Parenting

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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|

Help! I Caught My Son Looking at Porn!

Like the mother above, we may be horrified by what we find on our computer. I received this email recently. What would you say?

My husband and I planted a church in several years ago. I’ve been leading a Mom’s Bible study using your book The Disciple Making Parent.

Two days ago I caught our almost 15 year old son looking at inappropriate pictures on the Internet. We are purchasing software for our devices, etc. but I was wondering if you have any resources that you would recommend for the discipleship process that we now need to embark on to help my son work through and hopefully overcome this temptation. I appreciate any help/resources you could suggest.

Thank you. Emily

My Response
Thank you for reaching out to […]

Parenting|

A Parable of Two Kind Police Officers

There once was a boy and a girl who grew up in a small town. As these stories go, Jonathan and Amy fell in love with each other and were married. But along the way they discovered something else they had it common – both loved their little town and they loved serving it.

In particular, Jonathan and Amy both loved keeping the peace and safety by being police officers. And so this husband and wife became officers of the law. And the community loved them. Two of their own would be serving the town!

Problems Arise
However, Jonathan and Amy soon realized that one particular aspect of their job was especially challenging. They had to give out speeding tickets. What made this a challenge was that, since […]

Parenting|

Handling Grandparents Who Disagree

Question: We are Christians but both sets of our parents are not. How do we handle their disagreement with how we are raising our children (their grandchildren)?

I was recently asked that question at a conference. Thankfully, Sharon and I had wonderfully supportive parents. However, I have talked with enough families to begin to understand some of the problems. I know I risk giving simplistic answers to complex family situations and dynamics. Nevertheless, here is my reply.

We are commanded by God to honor our parents. Although we don’t obey them as adults we are still called to honor. This plays out in several ways.

1. We should not speak evil of them in front of our children. We want to encourage honor for them in our children. […]

Parenting|

The Power of Family Meals

The word liturgical has come to mean the order of the worship service. That worship routine creates a culture.

The word liturgy sticks in my mind when thinking about the power of family meals in creating family connectedness. In our casualness child-centeredness, I fear we have lost something valuable – a theology of food and the impact of family meals.

As I travel about I see too many good families who are not thoughtful in this area. And we are the poorer for it. In this article, I want to argue for why you should be intentional about your family meals.

Meals as a Sign and Seal
A quick survey of Scripture reveals the power of meals. God covenanted with Abraham and fellowshipped around a meal. In the Old Testament […]

Parenting|

Spurgeon: Tell Your Children

“Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation.” — Joel 1:3

In this simple way, by God’s grace, a living testimony for truth is always to be kept alive in the land-the beloved of the Lord are to hand down their witness for the gospel, and the covenant to their heirs, and these again to their next descendants.

This is our first duty, we are to begin at the family hearth: he is a bad preacher who does not commence his ministry at home. The heathen are to be sought by all means, and the highways and hedges are to be searched, but home has a prior claim, and woe unto those who reverse the order of […]

Parent Devotional|