The question in the title of this post assumes that somebody will disciple our children. Our kids are being discipled every day. Discipleship is about teaching, influencing, and showing someone else how to live as a particular kind of person. As my children get older, they have an increasing number of influences on their lives. Friends, classmates, songs, books, music, media, teachers, relatives, movies, all have a platform in one form or another with my children. Some of these influencers are better than others, but none of them is as vital or persuasive as me. That may sound arrogant, but I think it’s biblical. God has designed and commissioned fathers to lead their households (Eph 5:22–23; 6:1–4). God has entrusted us with the authority to lead our families and disciple our children in the truth. Children look to dad (and mom) for answers to life’s questions, and they typically trust us more than anyone else on earth. What I say to my children as their father carries more weight than what they hear from anyone else outside of the home. God has designed it this way. The cry of “Daddy!” is the deepest instinct of our hearts. Continue reading “Dads, Who Is Discipling Our Children?”
One of the simplest ways to fight lust is often the most overlooked. In Ephesians 5:3–5 Paul gives us a strategy to combat sexual sin:
Ephesians 5:3–5 (ESV) — 3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
What is the weapon Paul gives us here in the war against lust? Thankfulness. Paul balances his two negative commands prohibiting sexual immorality and obscene speech with a positive exhortation: “Let there be thanksgiving” (Eph 5:4). Thanksgiving is not only the opposite of dirty, foolish, obscene talk; it is a weapon we can employ in the fight for purity. How does this work? Continue reading “Thanksgiving: An Antidote to Sexual Sin”
My wife’s grandmother, Dottie Olson, passed away a little over a week ago. Before she died, she requested that I perform her funeral service. Unfortunately, I contracted a severe illness and was unable to travel to conduct the funeral. To make up for it, I wrote a tribute in her honor. Below is a manuscript of my tribute to Dottie Olson. My wife’s cousin read it at the funeral in my stead.
Dear Family and Friends,
I, Matthew Emadi, am deeply saddened that I could not be here today in person. I would have considered it an honor and a privilege to participate in the funeral for Dottie Olson. When I finally accepted the fact that I was too sick to travel, I became haunted by one of my childhood memories. It was June 11, 1997. I was 13 years old as I watched flu-ridden Michael Jordan score 38 points in game 5 of the NBA finals leading the Bulls to victory over my beloved Utah Jazz. How come he was able to rise to the occasion and score 38 points in an NBA finals game, and I can’t even get out bed to get on a plane to travel across the country? I guess that is why he is considered so great. Continue reading “A Tribute to Dottie Olson (1935–2018)”
Are you thinking through the issue of when to baptize children? Here is a position paper I wrote on this topic for Crossroads Church. I hope it is of help to parents and pastors.
Childhood Baptism and Church Membership
“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them (Ps 127:4).” At Crossroads Church, our quiver is overflowing! God has blessed our church family with many children and the number of children continues to grow. We have been entrusted with the important task of ministering to these little ones with the utmost wisdom, care, and intentionality. We recognize that God has given parents, especially Fathers, the primary responsibility for the spiritual oversight of their children (Deut 6:4–9; Eph 6:1–4). Therefore, we believe it is the local church’s responsibility to come alongside parents to equip parents for this important responsibility. As parents instruct their children in the truth of God’s word, we believe that God will work through this means to convict children of sin and, Lord willing, bring them to salvation. Continue reading “Childhood Baptism and Church Membership”
The Atlantic published an article by Emma Green last week titled, “It’s the Moms who Get Kids to Church: A new study suggests women are the primary models for religious faith in many households.” As the title suggests, the article indicates the moms are out doing dads in having a more prominent and significant influence on the spiritual lives of their children. Relying on studies conducted by Pew Research and Barna, Green begins her article with these words: Continue reading “Adam, Where Are You?”
Will there be marriage in heaven? Yes, but only one. When the Sadducees confronted Jesus about the resurrection of the dead, they tried to disprove the reality of resurrection by creating an absurd situation involving a woman with seven different husbands (Mark 12:18–27). If a woman has been married seven times during the course of her life, then whose husband will she be in the resurrection (Mark 12:23)? Jesus answered with this statement: Continue reading “Will there be marriage in heaven?”
In Mark 10:13–16, Jesus rebukes his disciples when they hinder children from coming to him because the kingdom of God belongs to such as these (Mk 10:14). Surely we would have never made such a foolish mistake if we were in the disciples’ shoes, right? Well we may not find ourselves in the same situation as the disciples, but we can hinder our children from coming to Jesus in other ways. How so? Let me give you six to consider: Continue reading “Do Not Hinder Them”