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Archive for the 'Parenting' Category

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

Don’t be a Disengaged Dad

Posted on June 15th, 2017 · Posted in Communication, Parenting

Dads, God calls you to be active and not reactive in raising your kids. Ephesians 6:4 is a familiar verse, maybe almost too familiar. Here is what Paul says: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” The phrase “bring them up” is not just a throw-away term. It is actually the same wording used earlier when Paul says husbands should “nourish and cherish” their wives just as they do for themselves. This meaning puts an active focus.. read more

Repost: The Mercy of Biblical Discipline

Posted on June 13th, 2017 · Posted in Discipline, Parenting

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.. read more

Repost: The Manipulation Game

Posted on June 9th, 2017 · Posted in Gospel, Parenting

Jesus delivers a subtle warning in the Sermon on the Mount about the danger of manipulation. Look at Luke 6:32-33: “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that…” If you do good to get something good you are involved in manipulation. So, if your parental discipline is primarily designed to make things at home go more.. read more

Repost: Flee and Pursue

Posted on June 7th, 2017 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Parenting, Sanctification, Shaping Influences, Teenagers

Indulging sensual desires has become an entitlement for young people.  The message is loud and persistent: You can have it. You can have it now. You deserve it. Advertising that targets our nation’s youth is built on these three components of youthful desires or lusts. A cultural shift has occurred. It is one that is based on gratifying youthful desire. Having sex outside of marriage is the new social normal. Virginity is an indication of a dysfunctional personality.  The notion of drinking responsibly doesn’t mean restraint, it means finding a.. read more

Repost: A Daily Prayer for Troubled Times

Posted on June 5th, 2017 · Posted in Parenting, Prayer

Here is a prayer to pray with your family as you begin the day. It is modeled on the prayer Jesus taught to his disciples. Dear Father, we need your help this day. Our world is a mess. But you are holy and worthy of our praise.  We ask that your kingdom will come with power to our family, our lives, our country and our world.  There are many things that trouble us. There are threats of war, disease, terrorism and unrest. We pray that your will be in charge.. read more

New Interview with Jay Younts

Posted on May 31st, 2017 · Posted in Parenting, Teenagers

Yesterday, Jay Younts was interviewed about his recent book, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, on the Knowing the Truth radio program with Pastor Kevin Boling. You can listen to the interview either at Sermon Audio, or by using the player below. Learn more & purchase here