A Great Guy

I met a great dad recently who was not a believer. As we talked I could tell he sincerely loved his family. I was surprised to hear him share how his early-teenage daughter, who attends public school, was beginning to walk down a “dark” path. She has begun back-talking both him and his wife. He was troubled by the ugly change in her.

I asked if they had ever thought about homeschooling. He said “Yes,” they had discussed it, but his wife was not onboard with the idea. That saddened my heart greatly.

Although homeschooling does not guarantee children will turn out great, may each of us be willing to do anything and everything possible toward that end. May we consider investing our time and resources in anything that may help our children to grow up to be responsible adults who love the Lord with all their hearts, souls, and minds.

Homeschooling is difficult, but so is life. May we give our all for their eternity—Jesus did. (BTW, if your wife is homeschooling, lavish on her your gratitude for her investment in the children.)

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).

Walk, Run, Embrace

Many of us parents are first-generation Christians. We are saved by the blood of Jesus from a love affair with the world and its impending consequences and are introduced to an abundant life. Sadly, many parents assume their children will also embrace Christ as they did. But why should they?

These children are growing up in a “blessed” environment—the result of the parents’ life in fellowship with their Lord. The children thus assume that is the way life naturally is—all good in Christ. The children have not experienced the darker side of life that most parents have, which makes Jesus even more desirable.

I am not saying these parents don’t care. They really do. They just assume wrongfully that their children will follow Christ because the parents do. Sadly, they are wrong. Some walk away from Christ because He was never theirs. They had the blessings without knowing the “Blesser.”

What place does Jesus have in your home? Is He preeminent? What is central in your living room and family time? How are you serving and exercising the fruit of the Spirit? Live on the edge. Make Christ real.

“For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass” (James 1:23).

Creating What?

There is a huge difference between limiting and abstaining. Generally, we abstain from things that are detrimental or harmful or sin; no discussion, no rationalizing, end of subject! Well, at least it should be that way.

But what reasons do we choose for limiting something? Food is good, yet too much will lead toward gluttony and bad health. Sleep is good, but too much is slothful and will hurt our body. We have to have food and sleep, so we cannot abstain. Instead, we must learn to limit.

What about things such as video games, movies, TV, cartoons, and various sorts of entertainment that are not necessary (or even beneficial) for life in Christ? For some families those are the things that become a great struggle. Children love those sorts of things. (Okay, many adults do, too.) Even if parents may be discriminating in choosing or limiting such things that may not be overtly evil, their children will seldom exercise the same discretion.

We have observed parents who want their children to be happy (and in the process may not realize that they are trading away godly for merely happy). So they will choose to limit the child to metered amounts of movies, cartoons, or video games each week often as a reward for good behavior. They do not realize, however, that they are actually doing far more damage than any marginal amount of hoped-for good with this approach.

In business, the saying is “scarcity creates demand.” What parents will find with this direction is that they are creating huge appetites in their children for these things by this approach. The children know that if “it” was actually “bad” they wouldn’t be allowed to do it, but since it is merely limited, it must be good. Eventually, they will be able to make their own decisions, and these will include few if any limits. 

Our lives are filled with boundaries, and it began in the Garden when God said don’t eat of that tree. The world does not want limits placed on the flesh. “Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” (Philippians 3:19)


Who’s Got Your Back?

Nathan started his IT consulting business almost 20 years ago. In the beginning he had no one to back him up if he couldn’t fix a computer problem, but with the Lord’s direction he managed. Anna attained her A+ certification a few years ago and, in addition to learning programming, has been taking help desk calls from some of Nathan’s clients. Nathan is her backup should Anna need second-level support.

When Teri and I began having children, we had no one to turn to for child-rearing advice. We were also just beginning our walk with the Lord Jesus, and after we moved away from that first church we did not have godly counsel. The Lord met every need, however, as we sought His face and counsel.

Some families write and sadly share how alone they feel in their walk with the Lord and in raising their children. If that is your situation, may I encourage you to accept and embrace it. It will make your relationship with the Lord Jesus all the sweeter as you trust and rest in Him. We have every good thing in Him.

“Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 124:8)


Three Top Pieces of Advice for Young Moms Starting Homeschooling, Part 1

Recently I was talking to a mom with three little children, the oldest being 4 years old. She was planning to homeschool and had heard that I homeschooled for 30 years. She sweetly smiled at me and asked what I felt was a very insightful question. She said, “What 3 pieces of advice could you give me that you think would be the most important for my success as a homeschooling mom?”

I was thrilled to talk to this mom. She was thinking about and preparing for her homeschooling days. She gave me boundaries for the information she wanted—boundaries that would help her remember what I said.

For number 1, I started with what is probably the dearest to my heart—a schedule. Structure is what productivity, learning, and stress-free days hang upon. The schedule helps a family accomplish not only their homeschooling but other essential and even non-essential parts of their day.

I have observed schedules transform the family life, personal life, and homeschooling life of weary, discouraged mommies. That thrills me beyond measure. I don’t think it is a matter of personality —schedules for the disciplined person but not for the free spirited person. Schedules let the disciplined mom put her talents to use, and for the free-spirited one, it lets her have time for her free-spirited activities.

Even before you begin homeschooling, you can schedule. Mommies with preschoolers can benefit from a schedule just as much as those who are already involved in homeschooling can. Getting children used to a schedule as preschoolers keeps those days flowing and productive while getting children accustomed to the rhythm that a schedule will bring to homeschool life.

When we were preparing for another Managers of Their Homes (MOTH) reprint, we realized that we had gained a huge amount of scheduling experience since we first wrote and published Managers of Their Homes, and we wanted to impart that to others.

When MOTH came out, it was based upon our own personal scheduling experience and confirmed by those first 24 test families who used MOTH. Now, however, we have worked with countless moms as they have scheduled and seen the power of the schedule in a much broader framework.

We decided to take that valuable experience and put it into a revised version of Managers of Their Homes. So we ruthlessly tore into the text and took out what we didn’t think was as helpful in the book, and put in what we have gained from working with MOTH moms.

We know that the original MOTH is successful in teaching moms to schedule. We have the testimonies from so many who have read and used it to prove that it does. The revised MOTH doesn’t change those basics, but it brings in a fresh power from our real life experiences with a multitude of MOTH scheduling moms. We are excited about that!

If you haven’t yet dived into scheduling, this is the time to get the new, revised Managers of Their Homes. If you have friends who aren’t scheduling, suggest it to them. I really can’t think of a better Christmas or birthday present for you or a friend than this resource that will help bring productivity, peace, and contentment to a family.

Trusting in Jesus,