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Posts Tagged ‘Parenting’

Birthday Bowling

bowlingBlake’s 8th birthday is coming up next week, and just like the 7 others before this one, it falls on the day after Christmas.

We’re thankful that so far every year on his birthday Blake has been surrounded by family. Evie has been intentional about having a cake and letting him open presents from family!

However, the day after Christmas is NOT the best time to celebrate with friends. Either we’re out of town, or THEY are! So every year we’ve made an effort to do something with his friends, just not ON his birthday!

These ‘special’ days are often something simple. Outside of a couple of full-blown birthday parties in November, we’ve also tried a few non-traditional things: a movie day with a few friends or a 1/2 birthday pool party in June with 3 of his buddies.

Well today is Blake’s celebration day! This year we’re going bowling with another family from church, and the cool thing is that even though today is NOT his birthday, he’ll have a BLAST! It’s just another simple way to make some memories and celebrate with friends!

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Last night I was thinking of the ol’ question, “What came first?” People have debated for generations whether it was the chicken or the egg. When it comes to familial relationships though, there is no denying that there has to be PARENTS before there can be CHILDREN.

Now let me say one of my greatest joys in life is to provide for my kids. As parents, our children NEED us! They need our love, attention, care, time, protection, and oh yes… our money! (I wish I would have bought stock in a formula company before I had kids!) And children don’t need to ask for these resources. By their very nature, helpless as they are at first, they DEMAND it! And by our nature, as parents, we want to do all we can to take care of them. This is all part of God’s plan!

What happens too often though is parent’s end up giving ALL their ancillary resources (extra time, energy, love, attention, and care) to their children and neglect their spouse. Our kids demand our attention, but our spouse should never have to!

What it boils down to is this… There was an US, before there was a THEM!

What do I mean!?! There was an ‘Evie and Phil’ before Blake and Anna Brooke were ever thought of. That may sound mean spirited, but I promise… IT’S NOT! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my kids! I’ve been working in kids ministry for over 13 years, and I LOVE my kids more than any other kids on the planet. But, my marriage came first. I can’t allow my kids’ needs, or more importantly their perceived needs (otherwise called wants) to consume my life in such a way that I neglect the needs of my wife. I have to continue to pursue her!

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives,

exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting.

– Ephesians 5:25, The Message

Additionally, my kids will one day grow up. As their dad, a primary part of my job is to prepare them to leave my home and start their own. When that day comes, it will be back to me & Evie, and hopefully our relationship will be as strong as ever!

So to answer the ol’ question… THE CHICKENS CAME FIRST! Now that’s not to say parent’s are chicken! It takes tremendous courage to raise kids in today’s culture. But caving into our kids every whim at the expense of our own marriage… now that is a cowardly thing to do!

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We have a 7 and 4 year old at home, and they’re both becoming more computer savvy everyday. For this reason, Evie and I started looking for an internet filtering device recently, and last week we stumbled upon Glubble.

Glubble is a Firefox add-on that allows you to customize the internet experience for each person in your family. It is especially geared for folks who have elementary and younger aged children at home. We’ve only had it a week, but so far we’re really pleased.

It was easy to set up and has lots of kid friendly internet sites already preloaded. Additionally, when Blake or Anna Brooke click on a site that is not on their already approved list, we get a notice and have the choice to approve or deny their request. This way we’re assured that they will not accidentally find their way into inappropriate material.

So far we’re happy we’ve found it! If you’ve got little ones in your home, it’s worth your time to check it out here!

