parenting

Review: It’s Not Too Late

It’s Not Too Late: The Essential Part You Play in Shaping Your Teen’s Faith
by Dan Dupee

So, your kid’s a teenager now. I guess that means your job leading them to faith is done, since they don’t listen to you anyway. Might as well hand them over to a youth minister. And if your kid’s in college? Well, expect them to sow some wild oats, and don’t expect them to ever show up in church. It’s just that time of their life.

Except… don’t.

In It’s Not Too Late, Dan Dupee puts out seven myths of bringing emerging adults to faith and keeping them there. He presents the myths and shows why each is false, using statistics, personal anecdotes from his position as a chairman for a national campus ministry, and lots of Scripture. He then shows how parents can use their influence to help their children continue walking with Christ.

Short review: Buy this book. Read it. Even if you don’t have a teenager or your children are grown, this book will be useful to you. Dupee points out that when infants are baptized, the entire congregation is asked if they will support the parents. That means every teen that has been baptized is part of every member’s responsibility to encourage. (more…)

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Sometimes God lets you see…

God gave a promise. So often it’s hard to see. So often it’s impossible to see. He says that “All things work for the good of those that love him.” It’s right there in Romans 8:28.

Yeah, right.

What good can come of that? How will this work for my good? How is it possible?

But sometimes.

Sometimes.

Sometimes he lets you see.

This week my wife is gone. She needs to be staying with her mom to help after a surgery. Nothing serious, but mom needs the help. So off my wife went with our youngest child, leaving me with the three others. This isn’t a problem; the kids are all in school so hopefully I can cram the bulk of my time “out of the office” during the school day. The few appointments that have to happen in the evening I am able to take them along with – an evening Bible study, for instance. They can amuse themselves in a different room of the church. (more…)

Review: Words Kids Need to Hear

Words Kids Need to Hear
by David Staal

Parents are vital in the lives of their children, and what they say can transform a young life forever. What are the words kids need to hear from their parents? How can parents effectively convey those messages? How do you keep from going too far, because there’s always that pesky need for balance? In Words Kids Need to Hear, David Staal lists seven phrases every child needs to hear.

This book is filled with good, practical advice. It shows parents the need to ask their children for forgiveness. It points out that children need to know they’re treasured. It reminds that parents need to actually say, “I love you.” I agree with each of the seven phrases Staal picked out, and the reminder to do so is well-taken.

Staal also takes time to show how each phrase can be practically integrated into family life. I appreciated those parts of the book, offering many ideas on how to say “no” or “I believe in you.”

I found his balancing “Words of Caution” to often be a bit too short, though. Parents do need to actually say “I love you,” of course. But if the parent loves the child so much that the child becomes an idol, that love has become a sin that will damage both parent and child. More words of warning to show the proper balance would have been appreciated.

So, yes, there are definitely positive aspects of this book.

But. (more…)

The Blessing Unwanted

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We wanted nothing to do with this. We were happy already. We were stable. We didn’t need another.

And then God laughed and sent us another child.

Another.

We had enough. We hardly despise God’s gift of children. We have three healthy children. We roughhouse and listen to their music and yell at them to calm down! and feed them and hug them and feed them and feed them and feed them. We had all those kids early enough that my Bride and I had plans for what to do when they were either out of the house or old enough that we didn’t have to worry about being there 24/7. It was a good picture. This year finally all the kids were in school full-time. My Bride had a vista of choices she could make again.

And then God laughed and destroyed everything. (more…)