Use the Rod, Lose the Child?

Spare the rod, spoil the child. It’s not exactly the wisdom of Solomon, but it’s not far off. Proverbs 13:24 echoes many of the other Proverbs when it says “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” Some Proverbs are difficult to discern, but this one not so much. The point is obvious: we are to faithfully discipline our children for the sake of our children. But it’s not always so …

Honestly Assessing Our Decision to Public School Our Kids

Last week Aileen and I had the joy of attending our son’s high school graduation. Nick graduated as an Ontario Scholar, certified as bilingual in French and English. Now he gets six weeks of vacation before he heads south to Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky, to begin the next phase of his education. We are tremendously proud of him not just for getting through school but for being a young man of character and godliness. I’ve written in the past …

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My Dear, Sweet Girl

My dear, sweet girl, I’m so thankful you’re thinking about sin. I’m so thankful you’re thinking about what it means to be a sinner, what it means to realize that so often you do the bad stuff you swore you wouldn’t do. And not only that, but so often you don’t do the good stuff you had promised to do. I know sin is a hard thing to think about, but it’s such an important thing. Yesterday you were comparing …

It Takes a Church To Raise Your Child

You’ve probably heard it said that it takes a village to raise a child. Parenting is so difficult, so complex, so relentless, that it is more than any two people can successfully handle. Children thrive under the responsibility of loving parents but also under the watchful eye of a caring community. I have always believed in the wisdom of this proverb, but I’ve come to appreciate it even more as my kids grow older. And as I’ve come to appreciate …

10 Lessons on Parenting Big(ger) Kids

We did it! Aileen and I successfully got one of our children through childhood and into adulthood. Today Nick, our oldest, celebrates his eighteenth birthday. He is now an adult, and a pretty good one, too. Pretty good? Nah, far better than that. He’s amazing. He is intelligent and witty and mature and well-read and interested and engaging and godly. We are immensely proud of him and confident that he will do well in life. We know there’s lots of …

Vlog: Why My Family Still Doesn’t Do Sleepovers

Many years ago Aileen and I made a decision for our family, little knowing how that decision would end up reverberating around the world. We decided not to have our kids participate in sleepovers. Here’s why, many years later, my family still doesn’t do sleepovers. It’s available in YouTube and Facebook formats and, as always, there’s a transcript for the readers. Note that the videos also now feature captioning. Rush Transcript A few years ago Aileen and I made a …

What’s the Purpose of … Children?

It used to be so straightforward. We got married, then we had children. It’s just what we did. But then something changed, so that today both marriage and having children have become optional, matters of preference. Countless millions are choosing to delay marriage or take a pass on it altogether. Many of those who choose to marry decide not to have children at all. In the face of these new realities we do well to ask: What’s the purpose of …

Exploring the Bible: A Bible Reading Plan for Kids

A key component of every parent’s task is helping our children form good habits. A key component of every Christian parent’s task is helping our children form the good habit of personal devotions. We are convinced that our children are sinners in need of God’s saving grace, we are convinced that God’s Word is powerful, we are convinced that God is pleased to use his Word to convict our children of their sin and draw them to his Son. This …

Writing Great Books for Kids (and Reading Great Books To Kids)

Parents love to buy their children good books. Christian parents love to buy their children good Christian books. Thankfully, we are well-served with excellent titles geared to children. Many of them come from the pen of Marty Machowski. I recently asked him about writing great books for kids (and reading great books to kids). I hear often from people who dream of writing a book for kids. Yet I know from speaking to publishers that it’s one of the toughest …

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Parent

I think she might actually hate her child. She sat beside me at the soccer game, her daughter competing against mine. Meanwhile, her son sat beside her. Or he did for a minute, at least, until he got up and began to look longingly at the concession stand. He demanded a treat, first plaintively, then insistently, then angrily. She protested for a while, saying something about not being his personal bank machine, but she caved soon enough and dug a …