WHEN GOD LIMITS HIMSELF

Ryan, my 7 year old, and I were walking around in the mall one time.  He wanted to buy a particular Transformer Robot.  He had a budget but the one he liked was way beyond his budget.

As a father, I really (REALLY, REALLY!) wanted to go over the budget and pay off the extra so that he could get what he wanted.  I had to stop myself and limit myself from doing it because of several principles at work in parenting.

He is learning that he cannot get everything he wants.  I can buy him a lot of what he wants but I choose not to.

There are times it breaks my heart when I see he really wants to get something but I have to stop myself.  There are times I let him have it yet there are times I don’t.

Why?  Getting everything he wants may not always be best for him.

Then I had a thought… “That’s probably the same way with me and my Heavenly Father.  Getting everything I want is not necessarily what’s best for me.”

We all like Jeremiah 29:11 which says, I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. (Message).
However, the bottomline is that it still comes down to what God thinks is best for us.

God has the ability to limit the amount of power He releases in my life.  As Augustus Strong simply puts it,

“God can do all He will, but He will not do all He can.  Else His power is mere force acting necessarily, and God would be the slave of His own omnipotence.  God is not compelled to do all He can do, but uses as much of His power as He pleases.  Just because He is omnipotent, He doesn’t have to do all He can do.”

These are the times when God limits Himself.

PARENTING LESSONS FROM A SINGLE GUY

Me and My Dad camp was a blast.  It was one of the best Me and My Dad camps, if not the best that I’ve ever attended.  Kudos to Pastor Mark Tusoy and Glenn Quizon.

Pastor Joey and David Bonifacio did a Father and Son talk tandem.  It was nothing short of phenomenal.  You know when a person is teaching (from notes) and when he is simply speaking… speaking from experience and from the heart.

Quick run down on what I learned from David, a sharp, quick witted 26 year old single guy.

1. A father apologizing to his child is perfectly alright.  It doesn’t diminish respect.  In fact, it does exactly the opposite.

2. “The greatest inheritance I got was that I was ‘fathered.'”

3. A father is a definer.  If a dad doesn’t define his children, the world will.

4. Discipline molds and sets boundaries.  A dad has to define the boundaries.  In return, a child learns to respect it growing up.

5. On discipline and the rod, pain communicates the consequence.  Comfort communicates love.

6. What is not seen in the flesh is redeemed in the spirit.

7. A child becomes weak when there is too much comfort and is not allowed to experience hardship.

8. The best form of security a child can receive is to see his father being fully devoted to his mother.  “Faithfulness is not not cheating.  It is complete devotion.”

9. The best thing my father taught me is that no matter what, RUN TO GOD.  When things are going great, RUN TO GOD.  When things mess up, RUN TO GOD.  When it’s happy times, RUN TO GOD.  When it’s disappointment times, RUN TO GOD…. RUN TO GOD!

PARENTING PITFALL

 

Tolerance is a dangerous word, especially when it comes to parenting. It has become a parenting pitfall to many and I am no exception.

When my son was about three, he loved spending his energy by running and jumping all around the place. This was carried over even when we were in church. He would run around and jump off the stage. After a few instances, one of our leaders sat me down and said, “Paolo, you are a great dad. And you have a wonderful son. But there might just be some instances when you have tolerated things that you shouldn’t have. If our children act they way they do, it’s either we’ve influenced them to do it or merely tolerated their behavior.”

BOOM! At that moment, I felt like I was hit by a bomb. I realized that certain things my kids do are not because they’re being rebellious but because of lack of instruction from their parents.

Gilbert K. Chesterton said, “Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.”

We have to be deliberate in our parenting. We have to sow seeds of God’s Word in the lives of our kids. God’s Word has everything to say about how we can train, discipline, and raise our children.

Nobody said parenting was going to be a breeze. But we are not without hope. God will help. He will guide. He will bless. His promise stands true that if we train our children in the way they should go, when they grow up, they will not depart from what they’ve been taught (Proverbs 22:6).

WEWEGE PARENTING TIPS

I had dinner with our Senior Pastor from our Every Nation Church in Christchurch New Zealand.  Brian (who is one of our fine campus ministers at Victory Fort) and I listened as we learned a lot from Bernhard Wewege.

Here are some of the parenting tips we learned from him:

1. LOVE YOUR SPOUSE.

Your children will grow up very secure as they see Mom and Dad sincerely take care of each other in good times and bad.  They will not articulate how secure they feel especially as young tots, but this is going to be very clear as they grow into adulthood.

2. GET INVOLVED.

Know your kids’ friends.  Find out what they like and they don’t like.  Learn the things they love doing.  Study your kids and get into it.

Recitals.  Sporting events.  Graduations.  Exhibits.  Musical shows.

Be sure to be there.

3. LEAVE ROOM FOR MISTAKES.

As parents, we don’t like our kids to commit the same mistakes we committed in the past.  We try our very best to protect them so they avoid the pitfalls that life may bring.

Unfortunately, we can’t be GOD because we are NOT.  We can’t be there 24/7.  We just need to keep pounding on the principles we desire to lodge in their hearts and hope that when the time comes, they’ll have the wisdom to apply what they have learned.

4. MODEL FAITH.

We can’t tell them to live for God if we ourselves don’t.  Devotions in the morning can’t be forced.  They are modeled.  Prayer times are not mandated.  They are exemplified.  Believing God for greater things can’t be decreed.  They have to be exercised in front of our kids.

Model faith in Christ.  Remember, much of it is caught not taught.

5. PRAY.

There is no greater parenting tip than to pray for your kids everyday.

Pastor Bernhard talked about praying for your kids’ hearts to have a tenderness toward the Holy Spirit.

Why?  Many times, they actually know right from wrong.  It is the tenderness to the Holy Spirit, to listen to His voice and prompting, that will make them have a desire to obey God and do the right thing.

I am so thankful for mentors like Pastor Bernhard who we can glean from and learn from so we can become the parents God designed us to be.

WHY THIS BLOG

I grew up in a single parent home. Through the years, I’ve learned so many lessons. I’d like to share it with you and hopefully it might be of help to some.

Since then, I’ve also met my lovely wife.  We now have 4 children and by the grace of God, we have a happy and fulfilling family life.

Here’s my journey…