In the August vlog, I talk about leveraging the team effort between you and your spouse. God made families with a mom and a dad for a reason. Check out this month’s video!
We touch on a bunch of topics in this episode as I welcome “Trevor” to the podcast. Trevor is a foreign exchange student from Great Britain.
We talk about differences from our two countries such as driving on the opposite side of the road, parenting, the Olympics and some of our favorite events and favorite athletes, baseball and the recent 11-game winning streak for the Chicago Cubs, getting ready to start school for the year, food and viral videos.
Hard Work Brings Reward ~ Trevor
This is a fun and light episode as you might imagine it would be with a 12-year old. Sometimes it’s good to kick back and have a chat with a kid.
Our family spent last week Gull Lake Ministries for vacation. I’m talked about Gull Lake on the podcast and have probably written about it before. It is one of our favorite places to go on vacation. The culture they have created there is second to none. The counselors are amazing, the food is delightful and the Bible teaching is convicting. My soul is restored after a week at GLM.
Choosing Faith Over Fear
Our Bible teacher for the week was Pastor Steve Andrews of Kensington Church. Too often I come away from a week like this without doing much reflection on what I’ve heard and learned. I thought writing up a blog post on one of the teaching principles would help me process it.
Pastor Steve talked about some of the big lessons he has learned throughout his journey in life. The first one he spoke on was “Choosing Faith over Fear.” We live in difficult times. I say that, and yet, as I read books about other times in history, the same could be said for those times. So, even as “difficult” as these days are, I don’t know that they are any more or less difficult than the other times were. Certainly from the standpoint of “comforts” we have it easier but the culture seems to be ever changing and not always, or necessarily often, for the better. The difficulty in this is understanding how to deal with it as parents and how to lead our children through these days.
The text that Pastor Steve talked about came from Matthew 6:19-21:
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Brokenness is Stronger than Pretend
There is nothing for us in this world. Everything we have as believers in Jesus is in Christ. One of Pastor Steve’s pieces of advice was to “give your kids a bright, clear picture of the future in Christ Jesus.”
So, how do you do this? You lead your family. You lead your children. You demonstrate what it is to have a passionate love for the word of God. You live out your faith every day.
Pastor Steve made a point that really resonated with me. He said, “brokenness is stronger than pretend.” Being real makes a greater impact than faking your way through. As parents, we find it difficult to share our struggles with our children. But we need to believe that our kids, and our spouse, are stronger than we realize. Their shoulders are able to bear more than we think they can. So while we will hesitate to convey to them our struggles and burdens, as we share them at the appropriate time, it will deepen their faith.
Look for those moments when you can share something with your kids. While life in Jesus is awesome, it’s not always perfect. As they understand this, they will have more courage to share their own struggles. And so we help each other along as we pursue faith over fear.
Fun Times with Dad: When I was playing Monopoly with my kids the other night, I was charging rent to my son on a property that was un-owned. Sneaky, I know. He wasn’t too happy, but my daughter thought it was funny.
Benefits of First-Time Obedience:
- Kids are more thoughtful/intentional in what they ask for
- Creates a greater respect for authority
- Cuts down on arguments
The reality is, people that look like they have it all together when it comes to household chores for the kids, don’t really have it all together. In our home, sometimes the cat doesn’t always get fed, . However, it’s terrific to have chores assigned to your kids. Chores help kids learn responsibility and gives them ownership of their responsibility.
I haven’t played this new game that is all the rage this summer, but I will advise you, as parents, to do your homework on it and set some boundaries with it as with all technology, screen time, etc. Focus on the Family created a guide for parents on it that will help you in talking about it with your family.
Look, it’s almost August…again! Yikes, that summer flew by…again!
Listen in to this video blog on my back to school tips.
Fun Times with Dad: After my kids’ performance in the Wizard of Oz, my daughter took me backstage for a behind the scenes look into her role off-stage.
Is It Okay to Spank?
Yes, spanking your children is okay, if done correctly. The Bible is clear that we are not to withhold the “rod” in discipline. The bible says, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; the rod of discipline will remove it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15) So much of what I read recently in the media about spanking is that parents should not do it. But the definition in which they define spanking is not the way to do it anyway. Spanking is helpful in parenting when you do it correctly.
Reasons for the Proper Use of the Rod in Biblical Discipline
- Remove foolishness (Proverbs 22:15)
- Demonstrate love (Proverbs 13:24)
- Deliverance (Proverbs 23:13-14)
- Yield peaceful fruit (Hebrews 12:11)
Suggested Steps when Spanking
(from A Biblical Approach to Parenting)
- Give clear expecations ahead of time. Do not repeat warnings.
- If an offense has been committed, proceed to a private setting and check your self control.
- Have a discussion about the behavior and attitude and what it was versus what was expected.
- Place smaller children across your lap, have older kids lean over a bed or chair.
