Category Archives: Parenting


Make attending church a family habit

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Posted by on July 27, 2019 in Church, Parenting, Quotes, Tim Challies


Don’t be a snowplow parent

As parents, we often want to protect our children from hardship. We want to spare them from pain and difficulty. We don’t want them to go through what we did. However, instead of helping our children, we may be hindering their growth. That is the conclusion of an article in Sports Illustrated entitled, The Rise of the Snowplow Sports Parents.”

The author of the article explains the term, snowplow parenting.

The phenomenon also reflects what’s happening in the rest of society, says psychologist Madeline Levine, an expert on the topic. “It used to be helicopter parenting,” she says. “And now it is snowplow parenting, which is much more active: It means you are doing something to smooth the way for the child. It’s not just that you’re hypervigilant—it’s that you are actually getting rid of those bumps, which robs kids of the necessary experience of learning and failing.”

Towards the end of the article, hockey agent Allain Roy realized he was not doing his son any favors by being overly involved in trying to advance him in sports.

Two years ago, hockey agent Allain Roy was flying home with his teenage son after spending several thousand dollars to take him to a weekend baseball showcase to improve his chances of getting a college scholarship. He started wondering, Is this worth the investment? How much is too much involvement? He started typing out his thoughts into a post for his agency’s blog, writing, “As we rush to fix every little blemish in our kids’ lives and try to influence their way to success, we cause more irreparable damage than we know.”

In contrast to that, I remember a statement I heard some years ago when Carol and I were helping our youngest daughter, Caitlin, get settled into the dorms at Gordon College. During one of the sessions for parents, Dr. Judson & Mrs. Jan Carlberg shared some words of encouragement. Jan Carlberg used the phrase, “Struggle is a holy word.”

As parents, our desire is to smooth out the path for our children. We want to shield them from pain. When a child calls home to say they are not getting along with their college roommate, we want to storm the administration to demand a change. When that same child says they are unhappy after the first week of school and wonder if they made the right decision to go away to college, we want to jump in the car or on a plane and bring them home forthwith. Yet, when we do that, we often stunt our children’s growth because we don’t allow them to struggle.

Jan reminded us that God uses trials as a catalyst to help us grow. As James 1:2-4 says in The Message, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work, so that you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”

Struggle is part of God’s strategy to help us and our children grow to maturity. Avoid the temptation to be a helicopter and/or and a snowplow parent. Struggle is a holy word.


How do you parent adult children?

Book Review: Doing Life with your Adult Children: Keep your mouth shut & the welcome mat out, by Jim Burns

Jim Burns, the president of HomeWord and the executive director the HomeWord Center for You and Family at Azusa Pacific University, has written a short, but helpful book on how parents can relate to their adult children. Since I have three adult children plus their respective spouses, I wanted to see what he had to offer.

First and foremost, Jim points out that our role and relationship with our kids needs to change once they become adults. The tagline of the book, “Keep your mouth shut and the welcome mat out” focuses on not giving advice unless it is asked for as well as maintaining a welcoming atmosphere even when you don’t necessarily agree with their choices. The author dives into topics such as understanding the difference between helping financially and enabling our kids, how to set boundaries in the event our children move back home, how to relate to our children’s spouses, and how to support our grown children when we don’t necessarily support their values.

While Jim presents nine practical principles, he also cautions that life is messy and doesn’t always work according to the plan. We need great grace during those times. He also includes a series of questions for each chapter that can be used for personal reflection and/or group discussion.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Posted by on April 12, 2019 in Books, Parenting


The Concept of Functional Subordination

Each one of us has different roles and responsibilities. The pattern for these differences is rooted in the Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit modeled the concept of functional subordination for the church, marriage, and the family.

  Equality Function Order
Trinity The Father, Son, and the Spirit are equal as persons.

John 6:27; 10:30; Acts 5:3-4

The Father, Son, and the Spirit have different functions.

John 16:7-15;

Col 1:15-18;

Eph 1:3-14;

1 John 2:1-2

The Father has leadership and the Son and the Spirit submit.

John 17:1-5;

1 Cor 11:3;

Phil 2:5-11;

John 14:26

Church All members are to be considered without distinction in the Body.

Gal 3:28

All members have been given spiritual gifts to serve the Body.

Rom 12:6-8;

1 Cor 12:4-11;

Eph 4:7-11;

1 Pet 4:10-11

Christ has the authority and leadership is delegated to elders and pastors.

Heb 13:17;

1 Pet 5:1-4;

1 Tim 5:17

Marriage Husbands and wives are viewed as co‑heirs of the grace of God.

1 Pet 3:7;

Gal 3:28

Husbands and wives have unique functions in the family.

Gen 1:26-31; 2:18-25

The husband is given the role as the leader to which the wife is commanded to submit and respect.

Eph 5:22-33;

Col 3:18-19;

1 Pet 3:1-7;

Prov 31:10-31

Family All members stand in the place of equal responsibility before God.

Ezek 18:1-32 (20, 30)

Different members have different roles and responsibilities.

