Keeping Secrets

Written by: Margaret Connolly

Have you ever had to keep a secret? It’s not always easy. Recently my 9 year old daughter asked me if keeping a secret was a sin. She asked me if it was okay not to tell me something that a friend had told her. I asked her whether keeping the secret would harm or hurt someone else and she said no, so I advised her not to break her friends trust. A few days later she mentioned that her friend was scared to tell her Mother about what had happened because it involved a piece of jewelry that was special to her Mom. It was then that I told my daughter that she should probably encourage her friend to come clean with her Mom. Through this whole ordeal, I was impressed that my daughter never did tell me the complete details of the secret as she had promised her friend that she wouldn’t tell.

A few years ago I felt the sting of betrayal when a secret of mine was shared without my permission. The person I had confided in thought it would be helpful to share this with a prayer group, but this prayer group consisted of people that I hadn’t wanted to share this particular information with. I felt exposed and angry, though the friend I had originally shared my secret with didn’t see the harm in her actions. In this sad situation, the trust of a secret was turned into an opportunity to gossip, as I soon found out when my ‘secret’ was shared around to an even wider circle of people.

I’ve also had many people share very deep, dark secrets with me. I had a friend confide in me about her husband’s infidelity; another time it was a friend who struggled with an addiction to pornography. More recently, an acquaintance asked if she could share with me about an emotional affair that she was beginning to find herself embroiled in. I take this confidence very seriously, though I also understand how hard it can be to keep private information, private. The temptation to gossip is often there and can be hard to resist.

So, when my daughter came home and asked me if it was a sin to keep a secret, it made me wonder what the Bible says about secrets? Surely, God keeps secrets from us! As we know, there are many things that He says He won’t reveal to us, and things that are on a sort of ‘need to know’ basis. How about Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden? He didn’t tell them WHY they shouldn’t touch the fruit, just that they shouldn’t. There are countless times in the Bible when secrets are kept for good and for not-so-good reasons. Even Jesus instructed the two blind men that he healed in Matthew Chapter 9 not to tell anyone what He had done. The one common denominator in the Bible on this theme though, is that gossiping or slandering another is always wrong: “Whoever slanders his neighbour in secret, Him will I put to silence” Psalm 101:5

The Bible also talks about how impossible it is to keep secrets from God, and that there really isn’t any point in trying. He expects us to reveal His secrets to Him if they require repentance, but even when they don’t, He knows what’s going on with us anyway!

“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” Proverbs 28:13

I believe that God will honour us for keeping secrets for other people, though encouraging them to repent and offering to pray for them if the secret involves sinful behaviour. In the cases where I was made privy to very private, potentially damaging information there was always a temptation to run and tell someone. Knowing it wasn’t my place to do so, I didn’t break the trust of those who had confided in me. I did, however, pray with and for that person and encourage them to seek help. In these tricky and ‘secretive’ situations, I think that is the best we can do. And, be careful who you dish your dirt too .. you never know who won’t be able to resist the urge to gossip!

How Will We Respond?

Written by: D’Anne Mullin

Life. Aw life! It comes with many twists and turns, moments of excitement and times of deep sorrow, along with events that both sideswipe and pleasantly surprise. We take the good with the bad, hope for the best, and cherish the simple things. A baby’s giggle brightens our day and a grandparent’s last breath overshadows our happiness. It clamours on with many seasons of the heart and opportunities to grow in character.

It is a well-known fact that we have no control over what happens to us in this life, but we do have control over how we respond. It’s inevitable that “bad things” will come our way; trials, tribulations and the sort. We have no choice in this, but we do have choice in the actions that follow and must recognize God’s sovereignty in the midst of our struggles. In choosing how to respond, trust in our Lord is paramount.

“If we choose to trust God, then we will develop perseverance and faith will grow.” James 1:3

Our hearts naturally drift toward complaint, worry, fear and anger when the rough times come. These conditions often become the unwanted patterns of behaviour, thoughts, and actions. To withstand this we must surrender to God’s sovereignty in all situations and trust Him implicitly for the outcomes. Trust EVICTS these conditions from our heart. They cannot co-exist. One will inevitably push out the other and without trust we cannot weather the storms of life!

