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So far Chap Bettis has created 488 blog entries.

John Piper on Questions to Ask When Preparing for Marriage

John Piper has an excellent (and exhaustive!) list of questions that couples can ask each other before they are married. ¬†Whether or not our children can handle his list, it raises the question for the parents, “How will I equip my child to prepare for marriage? How will I equip my child to begin the process?”

I have learned from church conflict situations that the time to stress the value of church unity is when there is peace in the congregation. If I stress unity in the midst of a disagreement, it will seem I am telling people they must agree with me.

Similarly, the best time to prepare our children for what questions to ask in a relationship is before there is a relationship. If we […]


The Emotional Christian: Thoughts on Perfect, Disordered, and Redeemed Emotions

Your understanding of emotions will affect your life.
Your understanding of emotions will affect your family.
Your understanding of emotions will affect your parenting.

As a parent, you have a theology of emotions. Is it in line with the Bible? Dr. David Murray has written several books for Christians. Christians Get Depressed Too and The Happy Christian help us think biblically about this vital part of our lives.

Invest a few minutes to listen to Dr. David Murray as he speaks on emotion. And as an extra bonus, you will love his Scottish brogue.


Speaking with Verbal Authority

Verbal authority. Some people have it. Some people need to develop it.

My mother, at 5’7″ and slight of build, taught high school English. She was a tough and effective teacher. Over the years she has had many students tell her she was their favorite high school teacher.

But don’t doubt that she was in control of her classroom. She had football players weighing twice as much as her completely under her control. Her greatest challenge? One year she had an afternoon class of thirty, comprised of hormonal football players and flirty cheerleaders.

She exerted her authority … and they learned English.

Her example inspired me when I taught high school for a few years. And it should inspire you. A teacher, a pastor, and yes a parent needs […]


Handling Worry and Fear: A Skill for Every Parent

Is worrying synonymous with being a parent? After all there are so many dangers in the world.

Should we say, “A good parent will worry?” After all what’s wrong with worrying?

We might say nothing except that Jesus tell us not to worry. Worry and fear drive many conflicts at home and in the church. And these sins destroy the peace of many.

We must start thinking clearly about this subject!

In this episode we will listen in on an introductory counseling equipping module from the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors on this subject. The lecturer also applies these principles to his own life as a parent of a prodigal.

This lecture is used with the kind permission of ACBC. You can find more of their resources here.


If you […]


The Character Chart: A Foundational Parenting Tool

Parenting little (and big) children can feel like paddling down the rapids of a river in a raft. And then the raft turns over and the family is being swept along by the current of activities chosen or imposed.

In a previous post, The Power of the Coffee Date, I have argued that a regular time away allows the shepherds of the family to think about the issues they are facing and come up with plans to address those. In this post, I want to add another piece that helped us as a family – The Character Chart. I highlight it my conference (and coming soon video parenting course) – Parenting with Confidence.

Just this week I received this testimonial:
I found the character chart in one of […]


Mom Question: Are We More Needy Than Previous Generations?

I was recently having dinner with five couples after a speaking engagement. One earnest mom who had become a Christian around the age of seventeen asked me, “Are we as moms more needy than previous generations? After all, my mother never read a parenting book.”

She was so sweet and sincere that I knew it was not a trap even though as a man I felt it was a sensitive subject to address. Here was the essence of my answer to her:

No, You Are Not
Intentional parents have always realized they were embarking on a new journey with limited information. Wise parents always asked others for help. My own mother has told me about how she was desperate for help in the 1970s and found help from […]


Oobleck and The Qualities of a Good Leader

There is a unique quality of substances that can be liquid and solid. Normal substances change from liquid to solid based on the temperature. These substances change based on the pressure. Scientists tell us it is a nonNewtonian fluid.

You can make oobleck, which gets its name from Dr. Seuss, by simply mixing cornstarch and water. With the right mix, you have a substance that you can dip your hand into and the fluild will move away. But if you hit it, the fluid solidifies for a moment. It feels like you are not hitting jello but a brick wall. (For a fun link click here. For demo videos simple search Youtube.)

Oobleck and Leadership
In walking through the qualities God looks for in an elder, we eventually […]

Parenting First-Aid: An Interview with Marty Machowski

Parenting is hard work. Often we can get banged up as we walk through some of the difficulties of life. Marty Machowski, author of Long Story Short, Old Story New, and numerous other books, sat down and talked with me about his new book – Parenting First-Aid.

In this interview, you will hear why he wrote the book, what God has taught him over the years, and two incredibly encouraging stories.

You can order the book here.

You can also find The Disciple-Making Parent podcast on itunes here.


The Power of the Coffee Date

What if I told you of one simple activity that could decrease conflict and increase unity in your home? In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to say that this habit has been a huge blessing to our relationship.

When Sharon and I were starting out, we wanted to be intentional about our parenting. Thanks to some good teaching we had a great start. But the Lord graciously added more children to our family every two years. With our children 6, 4, 2, and newborn we were starting to disagree more and more.

Why the Problems?
As we stepped back and analyzed it, we realized that while the issues were becoming more complex our time and energy to discuss them was decreasing. Earlier we used to discuss certain issues […]


Seven Discipleship Objectives for Raising Sexually Healthy Children

If we watch Jesus disciple his followers we see times of formal teaching and informal teaching. There are times when he proactively taught and other times where he taught in reaction to something that had come up.

This grid helps me as I seek to disciple my own children. There are things that I hope they will know when they leave home. Some of those things will be taught formally, some informally. Some will be presented proactively and some reactively. There is a readiness that comes in discipleship. We want to transfer information and conviction to our children.

Biblical and Healthy Sexuality
Nowhere is this more true than the need to communicate biblical truth about biblical and God-honoring sexuality. The entertainment industry, news media and educational leaders are […]