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Archive for the 'Parenting' Category

The problem with lies

Posted on October 23rd, 2017 · Posted in Instructing, Parenting

Children’s lies are a harsh reminder of the ugliness of sin. Your children come into this world as natural enemies of God. Telling the truth and avoiding deceit  is not natural for them or you. Ephesians 2 teaches that we all seek first and foremost to gratify our own passions and desires, even if it means that others will be harmed. We are by nature children of wrath.  The Psalmist agrees in Psalm 58:3: Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies… read more

Exhausted

Posted on October 18th, 2017 · Posted in Parenting

Parenting is exhausting. There are countless remedies offered from every corner to make parenting easier and less stressful. Despite all the advice and strategies, when the day is done, so are many parents . Parents are weary not only because of the trials of the day just finished, but also weary because tomorrow is just a few hours away. In this in-between time, the tiredness often reaches its peak. The free advice and stress-reducing plans offer little consolation. Even Bible verses may seem disconnected from the pressures of getting ready.. read more

Rules: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Posted on October 16th, 2017 · Posted in Parenting

The good: rules make life work. They tell us: how fast to drive, what time to put your children to bed, how many calories to eat, how much to pay in taxes, how to balance your budget, what is acceptable behavior at school, what time to arrive at work, how to participate in sporting events, what not to do at the swimming pool, and many useful more things too numerous to count. The bad: following rules won’t make you acceptable to God. There is a problem with rules. They lack.. read more

Why do your children fight?

Posted on October 11th, 2017 · Posted in Anger, Parenting

Why do your children fight? The short answer is, the same reason you do! They fight because they do not have what they want. As adults, we think we have moved beyond childish selfishness, so we have developed “mature” reasons for the arguments that we have. However, if you strip away the adult “sophistication” of our arguments, you will find that you are not much different from your children who squabble over a favorite toy. We believe the lie that if we are hurt a robust defense is justified. Getting.. read more

Tedd Tripp on the importance of Formative Instruction

Posted on September 23rd, 2017 · Posted in Parenting

I asked Tedd Tripp what he means by formative instruction and why it is important for parents. Tedd believes that children are impacted by everything you do as a parent. Every moment is a teachable moment. The question, then, must be what is it that you, as a parent, are teaching? Your responses to the daily events of life are formative for your children. God designed us to learn by example (Philippians 4:9), and your children learn by your example. Your goal, of course, is to have the examples that.. read more

“‘I wanted my kids to know me”

Posted on September 20th, 2017 · Posted in Communication, Parenting

Steve Jobs revolutionized the way our culture communicates. Steve Jobs was a legend. However, there was one area Jobs recognized where he was lacking. He was a private man, even from his own children. “I wanted my kids to know me,” Jobs was quoted as saying by Pulitzer Prize nominee Walter Isaacson, when he asked the Apple co-founder why he authorized a tell-all biography after living a private, almost ascetic life. “I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did,”.. read more

Pushing or Leading?

Posted on August 18th, 2017 · Posted in Communication, Parenting

Do your children feel led or pushed? Are you as a parent dominated by love or frustration? The two questions are tightly connected. Leading is born out of love and pushing is born out of frustration.  As parents we may tell our children that we demand obedience and speak sharply because we love them and only want the best for them. Most likely our children are not buying this explanation.  It feels to them as if they are being manipulated into doing what mom and dad want. But God has.. read more

More than words

Posted on August 16th, 2017 · Posted in Communication, Parenting

Solomon makes an important observation about your facial expressions. Yes, words matter. They must be used with skill and grace. But you have other significant ways that you communicate with your children. One of them is by your countenance. Positively or negatively, the look on your face makes a difference. Proverbs 16:15 describes it this way: In the light of a king’s face there is life,
 and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain. In countries ruled by kings, a king’s smile was a big deal… read more

The disconnect between school and the gospel

Posted on August 14th, 2017 · Posted in Communication, Parenting, Wisdom

The gospel is about grace. School is about performance. The gospel is about receiving compassion. School is about earning grades. The gospel is about resting in the power of Christ in failure. School is about trying to avoid the shame of failure. The gospel is about acceptance in Christ regardless of performance. School is about gaining acceptance because of performance. Skilled and loving teachers and parents will work hard to bridge the gap illustrated by these comparisons. However, it is important to grasp that no matter how sincere one’s efforts.. read more

Thoughts on starting school

Posted on August 4th, 2017 · Posted in Criticism_, Parenting, Wisdom

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. How well children perform cannot be the basis of your acceptance. This is a particular challenge for parents and children as the school year begins. School is about performance.  Report cards and grades are the measure of success. There are tests to be taken and teams to tryout for. But evaluating performance is not the measure of a child’s worth. No.. read more

