Category Archives: Husbands and Fathers

Husbands … you can’t expect your wives to respect you if you don’t love them sacrificially and unconditionally

Submission. This can be a controversial word in today’s society and churches. Pastor Rob Barkman looks at the husband’s responsibility when it comes to his wife’s submission. I really appreciate the challenge to be a Christ-like husband.

Settled In Heaven Blog

SIH HALTAL ICON“Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

For the SIH devotional on this subject:

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A Vision Crumbles

With heavy and bothered hearts, yesterday Brenda and I both read the following statement:

Capture_The Closing of Vision Forum Ministries

(Source:, accessed November 12, 2013.)

As for the resignation and serious sin(s) of Mr. Phillips, he explains in his own words:

Capture_Statement of Resignation Doug Phillips

(Source:, accessed November 12, 2013.)

Over the years, our family has gleaned much from Vision Forum Ministries and its companion for-profit arm, Vision Forum, Inc.  Every year, we excitedly received its annual catalog in the mail and browsed the pages while taking in the latest devotional, educational, and recreational material.  Our son Isaac was most interested in the play weaponry and adventure apparatus.  At our annual home school convention, the Vision Forum booth was one of our favorite destinations.  We were so positively affected by the ministry that we contributed to it.  After Isaac’s death, we even directed memorial contributions to be made to Vision Forum.

There is some chatter and speculation on the Internet about the specifics of Doug’s infidelity, which have not been publicly disclosed.  Personally, I make no excuse or apology for his sin(s).  He is responsible for himself and accountable to God and his family.  I hope that he is sincerely repentant and, after some time, his family can be reconciled and a testimony of God’s mercy and restorative power.

This is evidence of how one man’s sin can impact so many people.  There is no such thing as private sin, for you can “be sure your sin will find you out.” (Num 32:23)

You see, I have some taste of where Doug is now.  I too dishonored my God, wife, and family through sexual sin.  I felt God’s heavy hand of conviction upon me, which pushed me to confession and repentance.  I’ve experienced the amazing grace and supernatural forgiveness from my God and my wife.  I know that my sin is taken away and covered by the blood of Jesus Christ.  Therefore, I believe that Doug and his family can be restored and glorious for God.

However, it will come with a great price.  Doug’s testimony for Christ is tarnished and his work in the name of the Lord is all but destroyed.  Doug and Beall’s marriage will never be the same.  Even though there can be forgiveness, restoration, and renewed wholeness, there will always be a scar from the wound of this betrayal of trust.

So men, it is vitally important that we guard our hearts.  I cannot stress this enough.  Take every Godly measure necessary to protect your purity.  If you must, flee from sexual temptation.  Proverbs 7 warns about not even going near the vicinity of the seductive woman.  As a safeguard, put Internet filtering protection on your electronic devices (we’ve recently downloaded and implemented K9 Web Protection software recommended by Steve and Teri Maxwell – read their recent article here).  Pray to God that he will give you the proper heart towards members of the opposite sex.  And finally, but most importantly, stay near to the cross of Christ.  Do not be overconfident in your own strength:

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. (1Co 10:12-14)

Finally, please pray for the Phillips’ family.  Some are speculating about the nature of Doug’s sin and tearing him down.  I don’t want to see a fellow brother’s name dragged through the mud.  Yes, what he did was extremely wrong and very disappointing.  He deserves to be confronted with his sin.  But, if he is truly repentant, let us admonish and encourage him in a spirit of restoration.  I follow these scriptures as my model for this perspective and course of action:

But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all. Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things. To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices. (2Co 2:5-11)

Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place: For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him. (Pro 24:15-18)




Posted by on November 13, 2013 in Husbands and Fathers, News and Culture


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Begrudging Dad

Todd Wilson had another thought-provoking and convicting topic in his recent newsletter.  Sadly, even after all that we’ve been through, there are times when my heart just isn’t into some things with my children.  Below is the full text of his newsletter (Todd grants permission to freely copy and distribute his newsletter in whole or in part. You can sign up to receive the “Familyman Weekly” at

Hey Dad,

Hope you had a great Labor Day weekend with your family. Besides a lot of rain and gray days, we had fun at my in-law’s lake cottage. Although the bad weather kept everyone in, it did make for a lot of game playing. I’m not normally the game playing type…but I’m trying.

One highlight was when the kids weren’t inside, they stood out in the drizzle fishing for the elusive giant carp…or buggle-mouth bass as they’re affectionately known. The kids made poles out of sticks and 50 pound test line, attached a hook and some bread and waited until…BAM!!!!!

Finally, the sun showed its face on Labor Day and right before lunch the question came from my daughter, “Dad, will you take us tubing?” I knew it would come, and I knew that it would be coming at me because the day before, my Brother-in-law took the bullet and hit the lake in a boat loaded down with at least 150 kids.

I signed. “You don’t have to if you don’t want to,” my daughter said to her bum of a dad.

