3. Kissing them goodnight. The days get long and I get so weary. By the time the children head to bed I am sometimes so worn down that the very last thing I want to do is see the kids to bed and to kiss them goodnight. But I am always glad I did and often find these the times where the children are most tender, most eager to speak, and most eager to listen. I know I will never regret all those goodnight kisses.
4. Taking them to church. There is such joy in sitting in church together as a family, worshipping the Lord together and hearing from him in his Word together. I do not take my children to church so they can learn good manners or be better people; I take them to church so they can learn who they are, so they can learn who God is, and so they can encounter and experience Grace. I will never regret prioritizing church.
5. Taking them out for breakfast. One much-loved tradition in our family is taking my children out for breakfast on Saturday mornings—one of them each week. It’s a tradition I have lost and revived and lost again and revived again. It is a tradition worth maintaining. The $10 or $20 expense and the time it takes pales in comparison to the investment in their lives. I will never regret our breakfast daddy dates.
6. Letting my friends be their friends. I love it when my children befriend, and are befriended by, my friends. I want my children to have friends who are older and wiser than they are and friends who can help them in those areas where I am weak. I will never regret encouraging my friends to be their friends.
7. Doing family devotions. Family devotions is a difficult discipline to maintain, and especially as the kids get older and have more lessons and responsibilities. But we commit and re-commit and persevere because these are precious times—just a few minutes together to read the Bible, to talk about what we’ve heard, and to pray. I know I will never regret a single moment spent pursuing the Lord together.
8. Disciplining them. I hate disciplining my children; I hate having to discipline them. Yet I am absolutely convinced that to refuse to discipline them is to refuse to love and respect them. The lost privilege, the stern talking-to, the time spent alone in their room—these are all seen as hatred in the moment, but seen as love later on. I will never regret lovingly disciplining my children.
9. Doing special things. Life is largely lived in the mundane and love is mostly shown in the day-to-day. But there is also value in the afternoons at the ballgame, the evenings at the ballet, the business trips with dad. I will never regret doing those special things with my children.
10. Asking their forgiveness. I have more trouble apologizing to my children than to anyone else. Somewhere way in the back of my mind I am convinced that to apologize to them is to show weakness; but at my best times I know that to apologize to them—to ask their forgiveness when I have sinned against them—is honoring to God and to them. I will never regret those times I have asked their forgiveness.
The rest of this article can be found at:
Tim Challies Blog
everyday issues many parents misrepresent the truth by substituting these common perspectives. You’ll notice that most of these “lies” have an element of truth behind them. Be careful about reading
Values should be a part of a child’s development, but following Jesus isn’t about good values. It’s about putting faith in Jesus, even when a child slips in upholding values. Teach your children to have strength in Jesus’ work more than having faith in their own ability to act right. This is what Skye Jethani calls life under God.
Memorize important scripture, learn the Bible stories, develop solid doctrine- Some people see these as the pathway to perfect love for God. They might be good, but they are not a guarantee of holiness. The Pharisees practiced this kind of spiritually, and Jesus wasn’t impressed. Skye Jethani calls this life over God.
Fun in church programs isn’t bad, but it becomes bad when it is the means of feeling connected to the church and to God. Skye Jethani says this is the 3rd way that people falsely try to take control of the world, and in doing so take control of God. When youth group or church is about fun, we make God into a fun “vender” for our enjoyment.
It is good to do the work of God, but doing missional things doesn’t make a person a follower of Christ. Being a Christian is being in communion with Christ. Our mission is an outworking of our love for God, not a means for gaining approval. God loves your child first, before they lift a single finger for his Kingdom.
Many children walk away from their faith, and the natural parent reaction is to take control and to try to network the child back into the faith. Christian people are important for reconnecting, but in this way parents often become a nuisance in their child’s life. Allow these relationships to happen by God’s hand. Give that control over to him by praying for your child and constantly being faithful yourself.
Your own faith is an important element in the formation of your child’s faith. If you don’t feel knowledgeable, working to improve your knowledge teaches your child a lot about the Christian walk. Passing spiritual development off to a professional also teaches your child something. Unfortunately, that something isn’t good, as they will learn that walking with Christ is something that is dedicated to certain times, certain places, and lead by certain people. Teach your children that Christ can permeate all aspects of life by living your life side-by-side with them.
