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Archive for the 'Shaping Influences' Category

What to Talk About – part 1

Posted on January 26th, 2010 · Posted in Parenting, Shaping Influences

This post continues our series on talking to your children about marriage and sex. As we discussed in the previous post, specific topics that need to be addressed should be introduced incrementally. One way to begin this incremental process is to talk about modesty. Granted, each family will likely have its own particular view of what is modest, but all families interested in following biblical principles will be concerned about modesty. Modesty, like all other guidelines, must be rooted in biblical soil to effectively point your children to Christ. In.. read more

When to Talk about Sex & Marriage

Posted on January 21st, 2010 · Posted in Parenting, Proverbs, Shaping Influences

The theme of this series of posts is talking to your children about sex and marriage. As I indicated in the first post of this series, I deliberately keep sex and marriage linked because that is how the Bible presents them. Sex is not designed or intended for self-pleasure. Sex does bring pleasure, but engaging in sex for the primary purpose of fulfilling personal desires is the gateway to lust. As Ephesians 4:17-19 teaches, sensitivity to others (the biblical motivation for sex) is the opposite of sensuality (the self-serving pursuit.. read more

Talking with Your Children about Marriage & Sex

Posted on January 20th, 2010 · Posted in Parenting, Shaping Influences

One of the more dreaded of parental responsibilities is telling children about sex. This conversation is often so awkward that both parent and child wonder what good could come from it. Sometimes, there is no actual conversation. A parent might hand a book to his or her child and say, “Read this and let me know if you have any questions.” There is a degree of irony in this awkwardness. On the one hand, it is almost impossible to avoid being confronted with sex. Movies, billboards, commercials, songs, news reports,.. read more

Suffering – a part of life

Posted on January 16th, 2010 · Posted in Shaping Influences

This week’s Blog Special Suffering is part of this life. Some of the suffering we bring on ourselves. Some of it comes from the cursed world that we inhabit. And some comes from the ill will of other humans. As the theologians say, we do daily battle with the world, the flesh, and the devil. Frequently it is difficult, if not impossible, to down the cause of suffering. But there is one thing that Christians can know with confidence: whatever the circumstance we face, God has brought it about for.. read more

Free Indeed – Simply and Boldly Human

Posted on January 8th, 2010 · Posted in Shaping Influences

This week’s blog special! We hear a lot about freedom these days. But there is a difference between what the world means by freedom and what the Bibles teaches about freedom. Dr. Rich Ganz has written a timely and biblically insightful book on this subject. Shepherd Press is thankful to be able to offer you the book Free Indeed, a needed resource for God’s people. David Powlison, respected thinker and biblical counselor, says:

Are You Santa’s Helper?

Posted on December 12th, 2009 · Posted in Holidays, Parenting, Shaping Influences

Little children are dependent upon their parents for everything. This includes more than food, clothing and shelter. Children are dependent upon you, parent, for how they view the world around them. The way you live in front of them is the most powerful teaching tool that God gives you. This is teaching in the milieu. God designed families to demonstrate what it means to have a relationship with Him. If you love God, if you sincerely attempt to live your life by His Word, if you recognize that every moment.. read more

What’s Right with That?

Posted on July 16th, 2009 · Posted in Parenting, Shaping Influences

Parents are famous for telling their children what is wrong about a particular thing or activity. While it is certainly appropriate to warn about dangerous things, it is easy to be fixated on the negative. Inadvertently, this may lead to an inability to encourage positive goals. For example, Philippians 4:8-9 directs the thoughts of Christians towards those things and ideas that are excellent. Noble and praiseworthy thoughts are to dominate our minds. Yet often, when a particular course of action is considered or requested, it is the negative concerns that.. read more

What Is Important to Your Toddler

Posted on May 21st, 2009 · Posted in Shaping Influences, Toddlers

Toddlers are people. They make decisions about what they think they need. The Tripps’ observation that children interpret everything that happens to them provides powerful insight into the lives of toddlers. And it is their interpretation of their circumstances that determines how they respond to events. If a toddler suddenly perceives that a sibling has his favorite toy, his immediate interpretation might be that something is very wrong in his world. With that interpretation, the toddler may burst out crying or he may decide to retrieve his toy even if.. read more

Incident-to-Incident Parenting

Posted on March 27th, 2009 · Posted in Shaping Influences

In the last post in this series, Joshua’s mom responded to his complaining attitude with a careful, thoughtful response that seems almost unrealistic. How could a mother respond this carefully in the middle of a busy afternoon? Obviously, this was a response that she had planned for. The communication between Mom and Dad was good. He was the one who remembered how hard it had been for him when one of his good friends moved away, when he was about the same age as Joshua. They had both noticed Joshua.. read more

