North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

In 2009, the United States Census Bureau reported over 24 million children lived apart from their biological father. This figure represented 33 percent of America’s children at the time; up from 11 percent in 1960. Whatever may have caused the separation of children from their father, a developing child needs the love, companionship, and time with their father. This is the way God designed parental relationships here on earth.
In his day, Charles Lindbergh, the great aviator, was one of the most admired men on earth. In his travels around the world he seldom spent time at home, much less quality time with his six children. His wife wanted him there, but grew increasingly distant from any meaningful relationship with him. Without a relationship with their father, Lindbergh’s children became dispirited and confused. One son remained alienated from his father all the way to the point of Lindbergh’s death. Like this family, all kids need quality time with their father. If a parent is not investing time and energy into family relationships they are missing their greatest responsibility on earth.
Family estrangement isn’t a modern plague. The evidence of family conflict has been around for hundreds, even thousands of years. Heartbreak plagued King David’s reign. After committing a serious crime, Absalom, David’s favorite son, fled the country for three years (2 Samuel 13:38). In time, David granted mercy to Absalom and permitted his son to come home. However, David refused to see him (2 Samuel 14:24). They went 5 years with no face-to-face communication. Without good, parental guidance, Absalom would later commit the heinous sins of rebellion and adultery. When he needed love, companionship, and time with his father, there was only separation and silence.
Every one of us should devote time and extra effort to maintaining good communication with those we claim to love; especially our children. The alternative can be disastrous. Don’t give away the power and authority of raising your children. Spend time with them; as much as you can. There’s no substitute for an attentive and affectionate parent.
Now, think for a moment about the heavenly Father. Scripture promises that “if you draw near to God, He’ll draw near to you” (James 4:8). The more time you spend with God the greater peace, joy, and understanding you will have each da. It’s the most amazing transformation that can take place in a person’s life. When you seek getting to know God you are committing an act of confidence that says, you believe in God and what He stands for. Utilize the formula of putting your life in the hands of God and at the same time believing God is filling you with power, love, and a sound mind. Believe that you are unfalteringly being guided in even the most commonplace details of your life.
Drawing near to the Higher Power means you “D-elight” in God. Some people are overly concerned about world conditions and their personal problems. When we D-R-A-W near and spend quality time with God we can put everything in His hands and trust Him for results. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
Spend time with God by “R-elying” on Him. Self-efforts will eventually lose motivation and fade. Don’t depend on others more than God, but D-R-A-W near to Him by relying on Him for strength. One of the great guarantees in life given to us directly by God is found in Psalm 37:5, “If you commit your way to the Lord and trust in Him; He shall bring it to pass.” What a wonderful thought to carry every day.
Everyone likes to achieve. To “A-chieve” is to attain a desired end or aim; to become successful. When we are close to God, fear and criticism from others don’t hold a grip on us like it does everyone else. Our testimony becomes: “I can do all things though Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). We are never closer to God than when we do His work, using our time and talents, assisting the less fortunate and counseling the sick and lonely.
We must remember that God’s timing is always best; never too early or too late. Spending quality time with the Father means sometimes “W-aiting” on Him. Don’t let impatience rob you of God’s best for you. “Those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31).
When your child or loved one calls your name—will you hear them? Will you be engaged in their life or will you be found wondering in a world that will give you no satisfaction and no peace? Incline your ear to those who need you most. Don’t make King David’s mistakes and don’t be a Lindbergh, but let love be the curative force to be close to family and even closer to God.
• This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and is a Captain (CPT) in the U.S. Army Reserves Chaplain Corp. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at

Posted by on Aug 10 2014. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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