Category Archives: Child Training

Which Is It?

Everyone has a past, and often their past is their future. New choices made in the future will continue to resemble bad choices made in the past unless one confronts those choices and learns to make new decisions.

Your past will either dominate you and be a wall or be steps to facilitate you to new heights. Either we will speak to ourselves victim stories or the truth of God’s Word.

Victim stories cater to our pride. “It wasn’t my fault.” “What what else could I have done?” If embracing God’s truth, we are prepared to receive His grace. “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive” (Genesis 50:20). God encourages (okay commands) us to follow Scripture at every junction.

Even more important is that our example is being impressed upon our children. Will they be victims/losers or conquerors in Christ? (BTW, John the Baptist was a conqueror in Christ.)

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39).

(Is there someone you should share this with?)

Steve

Preventable iToys Addiction

From a dear (courageous) Brother:

“When our children were toddlers, we discovered that an iPad (supplied with various kid’s games) could be used to occupy the kids during times when we were busy, almost like a short-term babysitter. This became a favorite activity for our children, and even resulted in a routine we called “iPad Time” where each child received a scheduled amount of time to play games on the iPad.

“However, we noticed that this activity had a negative effect on our children; they lost interest and enjoyment in almost everything else. My daughter would even throw a tantrum if we told her she couldn’t play with the iPad. Eventually, my wife and I realized that we weren’t developing healthy appetites in our children and we chose to cut out “iPad Time” altogether.

“For more than two years, our children haven’t used the iPad or our iPhones as an entertainment activity, and they’ve grown much more happy and receptive to our input and instruction since.”

Bad fruit often springs from seeds of good intentions. It is much easier to avoid it, Brothers. If you are already struggling with bad fruit, might it be time for some courage, like this Brother?

“A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished” (Proverbs 22:3).

“He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich” (Proverbs 21:17).

Little Steps?

Everyone seems to want the quick fix these days, or maybe they don’t even try if it appears too difficult. The Lord could have created the world in less than one second, but he took six days. That is 518,400 times longer than He could have.

Most people if given the choice between $500,000 now, or a penny, doubling the value for 31 days will grab the $500,000. People don’t want to wait. In choosing the $500K, they would have left around $10 million on the table. 

The soul and future of your child is worth far more than the $10 million. Do you realize the importance of being 100% consistent in feeding the souls of your children the Word of God? Small daily disciplines, built and sustained, day-by day will yield a lifetime of enormous value. Are you encouraging and overseeing the disciplines that are critical for your children’s future – personal Bible time, prayer, exercise, continuous learning?

“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13).

Steve

Speed Bump, Detour, Dead End, or Catapult?

Life can turn upside down in an instant. An accident, a cancer diagnosis, or _______.  We face obstacles in life. Some are easy, some difficult, and some “impossible.” Our response to these will greatly affect our children’s view of God, because it represents how real our faith in God actually is. Paul said follow me even as I also follow Christ. 

I’m thinking of one Brother whose life is ebbing, drip-by-drip, as a bucket with a leak. He requires constant care and suffers greatly.

Another Sister has been through unimaginable health trauma. Her testimony declares the glory of a righteous and merciful God.

May we embrace difficulties that come our way. May we see them as opportunities for God to grow our faith in Him.  May we consider that the mighty work God most desires is not the joy from flattening the obstacle, but unshakable faith in Him.  

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Steve

Odd Children

I was walking with a group of dads to the next session at a homeschool conference when the dad beside me asked a question. He struggled with his wording. “I have noticed some homeschooling young men, and well, there seems to be something unique about them. Well, ah, well, they just seem a bit odd. I don’t mean to be critical by that, but I don’t want my son to turn out that way. What are your thoughts?” 

I encouraged him there are two main considerations. To raise a son who is a dynamic follower of the Lord Jesus will be considered odd/peculiar by the world because he isn’t like them.

However, there is another sort of odd that I believe he was referring to. These are young men who can’t look you in the eye, are barely communicative, lazy, and unkempt. He agreed. I shared that I felt that was more the norm these days and not dependent on a particular schooling method.

One “odd” is desirable. The other is not. The good news is that we can guide and inspire our sons so that they are great conversationalists, diligent, resourceful, physically fit, and able to make a good living. Are you doing that? When the book of your life is closed, will your son’s praise God for the influence you had in their lives or complain? If a change of course is required, Brother, change course.

Want some help? I encourage you in these three resources: Preparing Sons, Buying a House Debt Free, and Making Great Conversationalists.

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light”(1 Peter 2:9).

“Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you” (1 Peter 4:4).

