Here are a few things I’ve come across lately that are funny and helpful for parents.
- Video: The Skit Guys on “Being Mom”
- Video: The Skit Guys on “Fatherhood”
- Article: Tim Challies, “18 Things I Will Not Regret Doing with My Kids”
Here are a few things I’ve come across lately that are funny and helpful for parents.
I have the privilege of being one of the preaching and teaching pastors at Highlands Presbyterian Church. I love it! I sometimes can’t believe I get to do this for a living. One of the teaching opportunities that I get to have is the privilege of equipping parents to disciple their children according to the principles laid out in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. This Fall I will be teaching a six-week class called PARENT UNIVERSITY. Please don’t be wowed by the name because I borrowed it from my dear friends at Perimeter Presbyterian Church in Atlanta.
This class is designed for parents of teens and pre-teens. During our time together we will learn to help navigate your teen in today’s culture through this six-week class. We will deal biblically and intentionally with topics like:
I believe, as my friend Paul David Tripp wrote, that the teenage years are not years for parents to just survive – but to thrive. The teenage years are an age of opportunity. Please join me.
The book of Proverbs is a discipleship manual for parenting. Here are some key instructions from a father to a son from Proverbs 1.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7, ESV)
Get wisdom! Heed instruction from the LORD! (v.7)
Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, would have none of my counsel and despised all my reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way, and have their fill of their own devices. For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them; but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” (Proverbs 1:29-33, ESV)
Son, if you choose to hate knowledge and to despise the fear of the LORD, you will be destroyed by your sin. This destruction will come by going your own way and not the LORD’s way. Listen to the LORD’s instruction and you will be secure on a firm foundation. (vv.29-33)
One of the most over-whelming yet joyful responsibilities we have as parents is teaching our children how to pray. I suspect that most parents struggle at teaching their children to pray because they themselves feel that they are not very good at praying. I know I’ve felt this way and hey, I’m a pastor! I mean I’m the guy at all the family functions that has to say the blessing because “it’s my job.”
But I’m hear to tell you that consistent, daily, simple prayer with your children is one of the most profound things you can do to impact your child’s heart. Just the other day one of my children asked if he could say the blessing at our evening meal. I was glad to let him take leadership in doing this (after all, I’m trying to teach him how to lead a family one day). I was moved by his prayer. I was encouraging to see how he was able to articulate grace and thanksgiving all in a few sentences. That evening it was his turn to pray for whatever was on his heart and some other requests that were made. Again, I was blessed by the heart of his prayer. Thank you Lord that from the “mouths of babes” you teach us and declare Your praise!
What was so encouraging about his prayers were not just that he was able to articulate praise and thanksgiving – it was that we believe he was truly praying out of a converted heart. This is only something that God the Spirit can do and we are thankful for that.
As I have reflected on his prayers I realized that he did not learn this over night. He learned it in several different ways:
 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
(Deuteronomy 6:5-7 ESV)
For years I have been a huge proponent of Sally Lloyd-Jones work The Jesus Storybook Bible, and now her new work, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing is another to add to my recommended list of resources for families.
I just finished previewing the book and here are some of my initials thoughts:
I highly encourage you to pick up a copy.
Last night I watched ESPN’s latest 30 for 30 installment called BROKE. I really enjoyed it. It was a fascinating look into sports culture and the devastating effects of instant wealth for professional athletes who come from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.
I really enjoyed Broke for several reasons:
What these men did not report was that there was something far more “broke” with them than they realized, their hearts. They were spiritually bankrupt. Jeremiah 17:9 lays it out for us,
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
We could substitute the word broke for sick. The Bible makes it clear that our hearts are broken (Romans 3:23) and that we desperately need a Savior to repair them (Romans 3:24).
Another theme that was continually repeated throughout the film Broke was one of the most mis-quoted Scriptures in all of the Bible. You’ve heard it before, “Money is the root of all evil.” It sounds good, doesn’t it? It sounds true! Therefore we just go along with it and agree, “Yes! That’s the problem. We should get rid of all money because it’s evil!” But as we have clearly stated before, the problem is not money, it is the heart.
This often misquoted verse comes from 1 Timothy:
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
(1 Timothy 6:10 ESV)
The Apostle Paul never said “money is the root of all evil.” The Bible states implicitly and explicitly that the “love of money” births “all kinds of evils.” Money is not the root of evil. Our sinful, broken hearts are the root of evil. Our sinful hearts take things like money and make them into an idol (to put money in the place of God). Money does not cause “many pangs,” it simply exposes what’s already in the heart.
