Category Archives: Child Training

Got Life?

Mentally go through three praiseworthy things your Lord has done in your life recently. Have you shared them with your children? “We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days…” There won’t be parting-of-the-Red-Sea examples, but there will likely be times you saw the hand of a gracious, loving Heavenly Father at work. BTW, if it was chastisement in your life, that counts DOUBLE. Do your children see a living Savior at work in your life so that life in Christ is desirable, or could they see life in Christ as stale and boring? If life in Christ is the best thing on earth–tell them about it. 

I believe many children don’t want their father’s faith because having observed their father, it is nothing more than a preference, a mere religion, a club, something you feel you need to do on Sunday morning. Sort of like Dad like’s chocolate ice cream and the children like vanilla. Frankly, Dad, if you are merely going through the motions, ask yourself the hard question, “do you have real life in Christ?” If not, want to talk?

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3).  

Building Up or Tearing Down Your Family

It grieves my heart to hear a dad say he isn’t leading his family in the Word every day. We aren’t to be motivated in a legalistic, checking a box sort of way, but rather to use it as a joyful opportunity to wash/feed your family with the pure living Word of God (Eph. 5:26). It is a daily opportunity to build up while Satan is working to tear down.

God uses the analogy of building a house to a legacy of descendants that will follow the Lord. “And it shall be, if thou wilt hearken unto all that I command thee, and wilt walk in my ways, and do that is right in my sight, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did; that I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David, …” (1 Kings 11:38).

I love the example in Nehemiah as he rebuilt the walls. “As for the builders, each wore his sword girded at his side as he built” (Nehemiah 4:18). This pictures always having the Word of God ready and at your side while you build. “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Building a Godly Legacy – Part 4

God inspired many Scripture authors to use the expression “son of” over 1,600 times throughout the Bible. God is purposeful and does nothing by accident. Notice that reading “son of” links the person/identity of father/mother to the son? Let’s briefly consider the need to be purposeful in influencing our children for good, because after we are gone, that impression lives on.

Benaiah, one of David’s mighty men, walked in his father Jehoida’s footsteps. “And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts. . .” (2 Samuel 23:20).

David’s heart and life impacted Solomon for good. “And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly” (2 Chronicles 1:1). 

Sadly, our negative example is far easier for our children to catch than our good one due to our sin nature. First look at David: “And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem. . .” (2 Samuel 5:13).

Now see what his son does. “And he (Solomon) had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father” (1 Kings 11:3-4).

Next, consider God’s timing and purpose for the mention of Judas’ father. “And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him” (John13:2). Might the mention here of Judas being Simon’s son infer some role of negative influence Simon had in Judas’ life? I wonder.

Building a Godly Legacy through a husband’s leadership – Part 3

Many dads have experienced heightened emotions–okay, terror–on handing their car keys to their son for the first time. The combination of the son’s driving ability, attitude, and level of responsibility all might proportionally affect Dad’s emotions. Dad is giving his son the authority to drive the family vehicle, registered in Dad’s name, and hereby Dad might have over-the-top liability should something go very wrong.

God established authority structures on earth and in marriage has given husbands the higher authority as exemplified in Ephesians 5:22-24 and 6:4. Husbands and wives are a team, but Dad leads the team because God has placed him in that role. Therefore, we will answer to God for what we did with the authority He entrusted to us.

Cars and dollars are temporal and will burn one day. However, our children have eternal souls. We will be held accountable for what we have poured into their lives. 

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing” (Ephesians 5:22-24).

Building a Godly legacy- Children that will love the Lord Part 2

I have a young grandson whose favorite discussion topics are photos and cutting down trees. All-day, every day, he will gladly talk about those subjects. Frankly, that is the way people are. They want to talk about what excites them. 

We are to desire (read commanded) to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and might. How much we talk about the Lord with our family reflects our actual relationship with Him.

“… shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deuteronomy 6:7). 

(Sadly, what excites many men is sinful and can’t be talked about in the family, and therefore must be suppressed.)

I challenge you to observe families. You will see that children love what Dad loves, not just what he says he loves, but what dad genuinely loves. What delights Dad’s heart? It might be fun, food or football, movies, or money. Whatever Dad loves is where you will find the children’s hearts. 

I plead with you. Don’t settle for the children merely praying a little prayer to receive Jesus. (Brothers, that is true for us also.) Do they have a sincere relationship with Him? Cultivate and look for fruit. 

“Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. 2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed” (Psalm 112 1-2).

