I blame Norman Rockwell. Or maybe the Saturday Evening Post. Somehow they took a holiday that was created to be about families thanking God for His blessings and created a competitive holiday. Don’t believe me? Take a look at your local magazine rack. Thanksgiving issues are all about having the best turkey or sides ever. The photos are absolutely stunning, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never had a turkey come out of the oven even closely resembling those.
So, around the country moms start planning and purchasing days and even weeks before. Many start cooking on Wednesday and cook all day Thursday. Often the kids are shooed out of the kitchen and told to watch the parade on television or go outside and play with their siblings or cousins. Why? Because in order for everything to be “perfect” for the most important meal of the year, we just don’t want all of those little ones “under foot”.
Continue reading Why Your Kids Need An Imperfect Thanksgiving
If you have ever homeschooled your child, I am sure you have had this conversation many times. You mention you homeschool and the other parent very quickly says “I could never do that. It’s too hard. (Fill in excuse.).” Now most parents aren’t quite that brave about admitting 100% Christian parenting is too hard, but you can tell they are thinking it. Or that’s it really not that necessary to “try so hard” or “do so much”.
After having ministered to kids and their families for several decades now, I can see a lot of patterns. I watch as parents parent young children in certain ways and then I see how the children grow (or don’t grow) in their faith as they become teens and then adults. It may not be 100% accurate, but it is pretty close. The parents who do certain things and avoid others almost always raise children who become faithful, productive Christians. Those who don’t, may get lucky once in a blue moon or may have adult children who attend church for family, social or business reasons, but there is a definite difference.
Continue reading Is Christian Parenting Too Hard?
In Atlanta, summer breaks begin in about a month from now. Summer is not what it used to be. With more parents working, many school systems are going to an almost year around calendar. Your children’s summer break may only be six to eight weeks compared to the three months we had as kids. Yet, those six to eight weeks are a special gift to your family.
If you aren’t careful, summer can quickly become as over scheduled as the school year. Or you may be tempted to send your kids away to camps for the majority of it. Or maybe your family just sort of fritters the days away with no real plan.
Don’t waste this gift of increased time with your kids. Here are some ways to make the most of this summer.
Continue reading Christian Kids and Summer
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Did you know God has a plan for each of your children? Some might argue this verse was only for these people in this time and place, but I believe other verses like, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10) point to a more universal application.
The idea God not only knows each of us well enough to know the ever changing number of hairs on our heads, but has made specific plans He would like each of us to do, should excite you as a parent. Of course God has THE Plan – sending His son to earth to die for our sins so you and your kids have the hope of eternal life.
I also believe though, God has things He wants your children to do in addition to becoming a Christian and worshipping and obeying Him. He, who has all wisdom and can see the future, knows your children will have opportunities in their lives to serve others and share their faith. In fact, I believe the Bible reinforces the idea God has uniquely gifted your children to be prepared to meet the challenges those opportunities will provide.
Continue reading What Is Your Child’s Godly Potential?
One of the things I constantly suggest families do regularly is to entertain people in their homes. There are so many benefits to your family when you host others. I was obviously interested then when offered an opportunity to review a new book on the subject, The Simplest Way to Change the World by Dustin Willis and Brandon Clements.
Willis and Clements make the case that through bringing others into your home you can more easily accomplish two of the main goals of Christians – serving others and sharing your faith. In fact, one of my favorite concepts in the book is that hospitality is not a nice, optional activity for Christians – if they have a large house, nice furniture, extra money for great food and plenty of free time. Instead, they maintain hospitality is actually commanded of Christians.
Indeed, Hebrews 13:2 “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” and I Peter 4:9 “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” are only two of several verses in the New Testament commanding Christians to practice hospitality.
Continue reading The Simplest Way For Your Family to Change the World