The story of Abraham in the Bible is truly fascinating. A man, who faced so many trials in his journey on this earth, yet was an incredible example of faith and trust in his God…Our God! At one point, Abraham was COMMANDED by God to leave the comfort, familiarity and safety of his home and surroundings. To simply trust God and move out from all that he knew and loved into a land filled with trial and danger. He was given the dream of the Promised Land from God and told to GO! He took his then very elderly wife, he being an old man himself, and began the journey forward. No questions asked. He simply obeyed his Lord and stepped out into the unknown, trusting every step of the way.

The Israelites, however, show us the opposite pattern of mistrust and reliance on the flesh. Abraham was their spiritual forefather and his “journey of trust” their spiritual inheritance. But they chose to respond with resistance and cultivated the very undesirable traits of complaint, worry, fear and anger. Because of this they were stuck in a 40-year pattern of wandering aimlessly through the dessert, a symbol of the spiritual wasteland in their lives.

Daughters, life is a gift not to be taken for granted. Some days are wonderful and exciting and rewarding. Some days are horrible and discouraging and unforgiving. The tides of life will ebb and flow with incredible unpredictability. But one thing remains. God is sovereign and we can trust Him. We must choose each day how we will respond and we must choose to trust Him in order to live above the waves!

Church Leaders are not Experts in Everything

Written by: Nathan Hill

Having been a pastor for over a decade, I have experienced my fair share of odd requests for guidance from families and individuals. In fact, you might be surprised at some of the things I have been asked. It is as though people expect that by virtue of being a pastor I have insider knowledge on divorce law/lawyers, the ethics of reproductive technology, parenting kids, parenting teenagers, marriage counselling, handling conflict with in-laws, how to invest money, what school options are best (i.e., private, home schooling, public)…and so many other things.

Oddly enough, my seminary training involved biblical studies, Greek, preaching and communication, theology, spiritual disciplines, music, pastoral visitation, and just enough counselling and family therapy to know when I am in over my head. That’s all she wrote folks! And, truth be told, pastors should not be experts in all of the other areas (and neither should they pretend to be!), and congregants should not expect that their pastors are expert in anything other than what they have been called to do: preach the bible and provide practical wisdom for life from a biblical worldview.

So, if you were to ask me about divorce, I would open the Scriptures and direct you to Matthew 5:32 & 19:9 as well as 1 Corinthians 7. If you were to ask about reproductive technology, I would remind you of the inherent value in all of human life and that we are known and identified by God as persons even in the womb (Psalm 139:16, Jeremiah 1:5). If you ask me how to handle conflict, I’d direct you to Matthew 18. If you ask about parenting, I’d remind you that God is quick to love, slow to anger. Jesus was firm on his kingdom principles, but loved people despite their actions. He pointed people in the right direction, saying go and sin no more. Even those who were to backstab him were still permitted a place around his table during meals. He never turned his back, offered lots of consistent correctives, and at the end of the day some of his closest people walked away from him—which was their choice and not a failure on Jesus’ part.

Basically, we point you to Jesus. That’s all we’ve got, and scripture tells us that is actually enough. Please do not expect us to be scientists, pharmacists, doctors, lawyers, human resources consultants, business-minded entrepreneurs, or professional counsellors—some of us have training in some of those areas, but we are not experts because our professional practice is pastoring and that is primarily what you will get. And when we pretend to know more than we really do…just smile, graciously thank us, and ask us to pray for you. That should help get us back on track☺.

A Season for Everything

Written by: Christianne Williams

My kids have always wanted to have pets. This began at an early age when our two oldest boys, then 2 and 4, received Beta fish for a Christmas gift. They would talk to their fish, read to them, stare at them, one day I even caught one of them right before he took the fish out of the tank to pet him. It didn’t matter that these slippery little creatures had no fur or paws, they were tiny friends to our boys. Now, at that young age our boys weren’t the best at following the proper feeding guidelines, so it was either a feast or famine if they were left to accomplish this task on their own.

I would always check on Gordie and Spike, to make sure there had been food added or to ‘fish out’ some if too much had been dumped. One morning while I was checking on them I noticed that Gordie was swimming close to the top, a little too close, and upon further inspection I noticed that he was belly up. I knew our son would be so disappointed by this, I didn’t know how to break the news to him, and I really wanted to avoid this conversation about loss. So, after I knew my husband would have arrived in his office, I snuck into the bathroom and called.

When I had him on the line, I whispered, “We have a problem, Gordie’s dead. You have to stop at the new one before he notices.” There was a huge gasp from the other end of the phone and a very loud and concerned, “WHAT??” followed. My husband sounded so upset, more that I think my son would’ve been. It baffled me. And then I knew….his uncle was also named Gordie and I hadn’t distinguished between which one I was speaking of.

