Category Archives: Parent Tips

Tips for raising godly children.

Tips for Leading Family Devotions

Here are a few tips to help you lead family devotions:

Enjoy yourself

Set aside a time when you can have fun leading your family into the truths of the Bible. If you’re not having fun, then your children won’t either.

Keep a Good Attitude

Let this be your favorite time of the week and a top priority. After all, what is more important than what you are about to do with your family?

Don’t Preach

This should be an interactive time where the whole family can talk and discuss.

Don’t Bore

Keep you family devotions short, fast-paced and to the point. Don’t drag them out. Length of time and spirituality are not one-in-the-same. So don’t talk long and don’t pray long.

Take Your Time

Even though you want to keep your devotion time short, if your family is having fun, don’t cut it off too soon.

Be Willing

Your children will only go as far as you go, which means, if you only do the activity halfway, they’ll only do it halfway too. Be willing to get down on the floor, to get inside a tent, to throw a pillow or make a paper airplane. They may not remember all the things you tell them, but you’re making memories that will last a lifetime.

Always Listen

During these sessions you should ask your kids a lot of questions. Listen closely and be careful not to cut them off, talk down to them or correct them in a manner that will make them hesitant to share in the future. Sometimes we jump to fix things without fully listening. Listen to what they are saying but also listen to what they are not saying.

Keep it Up

Make a commitment, put it on your calendar, and stick to it.


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Open Communication

With school in full swing and a wave of activities surrounding your family, be careful to guard times of open communication with your children. Open communication isn’t always natural and as children grow older, their response to the generic, “How was your day?” is usually a simple, “Fine.” Teach your children from a young age to be open about what they see, hear, feel and experience by asking them direct questions. Instead of just asking, “How was your day,” be specific: What was the best thing that happened to you today? What was the worst thing that happened to you today?

Other questions might include: What makes you feel special? When are you the happiest? What makes you sad? Who do you like to talk with most at school? Is there anyone at school that you try to avoid? Why? When do you feel smartest? If you could change anything about school, what would it be? Do you ever get angry at school? Have you ever been bullied? What is your favorite thing about your teacher? What is your least favorite thing about…You get the idea.

Don’t bombard them with questions all at once. This isn’t an inquisition but each day look for ways to ask a variety of direct questions and tell them often that you want to know what is going on in their lives.

Remind them that they can talk with you about anything. Give specific examples: If they hear a word and they don’t know if it’s a bad word, they can come ask you. If they hear a conversation among friends but don’t understand what they’re talking about, come ask. If they have questions or are curious about other matters in life, come ask.

Then, finally, show them that you want to listen to them by giving them your full attention when they come to you. Turn the TV off or go on a walk together. Show them that their thoughts and feelings are important by giving them uninterrupted time to share.

In brief, guard open communication lines by:

-Asking specific questions

-Reminding them often that they can talk to you about anything

-Showing them you want to hear what they have to say by creating moments when you can listen without distraction.

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Time to Talk

One six-year-old daughter, Lisa, had a need to ask questions … lots of questions. Finally, one day, her mom had had it.

“Have you ever heard that curiosity killed the cat?” Mom asked in exasperation.

“No,” replied Lisa.

“Well, there was a cat, and he was very inquisitive. And one day, he looked into a big hole, fell in, and died!”

Lisa was intrigued: “What was in the hole?””*

As parents we sometimes forget that we want our kids asking us questions. Work hard to keep open communication lines and to develop habits while your children are young to talk with them about anything and everything. Never lose the art of chatting with your children. Answer even the silliest questions because a day will come when they will have other, more serious questions. When that time arrives, you want them to come to you for answers and advice—not their friends, not TV, not the world.

Take time to stop, sit and just talk with your kids today.


*Original source unknown

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Leave a Legacy

Don’t Just Leave an Inheritance…Leave a Legacy

    Listen to the story of two families: We read that in 1677 a licentious man married a licentious woman. From that union came 1900 descendants. Of these descendants 771 were criminals, 39 were murderers; only 10 learned a trade and they learned it in prison. They spent a combined total of 1,300 years in prison and cost the state of New York nearly three million dollars. That is what two ungodly people in marriage did for the United States.