Don’t confuse obedience to you as a measure of maturity. Compliance isn’t a lone measure of spirituality. Do a simple survey of Christian leaders and you’ll find many who are spirited, high-energy, and creative children who didn’t sit still when they were asked as children. Understand that God makes all kinds of personalities, and help your children to grow according to their personality, without applying false expectations.
God’s way is grace. There may be times that we have to allow children to feel the full consequences of their choices, but parenting should be grace-filled as much as possible.
Parents cannot shield children from the world. Wherever people are, children will be exposed to worldly choices. Christian schools and home schooling have different worldly influences, but either way, children will be exposed to the breadth of possibilities sometime in their lives. This isn’t to say that secular schools are better. In fact, children are likely influence earlier and more often by non-Christian values in secular schools, but given the right guidance, these children can grow in a unique way that children who are educated in uniquely Christian cultures sometimes miss.
You, mom and dad, are important. Your children see you. They see your morality. They see your faith. Your attempts to grow in your faith influence your child. Living faith each day before your kids helps them to learn to do the same. Forgiving your children when necessary helps them to realize God’s forgiveness. Accepting God’s love for your wrongdoings helps kids to be confident in God’s grace. You bless your kids each day. There’s no reason to be proud of this fact, but realize that God has given you a unique role in the lives of your children.
Parenting is difficult work. It isn’t something that should be done in isolation. At Etchea Coaching, we believe the best parents will be connect to strong churches that knows how to connect parents to people and resources that can help. We offer training and coaching to help.
with your sons.
by Randy StinsonEditor’s Note: On the May 31-June 1, 2012, FamilyLife Today® radio broadcasts, host Dennis Rainey interviews guest Randy Stinson about his book A Guide to Biblical Manhood. Radio listeners are promised the following list of 25 things that a father should teach his son.
Before the industrial revolution, it was common for men to spend much of their day in the company of their sons — either on the family farm or in the family business. In those settings, dads could teach their sons practical lessons as well as the lessons of leadership, protection and provision expected of manhood.
Today, work, school, extracurricular activities and even church take fathers and sons in separate directions. Dads, therefore, have to be intentional about creating the opportunities to teach their sons — to model manhood, to teach industry and resourcefulness. One way to do that is to work through a list of things that fathers can teach sons. You can work through such a list in one of two ways: either (1) by setting aside a regular father/son time to take on one item at a time (one dad started this routine and calls it “Manhood Mondays”) or by (2) just taking the time to instruct your son anytime you’re about to do one of these tasks yourself. It’s not efficient, but the investment of your time can be priceless. Whether you do it proactively, reactively or both, what matters most is taking the time to build a legacy with your son(s).
Don’t freak out by what is or isn’t on the list here. These are meant to be examples of what engagement looks like, but you can adapt this or just see it as a head-start for your own list. You’ll notice that many of the skills listed here can be bypassed by modern technology in most industrially advance countries. Making the effort to teach these, however, will give you valuable time with your son(s) and will give you a practical opportunity to present principles of leading, protecting and providing, all the while building confidence in their abilities as emerging men.
1. Speak in public—there’s power in the spoken word.
2. Read good books—leaders are readers.
3. Play an instrument—especially because of the discipline required.
4. Play individual, two-person and team sports.
5. Build a fire.
6. Camp out—pitch the tent, cook stuff over the fire, the whole thing.
7. Carve a turkey.
8. Light a grill.
9. Jump start a car.
10. Tie a knot—such as a bowline, square knot, taut-line, and figure eight among others.
11. Use basic tools—hammer, saw, wrench, screwdriver.
12. Paint a room—trim and all.
13. Handle a gun and a knife—for safety, protection, sport and hunting.
14. Skin an animal.
15. Be a gentleman—open doors, stand when a woman approaches at dinner, etc.
16. Grow stuff—and not just a Chia pet.
17. Iron a shirt—and do laundry and other work around the house in a manly way.
18. Manage money—keep a balanced checkbook, show generosity, and learn basic saving and investing.
19. Shake a hand—strong shake (save the tuna for dinner) and look ’em in the eye.
20. Give a man hug—skip the side hug, and go arms spread eagle with bold back slaps.
21. Keep vows.
22. Dress like a gentleman—coordinate pants, shirts, jackets, ties, belts, socks, etc. appropriately to the
23. Tip—for example at least 15% for a waiter providing adequate service, $1 for a checked coat, $1 per
bag for curbside check in at airport, etc.