- Use a “rod”, such as a wooden spoon, for a predetermined number of spanks on the bottom.
- Once your child regains composure discuss how they did with it.
- If repentant, pray with them and encourage your child to make better choices in future.
- Give your child a hug and kiss, tell them you love them and remind them of the purpose of discipline.
Parenting takes wisdom from God, a standard of righteousness, a willing parent, and a lot of work. In other words, dedication, patience and persistence! Biblical discipline is having the goal of correction, not punishment. Punishment is looking back, correction is looking to the future.
So, I called an expert…my brother-in-law, for some guidance. I knew he had dealt with these pests in his yard. His advice was “don’t mess around.” So, after I finished up with cutting the grass on my riding mower, I went to the hardware store in town to the mole elimination section.
I bought a device that you bury in the ground and makes a noise every 30 seconds that is supposed to trick the moles into thinking a predator is nearby. The packaging says to wait from a few days to a few weeks. I wasn’t sure how patient I could be but I thought this may be a humane way to start to try to rid my lawn of the pesky sucker.
After a couple weeks, I moved on to level two and bought a trap. I wasn’t exactly sure if I was setting it in the right spot but figured I’d give it a try. I set it on a Saturday afternoon and hadn’t caught it by the next morning. Seeing two new mole hills popped up I moved the trap over just between them. By the time I got home from church that afternoon, the trap had been triggered. I pull it up from the yard and sure enough, I had caught him. That stinker was one pesky mole.
After talking to several people, I learned that moles feast on grubs and if you can get rid of the food source you can get rid of the mole(s) so next time, I’ll try some grub-b-gone or something. I was just relieved to be rid of the sucker.
The point of sharing this story is this. Sometimes our heart becomes overtaken by sin. No matter what device we use to get rid of it, it keeps popping up and reminding us of it’s presence.
We have to remember that we aren’t perfect humans and therefore we can’t be perfect parents but we can model how to deal with sin.
I used to have a bad temper. It was pretty horrible when I was a kid and even as a young parent, I would show it off to my family once in a while. Over time, I learned to better control my emotions. As I matured as a Christian and learned more about how to deal with sin, I began to show my temper less and less often. (Unfortunately, it probably took longer than it should have.)
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13
As we deal with sin in our own life, we can then help our kids learn to deal with sin in their lives. Most sin, like a mole in your yard, will pop up from time to time, but as we learn to deal with the temptation, it will pop up less and less until we get rid of it altogether.
Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. ~ Matthew 26:41
This can only happen by the grace of God. We have to allow Him to work in our lives to see us through. Praise the Lord for His gracious mercy!
Fun Times with Dad: Emma and I went to see the movie, The Jungle Book. The kids helped me with the washing and waxing of our vehicles.
If we’re not intentional and paying attention, we can find ourselves drifting away in our relationship with our spouse and/or our kids.
Score Card for Husbands
It can be a bit of a reality check to evaluate yourself in your role as a husband. It can be even more of a reality check to allow your wife to evaluate you. But how will you get better as a husband if you aren’t paying attention to what needs to be improved?
Praying for your Family
A couple of books (listed in the Links section) I have read recently have some goods lists of how you can pray for your wife and for your kids. There are so many verses in the Bible that help us in this area. These resources list ways to pray for our family along with the verses that tie into each prayer.
I challenge you, especially men, to evaluate yourself in your role as a husband and dad and to focus more this week on praying for your family.
Recently, I was migrating some of our home video to a digital format. I was reminded of the blessing of home movies. So, I want to encourage you, parents, regardless of how much it might embarrass your kids, take video every now and then to capture some of those moments.
Fun Times with Dad – filming a video for my wife for her birthday.
In God’s complete sovereignty, infinite wisdom and perfect love, He provides us with the perfect child, or children, for us. He provides us the grace to parent them and strength we need each day.
“Every single human being is an image bearer of the Creator; thus, we are required to be very careful and faithful in terms of our moral judgment…. This means that we have to affirm without asking any other questions or without knowing any other particular about any other human being that they are an image bearer of God, and thus that they deserve the gift of life and the respect and dignity and sanctity of that life beyond any other consideration. It is not necessary that any human being meet any specific criterion, whether that criterion have anything to do with matters of health or intelligence or social status or moral qualification, nothing is necessary in order for human beings to have the status of being made in God’s image. That is because it is a status we have not earned or achieved; it is a status that is declared and granted by our Creator and by him alone.” ~ Albert Mohler, The Briefing on 6/13/2016
A Godly Father Balances Discipline with Love
No Love / No Discipline = Neglectful Father (Parent)
High Love / Low Discipline = Permissive Father (Parent)
Low Love / High Discipline = Harsh, Authoritarian Father (Parent)
High Love / High Discipline = Loving, Authoritative Father (Parent)