How Do Shame & Guilt Enter Into Parenting Children?

Julie Lowe is one of my favorite Biblical Counselors especially for her work with children and parents. In this video she talks about some of the dangers of using shame or guilt in our parenting.

July 11 2014 | Blog | Comments Off on How Do Shame & Guilt Enter Into Parenting Children?

Crazy Parenting

Kevin DeYoung offers some sound parenting advice in his chapter on parenting in Crazy Busy.

Could it be we’ve made parenting too complicated? Isn’t the most important thing not what we do but who we are as parents? They will remember our character before they remember our exact rules regarding television and Twinkies.

I want to grow as a parent – in patience and wisdom and consistency. But I also know that I can’t change my kids’ hearts. I can’t make their decisions for them. I am responsible for my heart and must be responsible to teach my children the way of the Lord. But there’s no surefire input – say, the right mix of family devotions, Tolkien, and nutrition – that will infallibly produce the output we desire. Ten years into this parenting gig, I’m just trying to be faithful and to repent for all the times I’m not.

I have five kids and, besides the Lord’s grace, I’m banking on the fact that there really are just a few nonnegotiables in raising children. When you think about it, what does the Bible actually say about parenting…Parents should teach their children about God, discipline them, be thankful for them, and not exasperate them. Filling in the details depends on the family, the culture, the Spirit’s wisdom, and a whole lot of trial and error…

Maybe our hearts are too busy wit fear and worry. Maybe we are overanxious. Maybe we are overcommitted. Maybe we are over-parenting. And maybe we are making our lives crazier than they need to be. [emphasis mine]


September 02 2013 | Blog | Comments Off on Crazy Parenting

How to Provoke Your Children

Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Here are four ways that we dads can provoke our children:

ShepherdLeaderinHome1The first way to provoke your children to anger is to have unrealistic expectations.

The second way to provoke your children is to compare them unfairly with others.

The third way to provoke your children is failing to keep promises.

The fourth way to provoke your children is by unjust discipline.

Timothy Witmer, The Shepherd Leader

July 18 2013 | Blog | Comments Off on How to Provoke Your Children

A Letter from Dad

Being on vacation this last week has given me a lot of time to think about my life and especially about parenting. This video played a big part in that and challenged me to make every moment count that I have with my boys.

HT: Challies

June 28 2013 | Blog | Comments Off on A Letter from Dad

Advice for Raising Children

Scott Smith has a great collection of sayings at the gospel coalitions website from John Witherspoon (1768-1794) on raising children. Here are a few of my favorites.

1. The best exercise in the world for children is to let them romp and jump about, as soon as they are able, according to their own fancy.

2. A parent that has once obtained and knows how to preserve authority will do more by a look of displeasure, than another by the most passionate words and even blows. It holds universally in families and schools, and even the greater bodies of men, the army and navy, that those who keep the strictest discipline give the fewest strokes.

3. There is not a more disgusting sight than the impotent rage of a parent who has no authority.

6. Let it always be seen that you are more displeased at sin than at folly.

7. Nothing is more destructive of authority than frequent disputes and chiding upon small matters. This is often more irksome to children than parents are aware of.

You can read the rest here.

HT: Challies

April 29 2013 | Blog | Comments Off on Advice for Raising Children

Micah’s Seventh Birthday (2013)

Dear Micah,

I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I am of you! Over the course of 2012 it was my privilege to watch you grow in so many ways. You’ve grown much taller; if the charts are right than you will easily pass me up in height when you are a teenager. Your speech has also grown dramatically. At the beginning of the year you were able to say a few basic things but today we are holding full blown conversations together. I have noticed you reasoning things out with me and I’ve been especially blessed by the kind words you so often speak to your brothers.

While much has changed for you in 2012, there is one thing that still remains true. Micah, you Photo Dec 29, 3 27 09 PMare a great sinner but Christ is a great savior. In many ways this is the essence of the unchanging gospel. It is a recognition of who God is as the good Creator and Savior of mankind and who we are as sinners in desperate need of help. I have been so encouraged by your growing understanding of this message in recent months. Just the other day you were telling me all about how Jesus came and died to save us from our sins. While I don’t think you quite understand all of what this means, my greatest prayer for you this year is that you would come to know Jesus in a personal way and be saved to a life of joy in Him.

