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 a…read more

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.

Do we have a family strategic plan?

If you’re in any kind of business, you talk strategic planning often. We have a strategic plan here at Keys for Kids Ministries. But do we talk about strategic planning as a family? I’m not talking about a budget either. That’s important, for sure. I’m talking about a strategy for helping your family grow physically and spiritually. One of those could be an evangelism strategy. I’ve noticed that we have a prayer strategy for those who are sick, but not those who don’t know Christ. Here’s a challenge for all families: How about write some names down and together as a family develop a strategy to reach each person? Involve the kids too. What better way to teach our kids in evangelism than with hands on outreach?

My kids HATE me.

I’ve thought that a few times. I did something that really made my kids mad. Sometimes I did it on purpose too. No, not to be mean, but maybe as a way to get a reaction so we could talk about something important. Or perhaps I was trying to prove a point by doing something THEY were doing BACK to them. Or maybe we were just providing needed discipline and their strong-willed spirit lashed out in anger. Or perhaps our adult kids don’t want anything to do with us because of our past. Any of these situations can be heartbreaking, can’t they? Well, let me give you hope. Deep down, our kids want and need our love. So, no matter their feelings show them Christ’s love. We love because He loved. Maybe they’ll love because we do.

I just want them to know Christ.

Isn’t that the wish of ALL Christian parents and grandparents? We know Jesus is the ONLY answer to ALL of life’s circumstances that entangle us. But is that enough? While coming to saving faith is important for kids, we also need to train them HOW to be a follower of Christ. That’s discipleship. As our faith grows, so does the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. How do we grow OUR faith? By reading and STUDYING God’s Word. And that works for kids, too. Start by getting the Keys for Kids or Unlocked devotional app. Read, or listen to the devotion TOGETHER. And then read the scripture, allowing them to pick meaningful words and phrases. Then, talk about them. As faith grows, so will their passion for Christ.

Email Sign-up

Sign up for the TWR360 Newsletter

Access updates, news, Biblical teaching and inspirational messages from powerful Christian voices.

Thank you for signing up to receive updates from TWR360.

Required information missing