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.

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

Your Very Best Idea

You are so excited when your son’s eighth birthday arrives, you can hardly contain yourself. Your son opens the small box you give him, stares at what is inside, then picks it up with his thumb and forefinger. “What’s this?” You explain that it’s a whole ounce of pure gold and is very expensive. He continues to look at it. Then he asks, “But what can I do with it?” You now realize this expensive gift was a total flop. You were planning on giving him one each year and were sure it would kickstart his saving for a debt-free house.

A month later, you see him happily riding a new bike. Puzzled you ask, “Son, where did you get that bicycle?” He cheerfully replies, “Joey sold it to me.” “Where did you get the money for it?” His response, “My birthday present. I gave him my gold for the bike. Isn’t it great?” Glug.

Most dads understand how difficult it is to teach children the value of money. However, to teach our children to treasure what is of greater value is a difficult undertaking.

There is something far more important than teaching our children to value money – teach them to value time. Time gets us money and other things of value. We can always get more money, but time is vastly limited.

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).

Never Heard of Such a Thing

New Zealand passed a new law that designates the Whanganui River, the country’s third-longest river, a legal person. That means the Whanganui has rights such as owning property, incurring debts and even petitioning the courts. We can be sure that rational, intelligent people made this decision, but for what possible purpose? It was done with the hope of preventing environmental damage to the river. A similar legal action has been carried out in India for the Ganges and Yamuna rivers.

History repeats itself as mankind struggles to place value where real value is due.

There have been times when basic human rights were denied:

The Jews in Nazi Germany,

African Americans in slavery in the United States 

Now, babies in the womb. 

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent” (1 Corinthians 1:18-19).

Steve

You Choose

Twelve leaders. – Just like us.
“And Moses by the commandment of the Lord sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men were heads of the children of Israel” (Numbers 13:3).

All saw the same things. – We have equal opportunity to be used of the Lord.
“So they went up, and searched the land from the wilderness of Zin unto Rehob, as men come to Hamath” (Numbers 13:21).

Two trusted in their God, but ten were afraid. – What will we choose?
“And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we” (Numbers 13:30-31).

There are always dissenting voices to listen to. Victory belongs to those who will trust and obey. 

Steve

Summer is Coming – Child Boredom Cure

Possibly one solution for bored children is to let them watch movies or TV and play video games or sports. I didn’t say these were good solutions, merely possibilities. Based on popularity, however, it appears that these solutions rank at the top of the list.

Depending on our goals for our children, we can take a  hint from God’s provision for Adam in the Garden as to a cure for boredom. “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15). Purposeful work is needful for each of us. If we are discipling children to be adults, then might we want to train and guide them with that end in mind?  

Might the popular solutions for boredom be the reason why our nation is plagued with entertainment addicts?

What are your goals for your children? How you guide them should not be based on popular choices or even their preferences but their ultimate good. That will be consistent with God’s direction.

“Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy” (Ezekiel 16:49). 

Steve

True Account

At a recent conference  Teri and I were sharing about how critical it is to establish peace and order in the home. One dad turned to his wife and whispered to her, “Honey, that sounds like a really good system, but I love the way our home is running, so let’s just stay with what we have.” She smiled and whispered back, “Babe, we’re doing their system!”

“Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40).

Your Slice?

If you look up someone on Wikipedia, you will find their birth date and date of death. Next will be a summary (slice) of their life. 

How would the slice of your life read? How would it read if written by your wife? What about each of your children? What if a lost friend of yours wrote about you? 

“If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors” (James 2:8-9). 

Can You Resist?

Self-discipline is an ugly word with many today. The saying “I can resist anything but temptation” seems to be quite accepted. However, on the flip side, fans “Ooh and Aah” over the physique of athletes and ignore it was self-discipline that achieved those results. 

Saying “No!” to things is critical and followed by the need to be able to say “Yes!” to the right things.   

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity” (2 Peter 1:5-7).

To Bell or Not to Bell

One morning in January of 2016, I dropped a kettlebell when exercising with Teri. Over a few years we had been progressing nicely in our “bell” routines but something had changed. My right forearm had been progressively getting weaker. Okay, I know it was supposed to be getting stronger but something wasn’t right. I was quite disappointed with this and felt if I couldn’t swing one safely, it was time to quit.

The weakness in my forearm was affecting even small things like mousing, eating and brushing my teeth. I hoped that given rest over time, it would return to normal. No success—disappointing.

Unbeknown to be, Teri did some Internet sleuthing and suggested I watch a video she found on forearm stretching. Over a few short weeks of stretching, I’m almost back to normal. Was the video the answer? Partially. Was it Teri’s love and concern? Partially. What was it? Prayer. We had been praying for months.

Every family is going to face challenges with no obvious answers. Pray, then as God gives direction/light, investigate. We seek His face in all things. As His children, He will never abandon or forsake us. If we suffer, we know He has a purpose, and we learn through it whatever comes. All things, always, work together for good—always. Romans 8:28: “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.”

Steve