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Shaping Influences & Parental Legacy

2008 is a leap year. The Summer Olympic Games will be held. Who knows what memorable events from 2008 will go down in history? In America  there will be a presidential election.  That election also marks the end of a president’s term in office. As that term draws to a close much is made of the legacy of that president. Political observers ponder how history will view the legacy of a president. Some presidents become obsessed with their legacy—their place in history. Decisions are made with an eye towards protecting and enhancing the elusive prize of a favorable legacy. In the end, a president’s legacy is determined by what was done, not by how he wanted others to think of […]

The Super Bowl and Your Heart’s Orientation

Whether you watch the Super Bowl or not the game is important to you as a Christian parent. This annual spectacle tells you a great deal about the world your children inhabit. Proverbs 7 shows a parent looking out his window at the world around him. This father used the view from his window to instruct his son about the dangers of life. The window of your television affords you the same opportunity and obligation. In addition to the game you can learn much about the world around you from the commercials. These commercials cost approximately 3 million dollars for a 30 second spot, and that does not include the production costs. The companies who sponsor these commercials believe that […]

The Super Bowl and Proverbs 4:23, part 2.

Above all else, guard your heart,      for it is the wellspring of life. In this second look at Super Bowl XLII I want to examine morality and spectacle. Solomon’s warning to guard your heart and, by implication, to teach your children to guard their hearts is one that must not be neglected. Paul addresses the same theme in Ephesians 6 where he speaks about spiritual warfare. With regard to our hearts we are never in a neutral zone or a demilitarized zone (DMZ). The enemy is always lurking. Since Satan is the Deceiver his attacks are seldom obvious. Cultural spectacle is one way to deceive us. As we noted in the last post, spectacle tends to move us […]

The Super Bowl and Proverbs 4:23

  The message of Proverbs 4:23 is an ominous, as well as a gracious, warning. Above all else, guard your heart,      for it is the wellspring of life. There is urgency in these words of Solomon. Above all else carries an ominous tone. The Holy Spirit is saying, “Pay attention!” The warning is also gracious. You are being told what is really important. Parents, you must faithfully and frequently give this warning to your children. The reason for warnings is that dangers often come when they are least expected. This weekend’s Super Bowl is no exception. After the infamous half-time “wardrobe malfunction” the NFL vowed to make the game more family-friendly, but I don’t think the league had […]

How I Hated Discipline

How I Hated Discipline 11 At the end of your life you will groan,        when your flesh and body are spent. 12 You will say, "How I hated discipline!        How my heart spurned correction! 13 I would not obey my teachers        or listen to my instructors. 14 I have come to the brink of utter ruin        in the midst of the whole assembly." Two recent posts made a connection between the problems of midlife and the problems parents face in childrearing. It is encouraging to see that God so wonderfully provides for the issues of midlife in his Word. And also, it is essential to see that what […]

Guide to Family Worship

Psalm 78 verse 4 says: We will not hide them from their children;        we will tell the next generation        the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,        his power, and the wonders he has done. An important component of shepherding your family is to have regular family worship. We are making available for you a free, downloadable guide to help you have a regular program of family worship. There is no better gift to give your children than coming together as a family to honor God. As you use this guide, let us know about it. In this way you can help encourage others in this important service to Christ. Download family_worship_guide.pdf

Midlife: A Portrait #2

Powerful Personal Interpretations and Your Children In this brief series of posts we are taking advantage of the excellent work done by Paul Tripp in his book Lost in the Middle. One thing that Paul and Tedd Tripp have made abundantly clear in their writings is that it is the heart that drives us as people. This is true for people of all ages. Whether it is in mid life, in the toddler years, in youth or in old age, humans are heart driven people. People seek the treasures that their hearts long for. Christ clearly teaches about this relationship between treasures and heart in Matthew 6:19-21: 19"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust […]

Midlife: A Portrait

The next few posts are drawn from the penetrating insights of Paul David Tripp’s book Lost in the Middle. These insights intersect with the biblical perspectives taught in Tedd Tripp’s Shepherding a Child’s Heart. I can almost hear someone asking, “What does a book on midlife have to do with a book on childrearing?”  The connection is this: what rules those in midlife also rules children. That connection, of course, is the heart. Proverbs 4:23 says: Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. The heart determines the things that matter most to us. Our treasures in this world reflect the true longings of our hearts. This is true for everyone, including both the child […]

The Death of the Grown-Up

If you are a grown-up you may find it surprising to read that you have died! Diana West has written a timely book about the direction of our culture. The Death of the Grow-up is the title. Her book examines how the 20th century moved towards the worship of a youth culture, especially teenagers. As Christians, this observation should not come as a surprise to us. Biblical principles of child-rearing have long been put aside. These principles were replaced with a child-centered approach advocated by the mainstream of 20th century educational thinkers such as John Dewey.  Shepherding and instructing children are now seen as archaic in the dimming light of the 21st Century. It is now politically incorrect to think […]

Crisis Prevention 2008 – part two

As Tedd Tripp points out, too often problems arise when behavioral issues are not addressed at the source. When parents evaluate the challenges of child-rearing by looking only at behavior they find themselves in catch-up mode. Eventually, a full-blown crisis will emerge because symptoms and not root causes were addressed. Shepherding a Child’s Heart redirected the thoughts of parents to the significance of the role of the heart in training children. In one sense, this book is about understanding the impact of one verse of Scripture – Proverbs 4:23: Above all else, guard your heart,         for it is the wellspring of life. Parents, the most important step you can follow in leading your children is to understand […]