47 posts

Are You Stupid?

Are you stupid? This is not a pleasant question to ask. Some might even find it offensive. But stay with me. It is easier to be stupid than you might think! Hating correction is stupid. Not my words, but the Holy Spirit’s. In Proverbs 12:1 the Holy Spirit describes what being stupid is like: Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid. People tend to like to choose whom they allow to offer correction. This may sound attractive but it is not a good plan. You and your children were born needing correction, discipline and training. Frankly, you and I need correction and reproof far more than we can imagine. You are in no position to reject […]

Whining Children, Broken Lives

Your six-year-old has become so obsessed with wanting his brother’s radio controlled car that he has made himself sick whining and complaining about it. There is a reason the Holy Spirit warns against grumbling and complaining. This familiar scenario does not seem as shocking as the story of a teenager obsessed with pornography. However, the attitudes that fuel the teenager’s lust and obsession are the same ones that control your six-year old. This point must not be missed. You must connect the dots of self-pity in your young children with the self-pity of teenagers caught up in sins like pornography and substance abuse. Don’t dismiss self-pity as a passing stage. Whining in young children is the early warning sign of […]

Self-Control and Your Children

Self-control is the fruit of the Spirit. In other words it is the evidence, the legacy of the Spirit’s work in the life of God’s people. This means we are talking about more than just physical or mental discipline. Any human can show control over these things. But only someone who is born of the Spirit of God can practice biblical self-control. This is why the biblical definition that Ruth Younts gives for self-control is vital for your children. Self-control is the ability to say no to my wrong desires and yes to what God wants me to do.” This is why the gospel must be the center-piece of your parenting. As a parent you are to constantly teach your […]

Talking With Your Teenage Son About Pornography

You just confirmed that your fifteen-year-old son, Justin, has been looking at pornography. Following is an example of a conversation that demonstrates what I Corinthians 13:4-7 looks like in action. See how many positive attributes of love you can find in Dad’s conversation. “Justin, we have to talk about the images you were viewing on the computer.” “Dad, I really don’t want to and I am not going to – it is really none of your business.” “I think I understand why you would say that. I didn’t want to talk to my dad about this stuff either. He caught me looking at a magazine once. He screamed at me and told me never to do it again. He grabbed […]

Keep your child from the brink of destruction

In his first epistle, the apostle John speaks of the world as a hostile place. This hostility, however, is masked by deception. The world does not present itself as a hostile enemy. Rather, the world offers itself as the ultimate source of pleasure, fulfillment and satisfaction. The success of this deception is evident in the lives of many children from Christian homes who have been savaged by the world. Too many have repeated the cry of Proverbs: “Afterward you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body, and you will say, “How I hated discipline! If only I had not demanded my own way! Oh, why didn’t I listen to my teachers? Why didn’t I pay attention to those […]

The Mercy Of Biblical Discipline

Biblical discipline has to do with love and delight, not primarily accountability and control. Biblical discipline is not about fairness, it is about mercy. Biblical discipline is not about treating children as their sins deserve. Would you really ask God to treat you as your sins deserve? If you don’t want God to treat you with fairness, then don’t make fairness the standard of your parenting. How much of the wonder and mercy of biblical discipline do you communicate to your children? Stay with me here! I am not advocating laissez faire parenting or child centered discipline. The truth is you only have hope because God does not treat you as your sins deserve. This is the gospel message of […]

Instruction that protects

The process of instruction is complete when the truth that is learned begins to protect those who hear it. Proverbs 6:22 defines the goal of biblical parental instruction. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you. This passage in Proverbs is the goal of what is commanded in Deuteronomy 6:4-7.  Truth is to be passed on from one heart to another heart. The goal of biblical instruction is to have your children own the truth of Scripture for themselves when you are not there to watch over them. Solomon says this truth will adorn those who hear it and live it. The end goal occurs […]

Avoid pain, avoid peace

Modern culture has an aversion to pain. But if avoiding pain becomes a parent’s bottom line, peace and hope are lost! Consider Hebrews 12:11: For the moment all discipline seems
painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of
righteousness to those who have been trained by it. There are three important parts to this verse. First, discipline is painful rather than pleasant. Discipline is meant to highlight the unpleasantness of sin. Discipline, must not be confused with retribution. A child ought to be motivated to avoid discipline. It is important that parents respond with pleasant, even words in the course of discipline. This is because it is pleasant words, and not anger, that promotes instruction (Proverbs 16:20-24). Second, […]

God calls you to be shepherds, not enforcers.

The deceitfulness of the world, the flesh, and the devil entices us to feel good about our anger. So when a child, a teenager, a spouse, or a friend crosses an arbitrary line we feel totally justified in letting them “have it.” We cover our sin by saying, “I know I shouldn’t be angry, but sometimes you just have to say enough is enough.”    This sort of language and rationalization will receive a hearty Amen from the Satanic cheering section. We think we have been strong, when in fact we have taken the coward’s way out and capitulated.  We do what seems right at the moment.   Parents, God calls you to be shepherds, not enforcers. You may feel […]

School and Gospel Grace

School has started.   Even though summer has another month on the calendar, it has already ended.  Schedules, grades, behavioral concerns, homework, and extra-curricular activities once again have center stage.  Of course, all of life’s regular challenges are still present: financial issues, home and car maintenance, issues at work, relational struggles, problems at church, appointments, etc. In the midst of all this day-to-day turmoil your children can begin to feel less like a blessing and more like a burden.   It is one thing to say that your children are a blessing to you and that you delight in them. It is another for them to actually believe this.  Don’t misunderstand, failing to discipline and teach your children is not […]