Throwback Thursday: Okay! Okay! Alright already!

Welcome to this week’s “Throwback Thursday” installment. Today, we’re going to revisit a post that was originally published back on May 23, 2016 and has been slightly revised.

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When I read/watch a media interview of an older person, there’s often a question at the end asking if the individual has any regrets in their life. I have more than a few things in my own life that I’m regretful about.

Our pastor is currently doing a series on Sundays on proper parenting in the Lord. Ouch! That’s a very tough topic for me. My wife and I married very young and began having children right away. We were basically kids raising kids. My model for fathering was my own Dad. He didn’t have to spank too often because he was pretty strict right from the get-go. We didn’t have much of a relationship. My Dad was a VERY formal and private person and found it difficult to get down to a child’s level. I found out many years later that his own father had been very strict and tough on him.

When I accepted the Lord I was 26 and our boys were 8 and 5. I was joyful and enthusiastic about my relationship with the Lord , but for some reason I didn’t do a good job of communicating that joy and knowledge to our boys. We all packed into our minivan and went to church on Sunday mornings and Sunday nights and on Wednesday evenings. I thought that was more than enough. We didn’t read the Bible together as a family. We didn’t pray together. When I counseled them about anything, mention of the Lord rarely entered into it. I guess I was thinking that they were getting enough about God at church and that I didn’t need to bring Him up at home, too. Ach! What a dummy!

I was also very firm with my boys just as my Dad had been with me. The older they got, the more rebellious they became, and the more of a tyrant I became. I was trying to control their behaviors, but I had done very little sowing and working in their hearts along the way. My boys and I had a lot of fun together playing outside, watching sports, etc., things my father couldn’t do, but I could also turn into a disapproving and critical drill sergeant on a dime.

I had become exasperated with our independent fundamental Baptist church and we stopped attending when my boys were 16 and 13. I didn’t mention the Lord at all after that. After some VERY difficult teenage years, both our boys went into the Air Force. My wife and I actually divorced after our youngest son went into the service as our circumstances were changing so quickly and the Lord was not our foundation.

Praise the Lord, my wife and I got back together the following year, and we remarried! The Lord kept working on my heart and I finally returned to Him in 2014. Our sons are now 46 and 42 and they’ve done “okay” as the world might define it, but neither one knows the Lord and they both have very messy domestic situations. I’ve apologized to both of them for being such an inept father and they’ve both been more gracious than I deserve.

So hearing about the proper way to raise children every Sunday is very hard for me, especially when my wife turns to me occasionally during the sermons with that “look” on her face. Thanks, Dear. The Lord wants us to realize our sins and mistakes and to learn from them, but He doesn’t want us to dwell on them either. Great is His mercy and forgiveness! If the apostle Paul had dwelt on his earlier persecutions of the church, he would have been no use to the Lord whatsoever.

So if you’ve wronged someone; children, spouse, family, friends, acquaintances, seek the Lord’s forgiveness, seek their forgiveness, and then move forward with the Lord in your heart. Satan wants to keep you defeated. The Lord wants to use you for His glory! We have children and grandchildren we need to reach for the Lord! Young parents, make Christ the center of your household and everything you do with your children.

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” – Ephesians 6:4

“The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.” – Psalm 37:23-24

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” – Psalm 147:3

“Thoroughly wash me, inside and out, of all my crooked deeds. Cleanse me from my sins. For I am fully aware of all I have done wrong, and my guilt is there, staring me in the face. It was against You, only You, that I sinned, for I have done what You say is wrong, right before Your eyes. So when You speak, You are in the right. When You judge, Your judgments are pure and true.” – Psalm 51:2-4

“Whoever tries to hide his sins will not succeed, but the one who confesses his sins and leaves them behind will find mercy. Happy is the one who always fears the Lord, but the person who hardens his heart to God falls into misfortune.” – Proverbs 28:13-14

23 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: Okay! Okay! Alright already!

  1. Thank you for reposting this, absolutely excellent. I have said this more than once, even to my own dad, the Bible is full of great men who were horrible fathers. I am glad your sons have forgiven you. I forgive my dad as well. When he brings up the past, I shut it down. It’s settled, resolved, let’s move on. I am praying for your sons to know Christ.

    It always warms my heart to hear about you and Corinne’s remarriage, so beautiful! God is so good and merciful. If my folks remarried, I would be irate hahahahaha!!! Enjoy your last day off for the week! Love, hugs and blessings!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your prayers, Mandy, and for all of your other good thoughts! I’m still a mess-up and there’s no plea I can offer to God other than His saving grace in Jesus Christ. Yup, people can’t believe we remarried after divorcing. It was a long and painful process and I was very bitter. THAT was ALL God.

      Thanks! Going to the grocery for my weekend supplies and then mostly R&R for rest of day including finally finishing the KKK book. Seven pages to go! I never whined about a book so much to others. Enjoy your upcoming weekend. Any plans? Love and blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Happy shopping, we are going when Nathan gets home from work! So glad you will be finished with that book!!! Friends are coming here tomorrow, fishing on Saturday if it doesn’t storm, and then church and fishing on Sunday. Praying that work will be less intense than last week!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sounds like a grand weekend! Enjoy! Just got home from the grocery so now time to officially put my feet up and finally end the 5 weeks of KKK misery.
        Thanks for your prayers about work! They are so short-staffed. They’re having difficulty hiring people because of the extended unemployment benefits. And the young guys who are there stand around half the day shooting the breeze and playing with their phones. Whoops. I know that I’m a broken record.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, Tom. I raised my son in the Lord, and indeed taught Him the Bible, prayed with Him, and always talked to Him about God the Father, and Jesus His Son. Yet, as of now, Aaron is 37 and has rejected the lordship of Christ.

    I have no regrets about the way I raised him, but it just goes to show you how each individual travels along his or her own path.

    Fortunately, both of your sons and mine are relatively young and still have time to give their lives fully to the Lord Jesus. May all 3 come to such saving grace!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for sharing, David! As much as we’d like to, we cannot force our loved ones to trust in Jesus Christ. Despite my faulty efforts, our two sons probably had 100X the exposure to the Gospel than the average unbeliever. They’re very close and for one of them to “entertain” even thinking about salvation in Christ would open up floodgates of scorn and ridicule from the other.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! The company has a problem hiring people. Everyone wants to stay home and collect unemployment. So when contractors reached their time limit they were let go, but they couldn’t get anyone to replace them.

      Liked by 1 person

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