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Teaching Our Family to Forgive

By Family Discipleship

Forgiveness in the Family A young man was telling me about his upbringing. He enjoys his grown siblings but his parents are a challenge. When I asked the reason, he replied that there had been so many offenses between the two of them that they now just coexist as roommates. More and more I am convinced that a primary ingredient in a marriage, in a family, and in a church is forgiveness. Love and forgiveness are the gospel-glue that hold relationships together. Living in a gospel-filled home does not mean we are perfect. It does mean we forgive much based on…

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Completing the Work

By Christian Living

I believe that for those with unstructured weeks, managing our time is a unique challenge. How can we manage ourselves better? The following meditation was written for church leaders but it can certainly apply to the busy mom too! We will start with a short theological foundation by looking at a verse that shocks the senses of a Type-A personality. In John 17, we are able to peer into the intimate conversation between Father and Son before the torture of the cross. As we eavesdrop from the shadows, we hear these words from Jesus. I have brought you glory on earth…

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Barriers to Family Discipleship

By Family Discipleship

If we seek to honor the Lord in our family, we can expect opposition. The world, the flesh, and the devil will fight us all the way. But identifying the opposition can help us fight it. I was recently asked what I thought were common barriers to being a disciple-making parent. Here is my answer. Family Discipleship Barrier #1 – Not knowing what to do  One thing I hear from parents regularly is that they don’t know what to do. Parents can make discipling their child too hard, thinking they have to do a dozen different things all at the same time. Or they…

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Discipleship is a Process, Not a Product

By Family Discipleship

Discipleship is a Process Last weekend I led a seminar on raising sexually healthy kids. In today’s world, this topic is even more of a challenge. But apart from the content, I have been thinking about the method of teaching our children. And it reminds me that I need to remember God’s method as well as God’s content. The key thought? Discipleship is a process, not a product. It is easy to fall into the error of thinking that all we have to do is teach our children something once and they should be all set. Or we should take them through a…

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Forced To Be Kind?

By Parenting: Childhood

Kindness in the FamilyIf you have young children, I know that low-level fighting and provoking seem like part of normal life. What did we expect? We gave birth to little sinners and little sinners like to find anything they can to fight about.Yet in the midst of that messiness, we will want to aim for family unity. Notice I said aim. I wrote about that focus several weeks ago. If you missed it, you can read it here on the blog: Aiming for Family Unity. But in the midst of that battle for unity, how can we train our children? In digging deeper…

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The Memory Pot

By Parenting: Childhood, Parenting: Teens and Beyond

I have said before that the family is to display the Trinity. In the family, as in the Trinity, there is unity, diversity, love, honor, and obedience. And as an intentional parent I repeatedly wanted to cast a vision for all of those values when our children were at home.But do you notice a missing component?Joy. The Triune God is a happy God and overflows with joy! Similarly, I believe one of the most attractive qualities we can strive for in our families is joy. Joy marks us off as different than the world. Joy is a fruit of the Holy…

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We’re Working On That

By Parenting: Childhood, Parenting: Early Years

When Your Child Embarrasses You  If it hasn’t happened this week, you know it’s coming.You meet up with another family and out of the blue, your five-year-old pushes a four-year-old girl to the ground. You are humiliated.Or your four-year-old whines when given a command or says, “No” to you. And all this happened in front of other parents. Expecting Mess Ups As parents we are not responsible for the actions of our young children. They are children after all. Parenting is a process with many bumps along the road. In Parenting with Confidence, I urge parents to focus on winning the…

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Aiming for Family Unity

By Parenting: Childhood, Parenting: Teens and Beyond

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity!…For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore. Psalm 133:1,3 We just returned from a unique family trip/vacation. All of our children have jobs, so Sharon and I proposed a trip out west where we would pay for housing. All the other expenses would be split evenly. They agreed. And we have just returned from a week where we saw the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, and Bryce National Park. Since all of us are working, we were able to enjoy more adventures than when I was a…

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Book Review: The Master Plan of Evangelism

By Book Reviews, Family Discipleship

As disciple-making parents, we are committed to doing all that we can to raise our children to love and follow Jesus Christ. We know that we cannot control them or change their heart. But we want to do all that we can to influence them. Who is our premier example in this endeavor? Jesus! The twelve apostles as well as many other men and women turned the Roman world upside down. But did they do it without any preparation?  The answer to that question is a resounding, “No.” When we read the gospels, we learn that Jesus spent time ministering…

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Teaching Love 101

By Family Discipleship

Practicing Love 101: For Us and Our Children Jesus told us that the greatest commandments were to love God and love one another. Augustine observed that sin causes us to curve in on ourselves – the opposite of love. We want to train our children to love others and we want to practice these things ourselves. But what does it look like? Below, I have created a quick list of what you might call Loving 101 – The Basics. Church is a perfect place to practice these things. Please Don’t Filter This Out But before we start, I need to clear up an…

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