Four Ways to Come Alongside Your Kids to Strengthen Their Faith

If you’re paying attention to what’s happening in America today, you’re probably aware of the challenges facing young Christians in their teens and twenties. It’s a simple fact: most young Christians will walk away from the Church during (or before) their college years. Like other Christian parents, I’m animated to work as hard as I can to address this dilemma, for my own kids and for the next generation of believers. I’ve authored books, written blogs, recorded podcasts and videos in an attempt to help young people evaluate the evidence for Christianity. I also speak to local congregations. Following a recent church presentation, I was approached by a mother who was concerned for her high school children. We began discussing several ways parents can prepare their kids before sending them off to college. Here are four simple guiding strategies:

continue reading

Learning to Pray for my Son

Recently I read Mark Batterson’s Praying Circles around the Lives of Your Children. In the book, Batterson shares some personal stories of praying for his family, specifically each of his children. He shares some helpful suggestions of ways all parents, regardless of life stage the children are in, can pray for their kids.


The 7 prayer tools he suggests are:


·         Praying the promises of God

·         Making prayer lists

·         Creating prayer mantras

·         Praying a hedge of protection

·         Forming prayer circles

·         Praying through the bible

·         Passing on blessings

Batterson believes prayers function as prophesies. Praying parents have the opportunity and privilege of scripting the future of their children with their prayers. I find this absolutely incredible. And weighty. And exciting. And daunting. And even more exciting.

I took away a few learning’s from the book that I’ve quickly adapted into my daily routine. For starters, Justice wakes every morning with a song of thanksgiving for the day that the Lord has made and we clap and say “yay” and rejoice in it together.
continue reading

Your Children Don't Belong to You

There used to be a time when kids couldn’t wait to leave home. And we’re not talking about getting out of the house on Friday night for a date. In the not-too-distant past, when a son or daughter reached 18, it was goodbye mom and dad and hello world.

Plenty of kids do leave home for college, but increasingly they return once they graduate because they know mom will do the laundry and dad will pay the rent. Okay, so it’s not as simple as that. There are economic factors and a tight job market and all of that. We understand that sometimes a kid doesn’t have a choice but to once again come under mom and dad’s umbrella. But we often wonder if this tendency for children to return to the nest isn’t aided and abetted in some way by one or both parents.

continue reading

God Waits in the Wings and Blesses Us

Our 9-year-old daughter, Anastasia, is quickly outgrowing her bike. She likes to participate in the kid triathlons around town and is on the Youth Tri-team at the YMCA. Last fall, in the season’s last event, I watched her riding down the street, pedaling as hard as she could only to have a kid on a larger bike shoot past her. Not only was the bike bigger but it was a road bike. Needless to say, she noticed.

She decided then that she wanted to save up for her own road bike, sensing that she was losing most of her time on the bike (I know, she’s only 9 and already this competitive. Lord help me!).

If you’ve ever priced a road bike before, it doesn’t take long to see that they are crazily expensive – even the kid’s bikes (that they outgrow). Luckily cold weather was approaching so I told her if she really wanted one then to begin saving and we’d look for a used one the next spring. I gave her the amount we’d pay to help out with it if she could cover the rest. However, internally I figured she’d lose interest and settle for a larger, much cheaper, mountain bike.

continue reading

Raising Kingdom Bringing Kids

Here's a podcast of a talk I recently gave at the Children Pastors Conference.

Give Your Kids the Keys

“Oh no, oh no!” were the words I heard, along with a scream, as I woke up out of a dead sleep. I opened my eyes to find us heading toward a massive semi-trailer truck at 65 mph. It was the last day of our yearly snowboard pilgrimage to Mammoth Mountain, in California. My wife, Karie, was driving, and we were headed home. We were on HWY 395, about 20 minutes outside of Bishop, and just a few miles from the spot where you can often see herds of elk.

Startled by my wife’s scream, I awoke as my heart raced from a virtual 0 to 60. In front of us loomed a Mack truck. There was nothing I could do. In that moment, Karie had to make a decision that our family’s lives depended on. She had two options. She could slam on the brakes and hope to weave back in behind the truck that was to our right, praying that he would not also brake; or she could hit the gas...

continue reading

Watching a Father Die Slowly – How can you not weep?

Have you ever felt your heartbreak slowly and completely - when you know it is happening and can’t do anything to stop it?   


Today my wife came home from Target around lunch time and told me a story that broke me down.  She had bumped into a friend of ours who gave her the news that a friend of hers who we had met casually at family events was in the middle of a devastating three months.  Her husband had been diagnosed with late stage brain cancer and was given three months to live of which the first thirty days might be bearable.  They have a bunch of kids, boys and girls, and were struggling through the process of preparing for his death.  Creating photos and letters.  Purchasing and engraving meaningful items that each child would have when he passed.  We talked about what to give the boys – what I would give the boys.  We talked about how they were trying to figure out how to make three months or maybe just thirty days somehow matter in the lives of kids 4 to 14 years old.

continue reading

Dinner Disaster

Last night’s dinner was a disaster. Our 9-year-old son, Noah, was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease and we’re in the process of removing gluten from our diet. It’s been a bit tricky, especially for me as I try to find tasty meals that don’t have gluten hidden in the ingredients and attempt to recreate our favorite dishes without it.

Noah has been a trooper so I thought I’d have a go and make his meal of choice, broccoli cheese quiche. It was a challenge. It took me an hour to perfect the gluten free piecrust enough for it to hold the other ingredients. Excited about my accomplishment, I popped it in the oven. Everyone was hungry and eager to try it.

Thirty minutes later the timer sounded. I pulled it out of the oven, unaware that our 70lb lab was behind me.

Could a Little Whistle End the World's Deadliest War?

In June of this year I highlighted NY Times jounalist Nicholas D. Kristof’s article Death by Gadget in this post.  Kristof did a great job of speaking the truth about the war in Eastern Congo and the driving force behind it. Yes that force is the demand for Congo’s minerals which are used to manufacture most electronics, Apple products included.

Since that post I’ve also posted a bit about an organization I am hearing more and more from called Falling Whistles.

Falling Whistles began because an American young man visiting Eastern Congo, ran into a few boys who had just ran away from the army they had been forced to join and who were now in hiding. This young American man listened to their stories of their kidnapping and the brutality they were forced to endure themselves and inflict on others. And then he heard something he could hardly believe was true.

continue reading

A Father’s Forgotten Delight

When Bridget and I had our first child, little Maeve, I began to consider for the first time what it meant to be a father.  I found my mind returning over and over to two concepts that more than anything have influenced my parenting over the last six years and I hope the next sixty.

The first was an image of a fatherly lion, like C.S. Lewis’ Aslan - good but not tame, with all that such an image might signify. I want my children to see me as the lion of the home and then to see God as the lion of their lives.  More on that some other time…

The second was the word delight.  Every time I think about being a father I think about the idea of delight. I want my children to experience my delight in them just as God delights in me.

continue reading
Syndicate content

Bloggers in Children

Sign-up for the Newsletter
Sign-up for the Newsletter
Get the latest updates on relevant news topics, engaging blogs and new site features. We're not annoying about it, so don't worry.