24. Serve others—shovel walks, help with heavy loads, etc.
25. Handle loss—sports and games in preparation for loss in work and relationships.
Taken from: A Guide to Biblical Manhood by Randy Stinson and Dan Dumas. Copyright © 2011 by SBTS Press, a division of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Article from Family Life Today
First, know your call to stewardship. Parenting is part
of biblical stewardship. God has entrusted children to you. They are not really your children; they belong to Christ. You are accountable to your Lord for faithful, not necessarily ‘successful,’ parenting. Parents are pastors and teachers to the church in their home. Children are your congregation. Pastor faithfully with a vision for stewardship.
Second, see your mission clearly. You are training the next generation of laborers, leaders, warriors, and servants for Christ’s bride and the kingdom of grace.
Third, keep the gospel central. Your privilege is to evangelize your children. You’ll have countless opportunities, over many years, even a lifetime. Your message is: ‘See God’s holy character, see the sin and corruption in your heart and in dad’s and mom’s hearts, and embrace Christ in the gospel, the only hope for sinners.’ Keep preaching the gospel of grace to yourself and to your children. It’s the foundation and motivation for everything in life.
Fourth, pray for your child’s true conversion. Never be content with outward Christian conformity. Like you, your child needs radical grace to address radical corruption. Pray for the Spirit’s deep work in the new heart.
Fifth, model servanthood. Let your children see your submission to Christ, your devotion to prayer and reading the Word, your use of time and money, your marriage depending on grace, your commitment to your family and to worship, your love for the church, your hospitality, your passion for world missions, and your compassion for the alien, the poor, and the needy. Indelible learning comes by watching.
Sixth, anticipate many failures and capitalize on them to teach the gospel. Parents are imperfect disciples. Confessing your sins and failures to your children and humbly seeking their forgiveness models the gospel like few things you can ever do.
Seventh, expect great things from grace. God’s grace is greater than parental sins and child sins. God loves to display His grace and power through human weakness.
Eighth, keep praying for your kids after the nest is empty. God is still working. Keep trusting His transforming grace
Finally, pray for the humanly impossible–the new heart from the Holy Spirit.
David Eby, a second career missionary to Uganda and father of five grown children, shares some thoughts about how parents can raise their kids to become servants of Christ no matter what vocation God leads them to choose. I found these 9 exhortations extremely helpful!
Article from Life2Gether Blog
sense of self-worth. In fact, parents with poor self-esteem usually translate their insecurities to their children, while parents with strong self-esteem usually raise children who view themselves positively. That means you need to be your teen’s greatest champion. Here are 12 ways to cheer him on.
Teens experience pressure to succeed at an early age. As a result, they can grow discouraged or feel like they can’t measure up to our hopes or their own goals. Encourage your teen to base her self-worth on who she is in Christ, not what she does. Let her relationship with Christ be her chief identifier.
As parents, we often talk “at” our teens rather than taking the time to listen to them. Cultivate the art of listening. Avoid formulating a mental comeback while your teen is speaking, but really listen to discern fears and emotions behind his words. Let your teen know you are available any time she wants to talk.
It’s really hard to live in a house where opinions aren’t valued and where you’re not allowed to express emotion. Consider having family forums – times of discussion that involve all family members. Let each family member have a voice.
Your teen may be having some emotional battles at school or in relationships. Each teen faces these challenges differently. Remember that what seems insignificant to you could be a crisis to her.
It’s easy to view life critically, constantly pointing out the negatives and rarely recognizing the good. Not only does this undermine self-worth, but it also models a critical spirit they are likely to adopt as adults. Instead, compliment the things he is going right.
As children grow, we tend to stop touching them. This creates distance, and they wonder if they still matter. Just because your teen is older doesn’t mean she no longer needs your touch.
