Monthly Archives: May 2013

35 posts

Saying too much means you understand too little

The Proverbs offer the practical day-to-day help you need to be a loving parent. For example, you want to avoid long admonitions to your children when giving them direction. When lengthy, frustrated words begin to mark your discipline, this usually means that you do not have a good grasp of what needs to be done. Look at Proverbs 17:27: The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. This proverb provides good insight. If you understand a discipline situation accurately you will be able to use words that carefully fit the issues at hand. This means fewer words and a calm attitude on your part. This leads to the use of pleasant words that […]

My Wife, Cancer, and God’s Faithfulness

God has chosen to display his faithfulness in the form of cancer in the life of my wife, Ruth. In God’s gracious plan for Ruth, three years ago he brought the most lethal type of brain cancer Into her life – Glioblastoma Multiforme. The Lord has chosen to, at least temporarily, remove her ability to write and edit. Her short-term memory has been impacted. This is striking because she is among the most literate and articulate of biblical thinkers. Her passion remains to bring the power of God’s word to children and youth in a way that challenges them to love God and live for him. She is currently undergoing a period of occupational and physical therapy. When the occupational […]

Thought for the Lord’s Day

If worship is genuine it must rooted in the character of God. Otherwise, worship becomes self-serving. But, if worship is a response to the person and greatness of God then it will be life-changing. It is among the gravest of human errors to think that worship has only to do with your benefit. God is not restricted to a worship service, or a church building, or your quiet time. When you talk or sing to God you are engaging the One who at that very moment shapes all that happens in this world and beyond. This means when you look out at the world around you and ask where is God, you are asking the wrong question. What you see […]

The Problem with Mother’s Day

Everyone has a mother. That much is obvious. The problem comes when Mother’s Day becomes a one-size-fits-all event. Just as everyone has a mother, it is equally true that everyone has a different life-experience regarding having a mother, being a mother or not being a mother. Many are blown away by the faithful sacrifice of their moms. Sadly, many are also devastated by the way their mothers have treated them. There are women who are thrilled with the joy of being a mother. There are others who are not. There are still others who long to be mothers but are not. There are mothers who are deeply appreciated and also, just as deeply despised. There are those who continue to […]

Helping Children Prize the Gospel by Tedd Tripp

I have had numerous conversations with young parents who expressed the fear of raising young hypocrites. They fear that since they have taught their children appropriate behavior, they will rear well-behaved children who do not sense their need for grace. Much of what we have written in this book will help you avoid this problem. Hypocrisy is greatest in homes where the emphasis has been on behavior rather than the heart. If the focus of discipline and correction is on ways the behavior has strayed and on how behavior must change, you will miss the heart. That approach makes the problem what I do, rather than what I am. According to the Bible, the problem we have is too profound […]

When accurate words become rotten words

Ten-year-old Caitlin has had a bad day. Some friends were unkind to her at church. She has discovered that she is no longer considered to be “in” with some of the popular girls. She is sad and despondent around the house. Her dad doesn’t know why she is “down,” but reasons that she needs to snap out of it. So he says something like, “Caitlin, it is not good for you to be so down. You attitude is discouraging everyone else in the house. God wants you to be happy and pleasant to others. So, I want you to exercise some self-control and stop being so sad right now. Okay? It is time for you to snap out of this.” […]

Gospel Centered Parenting – What does it look like?

There were a number of questions from the post “Teaching your children to behave is not the Gospel.” The topic is challenging because one of your main objectives is to teach children to obey. Let me clarify. Biblical obedience has as its core a love for God. Behavior change has as its core a desire to make things better. This is a profound difference. Deuteronomy 6:7 is often taken out of context as a reason for focusing on behavior change. Regarding God’s commands, the first part of the verse says: “You shall teach them diligently to your children…” Allowing this sentence fragment to direct the focus of parenting can lead to an emphasis on behavioral change. However, if we place […]

The Gospel and Self-control

Self-control is not about changing behavior. Self-control is the good yield of the Holy Spirit’s work producing his fruit. Self-control is the ability to say no to my wrong desires and yes to what God wants me to do. Prayer for Self-Control: Father, please help me to say no to sin and yes to obedience and pleasing you. I really want to do whatever you want me to do, but it’s too hard by myself. I need your help all the time to say “yes” to you. Please help me. In Jesus’ name, Amen. from Get Wisdom! by Ruth Younts Notice that biblically, self-control is not a behavior issue, as in “get control of yourself.” Rather, it is an issue […]

Teaching your children to behave is not the gospel!

How compelling is the gospel to your children, to you? My concern is that intentionally presenting the gospel is not an everyday consideration for most Christian parents. In contrast, what often is presented each day is how well do children perform or behave.  This is easy to do with the rush of busy schedules.  However, when life is about behavior then the gospel is absent! The gospel is not about behaving properly. As this pertains to adults, we have no trouble applying this truth. Someone who has lived a selfish life, has been full of pride, has committed any number of sins, and finally reaches out to the good news of the gospel, is not told to wait until his […]

Children Thrive on Hope

Children are just like their parents, they require hope to thrive. Perhaps the greatest enemy of hope is performance. Performance is also the great enemy of the gospel. To take this progression one additional step; performance is the great enemy of your children. This statement appears to raise a contradiction. If children are to obey their parents, how can we not talk about performance? This is exactly the right question! The answer may surprise you. To be distinctly biblical, obedience must be connected to hope, not to performance. Too often, the message children receive about obedience is this: “Obey or face the consequences.” This should not be the theme of biblical obedience. Ephesians 6:1-3 is a wonderful passage to encourage children […]