Steve

Thinking Back

Remember your last graduation? For some it was high school and others college. How did you feel? Was there satisfaction of accomplishment or relief to be finished with school? 

I admit. I was tired of the schoolwork. I looked forward to applying what I learned and being free of study. I was in for a surprise, though. In my field, the good ones never quit learning. That is true in life, as well. The good ones, at whatever they do, never quit learning. 

There is a huge secondary benefit to being a lifelong learner. Your children are much more likely to have the same attitude toward learning.

What should we learn? First, we learn of our Lord Jesus and His Word. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30). 

Then we seek to learn what we can in order to excel in everything we put our hands to. “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men” (Colossians 3:23).

Are you learning? Are you reading God’s Word everyday? Are you improving in your ministry?  Are you improving in your vocation?

Steve

Love Your Children?

It is easy to say “I love you” to our children, but, demonstrative actions are required to confirm it. 

  • Do you lead them in daily family Bible time? 
  • Do you live out the Lord Jesus?
  • Do you have daily personal Bible time? 
  • Do you worship with the family each week?
  • Do you wear a seatbelt? 
  • Do you refrain from exciting and dangerous activities because you want to be around to provide for and disciple your children? 

Some might wonder what the last two items have to do with loving your children. Love puts the needs of others above their own selfish interests. I am especially grieved when I hear about a dad who lost his life or was seriously injured by something that could have been avoided.

It is easy to buckle a seatbelt. Yet without doing that, it is also easy to be thrown from the car in an accident and be crushed by it. What about the thrill of blazing a trail down the ski slopes and impacting a tree at a high rate of speed? What about the exhilaration of a fast motorcycle ride on a beautiful day in the country only to end in disaster? Sadly, these are real examples.

If we truly love those entrusted to our care, it must change the decisions that we make.

“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).

Steve

Faux Beauty

Picture a sixteen-year-old boy daily spending 30 minutes in front of the bathroom mirror fixing his hair and meticulously grooming facial hair. Then he goes to his closet and picks either tight-fitting or minimal clothing. He wants the girls to stare at his muscles and find him attractive. Would you think that a good thing in light of Scripture? Would you encourage a son like that?

Then why is it good for girls? Is it because in the world females are ascribed value when they are attractive and sensuous? Should she see her value based upon something false? The Proverbs 31 woman is praised as an example for women. She is praised because of her virtue, not beauty.

A physical focus leads to pride. “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness:..” (Ezekiel 28:17).

“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).

How are we praising our daughters? What about our wives?

Steve

Sinking?

“She’s drowning! Quick, someone throw her a ________.” People don’t throw a drowning person a brick but something buoyant. Yet, we often hear of moms who are drowning in all they have to do, but then Dad (or Mom) makes decisions that are like a brick, guaranteeing she will not succeed. There are all sorts of “good reasons” why bad decisions are made, but the end result is Mom goes down with a gasp.

Companies do not succeed when their culture is chaos. Their success takes focus, discipline, and eliminating time wasters. Thriving companies make the hard decisions because they want to continue to exist and produce a profit.

In your home, it begins with consistent bedtime/wakeup time. A schedule that is lived and habitual ensures the important things are done every day, and it frees Mom’s mind from a host of ongoing decisions.

“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:4).

Steve

It’s Honorable

One beautiful morning, I observed Bob, a veteran city worker, driving a gigantic, triple-deck, Toro lawn mower. His mission was to mow a small “island” of grass, edged with curbs and many obstacles. If he made one mistake, he’d either damage the city’s mower, one of the obstacles, or possibly injure himself.

If a mower could ballet dance, this one did. It gracefully flowed—grooming every inch, decks raising and lowering while whirling and twirling around obstacles. Bob was a master with an incredible show.

Chris is a sanitation worker. He “flies” along the streets of Leavenworth perched on a small platform that is just big enough for his feet. Before the truck stops, he launches from his perch grabbing bags of trash from the side of the street. In one smooth movement, he flings them into the gaping, hungry mouth of the trash truck.

Fifty years old and working like a fit twenty-year-old, Chris runs, grabs, throws, runs, grabs, throws, and then once again jumps onto the side of the truck. When I complimented him the Saturday morning he manned the brush dump where I was taking a load, he smiled wide and said, “Ya know. That day you saw me, I threw twenty-four ton.” What a guy!

No matter what you do to provide for your family, give it your all. There isn’t a shortage of jobs, just hardworking people.

I’m not aware of Chris or Bob knowing the Lord Jesus, but this verse would apply greatly to each follower of Christ. “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17).

Steve