Category Archives: Seriously

What Ya Sowing?

The white, Limited SUV pulls up in the home daycare’s driveway and parks. A professionally dressed woman steps out of the driver’s side, and two school-age girls pile out of the back seat. The girls race toward the front door. The winner grabs a short rope attached to a large antique “dinner bell” beside the door. Simultaneous to the loud clanging, the mother’s voice scolds,”I told you not to touch that bell.” The ringing continues along with childish laughter until the stronger, but slower girl successfully pushes the race winner aside. She now begins her turn ringing that bell loudly providing a tune accompanied to lyrics of: “Stop. I told you not to ring that bell. You are in trouble now.” Could this mom be harvesting the fruit in her children’s lives of others raising her children while she is otherwise occupied?

Raising children who love the Lord Jesus with all their heart, are well-behaved, and academically prepared for life is more than a full-time job. It takes Mom wisely using structured/scheduled time all day in teamwork with you (Dad). I am saddened as I learn of moms who aren’t disciplined and scheduled in managing their time. Your child’s future is at stake.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7-8).

Don’t Be Disappointed

Those who have flown a fair amount likely have noticed something that has similitude worth considering in regard to parenting. Once airplanes take off, they are affected by the prevailing winds. If a headwind is encountered groundspeed will be lower, but if a wind from behind occurs, groundspeed will be boosted. 

It gets interesting when the wind is from either side, a crosswind. The direction the plane is heading must then be adjusted right or left to arrive at the desired destination. Many a disappointed pilot realized too late that he had not applied enough correction in route. 

Could that be like parents who are merely satisfied with outward conformance of their child’s behavior? There is a degree of obedience which looks like the child is heading in the right direction, but the child is hardened and merely avoiding consequences. He is “off-course” from the parents’ hearts and certainly not seeking to please the Lord Jesus.   

Parenting is hard, really hard, and that makes it tempting to settle for compliance. For the child’s future, always be looking at his heart. 

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life,” (Proverbs 4:23). 

Steve

Is It Possible?

We just finished a project that could be a huge blessing to you.  We made our book Buying a House Debt-Free an audiobook

Few families can afford to buy their children homes as wedding gifts, but you CAN give them what’s next best—motivation and direction toward a debt-free house they buy before marriage. I guarantee you in the years to come, they will appreciate that home, and bless you for starting them down that path. All five of our sons have purchased homes debt-free, and yours can too. 

Jim Bob Duggar said every family ought to read Buying a House Debt Free. With the book in audio format, even busy dads, with little time to read, will benefit. 

Owning a home debt-free before marriage is more attainable than after marriage when financial obligations increase. That is why being debt-free is only a dream for many families. I plead with you, even if you can’t personally attain a debt-free house, you can give the gift of that vision to your children. “Read” Buying a House Debt-Free in the car while you are driving, and make windshield time beneficial. 

I loved recording this book. I forgot how much great practical information was in it. It is like Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family, my first book, Part 2, 3, and 4. There is also solid information about college, managing finances, and gaining practical skills. Dads, if you are too busy, ask your wife to get it and listen to it. Whether your children are young or late teens, your children will bless you. 

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).

Steve

Solid or Slack?

If your foot isn’t on the gas a millisecond after the traffic light has turned green, you are likely to hear horns behind you “encouraging” you to forward movement. Yet, we seem to be in a time of unprecedented, underwhelming forward movement of men for things that are worthwhile. Where are the Christ-led, responsible, diligent, dependable, hard working men?

Let there be travel for a football game, or early rise for deer hunting, and today’s man will be up at the crack of dawn. Yet, children are starving to death for men-of-God role models. These are men who are having their own Bible time to fellowship with their God early every day. They are men who couldn’t imagine not feeding their families the Word of God each evening. They are men who have a faith worth sharing and actually share it. 

Children need to see their dads as a solid example of life in Christ. Let us not be slack. Amen? “Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the Lord God of your fathers hath given you?”(Joshua 18:3). The “land” is before us. God has given us children and a faith to share. Forward. 