Gaming & Chasing Fantasies

Posted on January 29th, 2009 · Posted in Culture, Gaming, Shaping Influences, Teenagers

He who works his land will have abundant food,   but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment. Proverbs 12:11 Let's look first at how gaming can detract from a productive life. As we do, consider this:  to the extent that gaming detracts from or lessens being productive, to that extent it must be avoided. Tremper Longman’s commentary on this Proverb captures the essence of the problem. Longman translates the phrase "…he who chases fantasies lacks judgment." with the phrase "…he who pursues emptiness lacks heart."   …The emphasis here is.. read more

To Say the Right Thing

Posted on January 28th, 2009 · Posted in Parenting, Shaping Influences, Worldview

For you created my inmost being;     you knit me together in my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;     your works are wonderful,     I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you     when I was made in the secret place.     When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,  your eyes saw my unformed body.     All the days ordained for me     were written in your book     before one of them came to.. read more

Electronic Gaming

Posted on January 27th, 2009 · Posted in Culture, Entertainment, Gaming, Shaping Influences, Television

He who works his land will have abundant food,     but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment. Proverbs 12:11 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. Romans 14:23 Electronic gaming is another one of those activities that is not mentioned by name in the Bible. Such  activities often cause problems for parents and children. We tend to want to find a verse somewhere that gives a thumbs up or down to our.. read more

Gifts and Escapism – Tis the Season 6

Posted on November 21st, 2008 · Posted in Culture, Holidays, Shaping Influences

Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. James 1:16-18 Here is the last installment of the series about preparing for the holiday season. Let's focus now on the attitude of the recipients of gifts. Christmas has become a season all about children. Culturally, Christmas.. read more

Tis the Season 2

Posted on November 13th, 2008 · Posted in Shaping Influences

He who answers before listening—        that is his folly and his shame. Proverbs 18:13 This current series of posts is about getting ready for the holidays. The holiday season presents a challenge for parents. For the next few weeks the world will talk about Christ’s advent, but it will be in code. You may have already noticed that code in the first sentence of this post. That’s right, translate holiday to mean the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The problem is that no one wants to offend.. read more

Monologues and Teenagers

Posted on September 11th, 2008 · Posted in Shaping Influences, Teenagers

The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge;      the ears of the wise seek it out. Proverbs 18:15 One of our readers left the following as part of a comment to the post, How Sin Works – Application to Teenagers:“It is hard to dialogue and not monologue with a 13 year old who doesn’t respond. Any suggestion?” This mom is not alone. Parents are frustrated by contrasts. Contrasts, such as when you observe your teenager talking a mile-a-minute with friends and yet, when you talk with him, his exuberance collapses.. read more

Parents and Life

Posted on July 21st, 2008 · Posted in Parenting, Shaping Influences

He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. Deuteronomy 8:3 All of us can agree that the challenges of biblical parenting can at times appear overwhelming. Sometimes the responsibilities of parenting can loom so large as to distract us from the promises of God to care for us and the promise that the Scripture.. read more

Perspective – Talking to Your Children about the Midwest Floods

Posted on June 18th, 2008 · Posted in Current Events, Shaping Influences, Worldview

Your path led through the sea,   your way through the mighty waters,   though your footprints were not seen. Psalm 77:19 Last month I did a series of posts about the Asian floods and earthquakes and how the news media reported these events. Because these events happened on the other side of the world, they may not have seemed to be of immediate concern. It’s too bad, but life goes on. But now floods have come to the Midwest, the heartland of America. Many readers of this blog live.. read more

He has been good

Posted on June 12th, 2008 · Posted in Shaping Influences

I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.  —Psalm 13:6 Summer officially arrives 10 days from now. As the sun begins its six-month march southward amid days that relentlessly shorten, it seems that summer will be almost over before it even began. My wife and I used to look forward to summer as a time to get things done. We would plan ambitious projects for ourselves and our 5 children. Then, before we knew it, the leaves began to turn, signaling the approach of fall… read more

God, Cyclones, Earthquakes and the News

Posted on May 15th, 2008 · Posted in Current Events, Parenting, Shaping Influences, Worldview

For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17 In the latest mini-post I referenced the death and destruction that have occurred in Burma and China in the last few days. As of this date the AP reports that in Myanmar as many as 128,000 have died and over 2 ½.. read more

The Day After

Posted on May 12th, 2008 · Posted in Culture, Shaping Influences

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 Modern culture has developed a curious practice for giving appreciation to others. It is a mixture of style and substance, with the emphasis.. read more