10 Tips on Biblical Fatherhood

FatherandChild I’m still catching up on notifying you all about articles I published over on Ministry-to-Children.com. The article titled Biblical Parenting: 10 Tips for Fathers was published on June 16, 2010.

Brief Synopsis: Based on a sermon preached by my pastor, this article looks at 10 tips for parenting biblically based on a verse which may not always be associated with fatherhood.  I think this verse has great potential to impact fathers and how they raise their kids.

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Nothing New Under the Sun and Children’s Ministry

This year, I have been reading through Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotional. Well, I’ve gotten a little bit behind, and I am busy “catching up.” This morning, I was reading the evening devotional for July 11 and found a rather startling entry based on the verse in Joel 1:3 which reads, “Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation.”

Spurgeon wrote:

In this simple way, by God’s grace, a living testimony for truth is always to be kept alive in the land—the beloved of the Lord are to hand down their witness for the gospel, and the covenant to their heirs, and these again to their next descendants. This is our first duty, we are to begin at the family hearth: he is a bad preacher who does not commence his ministry at home. The heathen are to be sought by all means, and the highways and hedges are to be searched, but home has a prior claim, and woe unto those who reverse the order of the Lord’s arrangements. To teach our children is a personal duty; we cannot delegate it to Sunday school teachers, or other friendly aids; these can assist us, but cannot deliver us from the sacred obligation; proxies and sponsors are wicked devices in this case: mothers and fathers must, like Abraham, command their households in the fear of God, and talk with their offspring concerning the wondrous works of the Most High. Parental teaching is a natural duty—who so fit to look to the child’s well-being as those who are the authors of his actual being? To neglect the instruction of our offspring is worse than brutish. Family religion is necessary for the nation, for the family itself, and for the church of God. By a thousand plots Popery is covertly advancing in our land, and one of the most effectual means for resisting its inroads is left almost neglected, namely, the instruction of children in the faith. Would that parents would awaken to a sense of the importance of this matter. It is a pleasant duty to talk of Jesus to our sons and daughters, and the more so because it has often proved to be an accepted work, for God has saved the children through the parents’ prayers and admonitions. May every house into which this volume shall come honour the Lord and receive his smile.

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The Moment of Terror

image My wife and I have four kids – four very different kids ranging in age from 3 all the way up to 17.  We know enough, and we have been through enough, to know that we don’t know it all when it comes to being parents.  That said, we have had enough experience at this point, that we are not often phased by the things that they do – sometimes surprised, but not often phased.  That is, until last Saturday afternoon.  On what was an otherwise normal Saturday afternoon, for a brief period of time, my wife and I experienced a paralyzing fear that only parents can relate to.

We were preparing for a family outing to go to dinner with my niece and nephew and their kids for the fourth birthday of my great-nephew.  We had a fairly lazy stay-at-home Saturday morning and afternoon following a hectic week of VBS at church, so we all needed to shower and get ready to head to dinner.  My wife had finished her shower and was getting ready, then I hopped into the shower to get ready myself.  As I headed down the stairs to put my shoes on and head out the door to go to dinner, that’s when it all started.  I started through my pre-leaving mental checklist (yes, I’m a list person):

  • Is Lyndsey (my seven year old) ready? Check.
  • Has Jacob brushed his teach (he’s a nine-year-old boy and proper dental hygiene is not high on his list of priorities)? Check.
  • Is Nathan dressed and ready to go?
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A Collection of Verses for Fathers

Father I’m still catching up on notifying you all about articles I published over on Ministry-to-Children.com. The article titled Bible Verses for Father’s Day was published on June 9, 2010.

Brief Synopsis: I originally wrote this for Father’s Day, but Dad’s should keep this verses in mind 365 days a year!

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TOGETHERVILLE.COM (A Dad in the Middle Review)

Togetherville This site has been known as Dad in the Middle for quite some time now.  It is a name which causes some confusion, but it is based on my position as a father, and a more specifically a Christian father, who is stuck in the middle of what I used to be before Christ and what God is turning me into.  As the father of four in a technological age, one of my constant struggles is to keep track of what my kids are doing online.  As a Christian Dad in particular, I face the added struggle of explaining to my kids why they are not allowed to do “what everyone else is doing.” As a Dad in the Middle of it all, I appreciate resources that help me in that endeavor, and today I am going to review one such resource.   Togetherville.com provides kids under the age of 13 a fun and engaging alternative to Facebook.

The Problem / The Need

Every good product serves a need or solves a problem.  Here is the problem we are going to talk about today – Facebook has become a bit of an institution in our society.  More and more people join every day, and that means more and more kids are exposed to Facebook every day.  And let’s face it, Facebook is fun!  It’s fun to connect with people, there are plenty of cool games to play, and keeping up on trendy things is just generally fun.  That means kids will also want to be involved, and the problem for them is that Facebook does not allow pre-teens to be members.  In reality, I do not actually view the fact that pre-teens are not allowed on Facebook as  a “problem” because I don’t think most kids under 13 should be on Facebook to begin with, but it does present a problem from the kids’ standpoint as they increasingly desire to enjoy the same internet driven social networking that their parents and friends are using.  For parents who have signed their kids up for Facebook when they are not yet 13, there was an interesting discussion on CMConnect.org about the implications of allowing kids to lie about their age in order to obtain access to the site.  That alone should give us pause for concern as Christian parents.

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FAITHWEAVER PARENT CLASS (A Dad in the Middle Review)

FaithWeaverParent The  Bible is clear that the principle responsibility for the spiritual development of children lies with parents.   In children’s ministry, and as a church, we must work to encourage and equip parents in this role.  To that end, Group Publishing has developed a small group curriculum that engages both parents and children.  The press release accompanying this curriculum explains:

The new small group curriculum, which launches this fall in churches around the country, is part of Group’s FaithWeaver® line of resources, which includes classes for all ages and has been successfully used in more than 25,000 churches nationwide since 1999. While parents are attending their small group, their children attend classes designed for them. Each week, everyone studies and discusses the same Bible point at an age-appropriate level.

“For example,” says [Christine] Yount Jones [executive editor of Children’s Ministry magazine], “one week the children might learn how they can rely on God. At the same time, the parents are taught how to help their children rely on God. Parents learn how to do this in practical ways and share ideas with other parents in their group. Now they can go home and weave faith teaching into their children’s lives throughout the week, focusing on this particular area.”

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