Even if you are an Auburn fan, this from Bear Bryant is good advice.
Archives For Parenting
Even if you are an Auburn fan, this from Bear Bryant is good advice.
I am taking the time this week to pray on my knees for women in several categories. I know specific ladies in nearly all of these categories. And I know some who are in multiple categories.
Who have I missed?
- Mothers who miss their mothers
- Women who have mothers with Alzheimers, dementia, or other illnesses that require care.
- Mothers who have lost a child: such incredible grief – See Christian books on pain and suffering
- Women (couples) struggling with infertility
- Women (couples) who could not have children and now watch friends with grandchildren
- Women who had abusive or neglectful mothers including some who even abandoned them
- Women who clash with their mothers on a personality level
- Mothers who miss husbands who have died
- Women (couples) who are trying to adopt and yet continue to be met with obstacles – See these posts on Russ Moore’s book here and here.
- Women grieved by rebellious children (see this post) and how parents should unpack forgiveness with rebellious children
- Single women who battle loneliness
- Mothers who regret how they raised their children
- Mothers battling “empty nest” syndrome
- Mothers who are estranged from their children and cannot see their grandchildren
- Single mothers trying to do everything on their own
- Women who chose not to have children and feel ostracized or out of place amongst other Christians.
- Mothers overwhelmed by financial concerns
- Mothers worn out physically who are facing other physical problems
- Mothers battling depression
- Mothers who have gone through a painful divorce or who are in painful marriages
- Mothers who regret abortions
- Mothers who cannot communicate with their children during protracted custody proceedings
Do be encouraged by the gospel. As one of the comments below said, “For some, Mother’s Day is difficult because of their experience or non-experience with their mother. Yet it can be transformed into something that is more positive when they think about how God provided someone to fill that void.”
*I will be updating and editing this as I receive input. I have already received excellent input. I have already made 4 revisions based on input in the comments.
Balance is the temporary moment when one swings from one extreme to the other. Having thought about youth ministry for almost 25 years, it is my impression that balance is needed in the below areas. Both ditches must be avoided.
In what other areas of youth ministry is balance needed?
|Worldly – No different than secular culture.||“Amish” – Totally isolated and not salt and light.|
|Teens isolated by age group / de-emphasis of family||No youth ministry / family and church seen synonymously|
|Games only||Non-engaging and irrelevant teaching|
|A “decisionist” approach with little or know structured curriculum or teaching||“Programmed conversion” / formalized spirituality through confirmation etc / no recognition of revival|
|Complete para-church approach||A refusal to ever cooperate with other churches|
See these posts:
Churches are losing their youth at an alarming rate. Michael Horton and the White Horse Inn have started a new audio series that is highly recommended for parents and church leaders. Horton encourages catechetical teaching – – that is teaching through a structured series of questions and answers.
You can listen to the White Horse Inn series here. The series introduction reads:
According to the most conservative estimates, over 60 percent of those raised in evangelical homes end up leaving church at age 18. In some cases the estimates range as high as 90 percent. So what are we doing wrong? Why are we failing to pass the faith on the next generation, and what should churches and parents do to address this crisis? To help answer these questions, I’ll talk with J.I. Packer, Christian Smith, Thomas Bergler, Kenda Creasy Dean, and others as we introduce our new series on Youth Ministry.
The first person that Horton interviews is Christian Smith. Smith is the sociologist who coined the term “moralistic therapeutic deism.” See this post: Christian Smith Helps Us Understand Our Teens and Young Adults.
Moralistic Therapeutic Deism is . . . about providing therapeutic benefits to its adherents. This is not a religion of repentance from sins, of keeping the Sabbath, of living as a servant of a sovereign divine, of steadfastly saying one’s prayers, of faithfully observing high holy days, of building character through suffering, of basking in God’s love and grace, of spending oneself in gratitude and love for the cause of social justice et cetera. Rather, what appears to be the actual dominant religion among U.S. teenagers is centrally about feeling good, happy, secure, at peace. It is about attaining subjective well-being, being able to resolve problems, and getting along amiably with other people.” Christian Smith
Horton interviews a wide range of thinkers including J.I. Packer, Marva Dawn, and Will Willimon. They stress that we should think of teaching our teens about the Christian faith in the same way that we would teach them a second language. That is, they need to learn a new vocabulary and way of thinking.
