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 fol…read more

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.

Stop shoving Scripture in my face!

I was talking to a young lady the other day. She’s 21 and getting ready to make a major decision in her life. She claims to be a follower of Christ. Her parents are solid believers. They’ve been encouraging her to seek wise counsel. And as I was talking to her, she said her parents and trusted mentors were giving her the pros and cons of her decision. But then she said, “They keep throwing Scripture in my face.” I said, “And, as a Christian, that upsets you?” Parents, as we parent our adult kids, we may THINK we know our kid’s spiritual maturity, until they say things like THAT. They may THINK they know everything, but Scripture is correcting and convicting. Keep using it.

Mom and Dad, I’m moving!

Oooo, that’s a tough one. How many of us hope and pray our kids will never move across the country? I’m facing that situation right now. I certainly don’t want my daughter to move from Michigan to California. I'd miss her horribly. But I also realize that it’s her life. We need our kids as adults, even if they’re not acting like it. We need to LISTEN to their plans—without saying things like, “You’re not thinking this through,” or “that’s just NOT smart.” Wait for openings like, “What do you think, Dad?” or “Do you think you can help me, Mom?” Then, ask all the important questions including, “Did you pray about it?” God has a way of opening or closing a door. And then, pray, pray, pray.

Our family is so divided; it’s heartbreaking!

Chances are if you have family of any size you find yourselves avoiding religion and politics to “keep the peace.” I get it. Not all of my kids share my spiritual or political views either. While 1 Corinthians 1 says there shouldn’t be any division among you, Paul also testifies that, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel.” He also tells us that anyone preaching another Gospel, let him be accursed. The most important thing is to make sure your family knows you love them no matter their beliefs. When it’s foundational biblical truth that’s the conflict, you have to stand up for truth. But do it in love. Family members aren’t enemies, remember. They’re a mission field. Treat them as such.

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