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  • Pray that your children will know Jesus Christ as forgiver of their sins and leader of their life at an early age in life (Ps.63:1; 2 Tim.3:15).
  • Pray that they will have a hatred for sin (Ps.97:10).
  • Pray that they will be caught when guilty (Ps.119:71).
  • Pray that they will be protected from the evil one in each area of their lives: spiritually, emotionally, relationally and physically (John 17:15).
  • Pray that they will have a responsible attitude in all their interpersonal relationships (Dan.6:3).
  • Pray that they will respect people in authority over them (Rom.13:1).
  • Pray that they will desire the right kind of friends and be protected from the wrong friends (Prov.1:10-15).
  • Pray that they, as well as their future mates, will be kept pure (1 Cor.6:14-20).
  • Pray that they will be kept from the wrong mate and saved for the right one (2 Cor.6:14-17).
  • Pray that they will learn to submit totally to God and actively resist Satan in all circumstances (Ja.4:7).
  • Pray they will be single-hearted, willing to be sold out to Jesus Christ (Rom.12:1-2).
  • Pray that they will be hedged in so they cannot find their way to wrong people or wrong places, and the wrong people cannot find their way to them (Hos.2:6).

Adapted from John Maxwell’s book: Breakthrough Parenting

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Whining is disobedience

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

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. – Psalm 106:1

Throughout Psalms we are commanded to give thanks, and many times to do it with a grateful heart. Too often though, instead of focusing on the many things we should be thankful for, we whine about the things we ‘ain’t got’.

Whining is a heart issue — unless it’s dealt with at an early age, it leads to an unappreciative and disrespectful heart. A couple I have much love and respect for shared this value with me and shared some practical ways how to pass it on to our kids.

  • Expect immediate obedience without the whining

Do not give an audience to “the whine”. If my kids come to me with a genuine gripe, they still have to use their BIG kids voice.

  • Don’t negotiate with your kids

Too often we attempt to explain to our kids why we’re asking something of them and we fall into negotiation mode. Yet when they’re young, it’s unlikely our kids can understand our motives. Sometimes the “Because Mommy/Daddy said so card” must be played.

  • Don’t ever buy your child’s obedience

Obedience is right, not rewardable.

  • Always keep your word especially when it comes to discipline

Be ready to back up whatever you’ve promised. Your kids have got to know that you mean what you say. “Let your ‘no’ be ‘no’, and your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’!”

  • Be Thankful

Once again, let your kids catch you being thankful. Make it a part of your family routine to “Give thanks!”.

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

“Dear friends, I urge you as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans, that though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God.” – I Peter 2:11-12

As a follower of Jesus, raising children in today’s culture is sobering. The media, commercialism, peer influences, and quite simply the various dangers of this world makes me want to shelter our kids from the world and shut out all of the potential negative influences. Yet, while I need to offer a physically and emotionally safe environment in an attempt to insulate them from the unsafe and unpredictable elements of this world, I’ve got to prepare them to face this dangerous world one day. That is my goal!

The scripture in I Peter instructs us not only on how we should live, but offers a parental directive as well. To be a ‘stranger’ or ‘alien’ is to live alongside natives in a foreign land. Knowing this means we don’t have to accept the same rules of conduct as the world. Why? Because we’re different!

I love the way the Switchfoot song Beautiful Letdown says it during the bridge’s refrain: “I don’t belong here. I don’t belong here. I will carry a cross and a song where I don’t belong!” When our kids realize we’re different for a reason, it gives them a sense of purpose. When they realize the goodness of our lives can be a witness that will bring glory to God, then they become our arrows!

“Like arrows in he hands of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth” – Psalm 127:4

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Obey & Honor

This is the second in a series of post about parenting. I described my objective for these posts in an earlier introduction.
“Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise, that it may go well with you, and you may enjoy long life on the earth.” – Ephesians 6:1-3

Obedience is an attitude of the heart. Kids should obey with a happy, willing heart. This is essential to having the long term benefits of God’s favor with them.

Honor shows up with words and actions. A father I have immense respect for told me a story. One of his teenage boys said some ‘dishonoring’ things to his mother. This father went to his son, and with no uncertain terms, explained that he’d never let a stranger off of the street talk to his wife that way, and he certainly wouldn’t let his son do it either.

Fathers, let’s honor our wives. Wives, please respect your husbands. Modeling this lifestyle for our children will teach them more about honor and respect than any eloquent talk or inspirational sermon.

How can we as parents encourage willing obedience? As parents, how do you honor one another in front of your kids?

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