Category Archives: Family

Fathers and Exasperation

The final verse in our short passage from last time reads, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children, that they may not lose heart” (Col 3:21).  The parallel passage in Ephesians 6 exhorts fathers, “Do not provoke your children to anger; … Continue reading

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At Home with a Life of Love

Continuing our Colossians chapter 3 theme of a life of love, we come now to what love looks like in family relationships.  “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives, and do … Continue reading

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Are You a New Testament Family?

Our last post about the lessons learned in the story of the lost son rekindled a spark that has been brewing in my brain for quite some time.  One of the major disappointments I face in family ministry is the number … Continue reading

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Parenting with the Parables – The Lost Son

Remember the context of Jesus’ first coming?  His contemporaries viewed the coming kingdom as a national deliverance from foreign oppression and personal deliverance for the righteous.  Jesus turned that idea on its head and proclaimed deliverance for the needy; the … Continue reading

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Parenting with the Parables – The Unmerciful Servant

In the gospels, Jesus referred to His ministry as “new wine” (Mk 2:22); not just an add-on to the old covenant, but something totally brand new.  In fact, I would say it is beyond brand new to the point of … Continue reading

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Parenting with the Parables – The Good Samaritan

In the story of the good Samaritan, Jesus is responding to a question from a lawyer, “who wishing to justify himself”, asked, “Who is my neighbor?” (Lk 10:29).  Jesus answered the question with a parable. A man was going from … Continue reading

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Parenting with the Parables – The Automatic Kingdom

“And Jesus was saying, ‘The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows – how, he himself … Continue reading

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Parenting with the Parables – The Wheat and the Weeds

Like so many of Jesus’ parables, the story of the wheat and the weeds (Mt 13:24-30) begins with “The kingdom of heaven is like…”  What is coming next is a word picture describing some aspect of the kingdom of God.  … Continue reading

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Parenting with the Parables – The Humble Servant

Parenting is the ultimate and varied balancing act.  Balancing love and control.  Balancing grace and truth.  Balancing positive self-esteem and humility.  Balancing giving an allowance and children earning their money.  The list can be as general or specific as we … Continue reading

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Parenting with the Parables – The Workers in the Vineyard

Today’s parable found in Matthew 20:1-16 starts with, “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out to hire laborers…”  Let me summarize the story. A landowner has a lot of work that needs done in his vineyard.  … Continue reading

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Parenting with the Parables – The Persistent Widow

“Now Jesus was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, ‘In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect … Continue reading

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Parenting with the Parables – The Two Sons

“Jesus said to the chief priests and elders, ‘What do you think?  A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, “Son, go work today in the vineyard.”  And the son answered, “I will not”; but … Continue reading

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Parenting with the Parables – Introduction

As parents, we have a mandate to instruct our children in the ways of the Lord.  “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6:4).  The backbone for … Continue reading

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“Holiness Befits Thy House”

“Holiness befits Thy house, O Lord, forevermore” (Psalm 93:5).  God’s dwelling place is adorned or decorated with holiness.  It has the aura of holiness.  It has the look and feel of holiness.  It has the taste and smell of holiness.  It is … Continue reading

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Authority and Friendship

Grace based parenting is about finding the balance between love and control, celebration and responsibility, relationship and instruction, truth and grace.  It is about developing a well-rounded relationship with your children as both their authority figure and their friend.  It … Continue reading

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New Identity Parenting

When we have been captured by the message of our supernatural identity in Christ, it will have a dramatic effect on our parenting.  What we bring to the parenting equation in our natural man is a volatile mixture of sin … Continue reading

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Being There

You have probably heard it said, “You can accomplish a lot in life by just showing up.”  Now this isn’t an excuse for mediocrity once you arrive, but it does contain an element of truth.  Especially when it comes to … Continue reading

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The Happy Dinosaur

Several years ago, while attending the Society of Exploration Geophysicists Annual Meeting, I had an opportunity to catch up with an old friend I had worked with in Alaska.  We hadn’t made a connection in quite some time, but Dean … Continue reading

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Destroying Walls

The sequence in the following paragraph is meant to be read slowly.  Think about each step and ask yourself, “Has this been my experience?  Have I contributed to taking our marriage in this direction?” Poor communication in marriage leads to a downward … Continue reading

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“That’s Not What I Heard”

“Good communication only happens when the listener understands the words of the speaker as the speaker intended them to be understood.”  I mentioned last post that my number one goal in communication as a couple is understanding my wife, not proving … Continue reading

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Talk It Up

Good communication fills the emotional bank account of those closest to us.  Just as we were created for community, we were also created for communication.  Only through good communication can we hope to “know and be known.” Good communication in … Continue reading

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Psychology and Natural Revelation

There are two broad ways that God has revealed information about Himself and the world He has created and the inhabitants of the world He has created.  The first, His special revelation, is His words and Word.  “All Scripture is … Continue reading

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Reading the Bible Together

Early in our child training years, we started a habit of regular Bible reading and teaching with our children.  Was it an easy routine to keep?  No.  The routine of teaching children is never convenient, but nothing worth having is.  … Continue reading

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Family Team in Training

Similar to a sports team, one of the most important aspects in developing our family team is to formulate a training program for the participants.  A power packed verse in the New Testament regarding our family training program is Ephesians chapter 6, verse … Continue reading

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Building a Cathedral

A group of tourists went to visit a marble quarry in western Vermont.  As their tour progressed around the quarry, one of the visitors called out to a jack hammer-wielding worker below, “What are you doing down there?”  The worker snarled … Continue reading

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Living the Message

Yesterday we saw our daughter and son-in-law, Annie and Matthew Dorin, and their girls, Danielle and Lily off at the airport in Houston.  With their stack of boxes, footlockers, and suitcases, you would have thought they were moving overseas; and they … Continue reading

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Developing Your Family Identity

When I was a kid growing up in a small Indiana town, my father would send me to the local market to buy a loaf of bread.  Sometimes I would pass an old man sitting on a city bench with … Continue reading

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The Christian Family

The balance of truth and grace in a family setting is the theme of  The Christian Family, a highly-recommended book by Larry Christenson.  I especially like the process that brought Larry and his wife, Nordis, to the principles explained in … Continue reading

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The New Identity Family

We now want to explore what the new identity looks like in a family setting.  Remember, our new inclination at its deepest level is to practice our moral resemblance to Christ; to imitate the author of our everything new.  “And … Continue reading

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