     But look at the record of the Edwards’ family, the family of Jonathan Edwards, the great preacher. A godly man married a godly woman. They had 1,344 descendants. Of this number 295 were college graduates, 13 were college professors, 65 were college presidents, 186 were ministers, 101 were lawyers, 86 were state senators, and 3 were congressmen. There were also 30 judges and one vice-president of the United States. Not one of these descendants was ever accused of crime. This is what two godly people in marriage can do for the world. 1

The way you live your life not only affects you, but also your children’s children’s children. You will never see in this life the full impact of how you lived, so make sure that your kids see you living for Jesus every day.

1W. Herschel Ford, Sermons You Can Preach on John, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1958), p. 126

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What are you Hiding?

A five-year old had taken some candy to his room when he wasn’t supposed to and had hidden it. His parents caught him and asked him if there was anything else he was hiding. He confessed to hiding a few more things. Then they turned to his older brother who had been listening to the conversation.

His father asked, “Is there anything that you’re hiding?”

“Yes,” he replied quietly. “I’m hiding God’s Word in my heart.”

As Christian parents we all want our kids to know God’s Word and to memorize Scripture but what kind of example do we truly set for this? When was the last time your child saw you memorizing from the Bible? What was the last verse you memorized?

Scripture memorization isn’t just for children. It’s for you too.

So here’s today’s question…What are you hiding?

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Mom was driving the van full of neighborhood kids home from school one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a Dalmatian dog.

The children fell to discussing the dog’s duties. “They use him to keep crowds back,” said one youngster.

“No,” said another, “he’s just for good luck.”

A third child brought the argument to a close. “They use the dogs,” she said firmly, “to find the fire hydrant.”*

Sometimes kids are left guessing. When it comes to the purpose of a Dalmatian, it’s not that big of a deal, but with matters of God, never leave knowledge to guess-work. As parents, God has given us the great privilege of passing truth and faith along to our children. This is an intentional attitude—one that evaluates your children and purposely disciples them to be godly young men and ladies who live to know and serve God.

The Bible says in Deuteronomy 6:5-7, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

Here are a few tips to help you make this a reality in your life:

-Share with your kids what God is doing in your life.

-Spend time with God when your kids can see you. (Sometimes we tend to spend time with the Lord before our children wake up or after they go to bed. This is a great habit but consider how often your children actually see you reading the Bible.)

-Let your children know that they can ask you anything about God, life or even you.

-Ask your children questions that will stir spiritual conversations.

-Use movies, TV shows and other items in the news as a springboard to discussion godly decision-making.

-Seize times when situations happen in the life of your family to pray together and discuss how God guides us in every situation.

-Set aside time for “family devotions” each week. Have fun while teaching your kids God’s truths.

God has told us how to live. God has given us His Word. Build these truths into your kids so that nothing in is ever left to guesswork.


*This story was taken from an e- newsletter from 2/6/12 by Biblical Parenting:

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The Power of Encouragement

Little Johnny was overheard talking to himself as he headed through the backyard, wearing his baseball cap and toting a ball and bat.

“I’m the greatest hitter in the world,” he announced. Then he tossed the ball in the air, swung at it, and missed.

“Strike One!” he yelled. Undaunted, he picked up the ball and said again, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world!”

He tossed the ball into the air. When it came down he swung again and missed. “Strike Two!” he cried.

The boy then paused a moment to examine his bat and ball carefully. He spit on his hands and rubbed them together. He straightened his cap and said once more, “I’m the greatest hitter in the world!”

Again he tossed the ball up in the air and swung at it. He missed.

“Strike Three!”

“Wow!” he exclaimed. “I’m the greatest pitcher in the world too!”*

Sometimes as adults we lose the optimism that helps us see life for it’s positive elements. In return we sometimes become critical and sometimes, although we would all like to get encouragement, we become a people who don’t encourage others.

Consider this: This week how many times have you corrected your child’s character or behavior–i.e., pick up your clothes, put your toys away, clean up your mess, eat with your mouth closed, don’t wear your old shoes to church, don’t pull the dog’s tail, etc.

Compare this to how many times you’ve pointed out positive elements about your child to encourage them–i.e., I like the way you laugh, I’m glad you’re my son, I love spending time with you, you’ve got a great smile, I’m proud of how you treat others when…, you’re so smart, you’re a great daughter.

Encouragement isn’t a replacement for correction and just as every child needs correction, every child also needs encouragement. A man once challenged me to spend 10 times more energy encouraging my children than correcting them.

Take this test. Keep count this week of how many times you correct your child compared to how many times you specifically encourage them. Then look at the bright side of life and become the “greatest” encourager for your children.


*This story was taken from a newsletter by Biblical Parenting:

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