Category Archives: Family

Checkout Lines and Teaching Values

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I stood in the checkout line at Walmart while the clerk finished scanning all of my items. All of the sudden I had a tremendous sinking feeling down in my stomach. For once, it wasn’t caused by watching the grocery bill get larger and larger.

The feeling was caused by watching the people behind me in the line. I watched as an old woman rolled up to the line in an electronic riding carts. With her, there were two young women who appeared to be in their twenties, or possibly younger. There were one or two kids with them.

Just as they walked up to the counter, a worker brought up a stack of phone cards and some other electronic thing – I didn’t get a good look at that. They placed some clothing and two or three pairs of shoes for the kids on the counter. I didn’t know for sure what was about to happen, but my intuition told me that it wasn’t going to be good. I was afraid an old woman was about to pay for some pretty expensive items for these young people. The sinking feeling was in my stomach because I wasn’t sure the woman even knew what she was about to pay for.

To be fair, I told myself that maybe the young women were going to pay for all of those phone cards and the kids’ shoes and clothes. I told myself that maybe the old woman offered to pay for all of those items, because, after all, I did overhear one of the young women offer to take the older woman by to visit someone. Maybe this was her way of saying “thanks for bring me to the grocery store.”

In these short moments, my mind raced about what I should do. I thought maybe I should just come out and ask, “Wow! Are you buying all of these expensive things for them? How nice!” I thought about being snarky and asking the checkout clerk in an intentional loud voice, “Just wondering. Do you ever have lazy young people come in and buy a lot of items at the expense of some elderly person?” I even thought about just coming out and asking, “If you are about to let her pay for those, please just let me pay for those things. Then at least you would be taking advantage of me, a woman married to a hard working husband, and not an old woman who can’t afford it.” 

I didn’t say anything, though. After all, I really didn’t know for sure what was going on.  In other words, I was trying not to judge this situation, but my intuition just made me feel as if something was not right about it.

Still, even if I had judged this particular situation completely wrong, I have been in enough checkout lines to know that what I feared was going on does happen often. With that in my mind, I left the store nearly in tears. I was sad because it is a terrible thing to take advantage of someone. I was also frustrated because I felt like I should do something, or at least try to.

The sadness and frustration slowly went away. As it did, a feeling of determination took its place.

I was determined to teach my children better. With the help of God and because of my extreme influence in the lives of an 8-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl, I would teach my kids to be better. To do that, I resolved more than ever to teach three things:

  1. I will teach them to honor the elderly. I will not allow disrespectful talk about elderly people in our home. I will make sure they get a steady dose of visiting elderly people in their homes, in our home, and at church. I will make sure they spend their own money to buy something for an elderly person on a regular basis.
  2. I will teach them how to work hard; I will not allow laziness. They will be responsible for regular chores. I will not allow video games, television, and play to dominate their time.
  3. I will teach them that they weren’t put on this earth to be served, but to serve. Using the example of our Lord (cf. Mark 10:45), I will constantly put them in situations and places where they serve other people.

I know I am not the only young mother who is deceived by society and the Devil himself about her value. It is so easy to want to give up or focus on something different from your family. Our society tells young women that if they want to be valuable to world, they need to do something in addition to raising a family. Too many women leave the rearing of children to someone else, because they feel like they need to do something more “important” with their lives. 

This really isn’t an article on women working outside the home. This is an article written by a young woman who sometimes wonders if she is doing enough for the church, for her country, for society, for God. Today, I felt the weight of my responsibility as a mother on my shoulders. I felt like I can make a difference. That difference begins in the lives of that 9-year-old girl and that 8-year-old boy.

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AUTHOR: Leah Faughn

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5 Things Every Congregation CAN Do to Encourage Families

[Editor’s note: Today’s post comes to us from Dan Jenkins. Dan is a great gospel preacher, and we appreciate him taking the time to write for us. To find out more about Dan, read his information following today’s article.]

