Jim, Rolando, and Keith. These three men comprised my Care Group while I was at Sovereign Grace’s Pastors’ College. We met once a week for about 90 minutes and sought other opportunities throughout our time to spend time together as families–pizza, the pool, or a Dominican dish.

I have to admit, I was curious as to why I was put into a group of men who had daughters older than our own and who were older couples than us (by at least 10 years spread). Ā [SIDE NOTE: ALL of us had daughters–was that the determining factor, Gary? That’s right, 11 daughters. SIDE SIDE NOTE: I have heard that the amount of girls you have is inversely proportional to testosterone levels. . .just ask CJ Mahaney and Bob Kauflin]. It became effervescently evident about 1 month into our time at the PC when Ashley and me were struggling with one of our daughters not sleeping through the night. First came sympathy (I’ve been there). Then came assurance (This will pass). Then came some practical help (Try this. . .).

These three men did not put on airs–as though they had something to prove to this younger fellow. I remember each of them opening up about various struggles and victories they saw in the ensuing weeks. “Let no one look down on you because you are young” was an easy admonition to follow in their company as they confessed to their need for a Savior each time we got together. This freed me to admit the same.

My parenting spread roots in the soil of God’s unmerited favor as I saw their lives reflect this much. They reassured me that parenting is work. It is work. It is work. It is work. It is work. As you confess your inability to your God and your wife and your children, you experience the opportunity and freedom of resting on Christ. Not striving in your strength and attempt at propping up your own worthiness.

Jim taught me that being a man often involves silence. Leading doesn’t imply talking.

Rolando showed me the joy of the Lord can be my strength. I am indebted to him beyond what words can express.

Keith modeled persistence in gentleness. He showed me that God is always at work–in the spectacular and the mundane.

Thank you, gentlemen. Brothers.