Category Archives: Child Training

Protecting Your Family

A good dad is concerned with protecting his family since God has assigned him to be head. As head, Dad is to be aware of what might threaten their physical safety. Ephesians 5:25 calls Dad to even lay down his life for his family as Christ did for His bride the church. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” 

I’ve known a lot of dads who are focused and concerned with their family’s physical security. However, there are dangers to the family that are of greater importance and often go unnoticed. Are you careful and on guard with what is coming into the minds and souls of your family? Media abounds, and people have their favorites, justifying why it is good for them. However, I’m confident, most are similar to “dumpster diving.” 

I believe if you embrace the truth of 1 Corinthians 10:23, you will not only enjoy safety, but your family will grow in the Lord Jesus Christ. If it edifies, embrace it. If it doesn’t, pitch it. 

“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). 

Problems

My heart aches hearing of the problems some are facing. Is God still good? Yes, beyond measure! Has He forgotten His children who are struggling? No.

Are you complaining and fearful or praising and joyful? Brothers your wife, your children need you to be strong. “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3). “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

As you have needs, lay them before your Lord. “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7).

Keep a journal and capture all your needs and God’s answers for future encouragement. God is always good, always.

Aiming Low

Would you use a surgeon who judged his surgeries successful by whether the patient lived or not? Would you fly on an airline where the mechanic’s performance ratings were merely based on the number of planes that didn’t crash? Would you eat at a restaurant where the cook received a pay bonus as long as no one died from his cooking? 

Any thinking person who valued life would be abhorred with the above and rightfully so. Yet, might Christian parents be guilty of something far worse? We all agree that physical life is valuable, but it pales compared to eternal life. Then, might we be justified for a horrific response when Christian parents feel they are successful as long as their children have simply “prayed a little prayer” at some time growing up? 

Sadly, some are willing to accept a child’s profession, without confirming evidence of spiritual fruit over time. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Similar to false prophets who look good on the outside, Jesus tells us how to know if someone is saved. “Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20).

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23).   

Two Leavenworth Escapees

It was a work detail tasked with clearing out tall grass and weeds. While loading them up after completion of the work, two escaped. They have been on the run in Leavenworth trying to avoid capture. It has been the talk of the town. What is funny is that people are getting quite a kick out of it. We haven’t had anything this interesting here for quite a while.  

If you have ever been held captive, you understand how freedom is precious. Today, men are easily enslaved by the sin of their choice — usually what they view or consume. At some point, the pleasure is exchanged for guilt and a longing to be free. 

In addition to Dad, might you have a teenager in bondage? My guess is a lot more than the dads know. Watch for changes in character, and secretiveness. Does he happily allow you access to his phone and want accountability?

Know the “health” of your flock, and dad if you are enslaved, get free no matter what the cost. See a brother for help. Call someone. 

Those two, free, happy “Goats for Hire” who escaped are still on the loose. It will be a sad day once they are caught and locked up.  

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:12-14). 

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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).