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It is obvious that the strength of the church is found in the homes of those who make up the local congregation. However, we tend to often limit our consideration to those homes and families where there are Christian parents and young children. The reality is this: because of our changing world this is only one kind of family. Remember that there are families in the church where there are single parents. Then there are families in the church where there is only one parent who is a Christian. There are also families with empty nests where the children who were once part of that family no longer are there. The church must not overlook these kinds of families and their needs. Finally there are single people, widows, widowers and others people in the congregation. This final group is not overlooked in the Bible for the psalmist said, “God sets the solitary in families” (Psa. 68:6). The church must realize that congregations are used by God to help these individuals be part of a family. However, our emphasis in this study will focus on “regular” families.

Congregations CAN Remind Parents of Their Role in the Spirituality of the Family

As the church has focused on children there has developed a tendency for our homes to rely on the church for the spiritual welfare of the home. Years ago, homes were places which reflected the instruction of Moses, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise it” (Deut. 6:7). Congregations need to remind parents that it is impossible for the local congregation to develop deeply spiritual young people without the assistance of the home. There is perhaps no greater help congregations can give to families than to regularly emphasize this truth.

Think about this. Sometimes we tend to say that the church is losing its young people, but such is not the case. The church was never given young people, they were given to parents. The primary blame for the lack of spiritual development of the family lies with the family. It is vital that families be reminded of this truth.

Congregations CAN Provide Tracts, Books, Blogs, Classes and Seminars About the Family

This point might seem unnecessary, but the average Christian family likely does not have a reliable source to find materials that would enhance the spirituality of the family. Church leaders would be wise in using the assembly to provide information and help create homes that are closer to God. There are devotional tracts and booklets, and entire books which could help in this area. In this technological age there are blogs written by godly men and women which most homes are not aware even exist. In view of the demise of spirituality in the home, congregations should regularly have sermons, Bible classes and special workshops to make our homes different from those in the world. In the absence of these truths based on His word, our homes are being shaped by the ungodly and often seem no different from those homes where God is not honored.

Congregations CAN Help Families Become Part of the Church and its Worship

The presence of children in worship and their behavior have created a situation in the church where some families may feel they are not welcomed in the assembly. Those of us who grew up in the church, sitting beside our both of our parents in the pews, forget that the world has changed and so has the membership of those in the church. Many young parents were raised by parents who rarely took them to worship and what we have known by our own experiences are unknown to them. One congregation surveyed its membership to discover how many young parents actually grew up sitting in the assembly every week and 60% of young parents never had this blessing.

Because of this, congregations would be wise to provide instructions and encouragement to those who are struggling with their children. We should praise those parents when they are doing things right (such praise simply reinforces the right way to train children), instead of staring down parents when their children create awkward situations which disturb the worship. Older Christian women can become “grandmothers” to such children in worship to show by example how it should be done.

Some Christians also contribute to the negative behavior of children by playing with children who sit around them or in front of them. Such not only disturbs the attention of others in the assembly, but also makes children view worship as a “fun” time and not a worship time.

Congregations CAN Help New Families Feel a Part of the Local Congregation

The church is an ever-changing and growing congregation of God’s people. New families are moving into the area. There are also newlyweds who have created a new family and often struggle to find their place. There are families with new children and the presence of these children changes their place in the makeup of the congregation. There are newly baptized husbands/wives whose mates were already part of the church, but now there is a family united in Christ. Each of these new situations should be addressed by older Christians.

Congregations CAN Be Part of God’s Plan to Put the Solitary into Families

It is in this area where the church is often the weakest. In far too many places activities primarily involve couples; thus, single, divorced, widows, and other lonely people need to know what family is all about. The Lord describes the church as a family (1Tim. 3:15), and God expects His people to be the family for solitary people. God knew there would be widows and described pure and undefiled religion as being shown by how we help widows and orphans.

