Do You Need a Jump Start?

I am excited to announce to Seriously Dads that I am leading an Business Jump Start course beginning September 30. We have not mentioned it yet on the Titus2 blog or Corners list because I wanted to let you men know first since we are anticipating the need to limit enrollment so that every registrant gets the attention he needs. So if you are a dad on the Seriously list who wants to improve your business, I want to be able to work with you!steve2014blog - Version 3

Whenever we receive an email from a mom who mentions that her husband has a business that is struggling, my heart goes out to her. I know that what struggling business owners often need most is someone with business experience to come alongside. That is what Jump Start is. It is for the Christian who wants to “rev up” his business, whether it is a start-up or established venture.

There will be a weekly webinar (at least 30 minutes in length) in each of the five weeks of the course. If you are not available to watch at the scheduled time, no problem, you can view it after work. The part I’m most excited about is the individual, weekly, 30-minute Skype session during which we will work together on specific issues that relate to your business. Click the Business Jump Start for more information, and if you have any questions, email me. I am looking forward to working with you.

“With the advice and instruction I received from Steve, I have been able to better understand the business world. My business has become more organized and efficient, and I make almost twice as much as I did before as a result of his business experience.” —


Who’s Best?

When the children are young, it isn’t too difficult for Dad to do things better than they can do them. As they grow older, though, it becomes more difficult for Dad to keep the advantage … until finallyCCI2014-1 the day comes when they can do some things better! It can take adjusting to, but, trust me, that is a good day.

When it comes to following the Lord Jesus Christ, however, loving Him, serving Him, striving to please Him, may Dad continue to be best. If our children do surpass us, may it not be because we have let go or stumbled or lost our edge spiritually. Rather, may it be because they have seen our walk with Jesus and have committed to having all of Jesus that they can have because they have seen how good Jesus is for Dad. If that is why they surpass us, well then, we can die in peace because, Brothers, that is what it is all about.

“And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.” (2 Kings 2:9)

Happy Father’s Day!


Dad: Leader and Limiter

Some dads want to lead but seldom say no. Some say no but seldom yes. One aspect of being a good leader is being a good limiter, who knows what boundaries to set—and when. As one leads there will come times when it is necessary to limit by placing boundaries, such as saying, “You can’t do this because I love you, and I want God’s best for you.”

It is possible that the child being led will not agree with it and may disobey. In this case, the limiter must be willing to administer some appropriate form of consequence. A boundary really isn’t a boundary unless there is a consequence for violating it, and “don’t do it again” doesn’t count. Many should read that last sentence again.

Being a limiter is less popular than being a leader and opens a leader up to criticism, but limiting is a necessary part of being a leader. (Frankly, being a leader is not always popular either.) I cannot lead effectively if I am not willing to limit. Good leaders are not afraid of placing appropriate boundaries around those they love and are leading.

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)


Are They Fighting? – Part 2

We are continuing a series of articles written to answer this question: “I read your articles about siblings. You said you did not allow hitting, pushing, etc. What did you do when it happened, and how do you prevent it???” If you haven’t read the articles the mom refers to, here is the link. You also might want to read part 1 of this series, which is found here.

Behavior Rules

Of course, with little children discussions, reasoning, and sharing Scripture are mostly preparation for the future. They don’t have the mental, emotional, or spiritual maturity to make decisions based on that information. So we had some specific rules, such as:

  • No hitting, pushing, or biting.
  • No name-calling.
  • No grabbing toys from one another.
  • Share kindly.
  • Speak sweetly.
  • Be loving.

Consistent Consequences

Then, if a child did one of the things they weren’t supposed to do—which was quite likely—we tried to be consistent with a consequence. Of course, the reality was that we didn’t observe each infraction nor were we 100% consistent with consequences even when we saw something that was wrong. But we certainly did try. “Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul” (Proverbs 29:17).

Chair Sitting

The consequences had to be simple because obviously there was more to life than correcting children. One consequence that we used frequently was for the child to sit for a specified time on a dining room chair. Now phones have timer apps, but back then I had a kitchen timer that I could set for five minutes. I placed it beside the child so he could watch his time counting down, and then he could get up when it beeped.

I found that to be a very easy consequence that I could use consistently. It separated the child from the problem, gave him time to reflect, kept him from doing something he would rather be doing, and generally provided a few minutes of peace. When the child got off the chair, if he went back to his play and once again wasn’t nice to a sibling, I put him back on the chair—for longer this time.

Dry Crusts and No Sweets

“Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife” (Proverbs 17:1). This verse was the inspiration of another consequence we used with our children. Here is a little background to help you understand: We purchased wheat berries, ground them into flour, and made fresh, nutritious bread for our family. Our children liked the inside pieces of bread, but not the outside crusts very much.

Rather than waste the crusts, I would dry them for breadcrumbs or croutons. One day, after reading Proverbs 17:1, Steve and I decided that we would use “dry morsels” (i.e. dry crusts) for a consequence when the children weren’t being kind to each other. I would have the child, or children, involved come to the dining room table and give each one a dry crust.

We would briefly discuss the applicable verse, explaining that we would rather eat dry crusts and have love demonstrated in our home than to be able to eat the delicious food we ate but have unkindness evident. This was a great real-life example of that verse. The dry crusts weren’t something they gagged on. They just didn’t prefer them. It removed the child from the problem for a space of time. In addition, it was actually healthy for them.

Sometimes when the children weren’t nice to each other we talked about the need for them to be sweet. For a consequence, we would take away their dessert. We didn’t have dessert all the time, so this consequence was only as effective as the frequency that we ate dessert.

If/Then Chart

A tool we found valuable in being consistent with consequences for the children is the If-Then Chart. While we didn’t develop the If/Then Chart, we now sell it because it was so helpful to me when our children were young. Part of the struggle I had as a mom in being consistent with consequences was knowing what consequence to give for a particular problem. With the If/Then Chart, those decisions were made. It was a simple matter for me to go to the If-Then Chart when a situation arose, read the verse to the child, and know what the consequence would be.

Certainly in a family we prefer unity, whether it is husband and wife, parents and children, or between the children themselves. Physically lashing out for what you want or in retaliation for what made you unhappy does not develop unity, and while it is typical of little children, it isn’t acceptable for older children or adults. We wanted our children to grow up knowing that such behavior was not only inappropriate, but it was simply unacceptable. They knew that was true not because Steve and I said it, but because it wasn’t pleasing to Jesus.

P. S. I just want to remind you that a schedule helps greatly with mitigating the problems that arise between siblings. It also allows Mom time to deal with the issues that do come up. If you aren’t already using a schedule, summer is a good time to get Managers of Their Homes, read it, try a modified summer schedule, and then be ready when school starts to have a full-fledged schedule.

Got Synergy?

Have you ever been part of a group where there was excitement about achieving a goal? Even if it is very difficult and the results are uncertain, there can be contagious excitement about being a part and having to work hard for success.

It is similar to getting a giant flywheel turning, hard at first, but once it gains speed, lookout, it won’t be easy to slow down or stop. Wouldn’t it be fantastic for each family to be gaining momentum as we accomplish things that make everyone excited to be a part? That’s what it is like in our home.

It is so good to do new hard things where the children look back and are pleased. I will give you a few examples of our family projects. Our family has built a shed, finished out a house and an addition, poured and finished a LOT of concrete, finished a basement, built an RV, climbed mountains, and has started several businesses.

There’s no reason for your children to envy others. Challenge them. You can do it! Create some momentum – NOW!

“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.” (Psalm 31:24)