“Well, I don’t want to…but I will,” I said dragging my comfortable carcass out of the comfortable chair.

So we loaded up the boat with kids, life jackets, tubes, and one begrudging-dad. I tried to act happy and goofy, but I know my daughter knew I was begrudging and told my wife so.

Oh, they all had fun, but I know I lessened it for my daughter because my heart wasn’t in it. Sadly, I do that too often. I say, “Yes” but I let them all know that I’m begrudging, miserable, and that I don’t like them for asking me to do ‘it.’ What a crummy dad.

Here’s the deal, Dad, sometimes you do it too and your kids know it. They don’t want you to say yes and then begrudge. They want you to say yes and enjoy. You know what? We can do that, too. But it doesn’t always come naturally.

So, my fellow begrudging dad, when they ask you to do something…tonight, say, yes and then enjoy it.

You make me proud,

/s/ Todd

PS – Begrudge – Definition: To give reluctantly or resentfully. (Yep, that’s me.)

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Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Husbands and Fathers


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A Wearied Man

(Before I proceed, I would like to express my gratitude for all of the responses to “A Special Day“.  I especially thank my dear wife, Brenda, for loving and encouraging me with that most pleasant surprise.  I love you honey!  You all lifted my spirit with your generous comments.  Anyway, this post below was written the morning of my birthday, before I received your encouragement.  Now, on with the post…)

I’ve been feeling wearied lately. In fact, the other day I was feeling particularly downtrodden. At one particular time of the day, I was walking and asking God “Why can’t I just stop ______ [fill in the blank with persistent sin]?” Once again, He spoke to me in that still small voice, saying “You can’t stop on your own, so stop trying to. I never ______. My Spirit lives inside of you. Walk after my Spirit.” I meditated on my Lord and Savior and immediately the ____ left me. One of my favorite passages of scripture from Matthew 11 then came to my mind:

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Isn’t it interesting that this particular passage says to learn “of” Jesus and not just “from” Him? One aspect of learning of Jesus could mean to follow his example. We could also pursue understanding His character. He describes His character to us here: “meek and lowly in heart”. God in the flesh was meek and lowly in heart; chew on that for a little while.

As I returned to my desk, feeling much more peaceful, I read an email from Todd Wilson in his Familyman Weekly column titled “Too Many Dad Holes”. If you are feeling weary, I hope this encourages you. Below is the text of that newsletter:

Hey Dad,

I hate mornings that I’m hoping to sleep in just a little bit. Last night, I even hit the hay early because I’ve felt under the weather lately. I had hopes of sleeping in, but my little morning boy Cal (6) ruined all that…again! This morning he walked in, got in our faces and announced with 9-1-1-urgency, “I need to change ‘me’ on the Wii…the nose is all pointy, he’s way too short, and his head is fat!!”

I’m not sure where that came from, considering the Wii hasn’t been used in 4 months, but it was obvious that it was his big concern of the morning…my morning…the morning I was going to sleep in.

It’s not easy being a parent. In fact, I talk to a lot of dads, and I see the weariness in their faces and voices. They don’t say it, but I half wonder if some are contemplating checking out.

Last week, after just getting home after an exhausting day, I was relaxing in the ‘throne room’ when my wife called out to me with anguish through the door, “Oh, my word, Todd. ‘Frank’ committed suicide yesterday.” It hit me like a hammer. ‘Frank’ went to our church, had seven children, & was one of the smartest guys I knew…and I liked him.

We don’t know much about the whys, but I assume he was weary. In his clouded view, it seemed like the best way out. It’s so deeply sad, but the sadness is for what he left behind and what he’ll miss out on because he grew weary and stopped. His weariness is over, but his children will feel ‘the hole’ for the rest of their days.

Dads leave big holes. I was just talking to fellow Familyman, Andrew L. a couple days ago, and he said a 40-year-old dad friend of his died this week in a tragic accident. “He was a great dad,” he said sadly.

Dads leave big holes.

My fellow, Dad, I know you’re tired and weary. But don’t stop. Don’t check out. If you need help, ask. Your family needs you so much…and you need them.

I’ve got to go check out that Wii thing now.

You ‘da Dad,

/s/ Todd

PS – Here’s the promise – “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary (and stop).” (Galatians 6:9)

(Todd grants permission to freely copy and distribute his newsletter in whole or in part. You can sign up to receive the “Familyman Weekly” at


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Just Another Birthday

A Music Video About the Importance of a Father’s Love for His Daughter

(Please note that this is not a posting about my or any other family member’s birthday :-))

This is a very powerful, moving and thematically realistic music video just released by Casting Crowns from their Come to the Well album.  It ties into the theme of fatherlessness put forth by movies like CourageousIn my humble opinion, fatherlessness doesn’t just mean the lack of the physical presence of a father, but it could also mean the lack of emotional or spiritual involvement.  I also understand that it may not always be the father’s choice.  He may want to be involved, but the mother has chosen to shield his children from him at some level for one reason or another.  Also, a man may not even be aware that he has biologically fathered a child.

