We have been looking at the value of questions. Questions are opportunities to offer praise and worship to God. Anytime a “why” question is asked we know that God has something to do with the answer. This means that you will have many opportunities to tell your children about the wonders of God as they grow up in your family. There are many ways to answer this particular question about why leaves change color. In some cases, as the green chlorophyll is reduced in the leaves by the coming of cooler weather, the underlying color of the leaves is then on display. In other cases the brown leaves may simply be waste that is left as the leaves get ready […]
When your children ask you questions, that is a good thing. You probably have surmised that from this current series of posts. What you may not have concluded yet is that questions should be actively encouraged. This attitude is analogous to being a good hunter. A good hunter must go to where he thinks his game might be, but he must also get everything ready so that his meal will come to him. By the same token, walking up to your teenager and saying, “Would you like to ask me a really important and intimate question about something you’re struggling with?” will not yield much of a response. The opportunity to respond to significant question begins years in advance. Hunters […]
Listening is a skill of wisdom that can only be acquired by a heart that has been changed by the gospel. Your listening, to be effective, must be gospel-centered. I’m sure someone is asking, “What in the world is gospel-centered listening ?” It is listening to others with the heart attitude of seeking to understand what they are saying so that you can respond to them in a manner that honors Christ. There are two sides to serving others in this way: first, you must listen well, and second, you must speak well. Proverbs 18:2, 13, 15, & 17 address listening, and Ephesians 4:29 addresses speaking.
Your teenager is facing a difficult decision. He is unsure of how he should respond. After trying to figure out what to do, and becoming more and more frustrated, he decides to ask you, his parents, what you think he should do. Sadly, for too many families, this is the one scenario that would not happen. What would be the case in your family? Do your teenagers eagerly reach out to you for advice and direction? Or are they closed about personal decisions? Do they seem reluctant to seek your thoughts? Some of you, at least, will fit into this latter category. How did this happen? How do children grow not to trust their parents? I believe that at least […]
If you think that this sounds like a loaded question, you’re right, it is! Toddlers and preschoolers can be prolific question askers. However, it is sometimes a challenge to maintain a high level of interest and enthusiasm to a seemingly unending stream of interrogation. By contrast, many parents are starved for questions coming from their teenagers beyond the standard ones such as, “can I have the keys?” (If you live in Europe, substitute train pass for keys.) I believe there is a connection with the wearisome, almost detached response frequently given to the questions of young children and the lack of sincere questions coming from apparently detached teenagers. I have several thoughts along these lines for you to consider, but […]
Psalm 130 is a song of ascents. This means that the Israelites sang this psalm as they traveled to Jerusalem for one of the three annual sacred assemblies. The 3rd and 4th verses of this psalm contain the essence of the gospel. 3 If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? 4 But with you there is forgiveness; therefore you are feared. The psalmist acknowledges that no one can stand before God apart from his mercy. Then, he reminds us that there is forgiveness with God. This wonderful truth blows the psalmist away, so his response to the blessed forgiveness of God is a holy and awed fear. As you head for church each […]
This weekend Hurricane Earl is visiting the East Coast. While a direct hit on the coast does not appear likely, Earl will no doubt cause widespread damage in areas not typically affected by hurricanes. It intriguing that this intense low pressure center is given a human name. Low pressure is a common meteorological occurrence and is frequently associated with stormy weather. On any given day a weather map will show both low and high pressure systems moving across the continent. However, no one attempts to name or even number these systems. They simply come and go. But several times each year, a low pressure system that forms in the warm waters of the tropics will grow to such a large […]