He stopped listening after the first part of my declaration and was now panicking thinking something had happened to a family member.

Once we got the whole matter cleared up, he agreed to my plan to do the whole switcheroo to save our son the disappointment of loss. I left the dead fish in the tank all day, just hoping that neither boy would ask why Gordie was looking like that, and we made it through. When my husband came through the door, I occupied the boys while he made the exchange, and then we went on with our week. Our son never knew the difference, and we actually had three different Gordie’s and a couple of Spike’s.

Looking back on that event, as well as a few others, I feel we let our little ones down. The bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8:

“There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens; a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build. A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, at time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”

As parents, we wanted to shield them from the hurt but we missed the opportunity to teach them a valuable lesson about life. These verses in Ecclesiastes show us that there truly is a season for everything and that all of these things are in God’s control. We will experience most, or most likely all, of these things in our lives, and we will have opportunities to teach our children that they are normal processes and God is with us through them all. It important to seek God’s council in all things so that we can gain wisdom in how to respond to the situations we face so that we can exhibit Godly character, one that our kids will inherit. My prayer is that in the future I will be aware of the eyes watching me and the messages I’m sending, so that my kids will be able to fully trust God with their lives.

He loves me; He loves me not

Written by: Cindy Morrone

If we take just a minute and quiet all the distractions around us, I know we could all come up with moments of sacredness.

Those occasions that are even better than a hallmark movie.

Those times when we realize there is something beyond ourselves.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18

A baby being born. An unexplainable recovery from a dire illness. Freedom from addiction. The return of your prodigal child. A narrow escape from an accident. Provision when the numbers don’t add up. Knowing a love so profound it’s not humanly possible.

I remember a time when one of our daughters was younger and very ill. We had been up all night with her.

It seemed that she was doing better through the night but as soon as my husband left for work in the early morning, her congestion became so much worse and her breathing became labored. I started to panic.

We had earlier called for professional help and they recommended that if her congestion became any worse to bring her into the bathroom with closed doors and run a warm shower.

Taking the medical advice, I brought her into the bathroom and did as recommended.

As the warm vapour enveloped us, my thoughts ran wild. Sitting with her in my arms, feeling her every breath, I willed her breathing to regulate. I prayed desperately.

In that moment, I couldn’t imagine loving her more. I was overcome by my love for her.

And in that moment God spoke to me,……! He didn’t speak to me in an audible voice but it was an impression; a thought that didn’t come from me.

As much as you love your daughter, I love you more. For me, this was a sacred moment. I caught a glimpse of God’s love for us; it’s unimaginable; incomprehensible.

Writing a Father’s Day post is most difficult for me. I know this is for many reasons but the crucial reason is because I truly don’t ‘get’ how much God loves me; me.

My notion of how much He loves me is tainted by earthly experiences of being loved and giving love as sin-filled others. A broken promise, hurtful words, selfish motives, unmet expectations to name a few.

On this Father’s Day beloved, may we know with ever increasing realization God’s love for us. May this knowing envelope us and breathe new life into all our areas affected by fatherhood.

Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close Psalm 27:10 New Living Translation

Parenting and Monotony

Written by: Rev. Phil Aud

Several years ago my wife and I were leading worship for a week of camp at Lakeshore’s Family Camp in Cobourg, Ontario. My oldest daughter, Soleil, was four or five at the time. She was still waking up early in those days and the two of us would head over to the cafeteria for an early breakfast. One of those mornings we decided to go for a walk near the lake and eventually found a park bench to sit on and watch the water. After sitting there for a while Soleil asked, “Are those fairies?” I had no idea what she was talking about. She pointed left, towards the water, and said “Over there. Are those fairies?” I still didn’t have a clue but continued to look. Finally I saw it. It was the sun reflecting on the moving water. It was beautiful and–I don’t know a manly way to say this–it totally looked like little flying fairies. I saw sun and water. She saw fairies.

As I later thought back about that morning I was reminded of some writings of G. K. Chesterton. Chesterton reflected that while ‘nature’ often repeated itself, it was far from boring. In his book “Orthodoxy” he wrote: “The repetition in Nature seemed sometimes to be an excited repetition…The grass seemed signalling to me with all its fingers at once; the crowded stars seemed bent upon being understood.”

