Author: Desiree

My hypocrisy, His wreckless love

There are Ten Commandments, my friends, and I’ve broken nearly all of them at one point or another. Sometimes repeatedly.

I had a real moment of truth in the not-so-distant past, while I was sitting with a small group of friends during fellowship at my church. My moment of truth had to do with the hypocrisy of claiming to be a Christian, yet consistently subscribing to the “do as I say, not as I do” way of living. Is this where you’re at these days? I know I am not alone.

I was raised Roman Catholic, converted to Nazarene in 2007, and ended up non-denominational in 2012 so, for the past thirty years of my life, I have called myself a “Christian” alongside the rest of the estimated 33% of world-wide peoples who claim to be Christians. I can’t help but wonder how many of those 33% of people struggle daily, as I do, with self-hypocrisy.

I’m one of those “Christians” who screams at the kids during the hour right before we leave the house on Sundays to go to our church. And then, when my kids and I arrive ten minutes late to service, put on my happy face and pretend like my ugly language and behavior had never happened. I drop the “f-bomb” on a regular basis, and I have coveted many things in my life. Sitting here, just meditating upon all this, I am reminded of a poem I ran across some time ago:

There are little eyes upon you and they’re watching night and day.
There are little ears that quickly take in every word you say.
There are little hands all eager to do anything you do;
And a little boy who’s dreaming of the day he’ll be like you.
You’re the little fellow’s idol, you’re the wisest of the wise.
In his little mind about you no suspicions ever rise.
He believes in you devoutly, holds all you say and do;
He will say and do, in your way when he’s grown up just like you.
There’s a wide-eyed little fellow who believes you’re always right;
And his eyes are always opened, and he watches day and night.
You are setting an example every day in all you do;
For the little boy who’s waiting to grow up to be like you.

In short, it truly matters whether what I say and what I do are aligned because my kids are watching my every move. Not only am I being hypocritical, it’s also very selfish of me to do the things that I continue to do, because I want my true values and priorities to be clear to my kids every day. Friends, I can say all I want to about how important church and reading the Bible is, but if my actions display something else… that’s what my kids will take notice of. Reading the Bible regularly, praying continually, apologizing and showing true repentance, treating others with love, gentleness and respect, will all set an example and reinforce lessons my kids are learning by regularly attending youth group.

Someone I admire very much is Dr. Charles Stanley, whom you might have seen on television or heard on the radio. During one of his teachings, Dr. Stanley discusses how God wants to break our self-will by targeting the areas of our life that do not honor Him. Pride, ignorance, fear, worldly entanglements, unhealthy relationships, rebelliousness… these are ways that we resist brokenness, and I’ve been guilty in all these ways. What about you? If you are claiming to be a “Christian”, are you resisting brokenness? Do you ever feel hypocritical? I’m curious to see who else is going through this with me.

my hypocrisy his reckless love

I “speak” in song lyrics; when I can’t find the words to express myself, I listen closely to a song and use that to reach sanity in any given situation. I’ve been told that if I was in “a mood,” all someone had to do was turn the radio dial to a beautiful song and everything would be rainbows and butterflies for me.

Whole Heart Album CoverFriends, I’ve found a number of beautiful songs in Passion music. This song, in particular, proves I’m a sucker for a piano and a pretty voice. Let me tell you this: despite calling myself a Christian and living out unintentional hypocrisy for my entire life, I never really understood the depth of God’s love for me — until I heard this song for the first time. The lyrics spoke to my heart! As a mother who would do ANYTHING for her children, THIS was something I could wrap my head around. FINALLY, I could understand wreckless love! He is so, so good to me.

Will you join me in restating our faith and a desire to be more like JesusPassion: Whole Heart is the new live album from Passion—captured at Passion Conference 2018 in Atlanta, GA. You will sing along with Kristian Stanfill, Melodie Malone, Sean Curran, Matt Redman, Crowder, and more of our favorite Christian artists. Preview and purchase the album. Rooted out of the Passion movement, Passion music is committed to leading people towards renewed intimacy with God and fresh encounters of worship.

What song reels you in every time and forces your hand to crank up the volume on your stereo and your voice to sing loud enough to make the neighbors stare out their front windows at you? Your response will give you a chance to receive the entire Whole Heart album at no cost!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Portions of this post were originally published at New Jersey Moms Blog. You can listen to Passion music at

How to pray alongside your teen

Growing up Catholic meant going to Mass on Sundays and religious education classes weekly. My siblings and I memorized prayers like “The Holy Rosary” and “Our Father.” At an early age we learned the Ten Commandments. The prayers were very rigid.

