Category Archives: Family

Husbands, It’s Time to Be a Real Man: Stop the Affair Before It Starts

Today’s post is blunt. Very blunt. But it comes from a heart that wants men to be true men of God. I am in the midst of reading Steve Farrar’s excellent book Point Man as part of my mentoring group requirement for this month. It is a book I have read before, but I feel every man–especially married man–needs to read. To say Farrar is to the point would be an understatement, but he states exactly what men need to hear.

Recently, as I was reading, I came to chapter three, which is entitled “Real Men Don’t.” The crux of that chapter led me to think of this post, and my desire is simply to be as blunt as Farrar is, but in fewer words. You could say that “idea credit” goes to him, but I pray my additional thoughts are helpful and straightforward.

The point of the chapter is this: Real men don’t commit adultery (page 56).


Wow…how’s that for a hard-hitting sentence on a blog that is usually so encouraging? But this is a subject that needs to be addressed, because I am fearful that some of the men reading these words are already walking down the path toward that horrible sin.

Even more tragic? Some of them don’t even know it.

Or, maybe, they just aren’t willing to admit it.

Since ours is a fairly small site (as far as readership goes), I think I have a fairly decent grasp on who is reading these words. Of the male readers, many are in ministry, and I would dare say that 80% or more (and maybe far more) of our readers worship regularly. It is easy to state that the vast majority of the readers of this site are Christians, and a large number are leaders in the Christian community.

Gentlemen, some of us need to lead our private lives as well as we are leading our public lives.

Some of you preach on Sunday about home and family and marriage and grace and forgiveness and agape love, and then you are chatting online with an old flame from high school. Others are leading singing or teaching Bible classes and then feeling a strong emotional attachment to the new coworker down the hall. Some are singing “God Give Us Christian Homes” on Sunday night, and then spending extra hours at the office to make sure the “adorable” lady in the next cubicle sees you. Some are dressing up for a lunch outing with the crew from work because “she” will be there, and dressing down when it’s date night with your wife.

Men, you are headed toward adultery. It is as simple as that.

Don’t believe me? Then will you believe the Lord God?

The lips of a seductive woman are oh so sweet,
her soft words are oh so smooth.
But it won’t be long before she’s gravel in your mouth,
a pain in your gut, a wound in your heart.
She’s dancing down the primrose path to Death;
she’s headed straight for Hell and taking you with her. (Proverbs 5:3-5, The Message)

The wise response to this type of woman is given just a few verses later. “Keep your way far from her” (Proverbs 5:8, ESV). That’s straightforward advice, but it will stop the walk down the path of destruction.

“But,” someone might be thinking, “This woman makes me feel good, and things aren’t so great at the house right now.” One of the parts of Farrar’s chapter really caught my eye. He wrote about how affairs seem to be a “way out” or an “escape,” but they never are. Read these words very prayerfully:

The problem is simply this: When you leave your wife to commit adultery with another woman, you take yourself with you. And you are your biggest problem. I am my biggest problem, and you are yours. You are walking into this new relationship with the same personality, strengths, and weaknesses you have in your current marriage. And if you can’t work things out with your current wife, what makes you think it will be any different with another woman? You are a major part of the problem, and unfortunately, you must take yourself along with you. (pages 66-67, emphasis added)

Men, that should cause every one of us to shudder in fear over any steps we might have taken toward another woman, whether those steps are physical or digital. You are the problem.

You may be struggling at home. Guess what? Every man who has ever been married has struggled at home! Intimacy may be lacking, or virtually non-existent. Your wife may have a sickness or disease that has left her physically tired or emotionally off-kilter at times. Bills, disruptive children, or a myriad of other things may make going home more stressful than being at work.

No one ever said it would be easy.

And that’s why I am challenging you today. You see, it takes a real man to not only stay, but stay and serve. It takes a real man to avoid the easy way out or the cheap thrill. It takes a real man to run away from temptation and serve his wife, no matter if he feels like serving or not.

If there is another woman you have felt attracted to, it’s time for you to be a real man by God’s standards. Society says that you getting in bed with her makes you a real man. The Lord says that saying “no” and being a caring, strong, supportive, loving, and Scripturally-grounded husband is being a real man.

Husbands, it’s time to be a real man.

