Pastor’s Perspective 02-04-2020
Our services Sunday proved what I already knew to be true. One of the greatest strengths of our church is the people in the pews. Some of the finest Christian men and women I have ever known. We have a great ministerial staff to be sure. But the reason our potential as a church is unlimited is the many people who have made Snyder their church home. I could not have been more proud of our worship leaders and our congregation on Sunday. It was a “Super Sunday.”
Like many of you, I had plans to watch the Super Bowl that evening. With a meeting and a visit to make late in the afternoon, I snuck in some time to throw the football with two of my grandsons in the front yard after lunch. At six years of age, Carson is just learning how to throw a spiral. It’s fun to watch him work on his “mechanics”. He is so proud of himself when he is successful. And he always says “thank you” when I praise his better throws. But his whole focus changed when his father came outside. Every catch he made, every good spiral he threw, he looked immediately at his dad to see if he was watching. He kept asking, “Did you see that, dad?” It was as if no one else was out there with him. No one else’s approval mattered.
Every parent needs to read Gary Smalley and John Trent’s book, The Blessing. The front cover says it all. “No matter what our age, our parents’ approval affects the way we view ourselves – and how we act with those we love most. Now we can all learn to find – and give – the unconditional acceptance the Bible calls… the blessing.” I have seen this too many times in my 35 years in ministry. Grown adults – some very accomplished in life – who are emotionally crippled because they never received the blessing from one or both of their parents. Children are profoundly affected – for life – by whether or not they grew up with affirmation, praise and acceptance by their parents and other significant adults in their lives.
One of saddest realities in our culture is that many young people are looking in the wrong places and to the wrong people to find the acceptance and affirmation we all so desperately need. I am so grateful we have a Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally. He sees us. He knows us. He loves us. His approval is what we need to seek. And He is ready and willing to give it.
I sent a text to my son on Monday: “Be generous with your praise to your sons. It will profoundly affect their self-image and self-confidence.” Words of wisdom for all of us.
See you Sunday! ~ John