Tuesday, December 11, 2007

what forms you?

My wife wants to thank Bible College. I never did a class on parenting, nor a class on being a husband while I was at Bible College. But I am a better father and a better husband. Learning about the Bible has changed me.

Part of an impromptu speech (blogged with permission) made at our end of year dinner in honour of graduating students last night.

I thought of all those parenting courses we run, and all those sermons on themes like how to have a great marriage etc. And I wondered what it is that really forms and changes people? What has formed you?

Posted by steve at 07:49 AM


  1. Mmmm – well from a science perspective it is nature (genetics) and nuture (environment/experiences)that form me – my genes contain the codes for all the processes my body does/could do, the genes set the potential. All of my experiences in the world, including the smallest of things, determines what gets expressed. The nature/nurture idea could perhaps be translated to creation (God given) and to love (or lack of love). Maybe thats why we are told to love God and to love others – cos thats what forms us.
    As for me personally, most of my change has come out of painful times, when I’ve had to rebuild – sort of like if your house burnt down you’d probably rebuild it differently but while its still standing you can’t be bothered rennovating.

    Comment by Jack — December 11, 2007 @ 12:08 pm

  2. That’s great food for thought and a good topic for discussion.

    Most of the steps of change in my life was born from painful experiences (death of a loved one & illness as two examples). The worst loosing my brother when he was 4. It forever changed my family life and dynamics in my home. I was 5 and 1/2 at the time.

    I try to live my life “loving one another”, and because I lost a brother (in his short life he loved many) I try to remember that. Life is a great gift. He didn’t get to live his fully, so I try to live mine with kindness and love (even so I still make mistakes).

    My grandparents lost everything in the Depression in the US, but despite that my grandfather always said, “It doesn’t cost a dime to be nice to someone.” And that’s true, but we must open our hearts I believe to that change or be changed. The roads we travel aren’t always the ones we choose God puts before us. But there has to be a reason. I believe that.

    So I think family influences us a great deal. But I think painful experiences shape us too and other factors of how we let it change us.

    Blessings to you Steve and your family.


    Comment by Kim — December 12, 2007 @ 9:56 pm

  3. Sorry about your brother Kim. I lost my son and yes it sure hits home what a precious gift life is. I haven’t been able to accept that there is a reason however, are you meaning that it was God’s will? And I agree about the painful experiences and also I think realising our own weaknesses. I was reading an article the other day about Joy Cowley the children’s author. A lot of what she said really got me thinking. One was “It is our darkness that always holds the seed of light for further growth. If I don’t own my shadow, I miss that transcendence.”

    Comment by Jack — December 13, 2007 @ 6:36 am

  4. Jack,

    I was very saddened to see the remarks after my post and for the loss of your own son. I know the pain you must feel in your heart and your families too. I’m very sorry. But words bring little comfort even years at times after the fact when you loose a child.

    No, I don’t believe God wills bad things to happen to people. But I, like you have found no answers to my brother death after 25 plus years. Finding peace in the darkness to touch the light is difficult. It’s a pain beyond words.

    Blessing to you that you find peace of heart. My family found it, but it took time.

    Most sincerely,


    Comment by Kim — December 14, 2007 @ 10:08 pm

  5. Hi Kim

    Thanks for your kind words and the e-mail. I will respond to the latter when I get the time to do it justice- I could relate to your chucking out the “When bad things happen to good people” book as I was given the same book and it did nothing for me either. It has been seven years since my son’s death and I still don’t have any answers. In the aftermath I found faith and found comfort in it but I’m not really sure what I believe now. Things became unstuck as I began to explore things more deeply and got really confused. A big part of this was the notion that God has a plan for every life, that these things happen for a reason etc. Church was also a bad experience for me, however as much as I want to walk away from it all I am still drawn by a gut feeling that God is real. Thanks again for the encouragement Kim, enjoy the weekend, Jack

    Comment by Jack — December 15, 2007 @ 11:11 am

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