Dear Young, Christian Husband With a Job and Healthy Wife Who Wants a Baby

keene-mass-empty-bassinetI’ve never met you—I don’t think your wife has, either, so sorry to break into your day like this. A friend of your wife’s asked me to write and tell you something. Your wife has been trying to tell you for a while, but so far, it doesn’t seem like you can hear: your wife wants a baby.

“Wants” might not be the right word; it might make her desire seem less serious. Did you know that your wife spends a lot of time crying about this – when you’re not around, because she doesn’t want to upset you or disrespect you? She calls her friends up when she needs to talk about this and they do their best to comfort her, but it’s really not much. She avoids the baby section of the grocery store because one time she went through it and ended up sobbing in the parking lot without the groceries. She is not being a suck. She is suffering. Continue reading

A Parenting Priority

princeton 001“Parents’ first responsibility is to inculcate in their children a sense of absolute duty (not to say love) to Christ and His Church. However much children are sent to Church, and however much pleasure and help they get out of it, the whole may be lost if, on reaching teenage years, they are allowed to put lesser duties, even pleasures, before Christ and the Church.

What recreations and amusements children are permitted to enjoy is a very difficult matter for parents to decide, and needs guidance from God. It is a matter, not only of where we allow children to go, but when. The real test of whether our pleasures are right or wrong is when they happen to clash with Church. What then do we do? I have little fear for any, young or old, whatever pleasures they allow themselves, who, when a clash occurs, put Christ and His church first. But it is a deeper question than pleasure. It is not merely Christ versus enjoyment, but Christ versus self. When we have some special call upon our time which concerns our personal advantage, what is it that suffers? Is it our work, or our leisure evenings, or our attendance at God’s house?… Continue reading

Preachers’ Daughters (2)

new-windsor-pewWhat I’ve heard about the latest reality tv show isn’t encouraging, let alone edifying. Thankfully, there are teenaged preachers’ daughters who aren’t doing drugs, getting drunk, pregnant, and ruining their father’s reputations. Some of these young ladies, from different denominations, countries and families, answered a few questions about being pk’s for our second post in this series. We have left out their names to give them privacy. Their answers give insight into what it’s like to have dad as the preacher and give everyone some encouragement: there are many godly pastor’s daughters out there!

Would you marry a pastor?

1. “This is something that I have thought about a lot actually and have had pretty mixed feelings about. In some ways, I would like to marry a pastor as I think that it would help me to go deeper in my faith and having grown up in a pastor’s home, I have experience and knowledge that would hopefully enable me to be a blessing to a pastor. However, growing up in a pastor’s family has also opened my eyes to the amount of spiritual and emotional trials that many pastors deal with on a regular basis. Continue reading

The Pastor’s Kid (1)

510px-Hasenclever_The_Parson's_ChildrenMy Dad is a pastor. Same for Grandpa, uncles, brothers-in-law, and husband. Growing up in a family of pastor’s kids (there were six of us, plus cousins) has given us a different experience than many of our peers, simply because dad was a minister. From not having him in the pew with us on Sunday, to going to every funeral and wedding in the congregation, our growing up years were shaped by his calling.

I haven’t seen much written on the pastor’s kid – pk’s tend to be tight-lipped, sometimes rebellious. So in the next couple weeks, we’ll be posting about different aspects of being a pk. Our hope is to give pk’s encouragement, give their parents some insight on a child’s perspective, and open up the topic for discussion in families.

Last week I was on a panel about growing up in the manse. Future pastor’s wives submitted questions ahead of time, and then a mix of pastor’s children answered. We’ll start this series with some thoughts I jotted down in preparation for that evening. Continue reading

Self Denial and Evangelical Parenting

On the weekend I was talking with a mother of teenaged girls about the statistic that 80% of evangelical, college age kids have premarital sex. Obviously, there’s a problem, and this mother was concerned for the future of the church.

People have pointed out the theological and ecclesiastical reasons for this stat: evangelical kids often come from churches that do not clearly teach biblical patterns of marriage and sexuality, and many teens leave church when they move out of their parents’ home for university or work.

Those are problems, certainly. But there may be an even more fundamental issue here: a lack of self denial for Christ’s sake. Continue reading

Children and Devotions

We all recognize the importance of instilling good habits into the lives of our young children. We’re pretty good at reminding them to eat with their mouths closed, to make their beds, and do their homework. I’m much less able and prepared to help them cultivate the practice of personal, daily devotions. Or was, until David Murray created this very useful, well-planned Bible reading plan for children.

If your child is old enough to read, they’re old enough to use this. If you haven’t seen it yet (or know someone with a young child who hasn’t), it’s worth a look. It’s been a blessing to our family as we seek to help our children develop the life-long habit of turning to the Word at the beginning (and end) of every day in private worship.

Parenting a Strong Willed Child?

I’ve been asking older, wiser Christian parents for encouragement on raising a strong willed child. Not strong willed as in, “I have to ask them three times before they go to bed,” but strong willed as in, “I need to put on riot gear before I tell them it’s bed time”. I need help. The parents (with functioning, adult, strong willed children) are amazingly positive. Most of them say essentially, “Congratulations! That’s wonderful if it doesn’t kill you!” So if you have a strong willed child, read the encouragements of older saints below and be refreshed: Continue reading