Who Said Anything About Them Leaving Home?

As I prepared to pen these words, I took a trip back to 1990 when our first child, Kimberly, was born in the mountains of Guatemala.

I scrounged up her baby book and took a stroll down memory lane for about an hour today. Born on March 24, at 7:32pm, she weighed 7lbs and was 21 inches long.

Then there is an excerpt taken from the Memorable Firsts page. Tonya writes, “She had worms for the first time at 14 months and amoebas at 16 months.” Now, you won’t find these words in many baby books, unless you raised your children on the mission field!

I don’t know about you but when our first child was born, I was clueless and scared, excited and overwhelmed, happy and proud – all at the same time. I had this grin on my face that couldn’t be wiped off. But, one thing was for sure – we needed some help, advice, instruction, and wisdom.

I am thankful for godly parents, grandparents, pastors and friends who gave us wise counsel and were there to answer our questions in the following years. I am also thankful for good books and teaching videos.

However, one form of support stands out above all the rest. I am thankful for the leading and instruction we received from God’s Word and the Holy Spirit.

Don’t ever underestimate or overlook His offered help. He will direct you! He loves your children more than you do and He knows them better than you do. He wants to help you raise them to love and serve Him! He will give you insight that only He can give concerning each one of your children.

Seek Him daily for His wisdom! Beg Him to be merciful to your child and to shower your home with His grace.

Three of our five children are married now and they have blessed us with seven beautiful grandchildren. They are all striving to raise this next generation in righteousness. We read in 3 John 1:4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”

LaTonya and I, along with our parents, continue to seek God for His mercy as our children raise the next generation.

Definition of Success in Parenting

A quick search of the internet turned up this definition of parenting: “The point of parenting is to guide children toward independence.” There are many other definitions to be found there, for sure.

But, I would have to counter with this definition: “The point of parenting is to guide children to complete dependence.” Dependence on the grace of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis.

Others say, “Success is helping our kids be everything they want to be.” But again I counter with, “Success is helping our kids be everything God wants them to be.”

I trust that you are developing a vision for your child’s life that goes beyond the cultural norm. Hopefully, you see that the ultimate measure of your success in parenting is not your child’s future income, education, or social status.

Instead, it is whether your child gets safely home to heaven and is equipped to lead future generations of your family there also.

Let’s begin with a question.

When your son or daughter leaves your home someday – you say, Whoa! Slow down – Who said anything about them leaving home? We’re just getting started and you’re already pushing them out the door.” Well I have news for you, you will blink a few times, take a nap and Voila’, they’ll be headed out the door!  

So let’s start again – when your son or daughter leaves your home someday, which one of the following would you want most for them?

  • academic success
  • athletic success
  • financial success
  • social success
  • to be a person of faith and character.

Personally, I would like to have another option: all of the above. But if you could only have one, which one would you choose? You most likely said that faith and character are most important. At least that seems like the “right answer.”

Let’s change the question a bit. Which of the following parenting issues gets the best of our time, the most effort, money, worrying and planning?

  • academics.
  • athletics.
  • work.
  • social life.
  • faith and character development

One thing is for sure, we will not raise Fully Devoted Disciples of Christ without a plan, a purpose, and a destination.

Promoting Godliness In Our Children – Prayer

How do we pray for our children? How often do we pray for our children? What do we pray over our children? These questions do not have simple answers.

God takes children seriously, so serious in fact that in Matthew 18:6 Jesus says,

“If you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

That seems pretty harsh. Are you telling me, that if something I do, or allow my children to do, leads them into sin (not just the obvious big sins: steal, kill, lie, etc.; but also the not so big sins: bad attitudes, half truths, gossip, etc.), then I would be better off killing myself?

First of all, I’m not saying it, God’s Word says it.

So, yes!

God takes the raising of children seriously and so should we. This idea that kids are

Growing In Godliness – Part 3 | Michael Lewis

Deuteronomy 6:1 tells us, “These are the commands, decrees, and regulations that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you. You must obey them in the land you are about to enter and occupy,”

Matthew 28:19-20 says, “19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[a] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

God has appointed families to be a nursery for godliness in the church. Families are to be the school for Christian discipleship. And discipleship is training others to think and act Biblically.

Scripture tells us that what it says is not just for us to read, they are words that must be put into practice. We are called to obey the scriptures not simply listen to, know, accept or believe them. We have to practice or put into reality scripture. Our conduct and living – there is not a single area of our life that God does not want us to submit to Him.

James 2:23b tells us this, “So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.” In other parts of scripture even Jesus says that we know he is the Son of God by what he did. If it was a principle Jesus lived by, shouldn’t we also live by it?

Thinking and acting Biblically is essential, not only for our day to day lives and our

How does God promote Godliness in the local church?

How does God promote godliness in the local church, and how is godliness conveyed to the next generation?

In my last post, The Beginning of Godliness, I said that we don’t achieve godliness by falling off of a log and all of the sudden “Hey! I’m godly.” No, it takes time, effort, sacrifice, and above all Gods grace.

Scripture speaks clearly to our need and duty to practice spiritual discipline. Often we read about running the race to win. Training in godliness. Growing as Christians in God. Moving from drinking milk to eating meat. And the list goes on.

In todays post I want to give you some Disciplines that I hope enrich your Spiritual growth. I have broken them down into two categories – Disciplines of Abstinence and Disciplines of Engagement.

Galatians 5:7 “You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from

The Beginning of Godliness | Michael Lewis

In order to have a good foundation I thought it best for us to start with God Himself. If anyone knows how to promote godliness and how to get to the next generation it is God, so lets start there.

Godliness cannot be produced apart from the grace of God.

Philippians 2:12

“Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”

In other words, the Apostle Paul says the reason we are to exert ourselves in the pursuit of godliness is not because we pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. The reason we are to exert ourselves in the work

My Husband is a Samurai

So, on Monday night the boys and I turned the house over to the Heart to Home ladies, and we headed off to the movies to see 47 Ronin.

The movie is about honor and duty. My favorite line was when Ôishi played by Hiroyuki Sanada is explaining to his wife how he must avenge the honor of his deceased lord, and how his actions are going to put her life in peril.

She looks him in the eye and says, “My husband is a samurai, his duty is my duty”.