Power of Example


How Jack Harbaugh Discipled His Two Super Bowl Sons

Very interesting article for anyone who wants to disciple their children to pursue football Jesus. The writer, who I think is a Christian, makes these observations.

What I came looking for was a how-to and what I left with was the feeling that we have overcomplicated things in our pursuit of perfect parenting. How two brothers end up coaching each other in the pinnacle of their profession is actually quite simple. Jack did something that he loved passionately, and he included his children daily in pursuit of that passion.

“I’d like to say that I think that they took from Jack by watching how he conducted himself, they learned to be who they are in coaching.” …

It is not their dream. What Jack knew for sure, after […]

Power of Example|

My Family, My Growth: Five Characteristics of Godly Repentance


Children are God-given sanctification tools in our lives.

God gives us little children that we might nurture, train, and instruct them (Ephesians 6:4). But in that process of shepherding their souls, God also intends that we should grow. In fact, our children are one of God’s primary sanctification tools in our lives.

They will stress us and demand upon us beyond what we think we can handle. They will shine a floodlight on idols of our heart. But the reason God shines that floodlight is not to condemn us but so that we might mature and grow.

The first step in that spiritual growth involves repentance. Five hundred years ago, when Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door at Wittenberg, he began with this, “When our […]

Two Tips for Connecting Your Children with Spiritual Mentors


Connecting Our Children to Spiritual Mentors

I was recently interviewed and asked how parents can connect their children with other mentors in the church. In The Disciple-Making Parent I quote Kara Powell who suggests trying to connect our children with a least five adults in an informal way.

But how can this happen? The church can certainly help but what can we do as parents?

I have written extensively on this in Chapter 6 of The Disciple-Making Parent. But in addition to that material I ended up adding several other things in this interview.

1. Teach your children to greet other adults.
Children can and should greet adults. Did you know that “Greet one another” is a NT command that is repeated four times?

Yet many parents never encourage their children […]

Power of Example|

Using an Anger Journal to Grow in Godliness

One reason that young people give for walking away from their faith is hypocrisy in the home. What they mean is not that we sin. We all sin including them. What they mean is that we sin and we don’t seem to do anything about it.

One particular prevalent parenting sin is anger. Anger in the home often continues because we feel it is justified in the moment. In addition, only our family sees us get upset. It is a secret sin.

But in our hearts we know this is not the way Jesus would have us act.

I should know. This is a sin I struggle with.

An Anger Journal
I am in the middle of developing a video teaching tentatively entitled Patient Parenting: Overcoming […]

Power of Example|

An Exemplary Father

Ortland honors his father and describes his example here.

Here is what I see:
1. He genuinely loved his son and was interested in what he was into.
2. He was not overbearing. He set his son free to pursue God’s calling on his life.
3. He loved the gospel and the Bible. He really prayed.
4. He believed great things for his son.
5. He loved his family even after hard days. He came home to serve not to be served.

Read the whole thing.

How The Gospel Should Change You in Marriage

Wow is this article on target!

In it, the author argues that marriage should change us:

1. From Selfishness to Service

2. From Laziness to Engagement

3. From Pride to Humility

Has marriage caused you to see your selfishness more and actively serve? Has the gospel caused you to move from laziness to engagement? As you see your sin, have you become more humble and seen your need of the gospel more? Marriage is intended to make us more like Jesus. But we have to see those trials as from him!

Read the short article here.

A Happy Parent Reflects the Trinitarian Delight

Great article about family happiness and smiling as reflecting Trinitarian joy. Joe Rigney encourages parents of young children (and I would add parents of teens also) to:

1) Be thrilled about what they are thrilled about. Join them in their joy, however simple and childlike.

2) Recognize that an atmosphere of joy and delight is the only environment in which discipline is safe and good.

3) Remember that the main way they experience joy is through laughter and play. Fun is joy in kid form.

4) Make the most of temporary separations and reunions. Communicate your pleasure in them as you leave and your excitement when you return. Leave with laughter and come home happy.

Good stuff for parents of young children! (And parents of teens as well!)

Are we creating […]

Proud vs Broken by Nancy Leigh Demoss

Tim Challies reminded me of a chart I had forgotten about. This little chartby Nancy Leigh Demoss so convicted me when I first came across it about 10 years ago that I made copies and distributed it to my church. It really is a foundational document to refer to time and time again.

It would be good to ask ourselves. “What do my children see in me?”  And,  “How am raising my children?”

Some of the convicting ones for me….

1. Do I focus on the failures of others?
2. Am I self-righteous, with a critical fault-finding spirit?
3. Do I look down on others?
4. Do I display a demanding spirit?

1. Am I overwhelmed with my own spiritual need?
2. Am I compassionate, and forgiving, looking for the best?
3. Do I esteem […]

For Thoughtful Wives by a Thoughtful Wife

Trillia Newbell hits at an area many pastors are afraid to touch, the self-righteous wife. If self-righteousness is a danger for everyone (and it is), then it certainly applies to the area of marriage.

Trillia observes:

After the honeymoon we returned to our home eager to start our new lives together as one. But soon the fairytale ended and real life began. It didn’t look quite like I had imagined. There were no glaring problems. No deep-rooted sin issues. Yet I was extremely aware of my husbands’ shortcomings, and I wasn’t holding back on sharing my thoughts.

I was quick to point out sin and eager to share “observations” about how he could change or grow as a leader, all under the pretense of being his helpmeet. I […]

God Fathers Us with Lavish Care

“God fathers us by being lavish, generous, even extravagant in His care, love, provision, and protection of His children. ‘He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?’ (Romans 8:32). Lavish, generous, extravagant care for His children– this also marks the true heart and action of God, our Father.

In light of this, every dad should ask himself, ‘Do my children know how much I love them? Do they sense deep in their souls, both from words I have spoken to them and also from the time and attention I give them, that I love them? Do they know that, along with my insistence on their respect and obedience, my heart […]

Power of Example|