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Tag: love

What defines a father?

Contributor: T. Dozier-Grady

A father has many roles, like mothers, in society. It goes beyond the idea of being a breadwinner. They help develop a positive role in a child’s life, provide a sense of security, build self-esteem, lend a helping hand to those in need, be a caregiver, give affection, be nurturing, and plenty of other things. In the Bible, the role of the father is described as the leader and protector of the family. He is an example of showing love towards his wife and children (the way Christ shows His love). 

First Timothy 3:2-5 (NIV) says “Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?).” 

A father is strong in his faith. He gives a sense of direction and disciple to his children in the ways of the Lord and helps the child(ren) embrace God as their Heavenly Father. I know there were plenty of times where I did not like to be corrected on my behavior, and I had to apologize for my actions. The Bible says, “because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son” (Hebrew 12:6 NIV). Our earthly father is mirroring the Heavenly Father because he wants to help shape the child’s long-term character. He points his children to Jesus as the model because He is our Everlasting Father.

God is the reason why we were created. Bishop explains that regardless of how we arrived on this Earth, it was no mistake. We are made in His image, and we have His genetic makeup inside of us. He wants us to show people how He gave us conditional love and always stuck by our side through good and bad, and thick and thin. He wants us to help those in need feel the love that God gave us. 

God is the source of everything, the Jehovah Jireh. He will provide for you when you do not know if you can make it to next week. He will give you the affection you need because He is a father to the fatherless (Psalms 68:5). God wants us to know that we can trust Him with anything and everything. Trusting Him can lead your soul to find rest, salvation, and security (Psalms 62:1-2). 

The role of the father is to empower and transform his children to live like Jesus, to have open arms to those who are different, and to spread the love of Jesus. 

#father, love

A salute to the people who protect and serve

Contributor: E. Taylor

Many thanks to military service members, police officers, and firefighters all over the world for great deeds in our communities everywhere.  We value the sacrifice and dedication that is demonstrated on and off duty in neighborhoods, backyards, streets, buildings, homes, precincts, and unnamed places everywhere.  Their devotion goes above and beyond the call of duty in and out of the uniform.  

Our uniformed officers often have to put others before themselves and their families, losing out on important moments and memories in their own lives and the lives of their families and loved ones.  It is difficult to understand the sacrifice that they make in the line of duty, and true understanding can sometimes be skewed by the media’s projections of negative events.  

Being fair and open-minded helps us see the best in everyone, including our public servants.  Seeing the best in everyone helps us reserve negative judgment, support our uniformed officers, and spread the news about their good deeds in our own communities.  Let us show appreciation for these officers – those that we know and love and others across the globe as they continue to uphold their oaths as public servants in our communities.  

The current climate of social change encourages us all to stop and examine our interactions with each other for the positives and to seek ways to be better individuals that can help bring out the best in others.  Along with protecting and serving, police officers perform rescues from unsafe and burning buildings, save animals and people stranded in trees and high buildings, have pulled up people and pets from wells and manholes, rescued miners from shafts, removed babies from wells, used the jaws of life to remove people from crushed vehicles, calm traffic and manage traffic at the scene of an accident.  These brave officers monitor traffic stops to maintain public safety and identify unsafe individuals.  

Firefighters risk their lives for us battling raging fires that blaze uncontrollably for days, weeks, and months without an unforeseeable end in sight.  These firefighters risk their lives all over the world in dark and dismal places, some never returning home to their families, others never returning home the same as they were before they left.  

All branches of military service members serve in various places protecting our borders and the world in so many ways – many known and unknown to us. As we think of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and National Guard, we salute them for the great things they do for us and for always protecting us from dangers that are both seen and unseen.  Our military is strategically placed to keep us safe from unexpected dangers.  

We never know what to expect from day to day, but we know that we can count on all of these public servants to have our backs and to carry out their sworn duties every day.

