The Pursuit of Godly Seed
by Denny Kenaston
It has been over fifteen years since Denny Kenaston first preached the series of messages known as “The Godly Home.” Since then, tens of thousands of copies of this message have been sent out across the country and around the world. Through the years, countless testimonies of changed lives and new beginnings have flooded the tape ministry, giving glory to God.
These testimonies bear record that God is still fulfilling the promise that was given in the very last words of the Old Testament: “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” (Mal 4:6)
More than just a seminar on child training and home life, these messages have awakened homes to many of the inroads of worldliness and compromise that plague the church today. They also have helped countless families bring back into balance the biblical family patterns set forth by the Word of God. Once godly priorities have been established, reports of personal revival, renewed interest in evangelism and hearts turned toward missions have flown naturally. As many of these awakened fathers and mothers have sought to bring their homes under biblical subjection, many have grown hungry for more practical advice and answers to numerous questions.
Through the years, this cry for help has continued to grow. Feeling a burden to respond to the growing need, Brother Denny has found himself traveling extensively, speaking at seminars, Bible schools, revivals and one-on-one with numerous seeking families. Feeling stretched to answer the many questions and to give the necessary practical applications, Brother Denny searched and prayed for ways to multiply himself to meet this ever growing need. It was from this burden that the book, The Pursuit of Godly Seed, was written.
In addition to a thorough review of the material covered by the tapes, this comprehensive 424-page manual goes into many helpful details and illustrations that were not possible to address during the seminars. As the back cover states: “The Pursuit of Godly Seed is an inspiring manual filled with old-fashioned bible principles of child training and home life ‘that work.’ This book contains a wealth of instruction for your home. It is an A to Z child training manual with clear answers for many a puzzled parent. It is ‘radical’. You may never be the same. It is ‘inspirational’. Your heart will flame with renewed vision. It is ‘practical’. You will be guided in how to make it all happen. Brother Denny says, ‘Children who grow up in an atmosphere of revival, with parents who love the Lord extravagantly and obey His word joyfully, will be a mighty influence upon this earth. This is a promise. Generations of godly children come from this kind of home.’ With a clear prophetic voice, Brother Denny calls the reader back to the old paths that work.” In some ways this book is like having several personal counseling sessions with Brother Denny, explaining many details of home life and child training.
Even though this book is full of various helpful techniques, antidotes and strategies, Brother Denny emphasizes that there is one crucial prerequisite that must be in place before any of his recommendations may be employed successfully, and that is a clear conversion. He stresses repeatedly that none of these methods will be useful without the life changing power of God’s grace. His book starts with the clear message that without a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ, a godly home will be impossible. He says, “To set out on a journey to raise our children for the Lord Jesus Christ without knowing Him, without having a vital relationship with Him, is to place the cart ahead of the horse. We won’t get very far. Many parents are in this very frustrating position, wondering why they are having so many problems getting it all together.”
After laying this foundational stone, Brother Denny then dedicates several chapters to establishing a vision for a godly home. I loved this part! As I read this portion I felt an eye-salve applied to my eyes. I was able to see many areas in my home that needed work. These chapters rekindled a passion in me, personally, for my home. I have found that embracing a clear vision of what God wants to do in my home has helped me to persevere when pressures come or doubts threaten to discourage me. Truly, my heart flamed with renewed hope and promise that I was not doing this alone; I was working with God for His desire to seek a godly seed in me! These chapters do much to inspire feeble hearts and hands, inspiring faith, courage and responsibility to rise up to the challenge and meet the task before us. Brother Denny said, “Let us ponder some of the inner dynamics of a God-breathed vision. God moves and motivates His people by giving them a vision. The Bible is filled with examples of this inner working of God’s Spirit. When God is about to do something, He begins with a vision in the heart of a man or a people.”
The book then moves on to some chapters on practical lessons. My favorite chapter was the one entitled, “Blessings: the Key to Obedience.” One of Brother Denny’s greatest burdens for writing this book can be found in the pages of this chapter. I believe the vision set forth in this chapter comprises some of the key ingredients that many of us are miserably lacking in our homes today. This chapter could stand alone as a helpful resource guide for parents. Brother Denny says that, “The title of this chapter holds the most profound wisdom you will ever glean for child training. In a sense, this is the fountain from which everything else flows.” He goes on to discuss the importance of love, encouragement, relationship and time with our children, noting that parents are in danger of “quickly passing over the aspects of love, blessings, and relationships, and quickly going on to corrections, spanking, and standards of holiness.” Brother Denny goes on to share about how the topic of this chapter was wrought in the first place, “Years ago, when my tapes on the home started to circulate among God’s people, I received many troubling phone calls. Parents called me to tell me that my teachings did not work. They were referring to the tape on discipline, and many times they were one of those parents who listened to that tape first. They said to me, ‘My child doesn’t respond the way you said he would on your tape. We are not friends when I am done spanking.’ At first, I wasn’t sure where the problem was. I spent much time in prayer and personal meditation, with a question mark before the Lord. One day the answer came to me. The difference is love. That is the key.”
