Paul Carter – 10 Parenting Imperatives from the Book of Proverbs

Parenting is sacred, smelly, exciting, crushing, frustrating and expensive. It’s the most important thing that people ever do and to be completely honest with you, it scares the life out of me.

Who is sufficient for these things?

What should I be teaching my kids? What guidance should I be giving? Where do I go to learn how to raise and disciple sons and daughters of the King?

There is really only one place I can think of. The Book of Proverbs is presented as the counsel and wisdom of a royal couple to their son. “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching” (Proverbs 1:8 ESV).

It is an entire God-breathed and Divinely authorized manual on how to raise little kings and queens.

It is well worth reading from start to finish. Until you get a chance to do that, here are 10 things that the King and Queen in Proverbs say to their child that you should say to yours.

To continue reading Paul Carter’s article, click here.

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Geoffrey Kirkland – Instruction and Parenting

Parents all understand Paul’s command to “bring the children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6.4). But sometimes we grow weary in teaching the same old truths on many occasions again and again. Solomon could relate. He said “Hear my son your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching” (Prov 1:8). All through the Book of Proverbs, we receive many examples of Solomon pleading with his son to hear, listen to, heed, pay attention to, and receive His instruction. For instance, “my son, do not forget my teaching but let your heart keep my commandments” (Prov 3:1). This is a vital and unending part of parenting. As the children grow, we as parents must be deliberate in our teaching and instructing of their hearts. This not only takes place in the discipline room when they’re very small (with simple points of instruction) but as the child gets older, the physical spanking will decrease and the verbal instruction and biblical reasoning with the child will increase. When the child is so young that he cannot articulate or reason with you as the parent, discipline with the rod is the primary means of discipline when he has sinned. But as the child grows, verbal instruction, reasoning from the Scriptures, and helping the child see the desires that rule his heart that cause him to then choose to act, speak, or respond a certain way will then take priority in shepherding them toward Christ.

To continue reading Geoffrey Kirkland’s article, click here.

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Tim Challies – Nurture Your Children

There are few roles in which we feel deeper inadequacy than our role as fathers. What suits us to the task of raising little people? What assurance can we have that we are doing it well? What will our children someday say of us? These are big and perplexing questions, so it is little wonder that church bulletin boards are covered with posters for parenting seminars and library shelves are groaning under the weight of parenting books. One study found that in the past 10 years alone, publishers have released more than 75 thousand books on the subject. Parenting is tough, and none of us is fully up to the challenge.

Considering the importance and difficulty of the task, we may find it surprising how little direct guidance the New Testament offers us. Its clearest instruction is found in Ephesians 6:4: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” The parallel passage in Colossians 3:21 adds just one minor detail: “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” While we’re grateful for this divine guidance, we are probably left wishing there was more of it. Couldn’t God have answered a few more of our questions? What about spanking versus timeouts? What about homeschooling versus Christian or public schooling? What about the age to buy a child her first iPhone or the right way to oversee her selection of a spouse? Couldn’t we have just a little bit more detail?

To continue reading Tim Challies’ article, click here.

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J. C. Ryle – Boys and Girls Playing

“The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing.” Zechariah 8:5

Dear children, the text at the top of this page is about things to come. God tells us what there will be one day in the streets of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, you know, is a very famous place. It was the chief town of the Jews. It was the city where David and Solomon lived. It was the city where Christ died on the Cross and rose again. All boys and girls who read the Bible know something about Jerusalem.

Jerusalem was once a very grand and rich town. In all the earth there was no city like it when the Jews feared God. But the sins of the Jews brought ruin on Jerusalem. It became a poor, decayed, dirty place, and a sorrow to all who see it.

But a day shall yet come when Jerusalem shall be once more a grand and beautiful place…And then the words of the text will come to pass: “The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing.”

Dear children, there are two things I want you to learn out of this text. You see, God tells us that in the holiest, best days of Jerusalem there will be boys and girls playing in the streets. He tells us this, and He does not say that it is wrong. Let us see what we can make of this.

To continue reading J. C. Ryle’s article, click here.

