A Solid Frame: 8 Things Fathers Should Tell Their Children

A Solid Frame: 8 Things Fathers Should Tell Their Children
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This Sunday will be the first Father’s Day since my dad passed away. As the day approaches, I find myself facing fresh grief, but also feeling fresh gratitude. I wish I’d had more time with him, but I’m also aware that not everyone gets a dad like mine. He was imperfect, but he was good. When we’re young we tend to zero in on our parent’s flaws, because we think we don’t have that many of our own. Eventually we come to see just how difficult this parenting thing really is. It exposes us all for the selfish and sinful people we are.

But what I remember most often now is how much my dad loved us and how hard he tried. And being in the “dad trenches” myself, I find myself leaning on his example. Much of what I learned from him he never said out loud, and I think that’s how good dads often operate. When it comes to parenting, often more is caught than is taught, as the old expression goes.

When I think of the task of parenting, I often think of it like building the frame for a house. Each saying, each principle, every aspect of our example, is like a nail that helps hold the pieces of the frame together. We can either build a structure that is sloppy, ugly, and rough, or we can fashion a frame that is carefully crafted and beautifully designed, a structure on which our kids can build a life pleasing to the Lord.

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Misreading David and Bathsheba

The prophet Nathan confronts David

by Matt Morton

Last Sunday I preached on the David and Bathsheba story from 2 Samuel 11-12, an incident that easily ranks as the darkest moment of David’s life and reign. It’s stunning how quickly David’s life takes a terrible turn, from success to devastation seemingly overnight. Complacency leads to lust, which rapidly leads to abuse, adultery, deceit, and murder.

As I prepared my sermon, it occurred to me that this story is often misunderstood in some troubling and – I think – dangerous ways. Quite often our faulty interpretations of a Bible story tell us more about ourselves than anything else, and I think that’s especially true with the sad tale of David and Bathsheba.

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We Are All Doubting Thomas

by Matt Morton

(Published in the Bryan/College Station Eagle in April 2021)

I have a confession to make: I’ve always thought the apostle Thomas gets a bad rap. In the aftermath of Jesus’ resurrection, Thomas somehow missed one meeting, where Jesus miraculously appeared to his disciples behind a locked door (John 20:19-23). The Lord showed them all the wounds in His hands and side as proof that He really had risen from the dead. The Bible doesn’t tell us why Thomas wasn’t there. Maybe he was out buying fish sandwiches for the rest of the crew. Maybe he just needed some alone time after a really terrible week.

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