In these chapters he speaks of the irreplaceable discipline of T-I-M-E. He gives a personal testimony and writes that there was a time when he noticed a discipline problem in one of his daughters. He mentioned that his first instinct was to increase his discipline and “bring her will into subjection.” But then he said that the Lord revealed to his heart that perhaps what his daughter needed was more love and attention. He then dedicated a special effort to set out to work on their relationship in many small ways. For about three weeks he turned more of his attention to her—talking to her, going places with her, etc. He writes, “The discipline problem disappeared in about two weeks. I noticed a new light in her eyes when she saw me come into the house.”
I feel that my children have really responded well to my efforts to implement this teaching in our home. When I finished reading this chapter and set out with a determined effort to make this time with my children, it really was as if a light came on in their eyes! And they were so excited about spending more time with daddy. It made me wonder just how much I have deprived them from this time that they deserve.
Undoubtedly, many are wondering, “Does Brother Denny address the topic of the rod?” Yes, building upon the precepts of a right relationship with the Lord and a loving relationship with our children, Brother Denny does give insight to this sensitive yet important area of child training. He balances the seemingly paradoxical concepts of love and correction with exceptional justice. He states, “We are dealing with some balancing principles that are powerful if kept together, but devastating if you let either stand alone. If you heed the message of the previous chapters [love], yet neglect those to follow [discipline], you will raise a silly, uncontrolled child who will not serve God and will bring you to shame. However, as already stated, if you neglect a relationship of love and pick up the rod, you will produce children who despise you and obey out of fear and law (somewhat like robots).”
The overwhelming point that comes out of these chapters is that, if used correctly, the use of the rod is a wonderful act of love to our children. He states, “The Devil has lied to us, and we have swallowed his subtle lie. We have believed the lie that spanking is a negative form of discipline, when in fact, it is one of the most positive forms you can use.”
Brother Denny devotes two entire chapters on the topic of how to give a “godly spanking.” He calls it a “sacred exercise.” I think one of the most notable things that he discusses on this topic is the problem of anger. He states, “NEVER spank the children in anger, NEVER…. If you have a problem with anger, you need deliverance from that anger through repentance. If that doesn’t help you, then get some personal counseling. Do whatever you must do, but get free of that anger…. Many parents are missing the whole concept of chastisement. Chastise-ment is not judgment meted out for wrongdoing. It is correction for wrongdoing with future conduct in mind.”
In the next couple of chapters he discusses training the will of our children and then he goes on to address the “bondage of foolishness.” Later, he discusses what “training” really means by presenting a positive, proactive approach. Brother Denny then begins to address the roles of father and mother and the atmosphere of a godly home. For Christian mothers he discusses such topics as attitude, submission, dealing with non-Christian husbands, etc. The messages presented in these chapters are far from the modern, contemporary voice of feminism today. However, the testimonies of families that have been turned completely around after hearing these messages are overwhelming. Ironically, it has been the women who have raved over this section. He goes on to discuss the role of the women at home. He does it with such a positive spirit that I think it would make any corporate professional woman jealous.
Following suit, he spends several chapters dedicated to the role of Christian men, leading it with his pointed title, “Where are the Men?” Brother Denny doesn’t spare any punches as he discusses our role as spiritual leader, financial manager, protector and teacher, highlighting the powerful influence of love and how essential it is to our calling as men. He states, “Many of us men are missing a wonderful crown upon our life because we neglect to give the proper care to our wives.” I have been very blessed by his teaching. I was particularly moved by the concept that “a spiritual man will have a radiant wife.” He writes, “A shining, happy wife provides the same crown for us men, and we are the ones responsible for this glow. Our wives should have the ‘glow-ry’ shine on their faces.”
There is so much more than time or space will permit me to share here. In short, this book changed my life. I greatly appreciated having the book so that I could read, re-read, make notes and let the message sink deep into my heart. After reading the book and hearing so many wonderful testimonies of other families responding to these messages, I honestly believe that the back cover is true, and any family with an open and willing heart can:
• Learn how to restore wounded relationships with your children.
• Learn how to spank your child in such a way that he will thank you for loving him.
• Find key answers to deal with a strong willed child.
• Bring your home from chaos to a place of peace and rest; God’s Word has the answers.
• Learn the most powerful secret on how to bring children to a state of joyful obedience.
• Fathers, you are a teacher. Find out how to make it reality in your home.
• Learn about three mysterious influences that will affect your children for eternity.
Following are some testimonials from others who have read the book:
“I am a pastor of a growing church. I read Brother Denny’s book and wept. God has opened my eyes to my responsibilities and I am leaving the ministry so I can set my house in order.” Oklahoma
“I listened to the sermons on the Godly Home a few years ago and received much help. However, reading his book has been much more helpful. I learn more by reading than listening. My home will never be the same.” North Carolina
“This book reads like the Bible, I must stop and meditate on each page. God is stirring my heart and changing my vision.” Pennsylvania
“Just finished your book. It is a spiritual hydrogen bomb (to God be the glory!). I know it will go exactly to the people that the LORD intends it, though they may be few.”
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