Lessons In Parenting From The Selfie Stick

Some people refer to them as “Selfie-Sticks”, I think of them as “Narcissistic Sticks”. Do we really live in a society where we’ve sold hundreds of thousands of metal sticks so people can take a picture of themselves? It probably sounds like a trivial matter but I believe there is a deeper issue going on in the hearts of people, and it’s one we need to help walk our kids through.

I want my kids to grow up with a healthy knowledge of who they are in Christ, what God thinks of them and what I think of them. I don’t want them to be full of pride and full of themselves but I also don’t want them growing up with low self-esteem or even self-loathing, as if they don’t matter and aren’t valuable.

There are a few ways I can think of to combat both the one extreme of pride and the other extreme of lack of confidence in themselves…


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The Parenting Parable

I regret weighing my son’s worth via a meritocratic scale. I do regret the parenting style I’ve employed—not because I’m too strict or not strict enough (depending on whom you ask) or because sometimes we eat McNuggets for dinner. I regret it because I have put my son at the center of my family’s orbit when he should be alongside us instead. In doing so, I have designated my identity and worth as strictly what I’ve achieved as a parent; I have made it nearly impossible to extend grace to a child who throws fits and says bad words—to see him as existentially valuable.

I want to be the best mother I can be, but perhaps the most efficient way to go about this is to remove my child from the center of my universe. Perhaps then I will allow myself to be a holistic human being; and perhaps then I can grant my son that same freedom.


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Why Parenting For Legalism Will Fail

The answer to misbehavior and sin is not to hover over our little ones, nervously trying to either catch them in sin or find them acting, for once, in good ways so that we can reinforce every positive or negative action, but instead to simply trust God to soften their hearts, and to clean the insides of those little cups, so that then the outsides will be clean also. Whether He does this before they turn all your hairs gray is–I’m sorry to break this to you, my friends–not within your control.

But don’t worry. Instead, believe.

Despite all of our worry, the Gospel is sufficient to replace the dead letter of the Law that we had been teaching, and that many of us had been raised on ourselves. The hearing of the Word is sufficient to raise our children’s souls from the dead, just as it has done for all of the other saints. Your daily attention to the truth is sufficient. Don’t let the simplicity of the Truth trip you up. Pharisees are the ones who like to complicate things, and I think we all have a little bit of that inability to believe that it could possibly be that simple. You don’t need to add anything to the Word–no charts, stickers, badges, records, journals, rewards, or any other kind of proof that the Holy Spirit is working. He just IS. Believe this, and have peace.


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The 10 Commandments Of Parenting

Parenting is one of the greatest joys and responsibilities in this life. Few things produce greater humility or furnish greater rewards. Though I feel inadequate for the task, I love being a Daddy! I continue to receive “on the job training,” but here are a few commandments I long to live by as I continue to labor in this wonderful vineyard called Christian parenting.

1. Thou shall not worship thy children or their future.


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How To Raise Godly Kids Without Going To Church

According to Scripture, it is the parent’s responsibility to raise up their children and teach them about God, but our modern way of doing church relinquishes these things to 45 minutes on Sunday morning and Wednesday night, in a building with a (generally) controlled environment, and to a person we don’t really know.

Isn’t that crazy?

How did we go from “Train up a child in the way he should go” (Prov 22:6) and “Teach these things to your children … ” (Deut 6:7; 11:19) to asking, “So what did you learn in Sunday school today?” on the drive home from church?


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The Story Of A Mother’s Repentance

My everything was too much like Eve’s everything, I tried to do Your job. At times, I think I even tried to fight You for them. Forgive me. Forgive me for talking about faith while living in fear. Please heal any wounds I have created. Please show me how to take a few steps now in faith. Oh, Lord! There my children go, carrying their questions into the clash and clatter of the cities. It is so hard to see them disappear into the crowd. Father, please do what I could not do for all that I tried.


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Motherhood Is A Sacred Calling

Our occupation is not easy. Our time and rights are no longer ours. When we dwell in His presence though, we find in that place of surrender and self denial, a life living for Christ alone. We begin to radiate a Christ focused vivacity.

We are nurturers of God-given seed. Motherhood is our divine calling. Once we own this vision, it will change our attitudes towards our husband, children and home. We will embrace mothering. Our days will no longer be seen as dull but delightful; it’s no longer boring but stimulating; our trials turn into triumphs.