So look around the congregation where you worship. Then as part of that congregation do all you can to help the families in that congregation. It can make an eternal difference in the lives of those around you.

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Dan Jenkins has preached for over fifty years around the world and for the past thirty-five years has preached in West Palm Beach, Florida. He and his wife have four children, thirteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. There is an abundance of material found on the website of the Palm Beach Lakes congregation:  www.pblcoc.org

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5 Service Projects for Your Kids This Summer

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“Yeah, school’s out!”

…wait three days…

“I’m bored!”

First of all, I do not have a problem with kids being bored. It forces them to stretch themselves and use their imaginations to find ways to fill in the time. Not every moment of every day should be go-go-go for any of us.

That said, summertime does afford good opportunities for children to give back to others. Because they have a little extra time, it is good for them to use some of that time to serve other people in ways that may take a little time.

While there are countless ways kids can do this, today we share 5 that are simple, but that take a little time.

1. Read to nursing home residents. Visiting a local nursing home or assisted living home is always a good thing, but often we do not have the time to make extended visits. Using a little extra time in the summer, young people can sit and read to a resident, or maybe even start a little reading group. They could read the Bible, or even work through a novel over the course of the summer.

2. Clean up a local park. This, obviously, takes permission, but what local government is going to turn down volunteer work to do such a good thing? If your children use a local park, this is a great way to teach them the value of giving back. They can rake, clean up trash, or even paint where necessary. Some organizations might even provide materials to add more mulch, sand, or other materials that need to be replenished.

3. Bake and take. We try to take our kids visiting from time-to-time, but during the school year, the visit is often all we have time to do. In the summer, though, your kids can spend part of their day baking something simple (cookies, brownies from a mix, etc.) to take to those you visit that evening. If they can add a little homemade card, or make a tag to put on it on the computer, that just adds to the personal touch!

4. Help the youth minister. Summertime for youth ministers (or, in congregations that do not have a youth minister, the parents and volunteers) is insane. The calendar is virtually busting at the seams. If your children are responsible, why not see if there is an activity they can coordinate or even host, with the permission of the youth minister? Maybe it’s a one-day service project or a weeknight devotional. They could even advertize it as “the night/day the youth minister is free.”

5. Sew fall/winter clothes. With the extra time kids have in the summer, it is a great time to ask if there are any kids in the community who might not have enough fall or winter clothes. What a great blessing, to either make new clothes, or fix/patch some that just need a little TLC. For a young person who doesn’t have much, this would be a blessing when school starts back and the temps start dropping again.

Of course, there are thousands of other ways to serve others, but these five are meant to get your creative juices flowing. Help your children see summer (and all times) as a time with opportunities to help and serve other people!

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Author: Adam Faughn

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Because I Said So

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I read articles from time-to-time that talk about how parents should avoid saying the phrase “because I said so” as a reason for asking their children to do something.

The usual line of reasoning is quite simple. It is that children need to be instructed as to why something is necessary, or right, or wrong. The argument then goes that just saying “because I said so” is not instructing children. Some even go so far as to say that using that line is almost dictatorial.

To be fair, if “because I said so” is the only reason we ever give to our children for anything we tell them to do, that isn’t right. This does not need to be the only response we ever give our children because it does not expand their thinking to only be given one reason over and over again. There is a lack of instruction, especially if “because I said so” is all our kids ever hear.

However, I believe “because I said so” has merit as one response parents should give their children at various times.

Why? Because it teaches them that, sometimes you follow an authority figure simply because they are the authority figure.

When the blue lights flash behind your car, you may not like that you are getting pulled over, but you still move your car to the side. For what reason do you do such a thing? Because an authority figure has said so. We do not ask the police officer for his/her credentials when those lights come on. The lights themselves prove any credential we might need!

Children need to be taught to respect authority. Sometimes, that means you just do what you are told because someone in authority has spoken. It does not mean you always understand it. It doesn’t mean you always enjoy it. It means you are showing respect to a position of authority.

