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A Priceless Treasury for Our Children

The stores are already displaying Christmas decorations and stocking their shelves with an abundance of every imaginable toy and gadget. As you walk down the aisles, you can almost hear the toys and gadgets calling out: You really want this. You need this. You deserve this. This is what will make you happy! Our children and grandchildren are no more immune to the lure of new and exciting things than we are.

As a child, I received many wonderful Christmas gifts. I’m sure they brought me some level of enjoyment. But, interestingly enough, I cannot recall what these gifts were in any great detail. They have all dimmed from my memory. They were fleeting treasures that succumbed to the passage of time, indifference, boredom, wear and tear, and more.

Knowing this reality does not mean I am opposed to giving material gifts to my children and grandchildren this Christmas. But, more than all the wonderful gifts of this world, I want to give them something much more valuable that can serve as a means toward their everlasting joy. (more…)

Give Children Life by Telling Them the Truth About Death

Are you telling your children the truth about death? How you answer their questions about death, and how you bring up truths about death that our culture avoids, are critical to how your children will value life in Christ. (more…)

An Anchor for Your Child’s Soul

I was looking back over the post below from two years ago, and it struck me: The “hard news from doctors” I referenced then is still hard news today. Back then, my nephew received a diagnosis that his cancer had returned. And now, two and a half years later, he still struggles daily from severe complications of a bone marrow transplant. How does a young man in his 20s not lose hope in the midst of a seemingly undefeatable illness? By trusting in Christ and placing his full confidence in His sovereign goodness! It may never be cancer that your children face, but their lives will be touched by suffering. May we diligently prepare them for that day! (more…)

An October 31st Worth Celebrating + Free Devotional

As a child, October 31 only meant two things to me: costumes and candy – lots and lots of candy! I wonder how many children, even children from Christian homes, think the same?

Often lost on this date is something vastly more significant: Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of a Roman Catholic Church in Wittenberg, Germany, in the year 1517. With this act, Martin Luther sparked the great Protestant Reformation. As Christian parents and teachers, we must teach our children about this historic movement. (more…)

Help Your Teens Get Wisdom

What if you were to ask your teen the following questions:

  • What does the Bible have to say about using Facebook?
  • Are you honoring Jesus as you participate in sports?
  • Do you have a biblical view of doing your homework?
  • Are you wise in the friends you choose?
  • Why are the answers to these questions important for your life?

What kind of answers might you get in response? Would your teen be able to explain his or her answers using specific verses and biblical truths? What might the answers reveal about his or her heart? (more…)

Questions for Discerning a Child’s Profession of Faith

Children are amazing sponges and excellent mimics. They have the God-given ability to soak up and recall an enormous amount of information. They also are, to a lesser or greater extent, attentive observers who will act out and imitate our words, demeanor, and actions.

This provides Christian parents and teachers with a great opportunity, challenge, and caution when it comes to nurturing our children and students toward genuine faith in Christ. During their young years, we should take the opportunity to pour biblical truth into their lives — acquainting them with the Scriptures which are able to make them wise for salvation in Christ (2 Tim. 3:15). We must gently challenge and implore them to respond to these truths with heart-felt trust and devotion. But we must also be discerning in how they respond: are they simply affirming truths or embracing Christ as Savior and Lord? Are they simply mimicking Christian responses that they have seen and heard? Are they simply trying to please their parents and teachers? Therein lies the caution. (more…)

Passing the Baton in the Midst of Battle

Successfully passing faith in Christ on to the next generation is one of the most important responsibilities Christian parents and ministry leaders are to pursue. It’s also one of the most difficult.  Author Chap Bettis talks about the opportunity and challenges:

Passing on the [Christian] faith has been compared to handing off a baton in a relay race. And there are many things to commend that analogy to us. There is a real gospel—the baton—to pass on. It must be passed on individually. The one with the baton has to hold it out, and the one receiving the baton has to reach back for it and close his hand around it. There is a time to pass on the baton, the exchange zone, which does not last forever. All of these are excellent pictures to help us think through this subject.

There is a problem with this illustration, however. We are not handing off the baton at a friendly track meet—rather this exchange takes place on a battlefield! We are attempting to pass on this baton of the gospel while we and our children are being shot at! And what about those observing in the stands? A few are cheering us on, but many in the stands—the world—are laughing at our child’s attempt to run the race. (From The Disciple-Making Parent, p. 8.)

Rather than be discouraged by this, we as parents and ministry leaders should use this as motivation to prepare our children and students to face the challenge. We must arm them with God’s Truth and point them to complete dependence on His sovereign grace. (more…)

How Parents and Churches Can Help Children Engage with the Sermon

Recently my husband and I had dinner with our daughter and son-in-law. They made a special dinner and had the table set with the “fancy” tableware. But there was one hitch to this elegant dinner—four children were included, too; our grandchildren, ages 1-to 5-years-old. Let’s just say that the children put a distinctive twist on the ambiance of the meal. Even with all the challenges and distractions, we were glad they were there. Though their parents have employed a type of system for mealtime that minimizes the mess and helps both children and adults, it was a joyful mess! (more…)

Dads, is Family Discipleship on Your Calendar?

Christian dads, everything we do should be marked with intentionality—even how we take dominion over our schedules.

Using data analysis, our smartphones and smartwatches can monitor all kinds of details of our lives: our health, our money, our media consumption, and more. My phone often informs me about my schedule. “You have a full day tomorrow that starts early,” it says.

TimeSpent is an app that goes further. Inspired by the late Peter Drucker, who coached leaders to “know thy time,” it helps users complete the exercise Drucker recommended of keeping a log of their time in order to determine what they are doing over the course of 24-hour time periods.

What would such a tool show about your life? What would it indicate about your work, your exercise, or your leisure time? More importantly, what would it indicate about your life as a Christian dad? (more…)

Preparing Your Children for Sunday School: Little Things Make a Big Difference

The first few weeks of the new Sunday school year can be somewhat chaotic, especially if you’re in a church with large classes or multi-aged classes. Some children adapt very well to the new surroundings while others struggle. Thankfully, parents, a little effort can go a long way toward preparing your children for class. (more…)

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