The Eternal Significance of a Single Little Word

Jesus tells us—in fact, he solemnly warns us—that our words matter. Every single word we speak has significance. “I tell you,” he says, “on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak” (Matthew 12:36). Not most of those careless words. Not some of those careless words. All of them. This is a terrifying thought for those of us who are prone to speak often, speak hastily, or speak harshly. It calls us to repent, …

Shepherding At Home

In this video, which was filmed at a nearby conference, I was asked about some of the concerns related to pastors and their families. I tried to briefly to remind church leaders of the temptations that draw us away from this primary calling. Transcript Pastors always need to remember that you’re qualified to ministry through your family, not apart from your family. So being a pastor doesn’t make you a good dad, being a good dad may help you become a pastor. …

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Window on the World

We pray. We pray because we believe prayer matters, we pray because God hears, we pray because God chooses to act on our prayers. We pray because we can and we pray because we must. These prayers are not hopes whispered into a void or wishes cast into a cold and empty universe. They are supplications that reach the ear, mind, heart, and hands of God. We pray, and we also teach our children to pray. We teach our children …

The Folly Bound Up in the Heart of a Child

The Bible tells us what we all soon learn by hard experience: “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child” (Proverbs 22:15). Though children are young and naive and innocent in so many ways, they are also desperately foolish. Such folly is not displayed merely in silliness or immaturity or poor decision-making, but in something far deeper and far more insidious—an inward rebellion against God that manifests itself in a host of outward attitudes and actions. It displays …

Raising Our Children To Be In But Not Of The World

Parenting is tough. One of our greatest challenges is to raise kids who are able to exist in this world while not being of this world. A reader recently asked for some thoughts on this, and here’s what I had to say. Transcript I wonder if you’ve ever thought about what it would be like to raise children in a perfect world. Think about God creating Adam and Eve to live in a perfect world, free from sin. They were …

Kids and Technology

Here’s a question I was asked most recently in South Africa, but which I’ve been asked all over the world: What can you say about that tricky relationship between kids and technology? This is something we grapple with just about every day! Transcript How have you raised your kids with regard to technology? Yes, it is a difficult challenge to raise kids in the internet age and especially right here at the cusp of it. So I’m assuming our children …

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 …

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 …