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.

Not Good Enough?

Do you ever compare yourself with others? It’s hard not to. The other guy:

• may seem more spiritual, 

• may make more money, 

• may be in better shape, 

• may have better behaved children. 

Oh, Friend, may I encourage you to be at peace? If you are trusting in Jesus’ shed blood for your salvation, rest in the Lord and in His grace. Be at peace with yourself, and that will greatly affect your relationship with your wife, your children, and others. We all fall short, but may we cling to the One Who can do what is needed in our lives? (BTW, if it is a matter of sin, then we forsake that sin. If you need help, ask a brother for help, but forsake the sin.)

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29). 

Will Our Children Read?

I spoke to a dad recently who used to give guest lectures to junior and senior public high school classes on a financial topic. He always began with the question, “Does anyone know what ten percent of $50 is?” After many lectures, he said he never had a student correctly answer the question. We would all agree that math is important for life.

What about reading? I’m confident you want your children to be able to read well. Reading is the basis for much learning. As believers we know it is critical for our children to understand the Bible and from it, life in Christ. Do we ever think about how important our example in this area of reading would be to our children? If our children never see us reading, will reading be important to them?

I’ve received emails from moms, in response to a book recommendation I’ve made that might help their situation, who say their husbands don’t read. Consider this statement from an unknown originator, “The person who doesn’t read is no better off than the person who can’t read.”

If reading is important for our children, is it important for us parents? In this age of video everything, do we read? Do we read the Bible, and do we read other beneficial books? If we don’t read, are we any better off than someone who can’t read?

“How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words” (Ephesians 3:3).

When God

When God commands us to do something, He will enable us to fulfill the command. The omniscient One of the universe knows what we are capable of doing. He certainly wouldn’t command us to do something we couldn’t do.

If He commands us to do things beyond our own strength, knowledge, or ability, we can be sure He will provide what is lacking. When God commands, we can be sure He will enable.

The first and most important step is that we are willing to obey. There is joy and satisfaction in obeying. What has God called you to? Have you responded obediently?

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee” (Exodus 31:1-6).

Three TImes

Three times God clearly told mankind to be fruitful and multiply. He has never taken that command back.   

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28).

“And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 9:1). 

“And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein” (Genesis 9:7). 

No wonder there is such an attack on the innocent, defenseless unborn.

No One

I have observed the outcome of decisions I have been very curious about. Why did someone do that? As I was out driving yesterday, there was a five-mile backup on the southbound interstate because one lane was closed. There was no sign of a work crew or any work being done, but there must have been a good reason (in someone’s mind) to put out the cones and not pick them up.

Other things that make me curious are: the way a house is situated on a piece of property, a “feature” on a car’s dash, or the navigation scheme on a website. I have come to believe that no one makes a dumb decision on purpose. In fact, I am confident that everyone does the best he can with the information he has at the time and with his reasoning abilities.

Those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ’s shed blood on the cross for payment of their sin debt and who are in fellowship with Him have incredible advantage over those who are lost. Think about it. We can seek His direction for every aspect of our lives and spare our families hardships that can be avoided.

“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).

Open Garage Doors

During the summer Teri and I go for our walk soon after sunrise. It is a delightful time of fellowship and exercise. One thing we regularly notice is a house where a garage door has been accidentally left open. While Dad, the protector was sleeping, his family and his house were vulnerable.

What doors have you left open or unlocked? Dads, how vigilant are we?

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Paying Ahead or Behind – Vocational Success

Seems like everyone has heard someone bemoaning their school debt. US News reports that the average college grad has more than $35,000 in school loans. That is a lot of money. Young families often struggle greatly under such a burden, and it puts tremendous pressure on a fledgling marriage. What if both husband and wife have loans? Trying to pay behind for “success” might be the greatest obstacle to their being able to attain it.

Now, picture raising your children with the mindset of paying in advance for success. They learn to make the most of their youth years. From twelve on up, they use their time preparing to be skilled adults while making a reasonable income in exchange for their time. This does not mean that they don’t have fun. They just find beneficial ways of having it. Instead of video games, they thrive on the enjoyment that comes from learning. Instead of hanging out with friends, they work out with siblings or dad or mom, which build strength and family relationships.

Soon they will seek the endorphins adult-type achievement brings as opposed to skateboards and amusement park rides. All choices involve a trade. Will they trade up or trade down for the value of their time? Likely, those trades will have great bearing on the value of their future vocational time. What their time is worth to others will directly correlate with how much time they will have available for their future family and serving the Lord.

Pay for success in advance.

“The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want” (Proverbs 21:5).

Will God Apologize?

God destroyed the people of Noah’s time because of their wickedness.
God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their wickedness.
God gave the land of Canaan over to be conquered because of their wickedness.
God’s people dropped like flies in the wilderness because of their wickedness.
Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians and taken into captivity because of their wickedness.

Do you see a trend? If through the ages God has not spared wicked nations, including His own people when they didn’t repent, why would we think He will ignore our national sin if we don’t repent? If He winked at our sin, He would have to apologize to those nations that received the consequences of their sin. I don’t expect Him to do that. Do you?

May each dad purpose to pray every day for our nation.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

What to Do?

A dad recently asked for book recommendations for his children. His children have read the complete Moody series many times and as many other good books as he could find. He has run out of other good books. What to do?

Reading is critical in preparing our children for life; however, once they have good reading and comprehension skills, it can become little more than a wasted time filler depending on what they are reading. Even worse, they can become addicted to the thrill of reading “exciting” books so that anything not exciting (the Bible and other worthwhile books) will not hold their interest. Think about it: What good is that?

I have NEVER had anyone tell me he (or she) regrets spending time in profitable pursuits growing up. The number of people who have told me they regret wasting their time, however, is beyond counting.

May I encourage you to consider moving your children into skill-based books as soon as their reading level and comprehension allows. What a blessed harvest they will begin reaping as they progress through their teen years.

My son Joseph began reading about programming when he was ten. He has no regrets about that now. In fact, all our children spent time gaining real skills during their teen years. They look back at those years with satisfaction.

Are we guiding our children or letting them float their own boat?

“And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship” (Exodus 31:3).

A World Apart

Which one are you?

I will, I do, I did.

Compared to:

I woulda, I shoulda, I coulda.

“But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you” (Matthew 21:28-31).

A good place to start is to join us our Prayer and Fasting day, Tuesday January 24th.

Sign-up so I can pray with you on your requests.