Over time, parents should instruct their children more often than they just say “because I said so.” But a decent dose of “because I said so” instills in children a respect for the position of a parent. The children should do as they are told–over time, and mixed with instruction–simply because their parents, who are in that position of authority, have said so.

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Author: Adam Faughn

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“Will You Still be My Daddy in Heaven?”

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One of the best things about spending time with your kids is being present for their inquisitive moments. The other day my seven-year-old daughter asked me if I would still be her daddy in heaven. This is a pretty good question. It is similar to other questions about eternity that people often have. These questions usually have something to do with comprehending how different is going to be better. We are creatures of habit and therefore norms are safe and comfortable to us. One of the greatest difficulties in understanding the grandeur of heaven involves accepting the fact that the unknowns are superior to the knowns.

When your children ask you hard questions it is pretty easy to just say, “I don’t know.” If such is the true answer you need never be afraid to say so. Fortunately on this occasion I felt quite comfortable telling my daughter what I knew from my personal study of God’s word. When it comes to eternity, the Bible is the only volume we could consult in order to get the correct answers. So, yes, I responded to her questioned by pointing out the following Biblical truths:

1. I will always be me and you will always be you. Moses and Elijah were still Moses and Elijah centuries after they left their earthly existence. At the mount of transfiguration they appeared to and talked with Jesus (Matt. 17:1-5). Jesus also said in Mark 12:26-27 that God was still the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We are going to be given a different body to go with our spirit (cf. 1 Cor. 15), but we will never lose our identity.

2. Relationships, in some fashion, will be different in heaven (Matt. 22:23-33). When Jesus was challenged by the Sadducees to explain a question about marriage in heaven, Jesus plainly told them that there would be no marriage there (Matt. 22:30). We should understand that earthly relationships were created in part for carrying on earthly responsibilities. We will no longer need to reproduce in heaven. We won’t need to raise infants or support each other as brethren in order to get through life. Earthly relationships, though necessary and full of blessings, will be inferior to the perfection of heavenly ones.

3. We will never forget our family members (Luke 16:19-31). When the rich man died, Jesus said he remembered his brothers, still living on the earth. Because the rich man was in torments, he wanted someone to preach to them so they would not be lost like he was. As a side note, we should mention that your departed loved ones are fully aware of their eternal destination. If they had one wish it would be for you to be obedient to the gospel, whether they have done so or not. I do not fully understand how this works, but I do know for those who will be in heaven, what God allows them to remember will not matter, for he has promised, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:3). I am fully confident that I will always remember and know my people, and I will know where they have gone. And when by God’s grace and according to my obedience I make it to heaven, God will somehow make everything I know about that okay.

I am thankful my daughter asked me such a great question. It lets me know she always wants me to be her daddy. Believe me, I always want to be. I am thankful God’s word tells me that we will always know each other. I am thankful that I can be assured that what we have waiting for us is even better than what we have here. And I am especially thankful that He has promised it will last forever.

“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice…” – John 5:28

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When a Loved One Leaves the Faith

[Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest article from Kathy Pollard, who recently published the book Return to Me. You can learn more about Kathy and this great book after today’s post. We thank her for sharing today’s article.]

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“…Fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith” (1 Timothy 1:18,19).

Some have rejected the faith and suffered shipwreck. How many? I don’t know. But I do know that for every wayward Christian, there is a bewildered family floundering in the wake. If you have a loved one who has turned away from God, you are not alone. The next time you go to worship, look down the pew on either side of you, the pew in front of you, and the pew behind you. You will most likely find that you are surrounded by Christians who are praying for wayward family members.   

