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Our son’s wedding and God’s grace

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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Craig Denison and Rachel Chapman engagement photo (Credit: Denison Family)

I remember the day as though it were last week—the hospital room, the doctor, the nurses, our excitement.  On that morning in 1988, our second son was born.

Actually, he was God’s child long before he was ours.  Before the Creator of the universe made the first man, he knew he would one day make Craig Wayne Denison.  David could say of himself and our son, “Your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16).  Before I met Janet in college (she walked into sophomore English smiling, a moment I’ll never forget!), our Lord knew we would marry and that we would be parents to two sons.  And he knew they would be his greatest gifts to us.

Nearly a year ago, his older brother was married to Candice.  Today Craig and Rachel are getting married.  It has been my great privilege to baptize both of our sons, and now to perform their weddings.  No father has been more blessed.

This morning I’m overwhelmed by grace.  I did nothing to deserve Janet as my wife.  She is the most godly person I know and the finest mother two children could ever have.  Nor did I deserve sons like Ryan and Craig.  Their commitment to Christ as their Lord challenges and inspires me.  Ryan’s intellectual gifts and servant’s heart honor Jesus every day.  His consistent courage while battling cancer this year has marked my faith forever.  And Craig’s passion for Jesus shines through everything he does.  He is such a gifted musician, worship leader, Bible student, and minister.

God’s grace to me has extended to my sons.  Candice and Rachel are everything Janet and I could have hoped for them.  They are women of God, deeply and joyfully committed to Christ.  Candice is brilliant and caring, on her way to an outstanding career as a dentist.  Rachel is one of the most gifted vocalists I’ve ever heard, with a contagious heart for worship and ministry.  Janet and I thank God every day for them.

How has God graced you today?  What has he given you that you could never have earned?  When last did you make time to express your gratitude in worship and thanksgiving?  On this Friday before Father’s Day, this statement by Chuck Swindoll seems appropriate: “Dad is not perfect; he would be the first to admit it.  Nor is he infallible, much to his own disappointment.  Nor altogether fair, nor always right.  But there’s one thing he is always—he is your dad, the only one you’ll ever have.  Take it from me, there’s only one thing he needs on Father’s Day.  Plain and simple, he needs to hear you say, ‘Dad, I love you.'”

So does your Father in heaven.  On this historic day for our family, my heart is filled with love for our Maker and Lord.  Why do you have reason for gratitude today?