Parenting

/Parenting
­

What Narrative Are We Telling Our Children?

I had a great time learning from Ed Shaw and Sam Allberry at the Living Out Local Course. This ministry is run by and aimed at Christian men and women who experience same-sex attraction. I believe these men and women are living heroes of the faith.

Several things bear repeating for a disciple-making parent.

Shaw and Allberry asked this question. “What narrative are we telling our young children? Many Christians will marry when they are adults. But not all. Some are eunuchs or make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom (Matt 19).”

The Narrative
As parents, if we idolize marriage then our narrative may go something like this to our children. “Someday God will bring the right person along for you. Keep yourself pure and the Lord […]

Parenting, Sexuality|

Overthinking or Underthinking Parenting?

I am staring at an article in a denominational newspaper written by a young pastor with doctorate degree from a leading seminary. In that article he makes a statement I have heard before. “Many young Christian parents are overthinking the parenting thing. Interestingly, the Bible has very little to say about specific techniques other than, ‘Feed em, love ‘em, don’t drive em crazy, and point em to Jesus.’”

As a pastor and an author of a book on parenting, I think this statement is glib and dangerous. I agree with some of his concerns. Unfortunately, his play for a laugh is harmful and takes a flat view of the Bible. Would he also say that the Bible’s view of salvation is “Jesus loves me this I […]

Parenting|

The Power of a Joyful Parent

Parenting is tough work. Whether toddlers or teens, there are challenges at every stage. For conscientious parents, seeking to raise their children to obey, love and follow the Lord, the to do list can grow long. Along with this comes an increased  sense of failure. In the midst of those challenges, it is easy to focus on just surviving. We can fall into stern obedience or lacksidasical martyrdom. I know I alternated between those.

Looking back on those years now, I wish someone had told me this –

“Focus on joy.”

Why?

Because God loves a cheerful parent.

In 2 Corinthians 9:7 Paul encourages generous financial giving. And then he states the principal underneath that encouragement – “God loves a cheerful giver.” It was John Piper who first called my […]

Parenting|

Family Love Makes The Triune God Visible

If we emphasize the unity of God, we picture in our mind, a lonely, mysterious God who, we think, may have created man and woman because he was lonely. Much as a widower might purchase a dog to overcome loneliness, God made man and woman to have a relationship with.

The truth could not be further from this thought. Our God who is one in essence, is nevertheless three in persons. Before time began, God dwelt in perfect community, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Tim Keller states it this way: “So we believe that the world was made not by a God who is an individual nor by an emanation of an impersonal force. But by a God who is a community of persons who have loved […]

ERLC 2018 – Church Structure, Parental Insecurity, and Parenting Adult Children

I recently had the privilege of participating on a panel at ERLC 2018 – The Storm-Tossed Family.  Following were the questions we were asked to prepare for and my bullet point responses. What would you add?

Parents don’t see their role as disciple-making. They are busy making sure they are fed, staying out of trouble, and getting into school. How does the disciple-making paradigm change the way we think about parenting?

I know what it’s like to be busy – 4 kids each two years apart. 6,4,2, newborn, 2010 was our teen year – 19-13.
We are not connecting what the Bible says about life to what we think about parenting.
We want to ask what will be best for our children 10,000 years from now.
[…]

Parenting|

The Great Commission Starts at Home

Jesus gave his disciples the Great Commission. “Go and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you,” (Matthew 28:19-20). This command is so crucial that it is repeated in various forms in the other gospels and at the beginning of the book of Acts.  The Great Commission is not just for the “spiritual” people but is to infiltrate the priorities of all Christians.

As my expression of fulfilling the Great Commission, I felt called to leave the area I had grown up (Alabama) and stay in New England to help plant a church to reach this area with the gospel. With only 1-3% of the population in […]

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 […]

Parenting|

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 […]

Parenting|

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 […]

Parenting|

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 […]

Parenting|