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

We Are In This Together: Bow Ties and Dresses

I really like wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Actually, I’d wear sweats and a T-shirt if I thought I could get away with it. All that is to say: I value being comfortable. So, you can imagine the look on my face when my wife challenged me to wear a bow tie every day in December.

Every day? For thirty-one days?

Yup: A bow tie everyday for the entire month of December. And guess what – I’m doing it. I’m doing something that I wasn’t excited about for two very important and different reasons.

One is the fact that there is an entire group of people out there who are being trafficked. They are being abused, manipulated, and forced to do lots of things they don’t want to do. For most of them it isn’t a conscious choice, it is a reality of their life. It is the truth that they’ve been put in such a tough position that they don’t have another option.

The other reality is that this is important to my wife. It means a lot to her, it brings her to tears to think that someone’s little girl/boy is out there before forced into a life that will eventually destroy them emotionally or physically. I’m wearing a bow tie so that my wife knows we stand together on the things that break our hearts.

As a church leader I “rally the troops” all the time. I push for giving, or inviting, or reading Scripture. One of the most important things I communicate is the vision of what we stand for, making disciples.

Let me just say, none of this matters if we don’t do it at home first. In this season of anticipation for Christmas, it is easy to slip into the routine of thinking about me. What do I want? What is important to me? What goals do I want in 2017?

Somewhere along the way we tend to forget that none of this matters if we aren’t in relationship with the people we do life with. Being in a committed, growing, challenging relationship means that we not only share a home, we also share our passions. I’m not just talking about spouses, I’m talking about kids too. What are your kids passionate about? What are your friends passionate about?

If you really want to show someone how much they mean to you, care about what they care about.

So yes, I’m wearing a bow tie every day in December, and I’m doing it because I’m inspired by my wife.

During this holiday season, let me challenge you: What do you and your family stand for? How are you making it known? How are you sharing your passion? 

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