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Because I’m Saved

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What do children think when you hide alcohol in the house? Dad must be hiding it because he doesn’t want anybody to know it’s there. Why? Is it wrong? Maybe we should try it. You know that’s the thought process.

In my home, my sons will know where the beer is. I’ll tell them, “The beer is in the refrigerator. You can’t have it. You’re not old enough to drink. But it’s right there. In fact, I’ll tell you what, why don’t you go get me a beer. I’m old enough to drink, so go get me one, please.” I want them to be able to go get it, and hand it to me.

I’m not going to hide the fact that there’s alcohol in the house, because I want my sons to think, “Dad is being honest with us. Dad loves us and trusts us to know that there’s alcohol in the house. He’s not hiding anything.”

Sometimes kids have issues because their parents don’t want to address the reality of drinking. Instead they guilt their kids or scare their kids into not doing it. But that’s a problem, because then their kids only respect them out of fear or guilt, not love. That’s not how I want to raise my children.

I want my children to respect me. I’m hoping they respect me enough to know that they’re not allowed to drink. If I do catch them drinking, there will be some disciplinary action. Will I have to take the alcohol out of my house? I hope not. I would, if they’re not making wise decisions. But I’m not going to start my relationship off with my sons by hiding things. I won’t do it.

I don’t want my sons to look at me and say, “That’s my Dad who I respect because I’m scared of him.” If I have a daughter someday, I don’t want her to say, “That’s my Dad that I respect because I hate feeling guilty whenever I’m around him. I would rather obey him than feel guilty.”

I want my children to say, “That’s my Daddy. I love and respect him because he loves and respects me. He’s honest with me. I know I can talk to him any time about anything. He won’t fly off the handle and yell at me. He won’t guilt me into doing what’s right. We’re going to talk things out and I’m going to feel so calm around him that I’ll want to do what’s right, because I respect him.”

It’s the same way with Jesus. Some people say they love and obey Jesus because He’s God, but that might be putting it backwards. It’s because He loved me and died for me that I obey. Put another way, I don’t obey in order to be saved. I obey because I’m saved. That’s the relationship Jesus wants to have with us.

I don’t want my sons to look at me and say, “I respect you because you’re the father figure of our home.” I want them to say, “Dad, because you’re the nurturing father figure of our home, I respect you and I love you. I’m not obeying you because I’m afraid of you. I’m obeying you because I’m your son or I’m your daughter. You have done so much for me and you care for me, and I love you.”

That’s the reality that I want for my family.

I’m going to wrap up this short series on drinking with a few words for the churches. You won’t want to miss that.  See you Friday.

3 thoughts on “Because I’m Saved

  1. Jeremy, thanks for sharing and keeping it real. I always say to my kids (8, 6 & 4) that only adults are allowed to drink alcohol because before you are 21, your brain is still developing and alcohol can mess up your brain, and cause you to make some really bad decisions. From working with teens for 10 years, I know this is true. That’s why we have a law, to protect people from hurting themselves from damaging their brains. Laws are there to protect us, that’s why we obey. I only hope they are as receptive this talk at 18, 16 and 14. Keep up the good posts. We appreciate you standing for Christ.
    Kevin

  2. Hi! This is great! I love how you put: I don’t obey in order to be saved, I obey because I am saved! Echoing it, Yes!

    I am new to your blog, and I just read about you on Not For Sales site! I have been inspired, challenged and totally blessed by reading your stuff. Just like you, I am part of the movement to end Modern Day Slavery in our lifetime too! Your writings, and your passion to engage injustice (whether it’s hunger, unclean water, or slavery) has definitely got me excited. Prayers that God will continue using you in awesome ways!

    On a side note: I’m not much of a baseball person, I haven’t watched it much…but around my area whenever we talked about SF Giants, I always knew it was my friends (whose from Cali) favorite team. We being from Ohio (Cincinnati Reds area) didn’t like the opposing team or something like that. That’s all I really knew about the Giants until I read about you. Now, whenever we talk about SF Giants (or when you all play the Red’s in July) I will see a face on that team and will know what that guy stands for…and I am excited to watch you all play, not only for a game but for a cause that is so close to my heart! Thanks for all you do in loosening the chains of slavery and making the name of Jesus famous!

    ~ Caitlin

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