BY MARK ALLEN
I was married at a young age and became a father when only 20 years old. I was a raised in a religious home but didn’t know Christ as my Savior. I was working hard, as taught by my Dad, to provide for my wife. When I came home from work and heard we would soon be a family, my reply to her was, “I need to be promoted and get a raise!” I then realized how little I knew about fatherhood.
I was searching for a church, and we began to attend Grove Bible Church in St. Johns, Michigan. Shortly after attending, I discovered I needed Christ (John 3:16) and asked Him into my heart. We attended a young couples’ class on family and were taught biblical principles on raising children. Realizing how little I knew, I also went to the men’s Bible study class. Any time the Church was open, we were there.
“Train up a child” (Proverbs 22:6) became important as we realized we wanted our family to be raised on biblical principles, and the Bible was no longer taught in the schools. After much prayer, we were blessed with a good Christian school and a principal who challenged me to trust God for the ability to provide! Provide He did, as I was learning to give my children, wife, and job by faith to Him. I prayed daily for His wisdom and guidance in my heart and grew in the ability to hear God through His Holy Spirit as He guided us.
The Pastor, Barb, and the Christian teachers were all sounding boards as my children grew and were saved at Grove Bible Church. We had devotions daily and read Christian authors like Tim La Haye and James Dobson to understand the training up of each child, as God had given each one a different character and spirit. The Lord gave Barb great insight into each child’s life; she was a godly mother who prayed for her family. Both of us relied on the Lord to show us their needs and bents. We have five children and now twelve grandchildren whom we continue to guide and pray for daily.
We continue to pray for our two unsaved grandchildren to be drawn to the Lord, and for the others to keep God first in their lives. Family gatherings and holidays always give me opportunities to pray and read Scripture. Pray for our oldest son, as he has walked away from our God. Once a father, always their father. I still walk in faith praying God will intervene and draw him back to Himself.
As a father and grandfather, I realize I need Christ more each day. Dear God, please continue to guide my life with Your Holy Spirit and for Your Glory!
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