We NEVER EVER had a conversational tone with our prayers. I don’t know that my parents have ever referred to God as “Daddy. I didn’t hear the reference until I was in my late twenties.

My dad has said that he regrets not being a better example to me and my siblings in this “department” of life. Even still, my parents became involved as “elders/teachers” in their parish and have been very happy doing so.

When I reflect on this, I am not surprised that I am the only child of my parents to pursue knowledge of and a relationship with Christ.

My recollection is that we relegated prayer to meal times during Christian holidays. Sometimes, my father would lead us in this prayer:

Bless us, O Lord, and these, Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

My father-in-law, Wayne, attended Rhema Bible Training College and is an elder in his church. He is a good man, with a good heart, so I asked him for his advice in how we can pray alongside our teens — even if we haven’t made it a priority before.

how to pray alongside your teen

How important was praying in your household when Chuck was growing up (and as a teen)? Was it a rule? Who led prayer?

Prayer was very important throughout Chuck’s teenage years. As our children became teenagers, we believed that part of the transition to adulthood was allowing them to make certain decisions on their own (more on this below), so there was no requirement for them to pray. We didn’t spend much time praying together except during earlier years we did lead and guide them.

The high importance of our family prayer during the teenage years was our quiet, desperate prayers that we were doing as Proverbs 22:6 instructed in order to see the promise come to pass. “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

Many of my prayers were also for their general safety, for making right choices, for finding and being good friends.

When did your family pray? Chuck says he remembers at mealtimes and when something bad would happen, but did you all pray at other times?

Chuck’s memory is accurate: during his teenage years, most of our prayers were generic at mealtime or when emergencies and issues prompted us to rely on God.

Now list some excuses here (yes, excuses, not valid reasons) but that would simply be denial. We all get busy, we all have jobs, or friends, or school or TV or movies, etc. that could be used as excuses. Sadly, two of those most important years I worked nights while attending Bible School.

Looking back, I know I could have been a better father applying more of the very things I was learning. Is that the voice of regret? Yes. Following up on question 1, I could have lived a better example of a praying man with my son.

Did you grow up in families that prayed? How did you learn how to pray? I know this sounds silly but, for me, I feel stupid when I pray on my own. I don’t know what to say and I want it to sound eloquent. Don’t laugh.

Thank you for this question; it anchors the starting point. I didn’t grow up in a family that prayed. My father was adamant that neither politics nor religion should be discussed in the home. The precept was that “when we were old enough we could make our own choices.”

I remember during my own tween years trying to learn a little about God from a couple of resources only to become discouraged and uninterested.

Later, I attended a Catholic University. One of the required courses was a study of World Religions. I passed that course receiving an “A” with a finals essay declaring that only weak people would rely on a god that didn’t exist.

So when did I learn to pray?

In my mid-twenties, after moving our family of five to a new state (that is another discussion) and camping outside of town, I had spent over a month looking for work. For the first time in my life, I faced the reality that I truly needed help.

Alone in my truck, in the middle of a new town, I quietly asked into the quietness “God, if you are real, I need you. Show me what to do and where to go.”

One of the nearby stores was a Christian bookstore. I entered, purchased a small pocket sized bible and returned to my truck. Again in the quietness, I asked “Show me God” and opened the Bible to Matthew Chapter 6.

I learned that day that God was very real and knew exactly what I needed even before I asked. He spoke to my heart from His Word. I didn’t need any special pattern or eloquent speech; I simply needed to be honest with Him. Later, I would learn how to be adopted into His family.

By the end of that week, not only had He spoken to me, but He also provided a job, and a house to replace the tent.

To this day simply reflecting on that chapter and specifically Matthew 6:33, will always bring comfort, knowing that my God will always provide everything needed for my life on earth.

What would you recommend to parents who want to teach their kids how to pray when it hasn’t been a priority before? How can they start?

If parents haven’t prayed with their children and want to begin, they should start by asking themselves “Why?” In essence, this challenges a person to reflect on their own relationship with God. Do they know Him or have they just heard about Him?

It is much easier to introduce your child to someone you know personally than to a stranger. If you know someone well, you can have a chat with them about anything that is going on in your life.

Look at prayer time with your child as a way of introducing them to your absolute best friend, or even better, to the absolute best “daddy” a kid could have, who loves them, knows their every need, who has perfect wisdom and compassion and will guide them throughout their life.

I want this, more than anything, for our kids. I want this for my husband, for me, and I want this for you, too. Prayer is a gift and it’s an important part of our relationship with God. It’s never too late to begin! His door is open 24/7, will you knock? Share if you prayed alongside your teen today.