Monthly Archives: July 2019

15 posts

Gratitude or Impurity

Gratitude or impurity—you can have one but not both! The language of the heart and mouth is an indication of the direction of the heart. People whose speech is dominated by a thankful spirit are often people who are grateful for the mercy extended to them by God. However, impure, profane speech reflects just the opposite of gratitude. This kind of talk frequently indicates an angry heart and movement towards the impure and profane. For example, the Ephesians had woven impure speech into the life of the church to the point where Paul addressed this issue specifically. Ephesians 5:4 describes the importance of gratitude: But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any […]

Pleasant Words, Healing Words

There is a prescription available that will improve the physical and spiritual health of your family.  This prescription is what the Proverbs call “pleasant words” or “gracious speech.” The Holy Spirit says this kind of talk will bring spiritual and physical health to your family. Failure to use this medicine as directed may result in frustrated parents, children who resist instruction, drained emotions, as well as the physical and spiritual exhaustion for the entire family. Yes, pleasant words are that important! However, there is a heavy cost for this prescription. Parents have to relinquish their pride and embrace the path of humility. God’s remedy to heal the evil that plagues your children is not anger, intimidation, control, or force of […]

Parenting Is About Faith

Biblical parenting is an exercise in faith. This fact makes biblical parenting different from every other parenting methodology. A journey of faith cannot always be accurately measured by visible markers. Other forms of parenting are measured by evaluating immediate responses—if the behavior doesn’t change quickly, then something must be wrong. Thankfully, God calls us to trust him in faith. In biblical parenting, the primary objective is not to simply change behavior but to bring about a change in heart that leads to repentance, which leads to faith in Christ. This, of course, will result in a change in behavior. But behavioral change cannot be the primary goal. Parental instruction focuses on the commands of God, not with the behavior of […]

When Your Child is Afraid

The world is indeed a scary place. You cannot will your children to safety. You cannot wish cancer away. You cannot remove the drunk driver from the road. You cannot force world leaders to be wise and responsible. You cannot stop dangers on the playground or even in your backyard. You cannot stop the hurricane, the flood, or the earthquake. You cannot promise your child that bad things will never happen in life. This means that you cannot assure your children that bad things won’t happen. It is not helpful or accurate to say that there is nothing to fear. Life is full of fearful things. However, fearful things are not reasons to be afraid!  This is the message that […]

Shepherding a Child's Heart

What the Incarnation Teaches About Parenting

The incarnation is a good model for interaction with your children. God could have remained off in heaven. He could have spoken through cloud and thunder like He did in Exodus 19. But what does God do in the incarnation? He comes to dwell with us. He takes on human flesh like your flesh. He takes on a fully human psychology like yours. He accepts the limitations of being a man on earth; he can only be in one place at a time. He experiences all the things we experience. He is tired and hungry at Jacob’s well in John 4. He weeps at Lazarus’ tomb. Hebrews 2 says he suffered when he was tempted. Jesus can look at the […]

Is Purity Worth the Cost? (Part 2)

(continued from Part 1) The songwriter asked, “Did I keep my heart pure for nothing?” Your child may think, “Purity? I don’t think so, no way!” Parents, these thoughts are daggers pointed at the hearts of your kids. It is foolish to ignore them. It is equally foolish to answer these questions by simply enforcing rules and being angry at wrong behavior.  The pursuit of purity is a choice to live.  To reject purity is a choice to pursue death. There is no middle ground!  You see, life is about control. Will you be controlled by the Spirit of God or by the desires of your flesh? Again, there is no middle ground. This is what Paul is teaching us […]

Is Purity Worth the Cost? (Part 1)

Is it worth it to be pure? People have been asking this question for thousands of years. The pursuit of purity seems to be out of touch with a life of enjoyment. Purity means dull, boring and unexciting, at least that is what conventional wisdom believed for millennia. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a commercial shouting out the value of being pure and decent?  A songwriter felt this tension 3,000 years ago. In frustration, he complained that fat cats got whatever they wanted. God and biblical morality were mocked in his world, very much like they are today. People lived for pleasure and suffer no harm from their lustful pursuits. The songwriter observed that people were not […]

A Different World Ahead

Change is coming for your children. They will live in a different world than the one that greeted you when you left home. It is a world that views social media as a moral compass. Constantly changing public opinion pools drive online and cable news. Personal fulfillment has become life’s most important focus. Morality is measured by individual desires and lusts. This is the climate that shapes the culture you children will inhabit. It is true that these themes have been emerging for the last couple of decades. However, what will strongly impact your children is that now there is no biblical, social counter-balance to this trend. Biblical Christianity is equated with hatred in this emergent world. Christianity has become […]

Storm Warnings!

Is it possible to avoid the storms of life, with all of the pain and hardship that goes with them? Can wisdom and faith in God help steer a course away from these storms?  Jesus answers these questions at the end of the Sermon on the Mount. Being wise and faithful will not stop the storms. In fact, he says these storms will come to those who are wise. This warning is surprising. The ending you might expect for this beautiful sermon would be a message of peace and safety. Instead, Jesus finishes with urgent concerns about false teachers and the ravaging storms of life. Therefore, Christ’s focus is not on avoiding the storms, but how can you remain secure […]

Anger: A Toxic Sin

Anger is a toxic sin that results in broken relationships. Anger is often a response to injustice. With God this is good. His motives and reasons for anger are always pure and right. Your child’s anger is also often a response to injustice. But his motives and reasons are seldom pure and right. A young child thinks he has been wronged because someone else has what he wants. A middle-schooler is angry because others are not kind to her. A teenager struggles with anger because he believes no one really cares about him. Children of any age experience anger when they believe their parents do not understand them. Paul in Ephesians 4: 26-27, has important things to teach about anger. […]