Parenting

611 posts

Patient Love 

Patience is often referred to as something that can be lost – as in “you are really causing me to lose my patience.” But how would it sound if you were to say “you are really causing me to lose my love for you?” Those words would be devastating to hear.  You see, love is intimately defined as patient by the Holy Spirit. So if love is patient, then “losing” patience can be equated to losing love. In other words, it is impossible to truly love without being patient. Said this way the idea of losing patience is not a pretty one.  A working definition of patience is living in the expectation of God’s care. This means living each day […]

Baby Pictures

Pictures of infants and toddlers are adorable. These pictures appear to represent everything good about life: joy, beauty, innocence, vulnerability, potential. They fill us with hope that this sweet, precious child will somehow not be scarred by the hard things in life. Yet, there is danger in these photos. These captivating images can blind us to the hidden reality of the natural darkness of the heart. The deceptive innocence of the pictures is one reason we are stunned by that first lie, that first blatant act of ugly selfishness. Where did that come from? The temptation is to say who did this to my baby?!? To be sure, outside influences are significant. But there is another, more significant source of […]

A Prayer for Exhausted Parents

Parenting is exhausting. When the day is done, 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 exhaustion reaches its peak. Well-meaning advice and stress-reducing plans offer little consolation. Even Bible verses may seem disconnected from the pressures of getting ready for tomorrow. Perhaps the most discouraging realization is knowing that in the morning you will wake up as wiped out as you are now. Isaiah 55:8 reminds us that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and that his ways are not our ways. Weariness tends to overtake us when we see life’s responsibilities and burdens in isolation from […]

When Children are the Center

It sounds appealing and even noble to center life around your children. However, this thinking will only bring heartbreak instead of blessing. Only God can be the center of your life. Your children, or anyone else, cannot bear that weight! If your hopes and dreams are bound to your children, you will become disappointed, perhaps even bitter. If you expect your children to provide the comfort and support that can only come from God, you will be deeply hurt. You will set yourself up to be disappointed and crushed when your family fails you. No child, no spouse, no other person, can provide comfort that can only be found in God. God will have no other gods before him. Your […]

Don’t Let Truth Slip Away

It was time for Israel to grow up!  For forty years Israel had known God’s special protection very much like what you provide for your children before they leave home. Manna was provided for them every day. The lived under the safety of the giant cloud that provided shade during the day and light at night. Their clothing and sandals did not wear out. Once the people crossed the Jordan River things would be different.  The Israelites had experienced the direct hand of God in their lives in ways that would never be repeated. Their children would only know about these things if their parents taught them. Here is what the Holy Spirit directed Moses to tell his people as […]

Idol Children

We live in the age of the Child. Children are accommodated. They are the center of family life. They are the focus of the educational process. Instead of training children to worship God in all of life, our modern world idolizes them. Education thus becomes a means to serve children rather than to teach them to sacrificially live their lives for God. So parents live for their children instead of God. Children then follow their parent’s example and also live for themselves. When this happens, nothing good is accomplished. Marriages are weakened because of this wrong-headed focus. Children can never meet the expectations of parents who worship them. Divorce and child abuse increase. In the end, all that is left […]

Instruction for the Heart

Biblical instruction is designed to impact the lives of your grandchildren. It is not about changing behavior for the moment.  It is about heart change. Proverbs 6:22 defines the goal of biblical parental instruction. It is to change the hearts of your children. Look carefully at these words: 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 mirrors Moses’ command 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!  This is what will make the difference for generations yet […]

Self-Protection: A Destructive Response

When someone is unkind or attacks you, especially someone close to you, your first response is likely self-protection. If it is, things will go from bad to worse. The best way to protect yourself make sure you are honoring God with your response. For example, your 14-year-old says: “All you care about is your stupid rules! You care about your rules more than you do about me! Thanks a lot for not caring.” You feel hurt, disrespected and defensive. Your child is unable to appreciate the good you are trying to do. The defensive, natural response is to tell your teenager how wrong she is and telling her that her disrespect is the problem. Your teenager responds by thinking you […]

Instruction: Blessing or Curse?

Most memories of being corrected don’t evoke happy or pleasant thoughts. Often correction means stern or harsh warnings, even when given with the best of intentions. However, in the Proverbs instruction is to be received as precious jewelry, something to be worn with honor. How does this disconnect happen? Why is something that is intended for good and blessing become the equivalent of a curse? Proverbs 16:20-24 provides a guide for how to make instruction valuable. Solomon stresses the obvious, but neglected value of instruction. Those who pay attention to instruction do well. Understanding is like a fountain of freshwater to those who are thirsty. Instruction flows from wise lips and is to be desired. This description of loving understanding […]

Marriage and School

Summer is practically over. It is time for school. There are multiple lists to check: clothing, textbooks, supplies, transportation, after-school activities and more. You know the drill.  However, there is one important matter that you don’t want to overlook – your marriage. The challenges of school can be a challenge to your marriage. Time, relationships, and communication are consumed by the demands of school.  The relationship between mom and dad can easily shift into one where scheduling and time pressure become the main focus. In this climate relational energy is quickly depleted. Is your marriage ready for school? Don’t be afraid to ask this question.  Fathers should take the leadership role here. Mothers, though, should not hold back from encouraging this […]