#lovethepolice, #protectandserve, love

Enduring Love

Have you ever found it difficult to love those that are kind toward you? Most times, loving someone like this takes little effort. However, in those challenging moments, we find it difficult to love those that have hurt us. Loving someone in the difficult times requires a patient enduring love, but love has the ability to grow. Here’s what I mean.

The day my husband’s son was born, I cried. Yes, you read that right. After seven years of marriage and two children, my husband and I separated. During our separation, he entered another relationship and had a third child. So, if I had hope that perhaps one day we would reconcile our marriage, after my stepson was born all hope seemed lost. 

The dynamics of my life had changed. I became a single working mom and student. My favorite pastime was crying. Anger, confusion, and doubt became very familiar to me. Then, without warning and in the midst of my heartache, my mother passed. Loving my husband was the last thing I wanted to do. So, I talked over my woes with anyone who would listen: family, friends, but the best listeners were strangers on the New York City subways. Eventually, I did seek a professional therapist though.

I also sought help from God. Anytime I could find Him, I did. I started going to church on my lunch-hour to pray for strength and the strength and joy came slowly. I felt I could do this and deep down I had hoped for reconciliation, but I didn’t know if I could accept my husband’s child. However, I was willing if we could repair our marriage.

After three years, we did find love again and reconciled our marriage, but there was still the question of if I could accept my stepson as a member of our family. I had to stretch my heart — not much — just a little. My heart was not broken beyond repair; it still worked. 

Over the years, our family relocated from New York to North Carolina and my stepson spent weeks at a time with us. I soon realized how kind, helpful and respectful he was. In time, my heart began to stretch more. Then, as our children grew and bonded during his visits, I admired their love and laughter for one another and my heart began to stretch even more.

It is true that no one graces this green earth without the approval of Jesus Christ. I saw that in my stepson. It didn’t matter how he got here. What mattered most was he had arrived. He is a part of our family with a very important purpose. 

I learned no matter how hopeless a situation might seem, not all is lost. If you open your heart, just a little, there’s a Godly love, a mature love, a patient love, that endures. This love can and will stretch your heart. We just have to be willing.

Contributor – A. Dorcent 

#Children, #Patience, love

What does the Bible say about going to #church as a family?

It is vitally important for families to attend church, praise, and worship the Lord together, which affirms the stance that we choose to serve God regardless of what other households have decided (Joshua 24:15).  My childhood memories include my parents, my sister, and I, as we sat together, singing, clapping, and repeating the “affirmation of faith,” which summarized our church’s biblical beliefs.  My parents taught me early on that serving the Lord was important, so I joined the choir as a child.  

God commands parents and caregivers to raise children on biblical principles so that if they go astray, their foundation will lead them back to God.  This is true, especially for myself, who went astray after my parents divorced when I was in middle school.  For many years, I floundered and struggled with my identity in the world.  One day I realized that my identity was within the body of Christ, found my way back to church after being witnessed to by a local pastor, and have continued to rebuild my faith since then.  

God desires us to experience life through our interactions with others, within our family, through involvement in our support networks, as we work alongside employers and colleagues, and in everything that we do.  It is all about our purpose – to worship God, to witness of His goodness to others, and to profess our faith to everyone.  A fond childhood memory is the song “Yes, Jesus Loves Me” because as the Father has loved Him, He has loved me (John 15:9).  This hymn holds special meaning because although the particular details of childhood church service escape me, the feelings of the assurance that this song brought me still rest deep within me.  As the words wash over me, the hope that only rests in Jesus and the salvation that He brings warms and renews my heart.   As a child, I was taught this love and filled with His Spirit and is now reconnected to the true vine.  

Another childhood memory is of Willie Banks and the Messengers singing “Lord, I Know You Been So Good.”  This song was sung in church, at local gospel concerts, and at home around warm slices of an old-fashioned molasses cake.  Memories of church from my childhood all include my family as a unit serving and praising the Lord which set the precedence for instilling those same values in my own children – the importance of attending church, serving in the church, and praising and worshipping God as a family.  God wants all of us to give our children these same types of memories. 

Contributor: E. Taylor

#church, #memories, love

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