Marriage and Family

The Benefits of Reading to Your Children

Connecting with our children is vital. Connecting our children with God is paramount. Books supply a comfortable entry point to discuss uncomfortable topics and provide a context for the consequences of bad behavior.

Christian community · Christian Living · Marriage and Family · Prayer

Prayers for Parents of School-Aged Kids

As we press through August and into the fall, we will see frequent signs that school is back in session. Gradually, a few parents will develop a worry line or two. Homeschool moms may find themselves sobbing as perfect lesson plans implode in the face of another autistic episode. Another mom may be quietly sobbing in an empty room as their youngest child moves three or three hundred miles away from home in pursuit of a college degree. A dad may be getting stomach ulcers worrying about the safety of his daughter around all those teenage boys. On top of all the back-to-school changes, these parents are still facing life with all it's pressures and frustrations. Are we sensitive to their needs? Are we reaching out to be supportive? Encouraging? Helpful?

Christian community · encouragement · Marriage and Family

To The Parents with the Squirmy Kids at Worship

  I saw you on Sunday morning. I watched you walk down the aisle at least three times. On the first trip, you held a squirmy baby in one arm and a diaper bag in the other. Your second exodus involved a recalcitrant toddler, howling like a wolf at the moon. You made your last… Continue reading To The Parents with the Squirmy Kids at Worship

Knowing God · Marriage and Family · Prayer

Is Your Parenting on Cruise Control?

Parenting is inconvenient. Yes, I just said that. Once you have a child, your life will be forever changed. You will be humbled. Humiliated. Screamed at. Loved with abandon. Squeezed with unimaginable strength by those little arms. Amazed. Shocked. heartbroken. Overwhelmed with love. Filled with a newfound awe for your own parents. Unfortunately, once the baby… Continue reading Is Your Parenting on Cruise Control?

Marriage and Family · Prayer

Back to School Prayers

Clogged up parking lots. Fresh, clean backpacks. Crisp new clothes. Sharp pencils. Eager young faces... Yup, it's back-to-school time! No matter what form of education you choose for your child---homeschool, private school, or public school---we need to pray diligently through this season of life. The education process is indeed challenging. I realize that many children are… Continue reading Back to School Prayers

Christian community

Edify: Building a Strong Generation

This article is part of the series “Raising GenNext.” You can read the previous post by clicking here. Edify comes from the Greek "oikodomḗ" meaning 'the act of building.' We often use this word as a reference to spiritual encouragement. Edification is more than perfunctory praise; it is the endeavor to construct something strong. To date, we have covered the first… Continue reading Edify: Building a Strong Generation

Christian community

Entrust: Involving Children in the Important within the church (part 2)

This article is part of the series “Building GenNext.” You can read the previous post by clicking here. Somewhere in the past, someone concluded the primary reason children were leaving the church was somehow related to it's boringness. There was a slow movement toward making entertainment more important than education and edification. And yet, in spite of the hyped up… Continue reading Entrust: Involving Children in the Important within the church (part 2)

Christian community · Marriage and Family

Do you want your children to follow in your footsteps?

Children are keen observers and imitators. Compliant children will try to do what their parents do in order to make them happy. Strong-willed kids amy try to be little rebels, but even they have a tendency to imitate their parents to some degree. They are always watching how we handle our circumstances. What we do has a greater influence than what we say. Is your example one worth following??

Christian community

Do people see Jesus in your life?

Several years ago, there was a commercial on TV in which a young boy was following his father everywhere and attempting to imitate him in every way. The commercial concluded with the Father smoking a cigarette and the son trying to mimic the action. The shock of that concluding seen was intended to discourage parents from smoking, because children would ultimately do the same. Our example shouts louder than our words. When we become a Christian, we are born to a new life, adopted by God, and endowed with a new name. We have to re-learn how to live in order to resemble our new Father.

Christian community · Marriage and Family

Engage: Building Meaningful Relationships with our Children (Raising GenNext)

A Barna Group study reported in 2013, states, "Seven out of 10 Millennials who dropped out of church did not have a close friendship with an adult and nearly nine out of ten never had a mentor at the church." Furthermore, they report "Those who stay were twice as likely to have a close personal friendship with an adult inside the church (59% of those who stayed report such a friendship versus 31% among those who are no longer active). The same pattern is evident among more intentional relationships such as mentoring—28% of Millennials who stay had an adult mentor at the church other than their pastor, compared to 11% of dropouts who say the same." As that study indicates, relationships are not a guarantee that children raised by Christians will remain in the church, but it is apparent that meaningful relationships influence that choice.