2012 was full of many memorable events for us as a family. Several of our friends from Mt. Vernon came to visit with us and to take a trip up to Lake Tahoe. You and Cody went down to Grandma and Nana’s houses for a few weeks this summer and had a wonderful time. Nana and Granddaddy took you to Chick-fil-A as many times as they could and Grandma took you to a water park that apparently had an octopus, which you keep telling me about Smile. You had a great time at VBS and have started another year of Awana as a Sparky. Oh, and who could forget your Auntie Apryl who put in a pool this summer that I think we visited at least a couple of times a week.

Every night I come in to your room, kiss your head and pronounce a blessing over you. I say, “The Lord bless you and keep you, may His face shine upon you, be gracious to you and give you peace.” What I want to tell you today, on your birthday, is that the only way that you will ever know this kind of peace is when you come to know the Prince of Peace and His name is Jesus.

I Love You with All My Heart,


January 13 2013 | Blog | 2 Comments »

Some of the Best Parenting Advice I’ve Ever Received

This is a 20 minute video of a conversation between Paul Tripp and Elise Fitzpatrick on how grace changes relationships, most of the conversation revolves around parenting. This was one of the most helpful videos that I’ve ever watched about parenting! It has been formative in my thinking about how I can be a better Dad. I can’t recommend it strongly enough.

August 10 2012 | Blog | Comments Off on Some of the Best Parenting Advice I’ve Ever Received

10 Things No One Told You About Being a Dad

I resonated with each and every one of these 10 items from Dan Darling’s blog.

1) You are much less patient than you think you are.

2) Many times you’ll have no clue what to do.

3) You’ll realize that minivans are secretly awesome.

4) You’ll probably not get six continuous hours of good sleep ever again.

5) There are singular moments of joy so indescribable they can only be experienced.

6) Your presence is more important than you know.

7) You need to repeat the same words over and over to your children.

8) You will watch less of your favorite games, play less video games, and will go out with your guys friends hardly at all.

9) You will embrace your cluelessness as a gift from God.

10) You will realize your ongoing need to repent, confess, and apologize and forgive.

HT: Vitamin Z

June 08 2012 | Blog | Comments Off on 10 Things No One Told You About Being a Dad

What’s Wrong with Porn & Video Games?

Russell Moore has a must read article over on the Desiring God blog about the loss of an entire generation of young men to porn and video games. Here’s an excerpt:

There’s a key difference between porn and gaming. Pornography can’t be consumed in moderation because it is, by definition, immoral. A video game can be a harmless diversion along the lines of a low-stakes athletic competition. But the compulsive form of gaming shares a key element with porn: both are meant to simulate something, something for which men long.

Pornography promises orgasm without intimacy. Video warfare promises adrenaline without danger. The arousal that makes these so attractive is ultimately spiritual to the core…

Satan isn’t a creator but a plagiarist. His power is parasitic, latching on to good impulses and directing them toward his own purpose. God intends a man to feel the wildness of sexuality, in the self-giving union with his wife. And a man is meant to, when necessary, fight for his family, his people, for the weak and vulnerable who are being oppressed.

The drive to the ecstasy of just love and to the valor of just war are gospel matters. The sexual union pictures the cosmic mystery of the union of Christ and his church. The call to fight is grounded in a God who protects his people, a Shepherd Christ who grabs his sheep from the jaws of the wolves….

The porn addict becomes a lecherous loser, with one-flesh union supplanted by masturbatory isolation. The video game addict becomes a pugilistic coward, with other-protecting courage supplanted by aggression with no chance of losing one’s life. In both cases, one seeks the sensation of being a real lover or a real fighter, but venting one’s reproductive or adrenal glands over pixilated images, not flesh and blood for which one is responsible.

HT: Justin Taylor

June 06 2012 | Blog | Comments Off on What’s Wrong with Porn & Video Games?

Shame and Guilt in Parenting

This made me pause and really start to think about my parenting today, it’s worth 3 minutes to hear what Julie has to say.

February 06 2012 | Blog | Comments Off on Shame and Guilt in Parenting

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