Dear Girls, Years and decades and eras ago when Phil and I were dating I was convinced he would be a terrific dad.
After all, I reasoned, he loved to play with kids. Wrestling and teasing and throwing his nephews in the air, Phil seemed, in my vast experience, to have all the makings of a wonderful father.
And even though my criteria were laughably shallow, I was right. Phil has been a terrific dad to our four children.
Just a couple of days ago he got a text from Matt, asking for help and guidance about ministry he was being called to do. What to say, how to study, the best way to approach the opportunity.
I watched as Phil once again took an opportunity to disciple his son.
To raise up the next generation to teach and think and lead.
And I watched as my son listened and learned and prepared to take the baton from his father and run his own leg of the race.
I watch as my oldest son, John Mark, leads his own sons and daughter. How he, who is so different in so many ways from his dad, is at the same time, so like his father.
I watch John Mark encourage and discipline and disciple his children— and then how he throws them in the air for a raucous wrestling match. Just like his dad.
And girls, I want the same for each of you. Because if you marry a man who understands his essential role of imitating the Father as a father, you and your children and your children’s children will be blessed beyond belief.
Trust me, I know. I live the results everyday.
That is why I want to invite you to attend a seminar Phil and I are teaching on November 8th and 9th. It’s called Intentional: Raising Passionate Jesus Followers.
This seminar is a culmination of a dream that started while Phil was in seminary and our first born was just a few months old. Over 3 decades ago! We knew we didn’t know what we were doing and so we began an intensive study. Gathering wisdom, delving into the Scriptures, asking questions, questioning the answers.
Now we have gathered what we learned and crammed it into six teaching sessions. We’ll tell our stories, explain the Biblical basis of the why’s and how’s, tell you what we did right and a whole lot of things we wish we’d done differently.
And here’s the real reason to come girls: When I saw, just a few days ago, Phil bent over his big, worn Bible pointing out to my son the truths that applied to his questions, I fell in love with the man all over again.
A great big swelling of I can’t believe I get to be married to this man kind of response.
And I want that for you.
Every one of you. Because in ways I do not fully understand, a woman’s feelings of love are all wrapped up in respect. I feel love for Phil because I honestly, really do respect the man. A lot.
Yes, he’s a good man. And yes, he’s good to me. But the real reason I respect him is because of the way he leads his family on a firm Biblical basis to follow Jesus with wisdom and passion.
If you’re married, bring your man. Please. This is not a seminar simply for mothers. It is a chance for men to see what spiritual leadership looks like and sounds like and is in everyday life.
If you’re not married, bring yourself. This is a chance for you to get a whiff of what you really want. For you to see what spiritual leaderships looks like and sounds like and is in every day life.
And it’s a lot more than wrestling with the kids…
From my heart,
PS: sign up by going to the website www.intentionalparents.org. And let me know if you’re coming!