Parenting Video Series

2010 February 26

Filed in:

Do Not Hinder Them (Childrearing)

I am beginning a series on “Essentials of Christian Parenting.”  Here are the first two videos:


The Most Important Things Christian Parents Lack

2010 February 18

Filed in:

Do Not Hinder Them (Child Rearing)


Some of the MOST IMPORTANT things Christian parents might lack in parenting:
1)  DISCIPLINE – Children should be given consistent, unsurprising discipline for a consistent, simple standard.
2)  FORGIVENESS – Children can’t be free of sin, unless someone frees them from it.  Allowing sin to go unchecked, and unconvicted makes them keep their sin. But forgiveness is not ingoring sin.  Forgiveness requires us to call sin evil first.  Then it allows us to highlight the depth of sin, at the same time as extending grace.  Children should be told outloud that they are forgiven.  I even suggest ritualizing the repetition by the child that “I am forgiven.”  I make of point of emphasizing “I will always love you because you are my child, no matter how many times you sin in this way.  You are mine, and I will always be yours.”
3)  PARENTAL REPENTANCE – this means you have to tell your children that you know it when you sin.  They know when we sin too.  If we don’t recognize it in front of them, we make ourselves visible liars.  They will learn to cover sin, and they will learn it from us.  Just like MAKING them say “I am forgiven,” we should MAKE them say “I forgive YOU.”  Make them forgive their siblings, and us.  You do NOT have to make sure that they FEEL it.  They are maleable when they are young, and they are created with molding in mind.  And before all else, they need to learn that forgiveness is the next step after repentance and confession.  It is ALWAYS what happens in a Christian family.  It has to go both ways to create a culture of interpersonal sanctification.  I suggest such repeated sentences as, “Thank you for acting like Jesus.  He is forgiving.  When you forgive you are acting like him.”  “Thank you for forgiving your brother, you will help him learn to be a forgiving person.  Now when you sin against him, he will also say that he forgives you.”  “Thank you for forgiving Daddy; we are a family who forgives sin.  I forgive you, and you forgive me.”  “If we didn’t forgive each other, we would become an unhappy family.”
The whole key here is that there IS a goal, so give them a path.  It is hard to find a way to a goal without a path.  Give them a path, and keep pushing them back onto it.  Over and over and over and over.  They will learn to do these things naturally.
Lest we say this is just making them Robots, remember that it leads to God-given JOY in our emotions when we live in this kind of family.  Remember, I said that you do not have to make them FEEL it in the moment.  This is because you are making them feel it over time.  The way that a culture of confession/repentance/forgiveness FEELS is so much better than one of concealing/hardening/embittering.  They will learn that they are being fed feast food, and when they eat the trash of bad judgment, as we all do from time to time, they won’t like it.  Then the mature choices they make will be personal and real and will flow out of the storehouse of family faith.

Do to Them as You Please

2010 January 21

Posted in:

Do Not Hinder Them (Child Rearing)

I was having coffee with a friend who said something I thought was elegant in its efficiency and vulgar in its insightful godliness.

We were discussing the influence of having a television on regularly in a house.  There are ads, there are attitudes and there are glorifications of evil, none of which do I want my children to know or to be enticed by.  But the force of the culture and the attempt to make a generation be what the advertising giants need my children to be in order to keep the giants growing is not subtle, and it isn’t invitational.  The power of suggestion is so frequent and ubiquitous that such power should not be called enticement, it is violation.  It isn’t meant to get my children to know the sellers, it is the other way around.  The sellers want to get my children.  And me.

Well here is what Will C. said,

Our culture is like Sodom and Gomorrah.  They are knocking at the door saying, “Send us out your children that we may know them.”

There is no room for us to raise children in a way that Keep Reading>

Controlled by Desire

2009 December 19

Filed in:

Do Not Hinder Them (Childrearing)

Recently Anastasia and I were talking about church, and she said to me,

Daddy, church isn’t very interesting to me.

I said, “I think it is like that for a lot of children, Anastasia.  But you know why we make sure to always work at getting there and worshipping?”

Excitedly, happily, and heartily, she whispered,

Because of Jesus!

I agreed, and added, “We worship regularly with God’s people, because he told us to do it.  And God is our Daddy.  And when your Daddy tells us to do something, do we say no?”

Satisfied and happy, she said,

We don’t say no to our Daddy.

It is MUCH, MUCH more important to make sure a child is obedient out of love, rather than giving first place to what is fun.  If their actions can be controlled by their desire to love their heavenly father, then they don’t have to be manipulated by the false promise of “almost cool church.”

Right on Target

2009 November 30

Filed in:

Do Not Hinder Them (Childrearing)

To the Pure All Things Are Pure (Fidelity)


I was recently in a large super-store which shall remain nameless.  I saw a baby onesie that said “Future Hottie.”

Fathers, our job is in part to protect our children from destruction, and to form them into sound buildings, since as believers, they are temples of the Holy Spirit.  This kind of joke, the one on the onesie, isn’t going to burn a hole in your baby’s skin today, but it does show what kind of humor you are willing to allow into your house, what kind of labels you will allow into the minds of others as they think about your children (and your wife), and in which direction your planning is aimed.

Everything we do that is valuable has direction.  If we want to minister, we have to be ready for it.  If we want to be to church on time, we have to iron clothes early.  If we want our children to know the Bible heartily when they are five, we have to teach it to them when they are three.

If we want our daughters to have safe respect for God’s image in her, if we want her to believe she should reject man after man until a truly godly one comes along, if  we want our daughters to believe we honor our wives, and if we want our daughters to have daughters that have daughters that love Jesus as Lord, then we need to plan it out, planning to march toward glory and purity.

No sin is unredeemable, but all bad directions pursued have little flags and markers along the way that show we are off course.

If we want to have kids that believe that the “Law of Yhwh is perfect, restoring the soul,” then we should NOT get them shirts that say “I’m the bad one” or “The thing I’m the best at is breaking the rules!”  If we want them to hide their private sexuality and to rightly parade God’s glory even in their own beauty, we should dress them modestly, and then praise their appearance.  If we want them to start strutting early, then maybe buying a onesie would put your plan right on target.

“To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.”