Dads, spend time with your kids one-on-one.


If you're a husband, I’m assuming you’ve read Date Your Wife by Justin Buzzard, (and if you haven’t, you should) and that you understand the need to spend quality time pursuing your spouse. In this post, I want to encourage all dads to pursue your kids too. Leading family devotions are one thing, but personal time with each of your children is equally important. By addressing men, I’m not saying that moms can’t do this as well. And if you're a single parent, these goals are still applicable. Here is what I want to make clear. Husbands and fathers have responsibility before the Lord to care for and cultivate their family (Ephesians 6:4). Here are three goals. 

Know your kids personally.

As you spend time with each of your kids, you'll get to know what they're into. As you listen to them and let them share their heart, you'll get a glimpse into their world. You'll see the way they see the world, and you'll have opportunities to help them see the world through a gospel lens.

I have twins, who probably couldn’t be more different. My daughter is very extroverted, and she loves to be around people. My son is more introverted. If I treat them the same or try to disciple them with the same methods, we'd all end up frustrated. But by spending time with them one on one, I know them personally and have a better shot at being successful with goal number two...

Lead them as individuals.

By knowing them personally, you're better prepared to lead them individually. And you show them what it means to have a personal walk with Jesus. When I spend time one-on-one with my son or daughter, I see and can anticipate where they are currently struggling or how they may struggle in the near future. Then, I can talk with them about or model what it looks like to handle that struggle in a godly way. And that leads them to goal number three... 

Show them how a life of grace works.

More of the Christian life is caught than taught to our kids. So, model spiritual disciplines for your children. Show them what it looks like for you to depend on Christ and his means of grace. In this way, you'll show your kids their own need for Jesus and the free grace he offers.

While we will not do this perfectly all the time, as we are faithful to draw near to each of our children, we can rest in hope that salvation belongs to the Lord. He's chosen to use us as his agents of salvation and for the gospel growth of our kids. Dads, it's an awesome responsibility, but I think you'll find it to be an awesome grace as well. So, ask God for help right now. Then, put some one-on-one times on your calendar. 

Family Friday Links 6.2.17

Here's what we've been finding helpful online this week:

All Pro Dad had a post by Tony Dungy on what kids need from their dads. There's a couple minute video there Dungy explains his answer. While this answer isn't necessarily unique, and will look differently for different dads, it is no less valuable for all. Dad's, you need to take his answer seriously and put his advise into practice.

Mark Merrill had a post on saying sorry. He's addressing the unintentional things we do or say that hurt someone else. He lists 6 steps to walk through to say sorry well. This is well worth all of time to consider these things because we all do or say things that unintentionally hurt others.

My (Pat's) pastor and friend, Joe Thorn, had post on the topic of contentment. He wrote, "Contentment is born of grace, not goods." He goes on to discuss how suffering and contentment work together. This is another read we all need.

What have you been encouraged by online? Leave a link in the comment section to check out.

Family Friday Links 10.14.16


Here is an article to help to find joy in parenting. David Mathis wrote this article entitled, Happy Daddy, Happy Home. Mathis writes, " Yet you can’t consistently and convincingly express a delight that you don’t have. The first step, Ajith says, before expressing joy, is experiencing it — and the transcultural key to learning delight in one’s children is finding God’s own fatherly delight in us as his child. It’s one thing to hear and confess, but another thing to truly know and enjoy."

Jen Wilkin posted on the Gospel Coalition that talks about the value of children and the fact that  kids are our neighbors. Wilkin's writes, Because if children are people, then they are also our neighbors. This means that every scriptural imperative that speaks to loving our neighbor as we love ourselves suddenly comes to bear on how we parent. Every command to love preferentially at great cost, with great effort, and with godly wisdom becomes not just a command to love the people in my workplace or the people in my church or the people at my hair salon or the people on my street or the people in the homeless shelter. It becomes a command to love the people under my own roof, no matter how small. If children are people, then our own children are our very closest neighbors. No other neighbor lives closer or needs our self-sacrificing love more."

This week John Piper on Desiring God had an interview that discussed Preparing our Kids for Suffering. Piper says, " In fact, I would say that the greatest challenge of parenting — at least, I look back over, what did I parent? 42 years or something like that, so far — the greatest challenge of parenting is not primarily remembering all the things that should be taught in the catechism, but primarily being a parent growing in grace and humility and trust and joy in all the ups and downs of life. Few things will have a greater power in our children’s lives to help them suffer as Christians."  

John Murchison at The Verge talks about Instilling Identity in Your Children on Halloween. Murchison says, "In our home, we have chosen to celebrate Halloween as a fun, cultural holiday. We love making the kids’ costumes and joining with our neighbors in trick-or-treating. However, my wife and I also feel strongly that the dark, scary, and evil parts of the holiday are not to be celebrated."

What have you been reading? Please share in the comments!

Family Friday Links 8.26.16

Here's your weekly dose of what we've been reading online this week:

Scott Slayton had a post that lists characteristics of a godly dad. He answers the question, "... what does a godly dad do?" He goes on to list 6 things dads should be doing. The job of parenting is beyond the capacity of any of us. This list serves as a reminder of how to do it well. If you're a dad, or even hope to be one day, read this to be challenged and encouraged.

National Public Radio (NPR) had a post kids and risk. The post claims that risk to kids these days may be perceived and not actual. The post reads in part, "... it could be that moral attitudes toward parenting have changed, such that leaving children unsupervised is now judged morally wrong. And because it's judged morally wrong, people overestimate the risk." Parents it's important for us to think through what is and isn't acceptable risk, real vs. perceived risk for our kids.

Tim Challis pulled together a post of John Piper parenting tips. This is a good read for parents trying to raise their kids to be worshippers of God.

What have you been reading online that we may have missed? Leave us a link in the comment section and we will check it out.