Building a Godly legacy- Children that will love the Lord

How heavy is your burden for your children and grandchildren that they would be dynamic followers of the Lord Jesus Christ? Not that they would merely spend eternity in heaven and not hell, but that they would love the Lord with all their heart soul mind and strength. The Lord is clear in how we do this.

“… The Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they might. 

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,…” (Deuteronomy 6:4-7). 

Notice the first command is to “thou” (you). God’s Word is to have a treasured place in our hearts (Matt 6:21), and we live it out as examples before our children. Then we purposefully teach it to our children at a minimum in our daily family Bible time. Our life affirms what we are teaching them.

A man I was sharing Christ with this week’s most significant problem with Christianity was all the hypocrites. That will be our children’s difficulty, too, if they see Dad as a hypocrite. 

We live it, because “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:17).

Making Disciples

Two angels challenged the group that was still looking upwards after Jesus ascension. They said. “… Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). I imagine it wasn’t very long between Jesus’ departure and their “encouragement.” The angels were indirectly telling this group, “Stop looking. Get busy reaching the lost and making disciples.” Such is the introduction of the Acts of the Apostles as they got to work. 

How much longer until Jesus returns? Only the Father knows. How serious are we taking Jesus’ command? “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:19-20).

Hopefully, our children will one day be disciple-makers. An essential aspect of their preparation is our example. Do we have a mind to work – Kingdom work, that is? How long and exciting would a book be if written on our “acts?”

Missed Blessing

Recently, a dad was sharing how the current pandemic is affecting them. He wasn’t the first to say that he is allowing his son more online game time to pass the time he isn’t in school. Inwardly I groaned. 

Why did I groan? This young man is missing what could be a great blessing in his life. Time is the most valuable thing we have. Not only is there the question of what we redeem our time for, but also what appetites are developed or fueled by time usage. Rather than helping their son redeem his time, this young man’s parents appear to be encouraging him to waste it and create appetites for more time-wasting in the coming years by allowing him more gaming time. 

When I am cutting down a tree, how I notch it, will determine whether it falls on a fence or in the clear. The appetites created in your children’s lives right now impact what their time is worth to God’s kingdom now and in the future and it also impacts their future family. 

Challenge your children to learn information and skills that will make their time valuable. Create an environment in your home where learning is desirable, the norm, and where entertainment is considered wasteful. 

If you have a TV, this is the perfect time to get it out for the trash pickup. Brother, lead your family by example. If you need encouragement, read with your children Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single Income Family and Buying a House Debt-Free, Equipping Your Son. Then after reading these books, if you still need some ideas and encouragement, let’s talk.   

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

Not in My lifetime

What do Noah, Abraham, David, and Judas all have in common? What came to my mind is that each was living normal life and suddenly a significant, unforeseen opportunity was presented to them. In response to that opportunity:

  • Noah could have told the Lord he knew nothing of shipbuilding. 
  • David could have followed worldly wisdom and chosen not to fight Goliath. 
  • Abraham could have said he wouldn’t sacrifice his beloved son Isaac. 
  • Judas could have said he would follow Jesus and not betray Him.

A real measure of a man is when he is presented with a challenge. How does he respond? Your family and others are watching your response to the current world situation and possible disruption to your “entitlements.” Are you focused on self or others? Are you at peace and purposing to redeem the time? 

My brothers use every minute. Invest in your family, love them, be at peace and full of praise for the Lord Jesus Who is worthy. 

“For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20).

Reversing Entitlement Part 2

Children with an entitlement mentality will seldom (ever?) be pleased, grateful, or content. Unless they get what they want, and when they want it, they are bitter and complaining. Might the children of Israel be an example worth considering? 

The Israelites were Egyptian slaves and had been in Egypt for 400 years. God sent Moses, the meekest man in the world, to lead them out. There were hardships as they traveled, but they should have said, “We are free. Thank You, Lord, for every breath of air You give us outside of Egypt. We are on our way to the promised land!” Instead with every hardship, they grumbled and complained. 

How could your family learn from the Israelites? During family Bible time, read and discuss the exodus. Might there be other examples in Scripture that could be learned from as well?

Through this study, you can seek agreement in the family that: 

1. We don’t want this mindset. 

2. We agree to work on thanking and praising God for all that He provides.

3. Everyone (Dad and Mom too) is looking for bad and good examples in their lives and the lives of others with the eventual goal of sharing good and bad examples at the end of the day. 

“How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me” (Numbers 14:27).