Parenting

577 posts

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 […]

Gratitude or Impurity

Gratitude or impurity—you can have one but not both! The language of the heart and mouth is an indication of the direction of the heart. People whose speech is dominated by a thankful spirit are often people who are grateful for the mercy extended to them by God. However, impure, profane speech reflects just the opposite of gratitude. This kind of talk frequently indicates an angry heart and movement towards the impure and profane. For example, the Ephesians had woven impure speech into the life of the church to the point where Paul addressed this issue specifically. Ephesians 5:4 describes the importance of gratitude: But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any […]

Pleasant Words, Healing Words

There is a prescription available that will improve the physical and spiritual health of your family.  This prescription is what the Proverbs call “pleasant words” or “gracious speech.” The Holy Spirit says this kind of talk will bring spiritual and physical health to your family. Failure to use this medicine as directed may result in frustrated parents, children who resist instruction, drained emotions, as well as the physical and spiritual exhaustion for the entire family. Yes, pleasant words are that important! However, there is a heavy cost for this prescription. Parents have to relinquish their pride and embrace the path of humility. God’s remedy to heal the evil that plagues your children is not anger, intimidation, control, or force of […]

Parenting Is About Faith

Biblical parenting is an exercise in faith. This fact makes biblical parenting different from every other parenting methodology. A journey of faith cannot always be accurately measured by visible markers. Other forms of parenting are measured by evaluating immediate responses—if the behavior doesn’t change quickly, then something must be wrong. Thankfully, God calls us to trust him in faith. In biblical parenting, the primary objective is not to simply change behavior but to bring about a change in heart that leads to repentance, which leads to faith in Christ. This, of course, will result in a change in behavior. But behavioral change cannot be the primary goal. Parental instruction focuses on the commands of God, not with the behavior of […]

Shepherding a Child's Heart

What the Incarnation Teaches About Parenting

The incarnation is a good model for interaction with your children. God could have remained off in heaven. He could have spoken through cloud and thunder like He did in Exodus 19. But what does God do in the incarnation? He comes to dwell with us. He takes on human flesh like your flesh. He takes on a fully human psychology like yours. He accepts the limitations of being a man on earth; he can only be in one place at a time. He experiences all the things we experience. He is tired and hungry at Jacob’s well in John 4. He weeps at Lazarus’ tomb. Hebrews 2 says he suffered when he was tempted. Jesus can look at the […]

A Different World Ahead

Change is coming for your children. They will live in a different world than the one that greeted you when you left home. It is a world that views social media as a moral compass. Constantly changing public opinion pools drive online and cable news. Personal fulfillment has become life’s most important focus. Morality is measured by individual desires and lusts. This is the climate that shapes the culture you children will inhabit. It is true that these themes have been emerging for the last couple of decades. However, what will strongly impact your children is that now there is no biblical, social counter-balance to this trend. Biblical Christianity is equated with hatred in this emergent world. Christianity has become […]