Nothing makes a teen feel more special than hearing his parents pray for him. Avoid using prayers to address problems in a round-about way. Let your prayers be affirming and filled with blessings and gratitude for your teen.
Helping your teen discover her spiritual gifts is a great way to boost her self-esteem. Your church may even provide an assessment of spiritual strengths.
Feeling a connection to “roots” (both genetically and spiritually) helps teens develop a sense of identity and enhances self-worth. Share strengths, weaknesses, and spiritual stories from your family in an effort to teach and train your teen.
Teens learn by making decisions and experiencing consequences. Providing your teen with decision-making opportunities sends the message that you trust him. After all, it’s better to let him test his decision-making skills at home than later at college.
The world sends the message that unless you are one of the “beautiful people” you are no one. Help your teen build a sense of self-worth from something other than what her body looks like. Model healthy eating and exercise habits, but resist the urge to criticize your own body or your teen’s.
Let every greeting and every parting include an “I love you,” even when you are angry with your teen. Regardless of the circumstances, these teens are a precious heritage and a gift from God.
Try some of these words of affirmation with your teen.
“I appreciate you because…”
“I was pleased to see you…”
“I want to thank you for…”
“You blessed me when…”
Your verbal praise will raise your teen’s sense of self-worth.
Article from LIFEWAY BLOG
Article from Desiring God
The Bible tells fathers to do two things: bring children up in the ways of the Lord and do not provoke them. How can a father avoid provoking his child?
There’s no shortage of parenting books out there. But you’ll find very few dedicated to the subject of fathering. What does it look like to father well?
Thankfully, God’s word includes much guidance for fathers. The Bible is filled with good dads (starting with God the Father) and bad dads (starting with Adam, our first father). Proverbs is in large part a collection of wisdom written by a dad to his son. In his letters to Timothy and Titus, Paul offers profound direction as aspiritual father.
Fathers, we have a sacred responsibility.
Elsewhere in Scripture, Paul warns fathers: “Do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). Dads, this is our God-given job description. We must strive to fulfill it “according to the power at work within us.” For starters, it helps to think about what the verse means.
Encouragement is a deposit; criticism is a withdrawal. We provoke our children to anger when we make far more withdrawals than deposits. When it comes to encouragement, don’t be stingy with your kids. Say things like:
In addition to verbal affirmation, write them notes, send them texts, pull them in for a hug and a kiss on the forehead. Inevitably, as fathers we’re going to make withdrawals because our kids will sin and we’ll need to address that. But we provoke our children to anger when all we do is point out the flaws and fail to provide any solutions or hope. We need to be their coach, not their critic.
Fathers provoke their children to anger through physically using their size advantage. This could be physical—hitting, shoving, kicking, intimidation—or verbal abuse. Some fathers goad their children. They’ll shame their kids in front of other children by saying things like, “You’re so stupid,” “You failed again,” “You’re fat,” “You’re an idiot,” and “You’re a loser.”
Whether it’s intentional or not, some dads do everything they can to avoid engaging their children. You’re always doing something and can’t be interrupted, whether that’s woodworking, fixing the car, doing yard work, using your phone, or watching TV. You’re physically present but emotionally absent. Dad never gives hugs or says, “I love you.”
Rather than pulling a child out of the fray for a loving, heart-to-heart talk to address some issue, fathers provoke their children to anger by cutting them down in front of their family and friends.
Some dads are just no fun. They don’t know what to do with a Popsicle, a whiffle ball, a swimming pool, or a bike.
I learned generosity from my Grandpa George. We were very close. He lived in a cul-de-sac, and he had a rule: whenever the ice cream man comes around, run out and stop him. Grandpa George would then have us invite all of the other kids in the neighborhood over, he would tell everybody to order whatever they wanted, and then he would pay for it all.
Did you have a hypocritical dad who pointed out your sin but never admitted to any of his own? How frustrating was that?
Fathers, we have a sacred responsibility. If the Holy Spirit is in you, you’ll want to become a father like God the Father, and bless your children the way he has blessed you. We cannot do this apart from his grace and power—praise God we can rely on his wisdom and strength rather than our own.