Some people see wind and grass while others, like Chesterton, see fingers signaling to them. Once when my son was sick, he insisted that my wife carry him to sit with her on the back porch. He was drawn by the trees. We have a lot of large trees in our backyard that sway like wild men when the wind picks up. The sound of the leaves rustling is mesmerizing. But while out there he talked about the trees ‘waving their arms.’ Maybe he was right. The great prophet Isaiah wrote about the mountains and hills bursting into song, and about the trees clapping their hands (Isaiah 55:12).

So what keeps us from seeing the world the way our kids see it? Chesterton says it’s monotony. More specifically, it’s our view of monotony. We tire of the “same old, same old.” We thrive on what’s novel and new. As we all know by now, anytime we acquire something new it’s already old and disappointing. We’ve been trained to find monotony draining. But children haven’t submitted to this training yet.

“Because children have abounding vitality,” writes Chesterton, “because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony.”

What if we’ve stopped really looking at the beauty around us and have lost the mystery of creation because we’re always looking for something novel? Chesterton would asks, what if things repeat themselves because they want to? Because God wants them to? “It may be that He [God] has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. The repetition in Nature may not be a mere recurrence; it may be a theatrical ENCORE.”

I’ve never forgotten Chesterton’s idea about our sin causing us to becoming older than our Father. I can think of at least two things that all of this can teach us about parenting.

First, it is obviously part of our job as parents is to help our children grow up. But I think we are supposed to help them grow up in a specific way. We should guide them as they acquire skills to navigate through the world and make hard choices. The Apostle Paul talks about the importance of “putting away childish things” (I Corinthians 13:11). But these words of Paul need to be heard along side Jesus’ words which tell us that unless we become like “a little child” we will “never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). We must help our children grow up, but must be careful that we don’t train them to grow up in such a way as to grow older than our Father. I think this is possible. I was moved upon reading about how one of my favourite Jewish scholars, Abraham Heschel, upon entering the woods would always put on his dark hat. One of his friends, Shlomo Beillis, asked him why he always wore this hat in the forest. He responded, “‘I don’t know if you will understand. To me a forest is a holy place, and a Jew does not enter a holy place without covering his head!’”. Herschel was a great thinker, but he retained his childlike wonder. In fact, the book I just quoted from is titled “Abraham Joshua Hescel, Philosopher of Wonder” (by Maurice S. Friedman). Perhaps the words ‘philosopher’ and ‘wonder’ can, in fact, be set side-by-side, just like Jesus’ and Paul’s words. Isn’t this what we should be after for our children? To see them grow, become wise, and yet keep the wonder?

The second thing that this can perhaps teach us is that there is beauty in the monotony of parenting. I confess that I can far too often become older than my Father in this regard. But I don’t want to. I want to catch the beauty in the everyday things that my children do that I will one day, far too soon, miss. Let’s not become too old to say to our children, “Do it again! Do it again! Do it again!”


Phil loves connecting with people through story, songwriting and coffee. Phil, his wife Marisa, and their three kids are Canadian transplants to the American South. Phil serves as the worship Pastor at Trinity Church located South of Atlanta.


Honouring Dad

Written by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

“Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

My sister and I used to always bicker over who got to sit in the seat (in the car) behind our mom. I’m sure in a desperate attempt to cease the endless arguing, my dad bent down one day and said something simple, yet life-changing, to me. “Honey, why don’t you sit behind Daddy today?! You can be my girl!”

From that day on my seat was the seat behind Dad’s, and I claimed it very proudly!

Growing up my dad was not only my hero, but my best friend. Oftentimes you could find both of our heads under a car, hands filled with grease, chatting the Saturday sun away. We had similar habits, shared an identical birthmark and laughed at the same jokes! Being ‘his girl’ was simply who I was created to be.

Through the years my dad has become an invaluable source of strength to me. When situations in life arise that leave me feeling heartbroken, lonely, or anxious; I always know who I can call to get an encouraging and positive answer: Dad. He can lift my spirits with just a few simple words, even from 2500 kilometres away; and those words will without a doubt be directing me to The Lord.

I’ve watched my dad endure some pretty tough situations in my lifetime. Multiple layoffs, financial hardship, loss, and several medical illnesses often leaving him vulnerable and hurting. Never once did I hear him complain; instead he always directed his focus on The Lord and praised Him through every circumstance. As a parent he not only directs me to The Lord, he lives his life as a rich example of such behaviour.

