chain breakers...

On my blog, about eight months ago, I published a series of posts about my father's and my relationship as I was growing up. Through out these posts, I was barraging truth and pain from my past, and left it open for the world to see. As I look back on it, these posts helped me reach people who had problems with their fathers, it helped me receive a book deal, and it opened myself up to A LOT of criticism from my family and friends. It would seem as though I didn't love my father and that I resented him my whole life. None of that is further from the truth.

For a while, I felt like there was a distance between my father and I, and that was before I turned into an adult, where I could see more into his life than as a child. Now, I also see his faults in life. Regardless, he is still my father.

I have been thinking a lot about ministry and my personal life. As a youth minister, I set boundaries in the ministry I have been blessed to look over. I do not spend all my free time with students. I build relationships on grounds that are appropriate and don't break any laws or rules that the church has set. I also try to separate my home life from my ministry, but being so enthralled into ministry, I find the separation VERY hard.

As I look at my life now, I can honestly say I still talk to my father. It hurts because I know his past. The hero fell from grace. Yet, I can look at my life and I can ask myself, "Do I want to continue this type of life? Do I want to break the chains of my past and start a family based on Biblical principles and morals?" I also ask myself the question that, if sin is heretical, am I in trouble? We pick up on things, even subconsciously through our parents. We may not realize it as children, but now I am the one responsible for the sin in my life. I make the choices.

When it comes to ministry, sometimes we claim to be as transparent as we can be. This is not always the case. As I continue to grow and mature in my relationship with Christ, my walk with Christ, my relationship with my wife and OUR family, my parents and siblings, I see a pattern. I see that I may think that I am right A LOT of times. I may think that I know best. I may think that no matter how much I try to NOT be like my father, I have inherited qualities, both good and bad from him and my mother.

Today, I am choosing to be a chain breaker. I can not blame my sin now, from my parents mistakes. I choose sin from time to time and I choose Christ from time to time. I have to have a relationship with my father in Heaven before ANYONE else even comes close.

As I look to grow in my walk with Christ and as I become a father, whenever that may happen, I want to see myself as a person that chose Christ over his job. I want to see myself as a person who put family first and ministry second. I may have boundaries in my ministry and my life, but I need to make sure that my priorities are set before ANYTHING else can fall into place.

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