Things Dad Did

climbEvery dad is different. But there are biblical principles that should guide a father’s parenting. Here are some of them, and what that looked like in action when I was growing up.

Dad taught us the Word. Though he was a pastor, the main way Dad taught us the Bible when we were little was through family worship. Every night: Bible reading, discussion, prayer, singing, catechism. Sometimes Dad was exhausted, sometimes we wouldn’t stop laughing, sometimes the phone kept ringing, but family worship was still consistent. Continue reading

These Aren’t The Best Years of Your Life

vacation A friend with a stroller was walking through town when an older woman stopped her to see the baby. After admiring her, the granny said, “These are the best years of your life; too bad you’re too tired to enjoy them!”

Mothers with small children often hear this–at least the first part. We keenly feel the second part, wondering why the best years of our lives are so lacking in sleep. We try hard to enjoy the fleeting stages of childhood while fighting to go to the bathroom alone. If these are the best years of our lives, why don’t we feel like it? And if these are the best years, what on earth will it be like when they are teenagers? Continue reading

Reading as Parenting

Laura_Muntz_Lyall_-_Interesting_Story_-_Google_Art_Project When we think about parenting, the word “books” probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But reading to our children is a fundamental aspect of parenting little people, though we rarely talk about it in the context of raising children.

Most of us are already reading to our children. It is something that mothers in particular already do, whether it’s the classic bedtime story or another scenario. Thinking carefully about reading to our kids can help us do it better in a way that will help us and them better steward the gift of intellect that God gives each one of us. John Stodt said that “the secret of holy living lies in the mind.” Books help us steward our children’s minds because it is what we know and understand that drives and directs how we feel and what we do. Reading out loud to our children is a potentially a powerful parenting tool when it is done intentionally and biblically. Here are five reasons to read out loud to our kids. Continue reading

Of Course Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed

early dateSo is dating. So is marriage. That’s because the people in all of these situations are sinners, so anything they touch will, in some way, be damaged by sin. But blaming “courtship” (or your Vision Forum straw man version thereof) for “dragon” fathers, spineless spinsters, and poor young men who are getting crushed by the courtship machine seems extreme. At the very least, it indicates the need for an understanding of the biblical concept of covenant headship. The arguments in this article are so fundamentally flawed, one has to wonder what sort of homeschooling education produces this logic, or what social bubble spawned the idea that “courtship dads” are more abusive than others. Caricatures are simply not helpful; here are some counter points that may help clearer thinking about courtship. Continue reading

What Are We Teaching Our Daughters?

200px-Knitted_pinksquareMaybe I’m not reading broadly enough, but there seems to be a heavy emphasis in the reformed community on passing domestic skills on to our daughters. Many authors and bloggers stress that, along with the quiet and gentle spirit, we need to be enabling our daughters to be fabulous homemakers. Now, that’s great. This generation of young men just might have wives who are Martha Stewarts from day one. That’s a blessing for those husbands.

But for mothers, the pressure to teach our daughters how to budget like Dave Ramsey, clean like a Dutch housewife, and cook like Julia Child seems to be mounting as the church recovers a high view of homemaking and motherhood. Homemaking internships with older women, books on money, and classes on crocheting are strongly encouraged; mothers whose daughters are “behind” in these areas carry an extra burden of mommy guilt. Perhaps this is especially true amongst home schoolers. Continue reading

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