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Christina Fox – When Homeschool is Hard

Whenever I meet someone new, they inevitably ask what grade my children are in and what school they attend. When I answer that we homeschool, I often hear in response, “I thought about homeschooling once. For about five minutes. I decided not to because I just don’t have the patience. I am impressed with anyone who can do it.”

I smile and nod. Sometimes I leave it at that. Other times I tell them the truth, “Yes, it is hard. In fact, I quit about once a week.” This usually makes them laugh.

But really, I do quit once a week.

To be honest, homeschooling isn’t hard just because my patience gets stretched. It’s hard because everything is stretched. The longer I do it, the more I realize what I’ve sacrificed. Because I homeschool, it means I’m not employed in my profession, the one I worked so hard to learn and attain. Because I homeschool, I miss out on engaging with other adults. People are often concerned that children who are homeschooled miss out on social interactions. The truth is, I miss out on social interactions. There are ministry opportunities I can’t participate in. Not only that, but it’s hard to squeeze in all the necessary things of life when your day is filled with lessons—like personal doctor’s appointments.

To continue reading Christina Fox’s article, click here.

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Tim Challies – When You Pray With Your Children, You Are Teaching Your Children to Pray

Every night my girls want me to pray with them and for them. If I do not tuck them in at night, or if I forget to pray when I do tuck them in, I can be sure that sooner or later I will hear feet coming down the stairs and then the question: “Daddy, will you pray with us?” Sometimes I think they are expressing a good and heartfelt desire and other times I think they are merely being superstitious, as if bad dreams will plague them and every shadow will frighten them if I do not pray. Either way, I never refuse them.

The other night I neglected to pray with them. It was at the end of a long day, I had fulfilled my parenting duties, I had gone off the clock, I wanted some “me time.” And then I heard the footsteps on the stairs. I groaned inwardly. “Daddy, you didn’t pray with us!”

To continue reading Tim Challies’ article, click here.

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Garrett Higbee – Counseling Parents about Smart Rules for Smartphones (And All Social Media)

Smartphones are everywhere and it is common to see very young kids playing on a tablet or to see older kids texting at every intersection. As counselors or parents, how do we navigate the inevitable conversations, develop reasonable rules, and lay down age-appropriate guidelines regarding smartphones? I hope to lay out some ways you can help those you counsel be smart about smartphones and other social media.

The use of tablets, the internet, and social media in general is an important topic for any parent. My wife Tammy and I have three kids: 17, 15, and 9 years old. We have been thinking through this for several years. We have made mistakes and found greater success as we adjusted our approach based on biblical principles through trial and error.

To continue reading Garrett Higbee’s article, click here.

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Brian Dembowczyk – 8 Tips to Help You Disciple Your Kids

My oldest son, Joshua, took up soccer this past spring and will continue this fall. My wife and I have really enjoyed watching him play, and even as a beginner at the age of 12, he seems like he has the temperament, body frame, and ability to develop the necessary skills to be a solid player. I’m looking forward to seeing how he progresses this season which begins in a few weeks. But as much as I am enjoying Joshua playing soccer, there is something that frustrates me about it as well.

I can’t help him.

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Thomas Watson – Honor Your Father and Mother

“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” Exodus 20:12

Children are to show honor to their parents by a reverential esteem of their persons. They must “give them a civil veneration.” Therefore, when the Apostle speaks of fathers of our bodies, he speaks also of giving them reverence (Heb 12:9). This veneration or reverence must be shown:

(1) Inwardly, by fear mixed with love. “Ye shall fear every man his moth mixed with love. In the commandment, the father is named first; here the mother is first named, partly to put honor upon the mother because, by reason of many weaknesses incident to her sex, she is apt to be more slighted by children. And partly because the mother endures more for the child.

(2) Reverence must be shown to parents outwardly in both word and gesture. Reverence to parents in word relates to speaking directly to them or speaking about them to others. “Ask on, my mother,” said King Solomon to his mother Bathsheba (1 Kings 2:20). In speaking of parents, children must speak honorably. They ought to speak well of them, if they deserve well. “Her children arise up, and call her blessed” (Prov 31:28). And, in case a parent betrays weakness and indiscretion, the child should make the best of it and by wise apologies cover his parent’s nakedness.

Continue reading Thomas Watson’s article here

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