly. As a young man, he was told that surgeons could do nothing to remove it. Someone described that moment as "the dark hour of his soul." Eliot's mother gave him this helpful advice: "My son, it is not possible for you to get rid of that hardship…But it is possible for you, with God's help, to grow a mind and soul so big that people will forget to look at your face."

Yes, it's true. All of us have things we'd love to change about our bodies. And many of us tend to spend an awful lot of time and money trying to change, fix and cover those things up. But I think there is much truth in Mrs. Eliot's words. When we are shining boldly for the Lord, I don't believe anyone sees them!

Do you REALLY want to make a drastic difference in your appearance today? Let's stop focusing on our outward issues today and start focusing on what really counts — walking uprightly and wholeheartedly with the Lord — a spiritual extreme makeover! We will glow like never before, at a low low price and 100% guaranteed!

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Parenthood

Come to Daddy!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Parenthood

Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.

Yesterday we were running errands in town and we took our four year-old, Elianna, to a toy store she loves to visit. We usually don't buy much (just playing with the toys there is great fun for her) but this time, unbeknownst to Elianna, we were planning to buy her a little kitchen set because she loves to pretend cooking.

While we were researching prices, Elianna wandered away from us, something she knows she's not allowed to do. When I looked up and didn't see her, I called her name. "Elianna!" No answer — another no-no.

Finally, I saw her playing a couple of aisles down and I called her name again. Elianna looked up and around but then continued to play.

We were really disappointed. We really wanted to bless Elianna with this one toy, (which was even on sale for a great price) but we just couldn't bring ourselves to do it. Elianna knowingly disobeyed us twice, and rewarding this behavior just wouldn't be a good thing to do.

That got me thinking about how much the Lord must want to bless us and give us good gifts – gifts we know nothing about. But I don't think He can give them when we continually disobey. Uggh.

Lets begin setting our minds on being obedient to God today. He has such great gifts he wants to pour upon us. There's so much work to be done!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Parenthood