When we give ourselves over to this form of idolatry and make money our object of worship we get what these men in Broke self-describe as brokenness, pangs (I love this word – sharp, instant emotional pain), diaster, “mo problems”, and in many cases utter ruin.
I’m glad these men went on camera to tell their story. It is a story we all can relate to. We’ve all given our lives over to something that we though could satisfy but it simply left us broken. This is not a bad thing because God uses brokenness to bring us back to Him and to show us that only Jesus can satisfy.
I love this song…it’s called Satisfied, and I think it tells the story of how Jesus is our “untold wealth” that never fails us and never fails to satisfy.
All my life long – I had panted – for a drink from some cool spring…That I hoped would – quench the burning – of thirst I felt within.
Chorus: Hallelujah! He has found me, the One my soul so long has craved! Jesus satisfies – all my longings – through his blood I now am saved.
Feeding on the – filth around me – ‘till my strength was almost gone. Longed my soul for – something better – only still to hunger on.
Poor I was and – sought for riches – something that would satisfy. But the dust I – gathered ‘round me – only mocked my soul’s sad cry.
Well of water – ever springing – Bread of Life so rich and free. Untold wealth that – never faileth – my Redeemer is to me.
I am convinced that fellowship around the Word of God is absolutely necessary for the survival of today’s family. The souls of our children are at stake in today’s world and parents must be at the front-lines of the battlefield. The only way I know to fight this war and win is with the Sword of the Spirit (Hebrews 4:12), the Word of God.
In many Christian homes the Word of God is taught, learned, and celebrated through an ancient tradition called family worship. Family worship is not a church service in your home every night but it is a reverent, important, set-apart time to fellowship around the Word and to teach children about worshiping the Triune God of the Bible. Other important elements of this time are prayer, singing, and thanksgiving.
Rob Reinow has an important word for us on the importance of family worship and teaching our children about corporate worship.
Family Worship is a foundation for corporate worship on Sunday. If children do not regularly experience worship in their homes, how can we expect them to feel comfortable in church on Sunday morning? Without family worship as a catalyst, worship in church on Sunday can be a rather bizarre hour of their week. All of a sudden they are expected to sit, listen, sing, follow along in their Bibles, and turn their hearts to spiritual things. The reason many children cannot sit still in church services has nothing to do with a so-called short attention span. It is most often a lack of training.
This semester I have the privilege of teaching through the entire chapter, verse by verse, of Romans chapter 8 to the Highlands Presbyterian Church College class on Sunday mornings. One of the commentaries that I am gleaning much insight and wisdom from is D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones exposition of Romans. It is quite a work – in fact it is 14 volumes on the book of Romans that he preached for many years.
Below is a wonderful quote from Lloyd-Jones on Romans 8:1.
‘No condemnation’. ‘There is therefore now no’. ‘Therefore’, ‘now’, ‘no’ – what important words they are! The words remind us of our position now as Christians. Look at that word ‘no’ – ‘No condemnation’! What a statement! ‘No’ is a little word of two letters; but are we aware of its full meaning? It is entire, it is complete, it is absolute. In other words, Paul is saying that a Christian is a person who has been taken entirely outside the realm of any possible or conceivable condemnation. The Christian has finished with the realm of condemnation; he has been taken right out of it; he has nothing more to do with it. There is no condemnation to the Christian ‘now’ and never can be! Have you realized that? Not only is the Christian not in a state of condemnation now, he never can be; it is impossible.
This news is simply GLORIOUS!
I enjoyed this conversation by three men I greatly respect.
These past few weeks I have been burdened to review and bring more quality and control to the child protection policies at our church. In light of all the recent news about the goings-on at Penn State it should serve as a stern warning to all institutions that child safety must be a top priority.
It is easy to get discouraged about a lot of things going on in society with regards to:
BUT the thing that I am thankful for, right now in our great country, is the hard-line stance it has taken when it comes to protecting our children. I’m thankful that we live in a society that protects our children and takes every measure to prosecute those who seek to harm our children.
With that said, let me encourage PARENTS to talk to their children about evil and the fac that there are adults out there who are dangerous and want to harm them. Don’t scare your children but warn them and encourage them to tell you when an adult asks them to do something strange or if they witness something unusual. Also, check your state’s sex offender registry and know who is living around you!
For CHURCHES, make sure your church has a comprehensive child protection policy that includes screening and training volunteers and staff. I highly recommend MinistrySafe as resource to help you and your ministry. You might also want to check with you insurance carrier for resources.
Let me know if I can help.