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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Selfishness (02/14/05)

TITLE: Am I a Bigot?
By Michael Wilmot


My daughter’s world is expanding towards dating. I was in denial but when posters of puppies were swapped for sultry music stars I could not avoid reality; she is becoming a young woman. I asked myself questions. Have I prepared her for this? Did I give her the tools to choose good boyfriends? What kind of boys she would to be interested in? What if she makes choices I would reject?

I suspect no one will measure up to what I think she deserves. I empathize towards boys who will see me on date nights. I hope the experience will be as uncomfortable for them as it will for me. I also believe that my wife and I have a place in this process and we plan to be there.

I spoke with a friend on this because talking makes things real. He has daughters of comparable age and I thought we would have similar views. However we debated more than I had expected. He challenged me on the extent of my role in this part of her life. Neither of us wanted our daughters with drug addicts or violent men. When I shared I would prefer she choose Christian boys I was hit with the bigot label for having faith as part of a standard.

I tried to explain why faith is central to decisions like this but did not have the words to express why in a way that he could accept. In a way this misunderstanding represents the division between those who walk towards Christ and those that do not. We are in many ways strangers with language barriers.

It is not religion but faith that matters to me. A Christ voided life is lived for our own pleasure. When I lived outside of God’s authority I was the center of everything. I worked to create wealth for me to be used by me. If a job did not suit me I could leave it and seek one with better pay. I gave to charities to feel good about myself, to garnish the respect of others and to grow relationships that benefited me. I gave when I wanted and found excuses to not give when I did not.

I dated women because of what they could give me. When relationships grew tense I left and never looked back. My marriage has not always been easy and what kept me from divorce on some occasions was my own pride instead of love for her. When my children came I began to see that there was more to life than my own needs. I tried to be a good parent and my quest to understand where love comes from led me to Christ.

Looking at my life without Christ I am ashamed of its self-centeredness. My decisions hinged on what was best for me. A life with Christ is so much more than a religion or a faith or a moral code. It is lived with the understanding of higher objectives than personal satisfaction. With Christ everything has an impact into eternity and that acceptance will humble the proudest fool.

My children and wife are gifts from God that He expects me to return to Him. I have deeper responsibilities than raising babies into adults or providing for my family. I must show by example that Christ lives. I pray consistently that I never stand before God in judgment without my babies. I am learning to love my wife as Christ loved the church, without condition or limit.

Resisting simple tithing has evolved into tithes and offerings transcending money. ‘Giving is better than receiving’ and obligations of good stewardship has become real. In looking beyond me and to the cross I see the true value in earthly things. I see how each day is a gift from God and my gift is in work that glorifies Him. In the workplace I have chances to share the ministry of Christ with others. I can demonstrate an example of service and encouragement to my coworkers.

The type of man I would choose for my daughter is one who has accepted his proper place in the scheme of things; a man that is honest enough to see truth, strong enough to accept it and loving enough to share it. I pray she sees that Christian faith is the pivot for selfishness with selflessness and would desire that above all. If that makes me a bigot, so be it.

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This article has been read 879 times
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Lynda Lee Schab 02/21/05
The Bible clearly says we should not be yoked together with unbelievers. That doesn't mean we avoid them, just not get involved to the point where their ways could corrupt our morals (I Cor. 15:33). We should constantly be in prayer that our kids choose someone who shares their faith.
Your article is full of honesty and wisdom. Well written with great food for thought!
Blessings, Lynda
Phyllis Inniss02/21/05
This is such an honest article and any right thinking parent would want to see that his children find mates who have the love and fear of God and would treat them in a Christian manner. I don't think you're a bigot. You've given up being self-centred, that's all.
donna robinson02/23/05
What I enjoyed most about this piece was the heartfelt love for the daughter, starting to think ahead so you can be prepared on how to talk to her. But then you took it one step further and showed how your own life affected this decision for your child. You were there in the wrong path and every parent wants their child to be better than them...Good job
Judy Anderson02/24/05
You echo so many thoughts of raising children as Christians. Your daughter is blessed and God hears your thoughts and prayers. May God bless you and your family.
Karen Treharne02/24/05
A beautiful testimony of love and growth in faith. May God continue to bless you as you bless others with your honesty and wisdom. You are an example of true selflessness. Yours in Christ's name, ladybug Karen