Tony Evans’ Dad

From CNN:

By Tony Evans, Special to CNN

(CNN)–All I had ever known up until I was 10 years old was chaos in my home.

I was the oldest of four children and the atmosphere was volatile for all of us. My father and mother were in constant conflict, making divorce seem like the only possible outcome.

Having married young, they were still trying to figure out how to make life work. They often argued about how to handle finances, especially when there was little money to go around.

I could have ended up a casualty of a broken family, like so many of the kids around me in inner city Baltimore. But my life was forever changed the year I turned 10.

That was the year my dad turned to Jesus. He’d been invited to visit a nearby church for a special event. While there, two men asked him if he knew if he’d go to heaven when he died. He said he wasn’t sure.

The men explained Christ’s sacrificial and all-encompassing atonement and, for the first time, my dad understood the path to salvation….

My mom didn’t like my dad as a sinner, and she liked him even less as a saint. She did everything she could to make his life difficult. But my father did everything he could to show her love.

When my mom would start with him, he would stop what he was doing and start praying for her on the spot.

One night, my mom came down the stairs with tears in her eyes. My dad was reading his Bible.

She told him that she could not understand how the more she rejected him, was unkind to him and tried to prove that believing in God was wrong, the kinder he was to her and the more he invested in God’s word.

“I want what you have,” she said, “because it must be real.”…

If my dad had not exhibited the courage to change, my home would have become another statistic. I would have ended up a casualty, and my own four children might have ended up casualties, too. It is common for children to end up as statistics when men do not accept their God-given responsibilities.

Forty percent of our children go to sleep at night with no dad at home, and the percentage is even higher among minority groups and in the inner city. Divorce is part of the problem, but many men father children without helping to raise them. They have become like the abominable snowman – their footprints are everywhere but they are nowhere to be found.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • holly

    I love this. Thanks, Scot. Jesus, indeed….does change lives.

  • Patrick

    Most touching of all is how rapidly that gentleman understood the major import of what our role is as God’s people and conduct himself accordingly. It took me a lot more time before I came over to seeing virtue love and forgiveness as the major themes even though it should be obvious.

  • http://restoringsoul.blogspot.com Ann F-R

    What great courage it takes to love one another! This is a beautiful testament to the God who loves us, and enables us to love each other. Thanks for the story!

  • Andrew Butler

    Thank God for the gospel and the change it brings.

  • Tom Schuessler

    Awesome story! This is Galations 5 fruit of the spirit. The divorce rates of professing Christians are about the same as others, because so many have not turned to Jesus in this way … which does bear this beautiful fruit of love, joy, peace, kindness and self control, all under intense pressure. It must come from getting rid the works of the flesh (the pagan lifestyle) and turning to Jesus. Tim Keller has a great talk on this, titled “Authentic Christianity” linked here for those who can get into itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/timothy-keller-podcast/id352660924


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