I have come to believe that children, at whatever stage of development, are a blessing from the Lord.  Over 40 years ago, facing circumstances similar to those displayed in this video, a woman chose life and gave a little boy up for adoption.  Therefore, you are reading these words today.  Whatever your situation, please know that God loves you and wants you to love and trust Him.




Posted by on February 3, 2012 in Husbands and Fathers


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A Courageous Calling

I think that I have a new favorite movie and it may be very difficult to top this one.

This week, some sort of stomach virus made its way through our family.  Therefore, we had a lot of “down” time to rest and recuperate.  With some free time, I was looking forward to the opportunity to watch the movie that I have wanted to see ever since I became aware that it was in production – Courageous.  This movie became available on DVD on January 17.  This past Friday night, after putting the children to bed, Brenda and I settled in for a date night ;-).

Just a quick background – Courageous is the fourth movie produced by Sherwood Pictures, a ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church based in Albany, GA.  Courageous was first released to a limited number of theaters on September 30 and had the highest per-theater gross of any movie during that week.  The production quality of this film is excellent and far exceeds their previous three films.  For a previous post about this movie, click here.

The main characters in the movie are five men (four of which are police officers) struggling in different ways with the challenges of fatherhood.  One is distant from his oldest son; one is unforgiving of the father who abandoned him; one is divorced and only sees his son on a limited basis; one has a daughter that does not know he exists; and one struggles with finding a stable job to provide for his family.  A tragedy spurs one of the fathers to discover for himself what the Bible says about fatherhood.  After understanding God’s call to fathers, he challenges himself and the other fathers to commit to God’s call in leading their families to love and serve the Lord.  In order to not “spoil” the movie for you, I will refrain from any further plot details.

One other quick note – I strongly caution parents to watch this movie first before deciding to allow your younger children to view it (it is rated PG-13 for some violence and drug content).  The acting and content are presented tastefully, but the action scenes and a gang initiation scene are very intense and may disturb younger viewers.  After viewing the movie for yourself, you may decide that your children can watch it while skipping over three or four scenes.

I have not been impacted by a movie in quite the way that Courageous has impacted me.  This is a deeply personal story for me (again I don’t want to give away too much if you haven’t seen it yet).  I cried many times through the movie and wept as the ending credits rolled.  If you watch the movie and are a husband and father, you may be strongly challenged and motivated to invest your time and efforts in instilling eternal values in your children and unselfishly loving your wife.  You may be motivated to appreciate every moment that you have with your children because you don’t know when the last moment may arrive.  You may seek reconciliation with others who have hurt you.  You may be convicted to walk with integrity and expose any hidden sins in your life.  Most of all, I hope that you think seriously about where you stand with God.  The last scene will present you with a challenge to rise up and answer the call that God has given to you to be a responsible man and father.  As I talk to other men who have seen the movie, they respond that they have been profoundly impacted through it.

There are Courageous Living Bible Study groups developing based on this movie.  There is even one group meeting at a local church in our area.  This church is sponsoring a showing of the movie at our local high school on February 4 with the intention of afterwards developing follow-up small groups (click here for more information).  I am patiently waiting to see how men may respond this call, hoping and praying that the Lord’s Spirit moves in our hearts.  I am humbled and hopeful that we can play some small role here in our valley and be able to share how the death of our son Isaac has impacted us to draw our hearts closer to God and share His Gospel with others.

A friend told me that when he saw this movie that he was reminded of our son Isaac many times.  I think I now understand what he meant after watching this movie.  There will be one overarching and obvious reason if you see the movie.  Another and unexpected reason for me is that the actor who plays Dylan (the main character’s son) physically resembles what I imagine Isaac may have looked like in another five years or so.

I understand that Courageous is only a movie and that men may respond based on emotions and not the conviction of God.  But I pray that will not be the case.  This is more than just a movie for entertainment’s sake.  The producers have used this movie to call men of God to say “I will” resolve to follow God and love my wife and children and refuse to let them fall.  There are even resources developed to challenge and equip the small group and individual.  Obviously, this commitment would be fruitless without the leading of the Lord and I pray for a fire to be ignited in our hearts.  Are you willing to make that resolution and join me in saying “I will”?

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. (Jos 24:15, emphasis mine)

If you have seen and been impacted the movie Courageous, please feel free to share any comments below.

Seeking to be courageous by the Holy Spirit’s strength,



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Courageous Movie Writer/Producer Stephen Kendrick Discusses New Christian Film | Video |

This is a thorough article summarizing the movies produced by Sherwood Pictures.  I’m hoping to see “Courageous” soon 😉

Courageous Movie Writer/Producer Stephen Kendrick Discusses New Christian Film | Video |

You can also read my previous post about this movie here:

Courageous Trailer


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