Life is about relationships

Posted on August 1st, 2017 · Posted in Culture, Parenting, Sanctification, Shaping Influences

The most important part of our lives are our relationships. Relationships, whether good or poor, live on in the landscape of our minds. God made humans for relationships; they shape our perception of who we are and provide us with our sense of self-worth and purpose. Relationships are most fulfilling when they are rooted in the trinitarian God who is the source and model for all good relationships. God’s ultimate expression of relationship to people was to send his son, Jesus Christ, to show you and me what makes relationships.. read more

Is it stupid to be pure? part 2

Posted on July 21st, 2017 · Posted in Apologetics, Authority, Communication, Parenting, Teenagers

Did I keep my heart pure for nothing? Or asked another way, if I do stay pure, where is the fun in that? These questions 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. Let me explain. Following God by living a life of purity is a path that marks teenagers as social misfits in our culture. As a parent, you have to get this! Psalm.. read more

Is it stupid to be pure? part one

Posted on July 19th, 2017 · Posted in Parenting, Teenagers

Is it stupid to be pure? People have been asking this question for thousands of years. The pursuit of purity appears to be out of touch with a life of enjoyment. Purity means dull, boring and unexciting, at least that is what modern culture teaches. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a commercial shouting out the value of being pure and decent? A song writer felt this tension 3,000 years ago. In frustration he complained that fat cats got whatever they wanted. God and biblical morality were mocked.. read more

Three truths about discipline

Posted on July 15th, 2017 · Posted in Discipline, Parenting

  There are three important considerations regarding biblical discipline. First, 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, the fruit of discipline is not always seen immediately. This is where faith comes into play. Assurance comes from things that are not seen.. read more

Note to a young girl

Posted on July 8th, 2017 · Posted in Parenting, Wisdom

This note is from an unpublished collection of notes written to a daughter of a close family friend. She is like many young children. She struggles with fears, with the sad things in life, with being afraid when she goes to sleep at night. As I wrote this one, I thought it might be helpful to some of you as well. This is note 28 of 30. Hi sweetheart, One thing we have talked about in these notes is that being sad and being afraid are part of life. So,.. read more

Mercy or commendation

Posted on July 5th, 2017 · Posted in Authority, Discipline, Parenting

We humans tend to be quick with our reactions. If we approve of something we are quick to say so. If we don’t – well, we find ways to make that obvious as well. There are exceptions of course, but usually approval or disapproval is immediately apparent. Sadly, we may think that God also is quick to show approval and disapproval. But such thoughts will lead you to misunderstand the character of God and how he responds to your sins and the sins of others. Psalm 103 has some helpful.. read more

Worry, anxiety, obedience and your children

Posted on June 27th, 2017 · Posted in Bible, Discipline, Parenting

Obedience to God is something that is meant to bring comfort and peace to life. The Holy Spirit illuminates his word so that obedience can be the ultimate stress reliever. Jesus urges you to know the relief and refreshment from taking his yoke upon you instead of trying to figure out life for yourself. John says the commands of God are not burdensome. I can hear someone thinking or saying, “Time out! These are not exactly my first thoughts about obedience. What are you talking about?” Well, such an objection.. read more

I want it! The gateway to abuse

Posted on June 24th, 2017 · Posted in Communication, Parenting, Ruling Desires

The demand for instant gratification is destructive. This pattern, if not stopped, will result in a life dominated by the desire for immediate gratification. Immediate gratification is the gateway to a life of destructive, abusive relationships, pornography, substance abuse, abusive behavior. If you hear your child frequently complain or grumble,  you are hearing a child who is becoming a slave to his own desires. Sin feeds on the desire for immediate happiness. That is why a child can go from seeming bliss to outrage in an eye blink. One moment.. read more

When Father’s Day hurts

Posted on June 17th, 2017 · Posted in Parenting

Father’s Day is a pleasant day for me and my brothers. We recall the good example of our dad, his unselfish commitment to us. It is a kind remembrance. But, I also know not everyone has such comforting and grateful memories. For many, this yearly remembrance is a difficult, sad and even bitter time. Fathers don’t always live out their God-given mission of care and protection. Instead of memories of joy, emptiness and discouragement dominate. Thoughts drift towards what could have been, what should have been. Father’s Day becomes a.. read more

Dads, what are you giving for Father’s Day?

Posted on June 16th, 2017 · Posted in Parenting

This is a serious question: fathers what are you giving to your family for Father’s Day? I know, you are thinking I have this backwards. Father’s Day is supposed to be about fathers being appreciated. And that is good. But it doesn’t mean that we get to take a break from being faithful to God and loving to our families. So, this is a good time to reflect on what you can give. Here are some ideas: Pleasant words: Pleasant words encourage and strengthen. Proverbs 16:2—24 Gentleness: A gentle spirt.. read more