My kid is driving me crazy!

Discipline. It’s a part of life if you’re a parent. It’s the tool God created to help form our kids inside and out. Have your kids gotten so out of control that your discipline was done out of anger and not out of love? Yes, the love was deep-down in there, but was your anger more visible? As parents, we’ve all been frustrated by our kids. When you…read more

I’m NOT wearing that!

As a parent, do you place too much value on the way you look? Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with looking good. But, do we spend too much time shopping for the latest fashions, looking for that perfect hairstyle, or going frantic over that new gray hair or wrinkle? Guess what? Our kids see it. That’s why we shouldn’t be surprised when we hear these familiar words: “I’m not wearing that.” Scripture’s pretty clear about vanity. Psalm 119:37 says, “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways” (ESV). As a parent, what do you value? Fashion or faith? While we may spend time in church, the things we value are displayed in word and deed.

Are you too busy?

So many of us say we’re too busy, but are we? I remember my kids asking me to play games—like throwing a ball or just hanging out together. Often my answer was, “I’d love to, guys, but I’m really busy.” I still have one at home, and I’ve learned from my previous mistakes. I need to make time for my daughter—shooting baskets or just hanging out. If we can’t make time for our kids, how are we going to make time for God? The reality is, when we say we’re too busy, we have priority issues. We value work, television, and hobbies—you name it. Being busy isn’t a spiritual gift*—Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God” (NIV).  When we really know Him, skewed priorities can be corrected quickly. *“Being Busy Is Not a Spiritual Gift” by Tammy Whitehurst, ChristianityToday.com

We’ve met the enemy, and he is us!

If you’ve lived long at all, you know certain kinds of sins tend to run in families. Some struggle with poor work habits, dishonesty, or even legalism. My family? We can be pretty judgmental. We worry a lot. And discouragement comes way too easy. If these generational sinful patterns are left unchecked, we can keep sinning over and over again—just like breathing. Paul had trouble, too. In Romans 7:15, he says, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (ESV). Let your kids see that you struggle. Ask them to lovingly hold you accountable. And, pray. Accountability, honesty, and the Holy Spirit are the only ways to end these patterns of sinful behavior.

What message are you sending?

When was the last time you really didn’t like something? Were you vocal about it? I’m like that. I tend to say whatever comes to my mind. Now, I’m not as bad I was once was, but still. When it comes to biblical morality and foundations of our faith, that can be a good thing, but when it comes to loving people—well, that’s really bad. I remember when my daughter was seven or eight, I was driving, following somebody who looked pretty lost. Since I kind of knew what was going on, I was patient, but my daughter, on the other hand, said, “What an idiot!” I was shocked. But then I remembered saying the same thing a few days before—when I wasn’t patient. What’s the lesson? Proverbs 21:23, “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble” (ESV).

Haven't heard from your grandkids?

Are you like me? Do you wish your grandkids would call you every once in a while? Can I give you a piece of advice? Call THEM. Why do we expect young people who can't remember to brush their teeth, turn in their homework, or wash behind their ears to think of us old people who are out of sight and out of mind? Yes, for the most part, they love us. But, the reality is WE have to take the time to invest in their lives. Make it fun. Make it memorable. And share your faith when you can. Some of my fondest memories as a kid were those times my grandparents called, took me somewhere, or just sent me a card. Proverbs 17:6 says that grandchildren are our crown. Let's treat them that way—and invest in their eternity.

But everybody's got Instagram!

Social media. It's everywhere. I have a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even a Pinterest account. Why? That's a great question. The bottom line is I like to see what's happening with my friends and family, especially since so many of them live so far away. But, is it good for our kids? The answer is—who knows? With any technology, God can use it for good—or Satan can use it for evil. I've seen a lot of kids use social media to share Christ or raise money for a worthy project. But I've also seen it do the opposite, even replacing real relationships. Sometimes the Devil attacks us or our kids at our weakest moments. So, bottom line. Be wise, place limits, and trust—but verify.

You're not gonna buy it for me?

Our culture has created an entitlement society. Frankly, a lot of us have contributed to it. We buy our kids their every desire. "Mom, I've GOTTA get my nails done for homecoming." Or, "Dad, I need the $200 basketball shoes—everybody's wearing them." As Christian parents, it's easy for us to fall into the trap, too: buying a new car or home just to impress our friends and relatives. What's the message we're sending to our kids? Are these idols in our lives? Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we can't enjoy nice things. After all, God created them for our enjoyment. What I am saying is be careful buying everything you or your kids want. 1 John 2:15 says it best: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world," because, if we do, "the love of the Father is not in [us]" (KJV).

But Dad, I need your help!

Our kids say this all the time when it comes to homework, don’t they? The question is, do they need our help or do they want us to DO it for them? I remember a number of years ago, my son was working on a school project that was a make-or-break assignment for him. Looking back at it, we wanted him to succeed so badly that my wife actually did ALL of it for him. What’s the Bible say about it? Colossians 3:23 tells us, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (ESV). Or, Proverbs 14:23: “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty” (ESV). What’s the lesson? It’s okay for your son or daughter to fail. It’s during those moments that they tend to learn the most. Just remember to be there to help pick up the pieces.

News is boring!

My daughter used to say that ALL the time until we took time to talk about it. As Christians, we NEED to know what's going on in our world. How else can we talk about our faith in a relevant way? When you hear the words, "In the world, not OF the world," you begin to understand WHY news is important. There are a lot of Christians who feel the same way my daughter feels. If we don't listen to or read the news, how else are we going to know when Christians are being persecuted for their faith? How will we know when people are in need following natural disasters? Jesus said it best. "If you give a cup of cold water in my name, you do it unto me!" News helps us find the needs—then we can reach out with Jesus.

We need to do family devotions.

There are times I feel like a failure when it comes to being a spiritual leader in my family. I KNOW that I need to do family devotions, but, more times than not, I don't. Our men's group at church has talked about this, and a lot of them do it EVERY day without fail. I WANT to—but I struggle. Many times when I do get back on schedule, I sometimes get snide comments from my daughter saying, "Why are we doing this again? We never stick to it." Ouch. Don't get defeated. Set small goals. Start doing it once a week and keep building from there. Scripture says, "If you seek Me, you will find Me." Where will we find Him? In God's Word.

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