Tony Miltenberger is a husband, father, and follower of Christ. He is currently serving as the lead pastor at Restoration Church Centerville, ohio.

What I don't want to hide from my 7 year old.

Every week at the Next Step recovery worship celebration someone shares their story. They share about how recovery has changed them and how during their walk God showed them a better way of doing life. Sometimes it can be graphic, sometimes it is messy, and sometimes it can bring tears to my eyes.

Connor and his little brother Caleb

Connor and his little brother Caleb

And every week my wife and I let my 7 year old son hear these stories. I don't know if that makes us great parents or not, but what I do believe is that it gives us the chance to talk about reality.

People are a mess. We all have a chance to wreck our lives. Evil is real.

I know that a lot of parents wouldn't agree with our decision to let Connor hear the recovery story. Some would say that it is to graphic, others would say that is only going to corrupt his heart. Well, where Karen and I land on it is that this is real life. 

As a father I want Connor to be in recovery, I want him (even at 7) to understand that this life with Jesus isn't going to be perfect, but we have a God who can redeem anything.  

I think sometimes in my own life that this walk with God should be prettier than it really is. I think about that "Footsteps" poem where it talks about walking with God along a beach and during the rough times in my life I only saw one set of footsteps because God was carrying me. Well, my only beef with that poem is that I don't remember my walk being as pretty as a walk in the sand. More often than not I feel like a I'm traversing a mountain.

I'm convinced that somewhere along the way I romanticized what being a Christian means. I've judged myself for not having the "typical" walk with God. Then, when I really started looking at what happens at Next Step I realized that walking with Jesus isn't about being pretty, it is about being real.

So yes, Karen and I let Connor see the dirty part of Christianity and I wouldn't do it any other way.

Has your walk with God been harder than expected? Do you have unrealistic expectations on what this was supposed to be like?  Would you let your kids hear the recovery story?

What program are you working?

What program are you working?

snow daze - understanding your calling