I only pray that I can be as big of a blessing to my children, as my parents were (and are) to me! I will always be ‘your girl’, Dad, no matter how old I am, or how far away I may be.

Save my seat, ok?

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Monday Mornings

Written by: D’Anne Mullin

Monday mornings can be tough— can I get an amen to that? You have just had a lovely weekend sleeping in late and relaxing…you got caught up on housework and yard maintenance, you went out for dinner with good friends, you read some more of that great book you put on hold through the work week, you attended church and your spiritual batteries are recharged, and you enjoyed that lazy Sunday afternoon nap and spent time together as a family in the evening before…MONDAY MORNING!

The hustle and bustle of getting kids out the door for school with lunches in hand, the husband off to work encouraged to take on the world, your hair and make-up applied and work clothes pressed, the purse loaded with all the essentials, the breakfast smoothie made for the road and the keys — where are the keys! Oh, and don’t forget, piano lessons after school and the family dentist appointments that follow!

And then Monday becomes Tuesday and the rat race continues. Tuesday becomes Wednesday and you are half way through, but you look like you have been drug through a fence backwards. Before you know it, Wednesday becomes Thursday, which is always the longest day of the work week with Friday teasing just around the corner. Thursday becomes Friday and you have a new sense of excitement and anticipation as Saturday is finally within reach! And then Friday turns into the long-awaited WEEKEND!

Add to this normal craziness of the work week, the unexpected curveballs of life, and the weekend seems ever more elusive. Time sometimes seems to get stuck impeding your ability to get to that place of rest and relaxation! The flat tire in the middle of rush hour traffic during your commute, the visit to the emergency room with your child who has suffered a concussion from school sports, the unexpected visitors that need a place to stay for a night, the “bad news” that demands immediate attention and action, and the reminder call from the salon that your hair appointment is in a half an hour.

The countless decisions, the endless tasks, the unforeseen instances all take their toll on you. Exhaustion begins to set in making relief seem like a fairy tale. Daughters, we have all been there and sometimes the weeks drag on in this manner draining us of joy and life.

I absolutely love the devotional I am working through by Sarah Young entitled “Jesus Calling.” This devotional is filled with words Sarah heard from the Lord in her quiet times with Him. These words are so encouraging and challenging. As we walk through this week let us take heart in the words she heard from our Saviour.

“Let Me help you get through this day. There are many possible paths to travel between your getting up in the morning and your laying down at night. Stay alert to the many choice-points along the way, being continually aware of My presence. You will get through this day on way or the other. One way is to moan and groan, stumbling along with shuffling feet. This will get you to the end of the day eventually, but there is a better way! You can choose to walk with Me along the path of Peace, leaning on Me as much as your need. There will still be difficulties along the way, but you can face them confidently in My strength. Thank Me for each problem you encounter, and watch to see how I transform trials into blessings.”

This excerpt reminds me today to choose to walk with my Saviour through this week, with all its twists and turns, and keep from complaining and longing for the weekend. Each day, with all its fury, has opportunity to be a blessing for my life and the life of others. Each night this week I want to rest my head on my pillow with a smile on my face, joy in my heart and peace in my mind knowing that each day is an opportunity and not a trial!

His Hand Upon My Head

Written by: Rev. David Slauenwhite

His visits were always exciting to us kids. Empty pop bottles were stored until he arrived. Then we’d load them onto my cart to be pulled by him, surrounded by us, to be cashed in for candy. In the early 1950’s, that was big in this small boy’s life. I’ve never forgotten walking to the store, for he was deformed in his feet resulting in a slow and awkward gait. He was my grandfather.

He had no wealth, no car, no importance in his community, no remarkable traits, no special job, no accomplishments. As I understand it, he got his house, with no running water or electricity, by moving in to care for its dying occupant, who rewarded him with the property at the end. Though forgotten by his community, my father gave me memories of him.

As a ten-year old, my father played poker with his Dad and neighbors. The home was known for Saturday night parties to forget the poverty and pain of scratching out an existence during the war. During the two world wars, our name had changed from Schlagintweit to Slauenwhite along with a claim that we were of Dutch origin. My father was shocked to learn later in life that our ancestors came from Deutschland (Germany) via Holland to Nova Scotia. Being Deutsche was not the same as being Dutch.

My grandfather worked hard. On deformed feet he walked to the mill to labor for the pittance given in those days. Somehow, he saved enough to buy a radio, the only one in the community. Proud to possess such a wondrous instrument, he would open his window wide, turning up the volume so neighbours could hear and envy him. Everybody has one sin that so easily besets!