Paul gave Timothy some inspired, helpful advice for how to conduct himself in the house of God (1 Tim. 3:15). Timothy was laboring among the Christians at Ephesus, some of whom had strayed from the faith (1 Tim. 1:5,6). Notice three ways in which Paul encouraged Timothy in 1 Tim. 1:18:

First, fight the good fight. When a loved one leaves the faith, you must continue to stand for the Truth. You may be tempted to adapt your beliefs to the wayward’s situation, but you would not be doing your loved one any favors. Only the Truth saves. Paul told Timothy that some would “depart from the faith by giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1). To stay strong and clear-minded, Timothy would need to “give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1 Tim. 4:13). The Scripture is what has the power to equip you for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16, 17).

Paul also told Timothy how to fight the good fight. “Preach the word!  Be ready in season and out of season.  Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching” (2 Tim. 4:2). Prepare yourself to share the Word with your loved one. Patiently convince and teach and then convince and teach some more.

Second, keep the faith. “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ” (2 Tim. 3:14,15). Paul told Timothy to make sure his own faith remained strong even though others had “turned their ears away from the truth” (2 Tim. 4:4). 

Some really struggle spiritually when a loved one falls away. Make sure your faith is tied to your Lord and not to your loved one. Anchor yourself by continuing to study and grow so you won’t find yourself beginning to sink.

Third, keep a good conscience. Your own conduct will be under greater scrutiny as you reach out to a wayward loved one. Any unrighteous behavior or attitude on your part will only be used against you or as an excuse for the wayward to continue their lifestyle. Paul told Timothy, “Exercise yourself toward godliness” (1 Tim. 4:7), and “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Tim. 4:16).

You may be frustrated with your loved one for their foolish choices. You may be hurt by their selfishness. But keep a good conscience by choosing your words carefully, watching your tone, and controlling your temper. Make sure your own conduct is righteous as you reach out to the one whose conduct isn’t. Paul told Timothy to be an example “in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim 4:12).

Even though your loved one is the one who has fallen away, why should you have to be the one to work so hard fighting the good fight, keeping the faith, and keeping a good conscience? Because you “trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men” (1 Tim. 4:10). May God be with you and strengthen you as you reach out to those you love.

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Kathy Pollard lives in Denver, Colorado. She is married to Neal, and they have three sons. She is the author of the recently-released book Return to Me: What to Do When Loved Ones Fall Away. You can find out more about the book, and order a copy from ReturnToMeBook.com.

Also, you will want to frequent, or subscribe to, Kathy’s blog, Life and Favor. You can check that out here.

“We Turned Off the TV and Studied the Bible”

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I will not reveal the name of the person who spoke those words to me recently, but they made a powerful impact. They were spoken by a man–a husband and father–who is just trying.

He came up to me and had a question about a particularly difficult statement in the Bible. At first, I thought he was asking just for his own information, or maybe because it was something being discussed in a Bible class. I tried to help him understand the passage as best I could (off the top of my head), and he thanked me.

But then he came right out and said that he and his little family had been studying that passage the night before. And that’s when he said, “Last night, we turned off the TV and studied the Bible.”

In my eyes, that is courage!

It may not seem like a major step to some people, but to be the real leader in the home, it takes steps like that one. How many of us who would think that isn’t a major step in faith won’t even make that step?

Dads, how many of us need to get our families back into the Bible?

How many of us need to say “no” to something like TV, or another sport, or a night out with the guys in order to do just that?

How many of us simply need to make family Bible study a priority?

It is a step of courage…and you can do it!

Will you?

To help you make that step of courage, check out these two resources:

1. “Training for Worship” resource packet [pdf]. These are meant for worship, but some are home devotional ideas to help you prepare your children for worship. They are a free printable pdf.

2. How to Lead Your Family in Home Devotionals {blog post}

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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

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How Lads to Leaders Can Help Families

[Editors note: This week’s guest post comes to us from Ben Giselbach. You can learn more about Ben at the conclusion of today’s article.]

The oldest and most important institution is the home, and the biggest responsibility of parents is to raise their children right (Deuteronomy 6:20-25). Ever since God charged parents to instill in them a love for God and His Word (cf. Ephesians 6:4), parents have asked, “What is the best way to do this?”

