Wednesday, June 18 2014
I hope you are enjoying a great Father’s Day month – my favorite month of the year. I was blessed to spend the first week with my daughter leading the Father-Daughter Hiking Adventure and the second week with my son leading the Father-Son Backpacking Adventure, both in SW Colorado’s Weminuche Wilderness. While it is a local call to God from Texas, it sure feels like you are closer to Him in the mountains of Colorado!
Both of these trips were a week long and it was interesting to watch dads, daughters and sons decompress as we tuned out noise of the world – no cell service, no television, no radio, and tuned in to Christ. Discussions were real, laughter was genuine and relationships were strengthened. Is good to unplug from the world for a week!
Tips for unplugging:
- Leave office work at the office.
- Designate specific “no technology” time in the home, especially around the dinner table.
- Leave cell phones in the car, or at home when dating your daughter or spending time with your son.
- Schedule periodic weekend retreats with a focus on moving to new levels of relationship with your children and with the Father.
- Join us in Colorado August 3 – 9 for another father-daughter trip this year or commit to a 2015 trip.
As you tune out the noise of the world and tune in to Christ and family, you will be a hero in their eyes.
Monday, May 26 2014
Step 1: Discuss potential summer service projects with your kids. They could be as large as a church coordinated service day or simply a neighborhood widow that needs weeds pulled in her flowerbeds.
Step 2: Decide on three worthy projects as a family and schedule one per month across the summer. Mom can participate if she wants to but you make big points if the service project day is also a “Mom’s day off”.
Step 3: Communicate clearly the date, timing and expectations for the service project.
Step 4: When the day comes, start with prayer and enjoy the time together.
Step 5: When completed, stop for ice cream on the way home and discuss what y’all did, the impact it had on you and what you think the Lord was up to through you today.
As you work with your kids in projects beyond the home, you will be a hero in their eyes.
Monday, May 26 2014
Step 1: Surprise your son or daughter with a trip to your favorite Burgers & Shakes place. If you live in Houston, my favorite is Prince’s.
Step 2: Tell your son or daughter, “I love you and I am proud of you. This one-on-one time together is to affirm you as you wrap up another school year.”
Step 3: Ask open-ended questions like – What was the highlight of this school year? What was a lowlight? What is most memorable about this school year?
Step 4: Share something, age-appropriate, that your child does not know about your school days close to the same grade he or she just completed.
Step 5: Hug your son or daughter and again, tell them how much you love them.
As you stay involved in your child’s education you will be a hero in their eyes.
Wednesday, April 02 2014
The belt did not typically look like much but it played a significant role in securing the breastplate and holding the warrior’s armor in place.
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. … Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, – Ephesians 10:11&14
The Bible, the absolute Truth, may not look much different than any other book on your shelf but it plays a significant role in securing a heart for our Savior and Lord, and a proper perspective in this world.
Tips for buckling the belt of Truth in your home:
- Discuss Sunday’s sermon, and scripture reference, around the dinner table.
- Read a Proverb a day with your son for a month.
- Check out Devotions for Dads for a topic and scripture specific discussion aid.
A faithful father buckles the belt of Truth in family.
Wednesday, February 12 2014
Are you feeling the pressure? That diamond necklace gets the guy a big hug and kiss on the commercial. After all, “Every kiss begins with …” – you know.
Be it a diamond necklace or edible flowers, if receiving gifts is not your wife’s love language, it will be just another not-so-cheap fix for a romance that isn’t and a relationship that may be facing challenges. If receiving gifts is her primary love language, the necklace will not make up for months of neglect. That would be like the man washing every dish in the house on Valentine’s Day when he hasn’t washed a dish all year because his wife’s love language is acts of service. He won’t get a hug and kiss either.
Guilt reflects some of the devil’s best work. And marketing firms seem to use it well leading up to Valentine’s Day. “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience…” – Hebrews 10:22. Learn to love your wife as Christ loves the Church a little more each day and do not give guilt a foothold.
Tips for V Day:
- Spend time in God’s word early – Ephesians 5 is a good chapter to have on your heart from the get-go;
- Plan your day & evening in a way that compliments her primary love language;
- If you do not have a copy of Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages, pray for grace and stay away from the jewelry stores.
As you show love for your wife in front of the kids on Valentine’s Day and every day, you will be a hero in your children’s eyes.
Click on comment to share your V Day experiences.
Wednesday, February 05 2014
Dads routinely convey that balancing time between work, home and church, is the biggest challenge they face. My response is, “Priorities have nothing to do with balance.”
