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Posts Tagged ‘Christian Parenting’

I’ve posted before about the importance of guarding our heart. It is the first verse we’ve had our kids memorize and sets up a lot of the parental decisions we make. There are many things we don’t allow our kids to participate in because we feel it would be letting our guard down.

However, over the years the more I’ve thought about this verse the more truth I’ve gotten from it. I ask my kids often, “How’s your heart?” We talk about if anyone has broken a promise to them. If anyone has lied to them. If anyone has hurt their heart. I don’t want my kids to grow up with broken, pain-filled hearts. Because people with broken, pain-filled hearts not only have a hard time in life, but often inflict brokenness and pain on others.

As a dad this gets tricky though and sometimes feels like a daunting task. Pain in many shapes and forms happen. Broken promises and lies happen. Broken hearts are a product of these things. But a few weeks ago I was reading and realized we don’t have to do this all on our own. The peace of God is here to help us.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

– Philippians 4:7 (NIV – emphasis added)

As a dad, and as a Christ follower, it’s good to know that God doesn’t leave this awesome task to us alone. He is here to help our kids… and us.

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Recently I spoke at our church and shared some Biblical principles for parental discipline. The talk was mostly based on scripture, but also was laced with some great, practical insight shared by Ted Tripp in his book Shepherding a Child’s Heart.

The true motive for discipline is to keep our kids in a ‘circle of blessing’. This metaphorical circle has a boundary established by our child’s obedience and honor. However, as parents, it is our responsibility to correct the child when they get out of the circle and hopefully bring them back inside.

To see the message, and many others from our church, you can click here. The message on Parenting is entitled Carnival Week 3.

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This is the sixth post in a series about parenting. I described my reasons for these posts in an earlier introduction.

Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His.

We are His people.

– Psalm 100:3

We want our kids to know whose they are. First and foremost, they are God’s. They are blessed and favored. We know this because of what the scriptures promise. Anna Brooke LOVES her Gigi books. She is a full blown princess and we encourage her in it, because after all, she is the daughter of THE KING. She and Evie even have the shirts to prove it!

Secondly though, they are Harris’. They have a heritage of values, integrity and traditions. We teach them that some things we do are just the Harris way. It may be different from what they see on TV or in school, but it is our heritage. This gives them connection, belonging, and security. It anchors them in a world of change and challenges.

Do you have a rich family heritage? Be proud of it! If you’re not sure, let it start with YOU! Pass on integrity, character, hard-work, love and loyalty. Raise up your kids to know they can follow in your path, and ultimately the path of their Father.

Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name,

He gave the right to become children of God.

– John 1:12

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This is the fifth post in a series about parenting. I described my reasons for these posts in an earlier introduction.

He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.
– Proverbs 13:20

For many years I’ve spoken to kids about the importance of their families. I’ve said, “Your family is the only one you’ve got. Friends will come and go, but you’ll always have your family. In fact, if you live a godly life, you’ll end up loosing some close friends because of it, but your family will always be with you.”

When choosing friends, kids should understand they have a choice. If friends are making bad choices and are negatively affecting their lives, help your kids consider ways to put some distance between them. They can still be kind and compassionate without becoming ‘bosom buddies’. They don’t have to invite them to your house. They don’t have to sit with them at lunch. Help your kids realize they have a choice. In fact, an important choice.

One of Andy Stanley’s great quotes deals with this subject. “Your friends determine the direction and quality of your life.” As parents, we’ve seen the effects of being in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong crowd. We need to teach kids at an early age that their choice in friends will have a great impact on their futures.

Evie and I have discovered the positive effects of having godly relationships. Our lives have been greatly impacted by seeking out relationships with folks who strive for God’s best for themselves and their families. We are definitely the richer for it! We want to see our kids have the same kind of friendships!

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OK… read my lips: I… am… not… a… parenting… expert! I don’t even play one on TV. (I’m Pastor Phil! HA!)

When it comes to being a dad, I’m a novice. I’ve got a 7 year old and a 3 year old, and Evie and I are doing the best we know how. We have not been at it long enough to have a lot battle scares, but we often feel battle weary. We pray for God’s grace daily as we ‘train up’ our kids.

That being said, as a children’s minister, I’ve been an observer of families for years. I’ve worked with families from the mean streets of NYC, to the suburbs of the South. And in every place, I’ve been privileged to see some of the best parents on the face of this earth. Parents who run to the fight for their family on a daily basis. I’ve also seen the devastating results on a family when parents resolve to fail in seeing the best for their kids.

So, in an effort to help parents in the hardest jobs of our lives, and to start a discussion of what has worked for you, I will do a series of posts here dealing with parenting. These posts will present principles based on wisdom gained from God fearing, Bible believing, seasoned parents. Principles that have immensely helped me and Evie. I’m sure they’ll help others.

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