Category Archives: Child Training

Will Your Children Have Children?

Will your children love children and want to have children of their own (your grandchildren)?

The more bored your children are,
The more they love entertainment,
The more they dislike work,
The more conflict they experience in the family,
The more disorganized and chaotic their home-life is,
The more deprived they feel,
The less purpose they have,
The less you have their hearts,
The less they love God’s Word,
The less they love Jesus,

the less likely your children are to want to have children. Each of those things could contribute to your children’s not loving children. Why? Because as adults your children will want to serve themselves and make up for whatever they think they missed growing up. If you try to satisfy their wants, you never will succeed because the flesh is never satisfied!

The solution is to raise sons and daughters who love the Lord Jesus Christ and delight in pleasing Him. Frankly, children are a lot of work, but not compared to the blessings they bring. They are the only real gift that we can give back to the Lord.

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate” (Psalm 127:3-5).

Steve

Did You Know You Have a Garden?

“Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Genesis 3:1

The Garden of Eden was perfect for some amount of time after God put Adam and Eve there. Then how could this mess of a world have resulted from something so perfect? Adam had a wonderful wife, he had the perfect job, he had a fantastic place to live (debt-free), and they were in fellowship with their God.  Why didn’t the “story” have a happy ending?

Even if a family is doing great, how on guard is Dad against the subtle works of the “enemy” to wear down or divide his family? A dad will do almost anything once a crisis has occurred, but why not expend that level of effort to prevent it? Should a dad be just defensive or should he be proactive to avoid heartache? Do you have your children's hearts and how careful are you to keep them? This is serious business!

Steve

Still time to sign up for the Seriously Fast Monday, March 23rd.

Princess?

Where do you find princesses? In castles.
What does a princess have? A corps of servants to ensure the fulfillment of her every want.

Pity the poor girl (and her future husband) whose parents cultivate in her the belief that she is a princess. She will never receive the catering through her life that she feels she deserves.

One mom who had a “princess” upbringing but later came to her senses told us: “I was very unhappy one day. I kept getting unhappier, and I found myself wondering, ‘Why isn’t someone doing something to make me happy?’”

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). Raising a follower of Jesus doesn’t sound like raising a prince or princess, does it? Are we setting our children up for failure, for a lifetime of disappointment and seeking satisfaction in all the wrong places?

Steve

Sign up for the Seriously Fast Monday March 23rd. 

It Takes Maintenance

“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)

The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is at work around us. We see it in the fact that nothing improves naturally, but everything decays, falls apart, or wears out over time. Have you noticed that items of value—such as your car, your house (and everything in it), and your yard—take maintenance to continue performing reasonably well? Things of little or no value we dispose of: No maintenance required.

Even non-physical things decay and require upkeep as well. Consider your vocational skills, relationships with your wife, children, neighbors, brothers and sisters in Christ, and, most of all, your Lord.

Doing the required maintenance at best only prevents further degradation. What about improvements? Growth? Advancement? If we want our children to learn and grow, how are we setting the example?

How are you growing in vocational skills? What are you doing to become more valuable to your customers or employer? How much time and effort are you investing to deepen your relationships with your wife and children and especially with the Lord Jesus Christ?

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)

Steve

What Could Be Worse than Ebola?

It seems like the concern over Ebola is waning a bit. Many were very fearful of its coming to the States, and an outbreak would be terrible for sure. What would you think if I said there is something on par with Ebola in many professing Christian homes? What is it? Anger. Anger kills relationships and is highly contagious.

“Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul” (Proverbs 22:24-25). The relationships in a home are far stronger than friendship, and our anger will be strongly, deeply impressed on the souls of our family members and yield devastating consequences.

I recall one dad who talked about how bad his anger was and acknowledged it had an impact on his 18-year-old son’s not being saved. This man’s anger was a key factor in his son’s rejecting both him and Christ, and yet he referred to his anger in a fairly casual way, much as someone would who had given someone his cold. If you want to drive your children away from you—and possibly away from the Lord: be angry.

I wonder if there is any other sin—that’s right sinthat is so widely justified. “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:31-32).

Would your family say you get angry? Would they describe you as an angry man? If so, isn’t it time to forsake it before there are casualties?

Steve

 

Huh?

