All posts tagged parenting

Musings on Family Vacations

I can’t believe how quickly decades pass! As I write, I’m sitting on a red-eye flight, starting our 20th family vacation—our first without Lance. My mind goes back to what seems like a moment ago. I’ve been here before. It was in a hotel room in Palm Desert, California about 13 years ago—our last night…

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Strengthening Spiritual Decisions

As promised, here are a few short thoughts about how to respond to your teenager after teen camp, especially in regards to their spiritual decisions. Begin with the long-term perspective—Our view of spiritual decisions is often just too short. Every good decision of life begins with short-term challenges, but also bears long-term results at a…

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The Road to Adulthood Gets Longer

New Data on the Growing Distance Between Youth and Adulthood The New York Times ran a fascinating article yesterday entitled “The Long Road to Adulthood Is Growing Even Longer” by Patricia Cohen. The article reinforces a growing body of research, much of which I wrote about in Life Quest: Braving Adulthood with Biblical Passion. The…

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The Precious Pauses of Parenthood…

Learning to seize the teaching moments that may never return… On a breakfast date this past week, Haylee asked me, “Why did you choose to like Mommy instead of another girl?” Wow! What a cool question! And what a wide open door. That’s like someone asking a Christian “Why did you choose Christianity over all…

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Why Young People Stay Faithful

Have you ever wondered what contributes to young people staying faithful to the things of God, while others wander away? What contributes to two kids in the same local church, hearing the same preaching, ultimately going dramatically different directions? Ultimately, it’s free will—everybody makes their own decisions. But what influences those decisions? One of our…

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The Forgotten Side of Submission

Not long ago, my wife and I were faced with a really difficult decision. We were faced with two very important schedule conflicts and there was no way we could fulfill both. For several days we worked the situation over in our minds and in talking together. No matter what we chose, something very important…

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Five Values of Successful Homeschooling

Educating Your Children with a Winning Philosophy Recently I had the privilege of meeting with a wonderful group of families in our church that homeschool their children. I fully believe in the value of traditional, Christian education and schooling, but I also have respect for Christian parents who, out of necessity or by preference, choose…

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Great Books for Christian Parents

Frequently someone asks what books I would recommend on youth ministry or parenting. They are generally the same books. While there are some good books on youth ministry, the most helpful to youth ministry are those on the family. Whether you are a parent, a youth pastor, or a pastor, I would urge you to…

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10 Things Your Teen Won’t Tell You (Part 3)

This is the third and final part in this series of articles. Click here to read part one or part two. 7. I’m as confused as you are about my problems. The truth—when you, in frustration, ask—“What wrong with you!?” They honestly don’t know the answer. If you feel like you are confused about what’s…

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10 Things Your Teen Won’t Tell You (Part 2)

This is part two of a three part series. Click here to read the first part of this article. 4. My deepest need is a sincere relationship with you. (I need time with parents.) Not only will they not say this—they won’t even admit to it or understand it. This one resides so deep in our…

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Before You Discipline Your Child…

Discipline is a sacred thing. Too often we parents take discipline too lightly or treat it too flippantly. In the big picture, all discipline is about bringing our children into a right relationship with their Heavenly Father, that He might bless their lives. It’s not about controlling behavior, modifying behavior, or minimizing embarrassment. Pure and…

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Thankful for Christian Education

This past Saturday we had some family time and decided to drive over to the coast for the afternoon. It was one of the most beautiful coastal days I’ve ever seen—the sun was warm, the waves were huge, and it seemed that we had several miles of beach to ourselves. One of the highlights was…

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10 Things Teens Won’t Tell You (Part 1)

Have you noticed that teens are tight lipped? For a myriad of reasons—usually intimidation being the biggest—they really find it difficult to talk to adults at times. This is especially true with parents. In every home, there is a spiritual battle against authentic communication. Let’s face it—the devil doesn’t want parents and teens to truly…

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A New Report on Spanking

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported on a recent study that validated (not that it needed to be) the biblical model of child-rearing—spankings combined with balanced love, forgiveness, and nurture. The study showed that kids who were spanked actually did better in many areas of life, including academically, than those who were not spanked….

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New Data about Kids and Media

Several days ago the LA Times reported on a Kaiser Family Foundation study that showed kids are now averaging 53 hours per week in digital media, including TV, video games, cell phone, computer, etc. This does not include when kids are multitasking—perhaps using their phone and watching TV at the same time. When factoring those…

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Survey for Reality-Parenting

Several weeks ago I shared a post called “Reality Parenting—Making the Grade.” This post is a follow-up. A primary goal of every parent should be to model a right relationship with the Heavenly Father, and ultimately to see our children embrace that same relationship. Seeing a father or mother live in love with the Lord—happily…

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Christmas from a 4 Year Old!

A friend of mine who serves the Lord at the BBN Radio Network sent me this link to the Christmas story told by a four-year-old little girl. It blessed our family. It will captivate you from the first word! Merry Christmas! This was recorded and is available on CD from Jeff Apthorp, Sound Amazing Studios….

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7 Big Parenting Mistakes

Here’s a short list of mistakes that all parents can make when it comes to seeing, understanding, and biblically responding to the spiritual growing pains of life. (This is as much to myself as to others.) Stop and think about it—and pray for godly wisdom in responding to the issues of your children’s hearts with…

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Struggling Teenagers? Don’t Give Up Early!

Have you had a student come through your youth group, graduate, and not mature spiritually the way you hoped? It seems no matter how we pray, labor, plan, or serve—there are some that graduate and drift spiritually. What about trying to help a struggling student, only to feel like you’re spinning your wheels? Gauging by…

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Reality Parenting—Making the Grade

Wanting to know the truth of where we stand with our kids I had a cute conversation at my daughter’s bedside last night, before we prayed. It went something like this: “Haylee, if you had to give me an A, B, C, D, or F as a daddy, tell how you would grade me…” she…

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