Parenting

577 posts

From the Archive: Who Loved First?

Two children plus one toy equals trouble.  No, this is not the beginning of a new math word problem. But it is a scenario that leads to disruptions in families every day. In this case, both children each want the special toy that came from Grandma. What is the typical question, the fair question to ask? Who had it first? Or, who had the toy most yesterday? You see, the problem is not fairness, but the selfishness of little hearts. “Who had it first?” This type of question is based upon the assumption that being fair is the underlying principle for settling disputes.  However, suppose you were to ask God to treat you fairly, based upon your actions and thoughts. […]

The Atonement: God’s Gift to Imperfect Parents 

All parents share at least one thing in common: each one of us fails on a regular basis. It’s not pretty but it is true. Parents are imperfect! Parental authority is not based upon human worth but on God’s choice. Parental authority is derived not earned. This means you cannot earn your children’s obedience. This truth is important for them and for you.  For children, this means that parental perfection is not a requirement for obedience. Because parents are humans, they will not do parenting perfectly or even close to perfect. Children obey imperfect parents because this is part of God’s plan to help them look to God as the only authority that can be absolutely trusted. In Ephesians 6 […]

Are You a Hypocrite?

Hypocrisy is something you cannot avoid. You tell your children not to fight and then you argue with your spouse. You tell your children God is in control and then you become angry or despondent with the circumstances of life. You tell your children to put God first, and then you realize you told them that for selfish reasons.   Your children are intimately aware of your hypocritical tendencies. It is as if a child is born with a fully-functioning, super-sensitive hypocrisy checker built in. Hypocrisy: something you and I cannot avoid! What can you do? You begin by telling your children is the natural state of all humans. That means that you, just like your children, will at times […]

From the Archive: Helping a Grumpy Eight-Year-Old

Eight-year-old Ryan is having a hard day. Several things he has wanted to do haven’t happened. Now a thunderstorm has wiped out playing with his friends outside. He feels he has every justification to be grumpy. Then Mom says this: “Ryan, I need your help right now in getting ready for company tonight. Would you watch your sisters for me?” “Mom! This isn’t fair. All day things have not been fair. And now you want me to watch Sarah and Michelle?  Can’t I have a break?” Mom realizes Ryan is struggling. So, instead of forcing the issue in a way that would certainly lead to discipline, she takes a minute and calls Ryan over to the couch to sit with […]

Heart Attitudes and Prayer

Parents, if your desire is to see your children’s hearts become responsive to the gospel, the place to start is with your own heart. Here are 3 core heart-attitudes to cultivate that will help mold your heart to be God’s instrument for presenting Christ to your children.  The first attitude is humility:   Humility is the source of the power that you need to represent Christ well to your children.  Humility means that you trust God and follow him. Pride means that you trust yourself and fail to consistently rely on God’s truth. When you don’t rely on God’s direction for parenting you become from friends with the world. In Chapter 4, James warns that this friendship makes you an […]

Your Middle Schooler Lied

Jesus died for you. He was resurrected for you. He gave you life. He gave you the opportunity to tell your kids how special he is to you. Jesus made a commitment to you. It’s personal! Do your kids know how special he is to you? Here is a way to let them know. You have caught your middle school child in a lie. You have confronted him with his lie and he has admitted it. Then you tell your child something like this: “Justin, I know what it is like to lie. When mommy was a little girl, I used to lie when I didn’t want to get in trouble. As a matter of fact, I lied all the […]

Parent, You Can Control Your Anger

You are angry! Your son just had a minor accident with the car, your golf game for tomorrow got canceled, your neighbor called to remind you your grass is too high and you can’t stop thinking that your boss is giving you too much work and not enough appreciation. You are raising your voice, your face is flushed. If one more crazy thing happens, you will explode! The kids are bracing for the next outburst. Then you feel the buzz from your phone. You look and see it’s your boss, the one who doesn’t appreciate you. You answer the phone in a calm, relaxed voice and tell your boss you were just thinking about him and how can you help. […]

Discipline: Investing in Your Children’s Future

The full value of your instruction to your children will not be seen immediately. If you invest in changing your children’s behavior your investment is only for the moment. Results will often be quick and impressive, but they will also be temporary. When behavior is the goal, how well your children perform is the main indicator of success. Investing in behavior brings immediate dividends such as anger, frustration, and manipulation. In contrast, investing in heart change is investing in your children’s future. Heart change is for life. Pleasant words, consistent loving discipline, taking the time necessary to really know your children, loving God’s word for yourself, humility—these are indications of investment in heart change. Investing in heart change may not […]

Satisfied

One of life’s hardest lessons is to realize that true satisfaction is found only in God. There are many pretenders but only God is sufficient to give meaning and purpose to your life. Apart from God every single relationship and endeavor you pursue carries the reality of disappointment. One of the cruelest things you can to do is to expect others to provide for you what can only be found in God. No human can bear the weight of being God for you. Practically, what does this mean? Children cannot bear the weight of being your satisfaction in life. This will cause you to either ask too much from them or to ignore their weaknesses. In either case, you will […]

The Heart: Impossible to Control

It may be possible to control behavior.  However, control of the heart is another matter.  As Tedd Tripp teaches, you can shepherd your child’s heart. But you cannot control his heart. So the purpose of your authority as a parent is to shepherd your children, to build them up, to strengthen them.  But attempts as controlling children without shepherding them will lead to frustration. Over time attempts at control through rules will lead your children away from Christ (Colossians 2:23).  Controlling your children in this way will weaken them and tear them down. Paul in 2 Corinthians 13:10 says that God gave him authority for building up and not for tearing down. This is important. As a parent, you want […]