My daughter is sick, and I’m scared.

I cannot imagine your pain. What parent wants to receive news that your child is facing cancer? It’s normal to feel shock, fear, anxiety, sadness and anger. Don’t internalize it. Reach out to your friends at church. Maybe someone who’s gone through it. The American Cancer Society has some great support ideas for parents, patients, and siblings to h…read more

He’s really into knitting, should I be concerned?

About WHAT? There are many stereotypes of men. Singing, playing an instrument, knitting, sewing, and other like activities may not be culturally manly. But guess what. King David was probably good at ALL of these things. Just because your son doesn’t enjoy sports, dislikes getting dirty, is sensitive, sings, or plays the piano, doesn’t make him less male than a guy who loves every sport, plays with worms, and can’t wait for the next outdoor adventure. What makes a godly man and future husband? Train your boys to submit to God’s authority, appreciate godly discipline, treat women respectfully, be humble, giving, compassionate, a hard worker, and selfless. Sure, they can love a good hockey game, but they can also celebrate the symphony.

My daughter acts more like a boy!

What do you MEAN, by that? Just because a girl likes dresses, is more sensitive, and plays with dolls doesn’t make her any more a girl than a young lady who loves jeans, speaks her mind, and plays baseball. How do I know? I have three girls and they’re all very much girls. My oldest wouldn’t have been caught dead in jeans up until 6th grade and loved fashion. My middle daughter HATED dresses and was more into video games. My youngest, she loved jeans AND dresses and could beat most boys at basketball. All were very much female. What makes a godly woman? I Peter 3 says a woman who hopes and rests in God, submits to her husband, and is fearless. Those are the qualities that matter.

Mother-daughter relationships can be so difficult. Especially if both are pretty strong-willed. Add an adoption into the mix and you can have fireworks. Let’s face it, we’re all broken people. Many adoptees feel like they don’t belong. If attachment issue

As a first-time parent, you’ve got to be concerned about our culture’s influence on gender. It’s heartbreaking to hear people who are confused about how God made them, either male or female. The science behind that has been true since the beginning of man. Why is it confusing now? Sin. Many view it as how they FEEL rather than what they ARE. As followers of Christ, we parents, must turn to God’s Word, ultimate authority. From day one, it must rule our lives. Turn to it. Open it. Read it. Study it in FRONT of our kids. When they’re little, say things like “The Bible says this…” And, when they’re older say, “I wonder what the Bible says about that.” Then challenge them to find it.

She’s treating my wife just awful!

Mother-daughter relationships can be so difficult. Especially if both are pretty strong-willed. Add an adoption into the mix and you can have fireworks. Let’s face it, we’re all broken people. Many adoptees feel like they don’t belong. If attachment issues are involved they like to push us away to test and see if we’ll still be there in the ugliness. In typical family situations I believe God uses these conflicts to prepare us for the next phase in our kids' lives – adulthood and moving out. Just remember, love unconditionally. That doesn’t mean parent without emotions. It means even when we’ve been hurt, reach out through the pain and show love. Confess when we’re wrong. Point out their bad behavior. But be Jesus to them. They’ll remember that for a lifetime.

I’m never speaking to you again!

As parents we hear that all the time. Within minutes they’re speaking again. What about us? Are we modeling true forgiveness outlined in Scripture? I know a few people – adults – who aren’t speaking to siblings, other relatives, and former close friends because they can’t or won’t forgive. What kind of example are we to our kids and grandkids? I’ve typically been able to forgive pretty quickly, but one situation I had in 2015 left me bitter. I wasn’t Christlike. And, it was a situation that God used to move me (an unwilling me) to another place. Matthew 6 tells us if we forgive, God will forgive. But if we don’t, He won’t. Let’s be quick to forgive, an example for our kids to follow.

I’m struggling with anger right now.

Have you ever been ticked off at your kids? This can happen in all phases of life, but it can happen more often during those middle, high school, and even college years. For some of us it’s easy to take conflict personally, especially when our kids say insulting or hurtful things about us or to us. How should we respond? Like Jesus did. Love them anyway. I know, we ALWAYS will love them, but at that particular moment we don’t like them very much. Suggestion: go somewhere by yourself, hold your tongue, and pray. Worship God for loving you when you disappointed Him, confess your sinful feelings and thoughts, and ask for strength and wisdom. Scripture says, ask anything according to His will and he hears us.

I’m not ready for my son to have a girlfriend.

If you haven’t talked about the opposite sex with your middle schooler, why? I’m not talking about the birds and the bees either (although that conversation should probably have already happened, too), but I’m talking about boy-girl relationships. We had a strict “no dating until you’re ready” policy. We did everything we could to teach our kids that dating is to marry. Now, if they had a “love interest” we’d ask questions. Are they Christ followers, do they display godly traits in what they say and do, and do you see yourself married to them? The last one typically turned the tide. In a blended family with two sets of values, that can be difficult. Remember, God calls us to be faithful. Let the Holy Spirit do His work.

She just sits there and cries until she gets her way.

I was talking to a mom once who said her 3-year-old wasn’t talking much, still using a bottle and pacifier, and not interested in potty training. In probing further, I got the impression she was the queen of the house because everybody—her brother and sister included, did EVERYTHING for her. A dad, who was also a part of the conversation said, “Stop letting her rule the roost. Stop doing things for her.” Well, that’s all it took. This mother stopped her kids from picking up and talking for her and required her to share and do things for the other kids. You know, as parents it’s easy to do the easy thing when we're feeling overwhelmed. Going through the hard times helps us grow.

Family devotions—oh man, we need to do that.

As a dad of four, I wished I had spent more time reading the Bible to my kids. Frankly, they didn’t enjoy it much. So, when we missed a night, or two, or three they didn’t complain much, and we’d stop doing them altogether. I WISHED I had remembered Keys for Kids. That was LONG before I started serving here though. It’s important to not only make it enjoyable but explain WHY we need to have devos. How are we going to know the One who loves us so much unless we study God’s Word? Then, if we know Him more, we’ll love Him more, and when we love Him more, we can’t help but serve Him more. Get your free devo at https://www.keysforkids.org/getkeys.

My new son’s almost here. I’ve got questions.

First-time moms and dads are so cool. They want to do everything right. As Christian parents, we want our kids to know and follow Christ too. I asked an expectant father what he was wondering about most. He said, “How do I establish the Bible’s authority of being God’s Word in my son’s life?” Well, it starts the day they’re born. I know a first-time father who ordered Keys for Kids for his infant son saying, “I want to start making time for God NOW, so I can get in a habit of reading it to my son now.” Well, then as you read it, make sure you APPLY it. Do what it says and allow it to guide you through all decisions of life. Do it so he sees it and can imitate it.

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