A professor once demonstrated prioritization of time to his class by putting a jar on his desk and filling it with rocks. He asked the students if the jar was full. They answered with a resounding, “Yes!” The professor then proceeded to fill the “full” jar with pebbles and again asked his class if the jar was full. The students answered with a confident, “Yes.” Then he poured sand in the “full” jar all the way to the rim and asked once again if the jar was full. The class answered, “We think so.” The professor then poured a cup of coffee in the jar with no spillage and made the statement, “If you put the important things on your schedule first, you will always have time for a cup of coffee with a friend.”
The same goes for life - If you set the right priorities, all else will fall in line. There is nothing in the Bible about balance.
Tips on the right priorities:
- Love the Lord your God through a personal, passionate and growing relationship with Jesus the Christ;
- Live that relationship in marriage and family;
- Reflect that relationship in every situation, discussion and decision you face.
As you focus on the right priorities in life, you will be a hero in your children’s eyes.
Click on comment to share your experience with balance versus priorities.
Wednesday, January 29 2014
Be involved in your children’s lives knowing that they will catch what you’ve got, including your worldview. In his book “Deep & Wide”, Andy Stanley identifies worldview as a key determinant in how we respond to pivotal circumstances in life. It determines whether we interpret significant events, be they positive or negative, in a way that draws us closer to God or pushes us away from God. As dads, we are responsible for being involved spiritually in our children’s lives in order to pass on a Christian worldview.
Tips to be involved spiritually in your family:
- Attend church together as a family each week;
- Lead spiritual discussions during the week - the sermon topic from Sunday is a good start;
- Conduct a family devotion time each week around a passage of scripture. (utilize Devotions for Dads as a resource or visit the Colson Center for Christian Worldview);
- Pray together as a family allowing each member to lift up specific concerns or praises for the week.
Dad, as you work to be more involved spiritually in the family, you will equip your children with a Christian worldview and be a hero in their eyes.
Click on comment to share how you are, or can be more involved spiritually in your home.
Wednesday, January 22 2014
When a dad is consistent in his children’s lives, there are powerful payoffs: Boys are usually well-adjusted, intellectually oriented and have stable relationships; Girls usually show more self-assurance and vitality, less anxiety and do not conform to stereotypes.
Tips to work on consistency in your:
- Schedule - be home from work at a regular time; communicate when work hits an irregular cycle; put key events on your calendar and be there as often as possible; eat dinner together as a family at least five times a week.
- Moods - leave work at work; engage emotionally by listening well in the home; identify specific triggers for frustration and keep anger in check.
- Relationships – nurture a personal and passionate relationship with Jesus the Christ through time in prayer, scripture, worship and study of His word; reflect that relationship in marriage, family and beyond; establish “battle buddies” that will encourage you on this road to greater consistency.
As you work to be more consistent in your schedule, moods and relationships, you will be a hero in your children’s eyes.
Share a comment on how you are, or can be consistent in your children's lives.
Wednesday, January 15 2014
Recent studies indicate that only 7% of communication is verbal. No wonder we struggle so to hear what is being said!
Here are some tips to work on listening well to your kids:
- Physical posture – keep an open posture; be on their eye-level; and pay attention to their posture and tone of voice;
- Emotional engagement – turn off other noise and tune in to the discussion; clarify meaning of statements made; label emotional words that communicate anger or hurt; and validate the emotion expressed;
- Spiritual grounding – prayerfully invite God into the discussion before, during and after the dialogue; and reference applicable scripture to keep opinions in perspective;
- One-on-one time - schedule regular time with each child to practice active listening; dating your daughter or taking your son out for ice cream are great ways to work on listening well.
As you work to listen well, relationships will be strengthened and you will become a hero in your children’s eyes.
Wednesday, January 08 2014
New Year’s resolutions can lead to more discouragement than encouragement. In follow up to last week’s RESOLUTION, I want you to be ENCOURAGED!
… that you are a child of God, an heir of God and co-heir with Christ. (Romans 8:17). As such, He has you exactly where He wants you. Honor Him in every situation, discussion, decision and relationship you face;
… that the Heavenly Father shares the moniker “father” with you for a reason – you are His representative in your home;
… through the valleys that are part of the journey for you as well as your wife and kids. Take heart that the Lord is at work in those valleys. (Romans 5:3-5 & 8:28);
… that glimpses of His glory will be granted through the eyes and hugs of your kids. Be sensitive to those and praise the Lord every day for the blessing of children;
… that you are a faithful father – a dad that prioritizes physical presence, is engaged emotionally and leads spiritually by example.
If God is for us, who can be against us! (Romans 8:31)
Be ENCOURAGED and “Give ‘em Heaven!” throughout this New Year.