Monthly Archives: November 2008

12 posts

The Greatness of Knowing Christ

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. Philippians 3:7&8 The law from your mouth is more precious to me        than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. Psalm 119:72 Knowing Christ is a great thing. That is easy to say but challenging to live. Just how great is it? Taken at face value, Paul’s words in Philippians are stunning. So is the verse from Psalm 119. Nothing compares to knowing Christ and loving his words. These are two themes from the Gospels that are […]

Riches that Last

The law from your mouth is more precious to me        than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. Psalm 119:72 NIVThe law of your mouth is better to me   than thousands of gold and silver pieces. Psalm 119:72 ESV This verse in Psalm 119 presents a challenging question to you as a Christian parent.  Is this truth something that influences you more than your bank balances?  The psalmist proclaims the word of God is of such value that gold and silver pale in comparison.  Take some time to consider this reality. Is this your testimony? Would your children say this verse speaks accurately of you and what you value? Give this some thought. Let me know what you think. We […]

Follow up on Adornment and Toddlers

Stacy, thank you for your comment. You are certainly not alone in asking this question. First, if you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to read carefully chapter 15 of Shepherding a Child’s Heart. This chapter explains fundamental biblical truth regarding the use of the rod, including the issue you raise. While spanking is essential, it is only one component of a biblical methodology of parenting. Spanking must be practiced in the context of you and your husband daily praying for God’s blessing on your children, and praying for God’s help to be faithful in both preventative and remedial discipline. Also, Deuteronomy 6 makes it clear that God is to be a part of the conversation of everyday life in your family. Talk about the issues you expect to face each day. Pray with your children in advance about areas where their behavior indicates struggles of the heart.
In addition to reading chapter 15 of Shepherding a Child’s Heart, you might want to look also at Chapters 2 and 4 of Everyday Talk. Those two chapters form the background for the post on which you commented. Pleasant words and discipline are an essential combination.
More specifically, let me draw your attention to a comment in chapter 15. On page 144, after noting an up-and-down behavior cycle in his children, Tedd makes the observation: “One day it dawned on us! We produced the cycles.” Your child is not living in a vacuum. His responses are connected to your responses. While he is accountable before God for his sins, it is also true that his world is dominated by his parents. What makes this negative for children on occasion is that parents often live in survival mode—they survive one incident of difficult behavior and just wait and hope that they can survive the next one. Sound familiar??? This kind of relational climate in the home does not lend itself to productive biblical discipline. It is not the setting that Deuteronomy 6 envisions.
The glory and honor of God must be at the center of your home, and you must have a vital experience of relying on God’s help in both good time and difficult times. You recognized this when you were “crying out to the Lord for wisdom.” But it is just as important to take delight in God’s presence when a meal goes well, for example, as when there is disobedience. The Scriptures are designed to give you confidence and joy as you follow God’s ways of living (including discipline). If you are discouraged, down, overwhelmed, or uncertain when you begin the discipline process, particularly when spanking is required, don’t expect good results. The practice of biblical discipline is a blessing and privilege. It weeds out rebellion and discontent, and cultivates the peaceful fruit of righteousness. It is not something to dread. Proverbs 22:15 is a wonderful verse to memorize with your children in this light.
Toddlers have a great capacity to intimidate parents. Soon a parent hesitates to speak a word of correction because she fears it will lead to discipline that does not appear to accomplish anything. All too often, the result from this scenario is an angry, defiant, weepy child and a distraught, bewildered parent who is balancing on a thin line of discouragement and anger. Good times? Not for anyone! So when the precious toddler challenges your authority the next time, you think twice before going down the black hole of discipline again. Parents, this is not what God intends! You must be persuaded that what you are doing is what God wants. If it seems not to be working, don’t doubt God’s methods. Consider whether you are applying God’s principles effectively, and if you are, be patient and persevere. Your spirit must be one of loving confrontation born out of love for God and your child.
Stacey, let me know your response. Thanks for bringing this up. May God use this interchange to help many parents faced with this same situation.

Gifts and Escapism – Tis the Season 6

Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. James 1:16-18 Here is the last installment of the series about preparing for the holiday season. Let's focus now on the attitude of the recipients of gifts. Christmas has become a season all about children. Culturally, Christmas is an exercise in benevolent escapism. This escapism is possible because children tend to trust their parents' view of reality. This is appropriate—as long as children are dependent upon their […]

Breaking the Holiday Code – Tis the Season 5

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest,       and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." Luke 2:13&14 "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn   " 'a man against his father,       a daughter against her mother,       a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law –       a man's enemies will be the members of his own household. Matthew 10:34-36 The Advent of Jesus Christ has become the season where political correctness and materialism combine to obfuscate the purposes of God. This […]

Why Do You Give Presents? – Tis the Season 4

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 Why do you give presents? At first, the answer seems obvious—but is it? This is important to understand, especially with the Christmas gift season approaching. The obvious answer is that you give to make someone else feel happy or appreciated. But let’s take a deeper look at this “obvious” answer. There are many ways to approach this issue, but this in post our focus will be on why you give presents to your children. Gift giving, like anything else in the Christian life, must be done for the […]

Tis the Season 3

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:16-18 Gratitude for Christ In less than two weeks it will be Thanksgiving Day once again. That day begins four weeks stuffed full of events, culminating on Christmas Day.  Then, ironically, many will be thankful that the busy holiday season is over. The holiday season places a rather conditional spin on the theme of Thanksgiving. We hope that we will be thankful—assuming that everything works out the way we have anticipated. We will be thankful if the major meals and events of the season go off without a hitch. We will be thankful if that certain annoying relative […]

Tis the Season 2

He who answers before listening—        that is his folly and his shame. Proverbs 18:13 This current series of posts is about getting ready for the holidays. The holiday season presents a challenge for parents. For the next few weeks the world will talk about Christ’s advent, but it will be in code. You may have already noticed that code in the first sentence of this post. That’s right, translate holiday to mean the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The problem is that no one wants to offend anyone, so it is politically incorrect to say anything but Happy Holidays. As postmodernism further infiltrates our culture, the meaning of Advent gets pushed deeper into the recesses of antiquity. […]

Tis the Season…

Enter his gates with thanksgiving        and his courts with praise;        give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;       his faithfulness continues through all generations Psalm 100:4&5 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:7-8 Perhaps you noticed that on November 1st, immediately after Halloween, stores began to display Christmas themes. The instant transition from orange and black to red and green was as startling as it was swift. The holiday season this year will have even more economic urgency than most. Both the […]

Good Question

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4 Comment from Rob: I appreciate your ministry. Thanks for calling on Dads to be Dads. I have a question regarding discipline. I come from a family that has severely strained relationships on all fronts. Mom vs. Dad, kids vs. parents, everyone vs. everyone. When I came to Christ my relationships improved, but the strain is still there and my wife and I are working on that. This strain is what makes the following situation difficult. We have a 19 month old son and when we visit my parents, he needs to be corrected. Correcting him is no problem for my […]