One day a Pentecostal preacher came to hold evangelistic meetings in a rented room. Few came and no one was converted. Discouraged, he decided on a last meeting. If none responded, he would leave town. My grandparents were Lutheran, though they never went to church. In God’s province, they went that night and my grandfather became the reason for the meetings to continue and for a church to be established. His conversion also moved the meetings to his house. Saturday night poker became pre-Sunday prayer meetings. For some years the church met and grew in my grandfather’s home. From the Slauenwhite family, several in the next three generations became Pentecostal ministers.

But I have one memory of my grandfather, Harold Slauenwhite, that is very personal and meaningful. I was ten years old. Startled, I watched my father cry as he hung up the phone and quickly gathered us to drive to Liverpool. I knew Grampa was sick but now it was serious. Arriving, we children joined our cousins in my aunt’s home. Soon, I was taken to my grandfather’s house. He wanted to see me. He was in a bed set up in the dining room. His family, gathered around him, was crying. He was calm. I stood beside Grampa. He spoke with me about his pride in me, his love for me, his hopes about me. Then he placed his hand upon my head. With his other hand reaching up, he prayed and pronounced his blessing upon me. Never have I forgotten it! He died singing, “I won’t have to cross Jordan alone.” Neither will I.

David is happily married to Carol, two children, a daughter-in-law and three grandkids all of whom are now teenagers. He comes from a rich Pentecostal heritage from both his father and mother’s sides. David and Carol have pastored churches mostly in the Maritimes, one in Ontario and was a missionary to Zambia. David also served as the district superintendent for fifteen years. Grad of the old Eastern Pentecostal Bible College and Dallas Bible College; with some studies taken at Acadia. David enjoys reading, classical music, walking along shores of lakes and ocean, playing rook, he loves ice cream (which is bad since he’s a diabetic), and now as a senior he specializes in having naps.

A Father Who Loves The Lord

Written by: Christianne Williams

I watched this morning as my husband got up early and readied himself to take our oldest boys paintballing for the day. I think he was as excited as they were. It really wasn’t anything too out of the ordinary though, he loves to do things with his children. Days off he heads outside to play ball hockey with them or he takes them all to the skate park so the boys can ride bikes and our daughter can scoot around on her scooter. He invests in them with his time, he easily gives of this important commodity. He understands that there is no substitute for it.

I remember his face, not long after we were married, when I revealed that I wanted a large family. Six children, that’s what I was aiming for. I will also never forget his response. No way. Two. That was all. I was desperately disappointed, being an only child I was sure I wanted lots of kids. We had two and then I was convinced that he was indeed right and our family was complete. Until four years later. And then again two years after that. Surely that was it and we ended as a family of six.

My husband has had a busy life since day one of becoming a father. He’s been a student the entire 15, almost 16, years fatherhood. At one point, he was also working two jobs to make ends meet. He’s now a pastor, and as well, is studying for a master’s degree. He always has things on his to do list, and yet knows that they need to feel they are loved by their dad, so he makes the effort to show them.

I’ve watched him pull late nights to get assignments done, after working a long day, only to get up early to look after our wee ones so I could sleep. He quickly agrees to spend time with them so that I can go out and have ‘me’ time. I’ve watched him change diapers, wipe noses, clean scraped knees, sing restless hearts to sleep, and administer medications through a feeding tube when our daughter was recover form open heart surgery. He’s teaching them that love isn’t selfish.

I’ve listened as he instilled knowledge and his love for God into their hearts. I’ve been told that I’m high strung, but he patiently listens to the questions they have and openly answers them with great wisdom that comes from a faith deeply rooted in the Father.

I feel that my children are in good hands. Our sons will grow up knowing how to be loving and compassionate husbands and fathers. Our daughter will grow up knowing what to look for in a husband and father. All of them will grow up knowing that they are loved unconditionally by their earthly father, making it much easier for them to understand and accept the love of their Heavenly Father. He’s teaching them to be strong and courageous and not to be afraid or discouraged because the Lord is with them wherever they go (Joshua 1:9). He’s teaching them that love is not permissiveness but sometimes involves correction as Proverbs 3:11-12 shows us.

I have not married the perfect man, nor is he a perfect father, but the love he has for the Lord is evident in the way he loves his children, and for this I am truly thankful.