All posts by Steve Maxwell

Steve, husband to Teri for over 40 years, dad to eight and grandpa to eight, desires to encourage homeschool dads to spend time in the Word, disciple their children in the ways of the Lord, use their time wisely, and be men of God. His five home-school graduate sons are now wage-earning adults, and three have purchased their homes debt-free before marriage. He has been writing e-mails for Christian dads since 1990. Steve is co-author of of a number of books, including Managers of Their Homes, and Keeping Our Children’s Hearts. Steve also wrote Buying a House Debt-Free: Equipping Your Son, Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family and Redeeming the Time. Find out more information on Steve Maxwell and his books.

Let’s Not Discuss Them

Right now, our family is enjoying time away in a remote area of Colorado. Yesterday, while I was waiting in the van for Teri to grab some groceries, an elderly, hunched-over woman walked toward the store, seeming to be in pain. Later I saw her headed out with her bag of groceries. As she passed by, I asked her if she had driven or walked to the store. She said she walked. I asked if we could give her a ride home once my wife finished shopping.

Considering my offer, she leaned against the car beside me. After a few minutes of dialog, she was comfortable accepting my offer and sat in our minivan’s backseat with the door open.

She and her husband moved out from Michigan twenty-six years ago, and her husband died four years previously. I asked if she had considered moving back to Michigan. She said their friends were all gone or moved. I asked about her children. She paused, looked deeply grieved, and was finally able to say, “Let’s just not discuss them.”

Only the Lord knows the full story. Likely, there were contributing factors by both the parents and children. From our experience with the elderly, the thing that matters most to them at that stage in life is their children. What a heartbreak when the relationship is a painful one.

Dads, I plead with you to make your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ your absolute first priority, next with your wife, and then with your children. Your children are eternal fruit. Don’t you want to spend eternity with them and have a good relationship with them when you are old?

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3).

I Can or I Can’t?

How often have you thought, “I can’t do this?” Maybe during struggles in parenting, or marriage, or serving Christ these doubts arise. Jeremiah told God he couldn’t do what God was asking, but God had a different idea. “Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak” (Jeremiah 1:6-7).

If we look at ourselves, yes, of course, we are unable, but we need to look at an all sufficient, all powerful God. It is His grace, His strength and His knowledge that enables.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).

Follow Where?

“Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). What an incredible request for Paul to make of the Corinthians. He was confident that his example in following Christ would bear good fruit. Paul said something similar to the Philippians and the Thessalonians so his challenge to the Corinthians was not isolated.

Imagine with me for a moment: what if all pastors challenged their people like that? What would their church be like? Good or not so good? On fire sharing Christ? In the Word every day? What would the families be like? Children obeying their parents? All the children saved and reading the Word every day? Good, solid, respectful, happy?

Whoa, now take it a step further. Dads, what would the fruit be in our children’s lives if they followed our example? I ask not to put a guilt trip on anyone, but that we understand the weight of our example in the home. We will all fall short, just as Paul did in actuality. However, daily may we seek our Lord Jesus–to love and submit to Him. As He lives through us, we can be confident of the example set before our family.

“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14).

Steve

Being Treated Fairly?

Have you noticed how other guys sometimes appear to have a far easier time of things than you and I do? His job is easier, nothing breaks at his house, he has a better walk with the Lord, his wife has easier pregnancies, and his children all love the Lord Jesus.

Just like a beautiful butterfly struggles to get out of his cocoon, we can anticipate the Lord using difficulties to mature us. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

We are told in Genesis chapter five that both Enoch and Noah walked with God. Enoch, though, was taken to be with the Lord in Heaven early in life, while Noah was left on earth to build the ark. “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (Hebrews 11:7).

From an outside perspective, it would seem that Enoch got the best deal. God, however, had a purpose for both men. One’s life looked easy. The other’s didn’t. Isn’t the same true for us? We simply trust that Almighty Sovereign God’s ways are right and just. Amen and amen?

Steve

Who Says You Can’t?

A mom shared with us the following:

——-

My husband and I started on the book, Buying a House Debt-Free, during the kids’ nap time, and we are ALREADY filled with fresh vision. Without vision, we’ve been feeling like we’re perishing (Proverbs 29:18).

Houses in our city average $1.5 million, so we won’t be buying a single-family home here any time soon (although I do believe that God could chose to do a miracle, if He wanted). We feel God led us to our condo where we put 50% down, and with rapid market appreciation and paying down extra, we’re now up to 75% paid off in 3 years. We didn’t want to get into debt, but the property was about 50% of what other, comparable places were selling for and our monthly expenses worked out to be only $70 more than renting. It has enabled us to continue to be generous givers (if you want to give like a rich person, you’ve got to develop the heart to give when you’re not rich), and for me to stay home with the kids. We are keen to owe no one anything except love, so that we can truly be obedient to every one of God’s commandments. Pray for us to obey His EVERY word.

Let’s build each other up in faith.

——-

I find this testimony exciting. This couple has a “can-do” attitude, they were creative in figuring out a housing solution since single-family homes were too high, and are working quickly to pay off debt.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (Proverbs 29:18).

Steve

Money is Cheap

When you think of things in terms of cost, may I encourage you not to think in terms of dollars, think time. We can always get more money, but we can never get more time. Do you value your time? Do you use it as if it were a non-renewable commodity?

“He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich”  (Proverbs 10:4).

Steve

In Need of Rest or Labor?

I once heard a description of a football game: fifty thousand people who need exercise watching twenty-two men who desperately need rest.

Have you observed something similar in some churches? There might be several hundred spectators who need spiritual exercise watching a core group who desperately need rest.

Finally, have you also noticed some homes where one person is greatly overworked, while the other family members desperately need to learn what it means to serve?

“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men” (Proverbs 22:29).

Steve

Hundreds of Times a Day

Decisions — we make hundreds of them each day. How blessed we are with freedom that allows us to make our own decisions.

Freedom might be best defined by what it cost to acquire it and what is done with it. Our freedom was expensive. It was bought by blood – the blood of servicemen and service women and the most precious blood of all, the blood Jesus Christ.

Are we using our freedom to do what we want or to do what we ought?

What will we have to show for our freedom when we stand before the Lord one day?

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not” (1 Corinthians 10:23).

Steve

Your Children are Impressed

Were you amazed when you read of how Aaron built the golden calf and then lied to Moses about it? I was! What was Aaron thinking of?

I couldn’t understand why Aaron suffered no consequences for his actions (Exodus 32). I have to wonder, though, if that golden calf didn’t eventually cost him his sons, Nadab and Abihu. Later we read that Nadab and Abihu took censers “and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord” (Leviticus 10:1-2).

Aaron’s sons were learning well the lessons of disobedience to God that their dad “taught” them as they observed his actions. Their disobedience required their lives.

As dads, our lives are impressed upon our families. That impression will be for good or for bad. You choose the outcome by your thoughts, words, and actions. May your life be the best impression possiblethe image of Christ.

“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Colossians 3:10).

Steve

What Will His Wife be Like?

Raising godly children is a difficult, full-time job. It takes a great deal of time and effort. Will your future daughter-in-law be able to stay home with the children, or will she have to work full time? Will she want to homeschool the children?

The answer to those questions will likely be determined by how you raise your son and by the values you impress on his life. This affects the type of woman he is attracted to for his wife. In addition, it has much to do with the type of leadership he provides for his home. We must purpose to instill in our sons the desire to have their wives home nurturing their children. Now is the time to be working with our sons and developing them according to God’s Word and His leading. (excerpt from Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single Income Family)

Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD” (Proverbs 18:22),

Steve