Well, do you know the best way to teach your children to love God and His Word? I suppose we could spend hours combing the web for advice on how to teach our children. And we would find as much a diversity of opinions as we would blog posts on the subject. I’m not offering a ‘magic pill’ on how to raise Godly children, but I do want to share with you how Lads to Leaders can be an effective tool in helping parents in their responsibility to raise children in the Lord. There are no gimmicks to the program – it simply provides a structured way of teaching God’s Word to our young people.

What Is Lads to Leaders?

Lads to Leaders is the oldest and largest training program used by churches of Christ. Just as publications like the Gospel Advocate provide books and articles, and evangelism tools like House to House provide sound materials for teaching, Lads to Leaders provides curriculum and a teaching framework that elderships can adapt for their respective congregations.

With a modest beginning in 1968, Lads to Leaders has grown into a program that offers up to 38 events in which churches can participate. From teaching boys how to lead songs and prepare sermons, to teaching girls how to teach Bible classes and to be loving keepers at home, L2L has a wide range of activities in which parents and churches can elect to participate.

Here are some ways L2L can specifically benefit your own home:

Material For Family Bible Time

We know it is our primary responsibility as parents, not the church, to teach our children God’s Word. Yet parents often feel challenged by their own knowledge of the Bible to regularly teach every day in their homes. L2L offers a wide range of curriculum that can offer plenty of material to help keep your family Bible studies fresh. Most importantly, L2L goes out its way to ensure only sound, doctrinally pure resources are offered.

Training Boys And Girls How To Be Better Providers And Keepers

It is important that boys and girls learn basic practical skills that will help them be better mothers and fathers in the future. Proverbs 31, for example, lists several qualities of the godly keeper of the home; she knows how to cook (v. 15), sew (v. 13), set the table (v. 27), manage money (v. 16), and be hospitable (v. 20). These skills, along with many others, are developed by girls participating in the Keepers event. Boys, in the Providers event, are taught important skills like child discipline, car maintenance, home security, and how to be spiritual leaders in their [future] families.

The Keepers and Providers events in Lads to Leaders are unique. Not only do other leadership programs lack something similar, but Keepers and Providers build relationships among members at church. Your child is taught by older members at your congregation how to develop these skills, creating a mentoring environment with older Christians.

Further, the Keepers and Providers events offer both young men and young ladies the ability to choose one category each year from the complimentary event. For instance, a young man can choose to learn cooking and a young lady can learn car maintenance.

Spiritual Extra-Curricular Activities

Parents are often willing to spend hundreds of dollars every year for their children to participate in athletics and other extra-curricular activities. While these are often beneficial to your children, the most important thing you can offer your children is the ability to grow spiritually. With soccer and football, the best that can happen is that your child becomes a professional sports player later in life. But with Lads to Leaders, the best that can happen is that you prepare your children to be leaders in the home, leaders in the church, and ultimately faithful Christians. In view of eternity, which scenario matters the most to you?

Bridging The Gap Between The Physical Family And The Spiritual Family

Christians make the best fathers, mothers, husbands, and wives. Why? Because they are seeking first the Kingdom (Matthew 6:33). Therefore, raising our children to be leaders in the church strengthens their faith, and in turn makes them better leaders in the home.

Young people need to understand that they are not the church of tomorrow – they are the church of today. Show me a church without young people, and I will show you a dead church. Just as young Timothy played an important role in the 1st century church (cf. 1 Timothy 4:11-13), your children play an important role in the 21st century church. Lads to Leaders teaches young people how to be leaders in the church now, so they will be leaders in the church tomorrow. When your boy is actively learning how to publicly lead a song, give a devotional – and when your girl is actively learning how to speak at ladies’ Bible studies and teach children – the Lord’s church becomes part of their identity at an early age.