As I was getting out of the elevator on my way back to our hotel room, a member of the hotel staff asked me a question. I couldn’t understand him and asked him to please repeat. He made another attempt, this time slower and with greater emphasis. I still didn’t understand him and asked if he would please repeat it again to me. He did, and I didn’t.

So he tried using one word as a question: “Checkout?” To that I replied, “Yes.” He smiled and we both went our ways. As I walked down the hall, I heard him dialoging in his native language with the housekeeping staff.

I thought about how important it is that we speak the language of those we are called to serve. I wondered how different our level of communication might have been if that fellow spoke English all the time instead of his native tongue. If they constantly spoke English among themselves is it possible they would be better equipped when speaking with the majority of their customers.

I then thought about my role as a father. I am so grateful for the weekly time I spend with each of my children on Sundays. I treasure the one-on-one time when we meet to discuss any problems they might have with me or with others in the family. We also discuss any other topic that is on their hearts. As a result of those meetings, we know each other well and can communicate on a deep level. I treasure my ability to speak on a heart level daily with those in my family.

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11). Can you speak the language of those you are called to serve? It takes effort to (re)learn to speak their language.

Steve

If Only …

We dads have many responsibilities that require our time. Too often, however, we let important needs such as discipling our children, spending time with our wife, and leading family Bible time get crowded out by less important, though seemingly more urgent, tasks. We soothe our conscience by telling ourselves, “If only I had more time….”

My own dad was full of “if only’s.” He is gone now, and I am left with memories that would have been much happier and much better if only he had made other choices.

What sort of memories are we leaving our children? Yesterday is past, but tomorrow is a new day. Put off the old “if only’s” and put on the new “I will’s.” Then may we be men of action.

“But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14).

Steve

Rotten Fruit

Near us there is a small apple orchard that received no care for years—no pruning, no tilling, and no fertilizing. Ripe apples simply fell to the ground and rotted. Finally a new owner came in and has spent weeks pruning and restoring the orchard. This year or next should produce a beautiful harvest.

Think of your family as your orchard and your children as fruit. If you have neglected your “orchard,” it isn’t going to improve until you spend great amounts of time on it. “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit” (John 15:2).

If you have been lax in your responsibilities to disciple your children, the important point is to begin the restoration. Begin today to prune and till. It will be a more difficult job than if you had been faithful all along, but resolve today to be responsible with what God has given you.

Daily family Bible time, talking, praying, and worshipping together are necessary for discipling our children. Though we will not see the fruit of the new orchard owner’s labor for at least one or two seasons, the owner has done the right thing. Will you do the right thing with your orchard? May we be found faithful and may our orchards bear fruit well-pleasing to our Lord.

Steve

Someone Has To Do It!

Recently I met some young adults who work on their family farms after school and on Saturdays. They were delightful: good attitudes; highly motivated; great workers. Happy! They were a joy to work alongside of. They loved the Lord Jesus. They respected their parents. Overall, they were great “kids.” One of them exclaimed periodically throughout the day, “I love being outside and working like this.”

Even the farm owner’s sons were working hard. I complimented one of them on his cheerful attitude because he could have chosen to do other things. He looked at me, smiled, and said, “Someone has to do it.” That is so true about much of the work in life. Someone has to earn money for the family’s needs. Someone has to perform maintenance on the house and car. Someone has to clean the house. Someone has to mow the yard. Someone has to school, disciple, and feed the children. Someone has to wash and fold the clothes. The list of opportunities to work for the family goes on and on.

“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15). “Dress” in the Hebrew means “to serve or work.” Man was put on this earth to serve and work. What is our attitude regarding work? So many people have disabilities and cannot work. Would we want to trade places with them?

What a blessing it is when we choose to embrace what needs to be done with a cheerful, grateful spirit and teach our children to do the same. “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

Just Imagine

Just imagine how you would feel walking into your son’s debt-free home for the first time? Most parents don’t know what it feels like to have their own home without a mortgage—much less how it feels for their children to truly own a home, debt-free, even before they are married. What a blessing it would be for your son to start out life without the burden of a 20- or 30-year mortgage.

Learn how you can help him.

It is attainable.

Start early.

See how.

Buying a House Debt-Free: Equipping Your Son.

Will you?

Steve