Col 3:18-21; 1 Thess 2:7, 11

Parents have the authority in the home and the children are to obey.

Eph 6:1-3;

Col 3:20;


(Dr. Mark Bailey of Dallas Theological Seminary introduced this chart at the 1996 Couples Conference hosted by Crossroads Bible Church at the Inn at Semi-ah-moo. I found it to be extremely helpful in understanding submission and have used it ever since.)


Where should I send my child to school?

Book Review: Education A La Carte: Choosing the Best Schooling Options for your Child, by Dr. Kevin Leman

Parents are faced with difficult choices as to what to do about their child’s education. Public school? Private school? Home school? Charter school? How early should I put my child in preschool? Kindergarten?

Dr. Kevin Leman wants to help parents make the right choice for each child’s education. His latest book, Education A La Carte: Choosing the Best Schooling Options for your Child, takes parents back to the core issue. Education isn’t just about information, grades, tests, and report cards. It is about mastering principles that transfer into real-life situations.

In his book, Dr. Leman spends the first eight chapters discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the various schooling options, understanding your child’s strengths and weaknesses, how the parents’ expectations and background fit into the equation, as well as the key traits of the best schools. In the ninth chapter, he helps parents take all of the information and assemble it into a personalized menu to guide them in choosing the right school for their child’s success. In the final chapter, he does a Q&A, answering some basic and specific questions parents have posed to him about education.

Dr. Leman combines personal stories, biblical principles, interviews, statistics, and humorous examples into a very readable and practical book. The book is heavily influenced by Leman’s philosophy of birth order as well as his personal conviction that a classical model for education is the best approach. The author is upfront about the strengths and benefits of the Academy he founded in Tucson, AZ. The book felt fairly balanced until the final chapter which obviously tilted the discussion towards the author’s personal convictions.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

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Posted by on September 6, 2017 in Books, Parenting


Don’t settle for a perfect family

Book Review: When Parenting Isn’t Perfect, by Jim Daly with Paul Asay

Jim Daly’s latest book, When Parenting Isn’t Perfect, is one of the more encouraging books I have read on the subject. It is helpful by virtue of the fact that it is real and honest. The very first chapter, “Not good enough,” sets the tone for the book.

How easily we all slip into the trap of thinking that we’re working toward perfection. We put so much pressure on ourselves and our families, even though that very pressure conflicts with what Jesus talked about during his days on earth. We try so hard to be righteous on our own when Jesus has already told us, You’re not going to make it. That’s why I died for you.

Rather than writing a book spelling out the perfect formula for the perfect family, the author writes about “finding the beauty in imperfection—and how that beauty reflects God’s own relationship with us. I write about avoiding dysfunction while embracing the occasional family mess.”

The book is divided into four parts with three chapters in each section. Part 1 asks the question, “How good is good enough?” Part 2 explores the concept of building a better family with opposites and messiness. Part 3 explores troubleshooting, including avoiding blame and allowing kids to make mistakes. Part 4 stresses the importance of making memories together.

The author is open and honest about his strengths and failures as a husband and a father. He shares both his victories and his defeats in both arenas. As a result, we can easily identify with him and learn from him.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Posted by on July 18, 2017 in Books, Parenting, Quotes


Parenting Matters

Book Review: Fearless Parenting: How to Raise Faithful Kids in a Secular Culture, by George Barna and Jimmy Myers

Parents today often operate out of a mindset of fear. We’re afraid of the culture and what it might do to our kids. We’re afraid we’re not up to the challenge. On top of that, we’re often intimidated by our own children. In addition, we often feel like we are ill-equipped for a hopeless task.

Authors George Barna and Jimmy Myers explain that parents today have a daunting challenge.

…rewire our cultural brains, starting with the minds of our children, to reclaim the Christian principles that made this a great nation. The role of parenting is perhaps more central than anything else in fostering that cultural about-face.

To make a difference, parents must get in the game.

Parenting is not a spectator sport; it is a full-contact, immersive commitment to honoring the God who breathed life and purpose into your child. Today that is a politically incorrect view of parenting. Your challenge is to figure out if you want to be either politically correct or biblically correct. The two options rarely put you on the same path of action.

Here’s another politically incorrect reality. God warns us that our intimate involvement in the development of our children occurs in the context of war—an eternal spiritual battle—and we ought to be prepared to fight for our children’s survival in the midst of that battle. He tells us that as long as we are willing to work with Him, we have no reason to fear the act of parenting. With God on your side, and His principles in your head and heart, not only can you win the battle, but you are likely to enjoy it too.

The authors combine years of experience in counseling, teaching, parenting, and personal experience, along with research and statistics to present a practical, biblical guide to raising faithful kids. They address the topics of taking charge of your children’s spiritual growth, prioritizing family relationships, getting rid of destructive parental behaviors such as anger and guilt, as well as tackling the subjects of social media, pornography, and materialism. Each chapter ends with five practical ideas how to put the concepts into practice in daily life.

Disclosure: I received this book free from Baker Books through the Baker Books Bloggers program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.

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Posted by on July 6, 2017 in Books, Parenting, Quotes