Conclusion

After studying congregations that use L2L, we discovered that there is a retention rate of at least 85% among those who participated in the program for ten years. That means nearly nine out of ten kids, by the time they become independent of their parents, remain faithful to the Lord. Lads to Leaders strengthens churches, which in turn strengthens families.

Time did not allow us to talk about all of the events Lads to Leaders has to offer, such as Bible Bowl, Debate, GIFTS, GUARD, Centurion of Scripture, Art Says It, and Good Samaritan (to name only a few). If you want to know more about L2L, contact me, Ben, by sending an email to ben@lads2leaders.com.

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Ben Giselbach began working for Lads to Leaders in 2014 and is doing a tremendous job helping to grow this already-great program. He is married to the former Hannah Colley, and they are the proud parents of a newborn son, Ezra. Ben also maintains a blog, Plain Simple Faith.

Today

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Today.

Is all we are assured of.

Today.

Is full of opportunities.

Today.

Is a chance to correct the hurts of yesterday.

Today.

Is your chance to forgive.

Today.

Is your chance to be forgiven.

Today.

Is the day to say “I love you”…and prove it.

Today.

Is your chance to be ready for the eternal tomorrow.

Today.

How will you spend it?

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Author: Adam Faughn

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One of the Most Frustrating Things about Being the Head of the House

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God has stated that the man is to be the head of the household. In a home where God’s plan is followed, every person has a vital role, but the final decisions rest with the husband. Of course, a godly husband understands that he is under the ultimate authority of Christ, so he dare not be a cruel dictator in the home.

With that headship, though, comes dramatic responsibility. The weight of all those decisions rests on his shoulders. A godly husband understands that he will give account to God Almighty for how he has led his home. It is, without a doubt, a daunting task.

And there are frustrations with it. He wants to do well, but he knows he cannot be perfect. He wants his home to be godly, peaceful, kind, welcoming, nurturing, and so many other good and positive things.

…and some days just stink.

There are days when he just does not think he can do it anymore. No, he isn’t thinking of leaving, but he just thinks about sitting on the couch and doing nothing; about mentally and emotionally checking out. After all, that’s easier than trying to carry the weight of responsibility.

When does he feel this way? It is when the problems are ones that are deeper than surface-level.

He sees his wife frustrated.

He knows his children are struggling emotionally.

He feels that his daughter’s heart is broken.

He understands there is stress abounding in his teenage son.

And what is the reaction of this godly head of the household? He is frustrated. In fact, he is frustrated not just because these things are present in the home, but he is frustrated in a way that those who are not the head of a household simply cannot fully understand.

His frustration is this: as a man, he is, by nature, a problem solver and a fixer…and he knows he can’t easily fix this.

There is no tool at Lowe’s that will mend a broken heart.

There isn’t a piece of machinery from Home Depot that will help calm his wife’s heart.

He has found easy fixes for things before, but these issues have no easy solution. It isn’t that he is against hard work. In fact, as a man of God, he works very hard. It is simply that, when it comes to trying to help in this area, he does not know how to most easily and efficiently fix things. He is out of his comfort zone, and he is frustrated because he loves these people so much, and he so much wants to help, but he is not even sure of the first step to take.

(After all, there’s not even an instruction manual for all this!)

So, the next time your husband seems to have eyes glazed over as if he isn’t listening; the next time your dad seems to be in a distant place and you think he isn’t hearing you; when you think he is just not connecting; remember this: if he is a man of God, he is having a fight with himself.

He is so desperately wanting to help fix the problem, but he knows it will take a great deal of work in an area in which he is not naturally equipped.

He is trying to see the end result of fixing the problem, but he cannot figure out what step one is.

He is hurting for you…because you are part of him, and he can’t stand it that those under his care are hurting.

In other words, he is doing his human-level best to be a man of God, and he is realizing–again–that he is woefully inadequate…

…but as a man of God, he is going to try.

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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

Photo background credit: Michael Clesle on Creative Commons