At the Red Brick Church we work on our philosophy of youth ministry in an ongoing way. You ran read some of my thoughts on youth ministry on this post: Reflections regarding Youth Ministry.
Boys learn to be men by knowing and owning the stories of real men. These stories can be divided into: (1) Stories from our own histories including our dads and brothers. (2) Scripture – – All stories of manhood only faintly echo the story of the LORD Jesus Christ: the only perfect man.
There are times when men and women need to be addressed separately so at The Red Brick Church we had a guys night for our youth group on Sunday night. I led and talked to our junior and senior high guys about how they will learn to be men. I stressed to them that we all need to know personal families stories that inspire us.
I was so encouraged to hear our young men share examples from their own lives of how their dads and grandpas have set the right example for them. I did not have to “pull” the stories out of them. They are proud.
- One young man shared how his father worked hard throughout his chemotherapy treatments even taking his computer to the hospital.
- Another talked about his grandpa working hard to become an engineer.
- We heard about a dad who went to the army so he could eventually be the first in his family to go to college.
- We talked about dads who have their own businesses and have to make phone calls without someone telling them to do it and get up early in the morning.
- We considered Jonathan who said (1 Samuel 14:6) – – “Perhaps, God will act on our behalf . . .”
- We talked about a grandpa who made his own rock quarry to put stone around his garden
I looked around the room and saw the faces of boys who have godly men they can look up to – – – what a blessing!
And we talked about our King – – who for the joy set before Him, endured the Cross – – scorning it shame – – and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Tell your boys stories about real men!
The following links are to short practical posts for parents.
One of our goals as churches and families must be to equip our people to know important theological terms. A little girl in our church (see the above pic) recently took the time to make me a list of key terms. I especially liked the first one on her list. This year our church will focus on terms for Easter.
I was especially thrilled a couple of weeks ago with a set of notes Harleigh made for me. She went through the Bible and identified key terms to know. You can see a picture of all four pages to the right.
Harleigh’s list of terms is a good one. “Gosple” [sic] is first that is a good place to begin. If you don’t know what “gospel” means then read this post – – which also features a picture of Harleigh!
In anticipation of Easter this year at the Red Brick Church, I will be publishing an Easter primer with a list of terms, places, and people that are essential for understanding Good Friday. My goal for the terms is that will be simple enough for children like Harleigh to understand – – yet, comprehensive and deep enough to challenge our adults.
If you don’t have a church home – – then be our guest at the Red Brick Church. Last week, we began a Life Group for parents of young children, and it is off to a wonderful start — you can read more here.
But wherever you are at, be sure you know the meaning of terms like “amen”, “charity”, “faith.”
John Piper gives needed encouraged to parents of young children:
I am writing this to plead with Christian parents to require obedience of their children. I am moved to write this by watching young children pay no attention to their parents’ requests, with no consequences. Parents tell a child two or three times to sit or stop and come or go, and after the third disobedience, they laughingly bribe the child. This may or may not get the behavior desired. . .
Read the rest here.
Our son, Benjamin, is 16 today. Jamie and I are so thankful for him. Like the father in the moving video below, I am so thankful for my son.
HT: Alex Chediak
Dr. Al Mohler recently wrote an article, Nature Deficit Disorder — Is Your Child at Risk?, in which he expressed concern for children increasingly not being outside. A fourth grade boy from San Diego is quoted as saying, “I like to play indoors better, ’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are.” Mohler writes:
This is our Father’s world, and we would do well to receive this world and enjoy it, while giving praise and glory to God for the beauty and bounty it contains. We understand that nature is not an end to itself, and we affirm that the creation exists as the theater of God’s glory for the drama of redemption. All this should help Christians to remember that we honor God most faithfully when we receive His good gifts most gratefully.
Christians should take the lead in reconnecting with nature and disconnecting from machines. Taking the kids for a long walk in the woods would be a great start.
Here are some of our families favorite outdoor activities. What are yours?
- Dam something up. I’ve been damming up streams since I was 5 years old. Our all time favorite construction of a dam was in Switzerland. We spent hours on the dam in the picture.
- Run through the sprinkler or slip and slide.
- Put in a garden.
- Get a giant soccer ball. Our son Benjamin recently found a 6 foot soccer ball online. He has to use an air mattress pump to inflate it. It’s been a big hit with the neighbors. And it is strictly for outdoors!
- Burn something (responsibly)
- Play Street Hockey