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Parenting Must Engage The Heart Of A Child

The Scripture teaches that the heart is the control center for life. A person’s life is a reflection of his heart. Proverbs 4:23 states it like this: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

Parents often get sidetracked with behavior. The thing that alerts you to your child’s need for correction is his behavior. Behavior irritates and thus calls attention to itself. Behavior becomes your focus. You think you have corrected when you have changed unacceptable behavior to behavior you sanction and appreciate.

“What is the problem?” you ask. The problem is this: Your child’s needs are far more profound than his aberrant behavior. Remember, his behavior does not just spring forth uncaused. His behavior—the things he says and does—reflects his heart. If you are to really help him, you must be concerned with the attitudes of heart that drive his behavior.


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Parenting With Grace Is A Beautiful Demonstration Of The Gospel

Today’s Throwback Thursday post recalls a very practical and insightful video from Paul Trip and Elyse Fitzpatrick. These two parenting gurus share their wisdom about how belief in a gospel of grace affects our approach to parenting. Learn how to model grace to our children as we relate to them.


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Parenting A Rebellious Heart

In these situations there is outward obedience or compliance but inward resentment and hostility. There is “heart rebellion.”

If discipline is ultimately about the heart, we cannot let these situations pass by. If we fail to address a problem of the heart when we see it, we are training the child to be a Pharisee. We are training them that their outward behavior is all that matters, and we don’t care about their heart or attitude.

When you have a right action, with a wrong heart – look at these situations as great parenting opportunities. These are prime moments to go directly to matters of the heart, without the complication of disciplining outward behavior.


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Children Are People Too And The Bible Says A Lot About How To Treat People

If you asked me the single most important insight that has shaped my parenting, it would be this: Children are people. It seems self-evident.

If you asked me the single most misleading statement I have heard with regard to parenting, it would be this: The Bible is relatively silent on the topic of parenting. On the surface, this statement appears to be true. That is, until we remember that children are people.


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You Can’t Save Your Children, So Call Out To The One Who Can

“But wait…,” some might say, “how is God going to hold me accountable for something that I have no ability to accomplish myself?”

You are right, you cannot save your children. But God never called you to save them. He has called you to care for them. You are to shepherd their hearts with the word of God (Eph. 6.4; cf also Deut. 4.9 ; 6.7 ; 11.19). And you are to carry your cares of their salvation to the throne of grace for mercy and help (Heb. 4.161 Pet. 5.7). It is this that you will be accountable for.


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Parents Cannot Save Children

When I first realized that it brought me so much comfort in my parenting. I do a lot of stuff right with my kids, but I also do a lot of things wrong. The thing is I can’t give them salvation and I can’t take it away. Parents, rest in that today. Let that truth sink in. We are given the role to guide them, share with them, and even show them the right way, but, parents, we can not save our kids.



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How To Liberate Your Parenting With Grace

Paul Tripp and Elyse Fitzpatrick discuss how our belief in a Gospel of grace affects our approach to parenting our children. Parents can be liberated from the savior complex. Parents can’t be the savior. Jesus must be. Yet, much of the conventional wisdom about parenting is based on assumptions that parents exist to enforce behavior modification strategies. We can do better than that though. We can demonstrate grace in all the ways we relate to children.


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Drop What You Are Doing And Read Visionary Parenting By Rob Rienow Right Now!

Visionary Family is running a sale on its ebooks this week. You can download several titles for 99 cents each. I took them up on this great offer and started reading Visionary Family by Rob Rienow. I’m about half way through it and I have found it to be a tremendous encouragement. It is an excellent complement to today’s Sunday Sermon post (see next post). The attention to Scripture in order to see God’s vision for family is inspiring. We’ll try to bring you a full book review soon. In the meantime, go download this great little book and get to reading.



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A Path Through The Parenting Maze

Among the perks of having babies in the 1980′s, 1990′s and 2000′s is that your kids’ friends’ parents– your friends– span many decades as well.  Mom-friends who were rearing their last-born when I was fearfully raising my first grew up during FDR’s administration; some friends I’ve met through my 8-year-old entered the world while Reagan served. Consequently, I’ve been exposed to quite a number of parenting styles.



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