Steve

Church

Dads often share with me their struggles in finding a church that is compatible with God’s leading for their family in doctrine and life practice. I would be grateful to learn from you the following:

  • What Scriptures have guided you in finding a place to worship?
  • What were your decision criteria and did you compromise?
  • What was the process you followed?
  • What positive and/or negative experiences have you had in relation to your children and church? 
  • What have you learned and how has that influenced you?
  • How would you rate your current church? (On a scale of 1 to 10 (best)) Please include a comment as to why you rated it that way.

Feel free to answer as many or few points as you would like to. Thank you and I look forward to reading your emails. 

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Steve

Where Is It?

One thing I have learned about men is that at the end of the day, a man will have done or worked on what is most important to him. Food is the best example. Eating usually ranks near the top for most men, and I’m confident few go without food in a day, regardless of how busy they are. 

I plead with you to make your personal time with the Lord your first priority and next, your family Bible time. Our response (or reaction) to everything we face in life will depend on the closeness/quality of our relationship with the Lord Jesus. Whether your family is unstable or in the “strong tower” (Proverbs 18:10) greatly depends on your walk. (It’s a good thing our salvation doesn’t depend on our works, or who could be saved?) 

Dads, seek Him, delight in Him, and obey Him—all day, everyday. Where is your treasure: in this life or the Lord Jesus? “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning” (Luke 12:34-35).

Steve

The Curse of Summer

A family I know has backyard neighbors who have a swimming pool. The view is close and unrestricted when washing dishes or in the backyard. The problem is that neighbor chooses to wear swimming attire that is hardly noticeable. 

What a heartbreak. For anyone who takes Scripture seriously, such a “sight” is a curse. “Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids” (Proverbs 6:25). “But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). 

Even if the dad is able to avoid looking and lusting, will his wife be concerned for her husband’s heart? What about sons in their home? It takes great maturity and self-control to avoid such visual temptation for men, but adolescent sons probably don’t have that. 

Clearly there is no deference shown by that woman. Likely, she considers what she is wearing to be appropriate and appears to have little concern for defrauding her male neighbors and perhaps welcomes the attention.

Sadly, today, many professing Christian women also show little, to no, deference for men and boys by what they wear to church or with family and friends, possibly seeking such attention. Most sin is private, but immodesty is “in-your-face” to those near. Sad times indeed. Summer is here dads.

Steve

Just How Committed?

Another Father’s Day is about here. The years click by, and we have one less year to influence the children living in our home. Has there been tangible growth in your life and children’s this past year? 

The time to influence their lives is diminishing with each day, each hour. Have you noticed that resolutions don’t work? Good intentions even less. It takes commitment, then execution.  

Are both hands to the plow? Is the cry of your heart, “Father, enable me to raise these children to love you with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength?” Dads, is that the way you live and love the Lord?

“…The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and 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 6:4-7).

Steve

Buddy, Got a Penny?

Most of us have observed someone fall, whether it is moral, financial, or spiritual. The result is that many suffer, and our Lord is dishonored. People (especially the guy) are often surprised by it. “How could this have happened?” 

Have you walked along a mountain trail next to a sharp drop-off or been on a tall, precarious ladder? If so, you exercised great caution because you valued your safety and recognized the risk. Notice that high value and significant danger produce caution. 

Satan’s tactics are quite predictable–he seeks very small compromises where value is insignificant: therefore no apparent risk, and no need for caution. He then comes back for more, and more, but who cares. What’s a penny? Before long the person is comfortable with compromise and set up for the fall. 

King David did not go out with his troops (a penny). When he couldn’t sleep he went out to the roof. Then he “looked” (another penny) and kept looking until desire conquered him (gotch-ya). 

King Solomon (the wisest man ever) in 1 Kings 3 made affinity with Pharaoh (frankly more than a penny) and took Pharaoh’s daughter to wife (seemingly a penny). Then, “… king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites.” 

Ultimately, “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 …. 5 For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 And Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and went not fully after the Lord…. 7 Then did Solomon build an high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is before Jerusalem, and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon. 8 And likewise did he for all his strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods” (1 Kings 11:1-8) (beyond gotch-ya).

Dad, are you valuing your marriage, family, and relationship with the Lord? What “little” compromises are you making? Are you flirting with the world?

Steve