How We Handled Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy

We are past this stage in our parenting but I thought it might be interesting to post how we handled Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.

This issue is not at the heart of the gospel (Romans 14:4, 17). I was brought up on Santa until age six. That Christmas Eve night we were driving home from my grandmother’s house. As I looked out at all the homes in my city, I just knew that there was no way Santa could visit every house in the world in one night. And I am following the Lord today.

However, anytime we talk to our children about someone who knows if we are sleeping or awake (omniscience) and who knows if we’ve been good or bad […]

Family Principles Poster

I recently found this tucked away. These principles guided us for years and still do. I think it is original with me. But when I read something as good as this I think I must have stolen it from someone and forgotten to reference. If that is true, please let me know. Enjoy!

Family Principles

1. We love, honor and obey Jesus Christ in all that we do:

By growing in His Word
By worshipping Him with our whole heart
By inviting him to be on the throne of our heart during the day
By growing in our character

 2. We love, honor and obey Dad and Mom in all that we do:

By obeying right away, all the way and with a happy spirit
By not rebelling against […]


A Keynote Speech: The Disciple-Making Parent

I have the privilege of presenting the material of The Disciple-Making Parent in all sorts of settings. I have a five hour weekend workshop I can do. I present a practical how to workshop.

But I also present the material in a keynote style.

You can listen to that talk below.

Introduction and the Framework  – 1:22
God Intends The Great Commission to be the North Star – 10:30
You are God’s Most Effective Shepherd – 15:42
A Common Myth We Believe – 21:00
How to Disciple: Five Things to Focus On  – 25:10


7 Principles for Becoming a Contented Parent

I recently had the privilege of hearing Erik Raymond, author of Chasing Contentment, speak on that very subject. He is an excellent, low-key, metaphor-filled speaker. As he was addressing us, I found myself applying his words to my life at home. Maybe they can help you too.

Here are some personal reflections on thinking about contentment and discontentment in my home.

1. My home is ground zero where I see my discontented heart.
Whether grumbling to myself about my spouse, my children, my finances, my home or a myriad of other things, it is easy to be discontented about my family life. Perhaps I have high hopes that are not being fulfilled. Perhaps I am comparing my spouse or children to others. Maybe there are little irritations that […]


Principles of Discipline From Hebrews 12

As a parent and pastor, I love seeing when someone I teach lights up with understanding. This past Saturday, I taught my Parenting with Confidence seminar and that “light bulb moment” happened when we talked about discipline.

Specifically, we talked about the reason we discipline. As a parent it can be difficult to impose pain on one we love. But our chastisement is rooted in the nature of God. We learn to deal with our children by looking at how the perfect Father loves his.

In The Disciple-Making Parent, I talk about why we discipline from a discipleship point of view. In this post, I want to look at a more specific Scriptural basis for discipline.

The Father Disciplines Us
Ultimately, we discipline because the Father disciplines us. We […]


Raising an Alien Child – Jen Wilkin

The ERLC Parenting Conference was impressive in terms of organization and content.

Jen Wilkin’s talk – Raising an Alien Child – sticks out to me. When we met several years ago,I realized how similar our values were. Here is her outline and some quotations. So much practical wisdom here.

We are going to ask our children to think and live differently than the world in five different areas.

1. Activities – An alien child will spend his/her time differently than to other children. 10:00
The author of Deuteronomy assumed families would sit, walk, lie down, and rise up together.
A high school counselor said the most common reason he sees kids is depression and anxiety due to exhaustion and overscheduling.
Children that have family dinners four times a week are […]


Who Should Discipline? Mom or Dad? – 10 Guiding Principles

Who Sbould Discipline?

I was recently presenting at a conference and suggested that Aaron’s son’s sins of active disobedience and passive disobedience might have been influenced by Aaron’s passivity as a leader. Though parents are certainly not responsible for the choices our children make as adults, we do influence and shape their wills as they grow up.

I strongly encouraged men to fight their natural passivity and engage in leading their homes. One specific application was in the area of child discipline.

At the end of that presentation one mom asked this question, “I have just come from a talk where the female speaker was urging the women not to be pushovers and put the discipline on the fathers. How would you fit your thoughts with hers?”

My Response
My […]


Seven Ways to Pray for Your Children

As some are heading back to school, it is a great time to hit restart on a number of family discipleship habits. Taking your children out for donut dates is one great habit.

But even more foundational is praying for your children.

In Chapter 20 of The Disciple-Making Parent I have a whole chapter on praying for our children. Prayer is both a duty (as in difficult work) and a delight. So as you head back to school, head back to prayer as well.

Seven Suggested Ways to Pray for Your Children

1. Pray with thanksgiving. Paul began his letters with giving thanks. Thanksgiving has a way of altering our perspective. Make sure you are spending time thanking the Lord for your children and even the problems you are […]


Love is Not Rude. Is My Family?


7 Suggestions For Training Considerate Children

Has basic politeness fallen on hard times?

This question was prompted by a recent conversation with a couple who described the contrast between two friends of their teenage children.

Every time one friend came over, he consistently greeted the adults and chatted with them. When his visit was over, he made a special effort to thank the parents for hosting him.

Another teen would show up and then disappear into another room to hangout. When the evening was over, he would slip out just as quickly. No greeting or “thank you.”

This couple, who moved from the North to the South, was surprised at the lack of manners. Wasn’t the South supposed to be known for its respect of adults?

Some would say that these issues […]


Qualities of a Godly Elder and Man

Jason Helopoulos has a good article on qualities of a great elder.

Could we say qualities of a great man? Young men are you listening? Young ladies are these in your prayer journal? Moms and Dads, you might consider printing down and sharing with your children. Or praying over this list.

Theological, but Fiercely Practical: He will know the scriptures and revel in the doctrine and theology of God’s holy Word. And at the same time, he will know how to apply those truths of Scripture to the lives he is privileged to serve.

Leader, but a Willing Follower:  He doesn’t wear a sign that announces he is a leader. He isn’t loud and demands that people follow, they just do.

Dignified, but Wonderfully Approachable:  He is serious about the […]

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