The Family Shepherd

/The Family Shepherd

John Piper on Forbearance, Marriage, and Cow Pies

Wise words and an aromatic metaphor from John Piper
The Compost Pile
So what about the compost pile? Picture your marriage as a grassy field. You enter it at the beginning full of hope and joy. You look out into the future and you see beautiful flowers and trees and rolling hills. And that beauty is what you see in each other. Your relationship is the field and flowers and the rolling hills. But before long, you begin to step in cow pies. Some seasons of your marriage they may seem to be everywhere. Late at night they are especially prevalent. These are the sins and flaws and idiosyncrasies and weaknesses and annoying habits in you and your spouse. You try to forgive them and endure them […]


Leadership: The First in Battle, The Last Off

Haven’t seen the movie and don’t know the backstory, but I love this portrayal of leadership.

Dads? Elders? Will you be the first one on the field of battle and the last one off?

Here’s the text.
Colonel Hal Moore
Look around you. In the Seventh Cavalry, we got a captain from the Ukraine. Another from Puerto Rico. We’ve got Japanese, Chinese, blacks, Hispanics, Cherokee Indians, Jews and gentiles — all Americans. Now, here in the States, some men in this unit may experience discrimination because of race or creed. But for you and me now, all that is gone.

We’re moving into the Valley of the Shadow of Death, where you will watch the back of the man next to you, as he will watch yours. And […]

Help For Family Devotions

I love this article on no-frill family devotions. In it the author proclaims the trouble with “big” family devotions – inconsistency.

Key paragraphs:

“I was grateful for an older friend who came along and encouraged me to scrap the complicated model and simply pick up the Bible and read it to my family. “Just start reading through a book of the Bible, maybe start with the Gospel of John,” he said. “Now that my kids are grown, they tell me that our time together reading the Bible was the most meaningful part of their spiritual formation.”

“When I asked him what kind of discussion they had about the text, he said they would talk about what the passage revealed about God and what it revealed it about us […]

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 […]

Four Parental Verbs for Parents of Teenagers

From Paul Tripp.

1. Accept. We must greet the sin of our teenagers with the accepting grace of Christ. 

2. Incarnate.  We are called to incarnate the love of Christ in all our interactions with our teenagers.

3. Identify.  We must not act as if we’re people of a different sort or stand self-righteously above them. There is no struggle that our teenager might have that we have had or aren’t still having.

4. Enter. We must take the time to enter the world of our teenager. That means spending as much time asking good question and listening as it does speaking.

Read the whole article here. And look for my forthcoming booklet, The Power of the Heart.

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The Peacemaker’s Pledge

To be human is to have conflict. To have children is to have conflict among them and with others. How we handle conflict is important! They are watching us and learning to obey the Lord even as children or young adults.

The definitive book is The Peacemaker by Ken Sande. The following is a helpful summary from this book. I believe I saw this summary with a speech organization I am affiliated with. Consider printing down this summary and talking through it with your children.
A Commitment to Biblical Conflict Resolution
As people reconciled to God by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we believe that we are called to respond to conflict in a way that is remarkably different from the way the world […]

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A Secret Your Husband Needs You to Know

“He needs your moral support…in fact…he needs you to be his biggest fan…”

Read the whole short article here. And then read a few of the comments.

Do you need to repent of not respecting him?

He is called to love you unconditionally even when you are not lovely. You are called to respect him even when………(see Ephesians 5:33).

What can you say to him that shows you are his biggest fan?


What Parents and Marriage Have to Do with Resilient Faith

I don’t have time to dissect this great post and this article today. Ironically, I am putting the final touches on my Fully Convinced seminar for tomorrow. But this article could be a press release for The Apollos Project.

A key paragraph:

Not surprisingly, homes modeling lukewarm faith do not create enduring faith in children. Homes modeling vibrant faith do. So these young adults are leaving something they never had a good grasp of in the first place. This is not a crisis of faith, per se, but of parenting.

I will take some time in the future to see if it is also a crisis of our understanding of conversion as.

In the meantime, read the whole thing and pray for our churches that they might become better […]

Losing is Good for You (and Your Child)

Ashley Merryman in The NY Times has some advice on the cultural drugs we are fed. (HT David Murray)

The author argues that we are teaching our children something wrong when everyone wins. In fact, she argues, we need to teach them how to lose:

In life, “you’re going to lose more often than you win, even if you’re good at something,” Ms. Twenge told me. “You’ve got to get used to that to keep going.”

When children make mistakes, our job should not be to spin those losses into decorated victories. Instead, our job is to help kids overcome setbacks, to help them see that progress over time is more important than a particular win or loss, and to help them graciously congratulate the child who succeeded […]