QUESTION: What is your reaction to this blunt and serious post? Share your thoughts in the comments.


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A Prayer You Can Say “Amen” to Every Time

I am very proud of my kids, though we often have to discipline them. They often shine forth a good heart, and for that love and goodness we are so grateful.


Turner regularly leads our prayers at mealtime, and I’m thankful he is willing to do this. As with a lot of little kids, much of the prayer is repetitive, but he is getting better at praying for different people and things. I am glad for both the things he prays for often and the things that are not a common in his prayers. Both show a heart that is thinking about what is being taken before God’s throne.

Sometimes, too, his grammar is just a bit off, but that’s okay. There is a glorious innocence in that which I need to have more of in my own prayers. That child-like grammar plays into this post today.

You see, there is one phrase that Turner has been praying quite often lately that just makes my heart swell. It is a statement that you can say “amen” to every time. What is it?

“Thank You that we go to heaven one day.”

Look at the faith and innocence of that statement! He is praying those words as if they are already done. And here’s the beautiful part: if I will just live following the way of Jesus Christ, it is already done! God has already perfectly done His part, and Jesus fulfilled His role and took my place. The way is set and the promise is sure, if I will just follow it.

I want to be in heaven, and I am so grateful that I serve a God who is gracious enough that He allows us to be assured of our home in the paradise of eternity if we will just walk in loving, obedient faith.

By the way, if you are struggling and are not sure of your home in heaven, please contact us. We’d love to help you in any way we can to know more about Jesus.


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The Power and Progression of Prejudice

Last night I preached a sermon that wasn’t easy to present. The subject matter was that of prejudice, and the difficulty in preaching such a sermon is that no one likes to think that they struggle with that problem, but we all have (and probably do) toward some group of people.


The sermon came from Acts 22, where Paul is giving a defense before a Jewish audience. He is rehearsing his religious life, and the crowd is listening in total silence (v.2). That is, until…

Verse 22 begins with this sentence: “Up to this word they listened to him.” What word? “Gentiles” (v.21). This group was so prejudice against Gentiles that they did not even want Paul to finish his speech after using that awful word.

But what happens next is what we spent some time with in our sermon last night. In the next couple of verses, we see just how powerful prejudice is, and how it progresses out of a heart that is filled with darkness.

1. Prejudice Closes Hearing Ears. When the Jews heard that word “Gentiles,” they were done listening. Nothing else Paul could have said would have gotten their true attention again. Today, we may feel the same way toward women, or Hispanics, or some other group. There is something like skin color, ethnic background, gender, or age, over which they have no control, but for some reason–completely uninformed reason–we will not truly listen to them or about them.

2. Prejudice Opens Cruel Mouths. After awhile, however, hearing isn’t enough. We begin to participate in the spewing of prejudice words. Verse 22 continues, “Then they raised their voices and said, ‘Away with such a fellow from the earth!’” Verse 23 tells us they were shouting these things. How many Christians will post lyrics that are degrading to women on their Facebook page? How many forward emails where the only “humor” is racial in nature? That’s what prejudice does: it opens cruel mouths.

3. Prejudice Moves Violent Arms. But, after awhile, words are not enough. Verse 23 states that the Jews “were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air.” Possibly they were getting more range of motion to throw stones at Paul. Or, they might have just been so angry they were acting like madmen. Whatever the case, they were done talking and were going to react violently out of their prejudice. We may never try to kill someone over prejudice, but our hearts can become to hardened that we fail to feel for them any more. (As an aside, one of the proven dangers of pornography is that it deadens a man’s sensitivity to the news of a woman being raped, since he has filled his mind with degrading pictures or videos of women.) A young person may join a gang and have no feeling for the elderly being attacked by the gang. One race may simply attack another for no other reason than skin color.

None of us likes to think we are prejudice, but we still struggle with “seeing as man sees” instead of how God’s sees: the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). This coming Sunday will be the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s landmark “I Have a Dream” speech. Sadly, not all of his dream has come true, but you and I can be part of the solution. May we look at people, not by the color of their skin, but by the “content of their character.”

After all, that’s how our God sees.


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[Infographic] What I Want My Children to Be

Today’s post is my first attempt at an infographic. It isn’t very fancy, but it comes straight from my heart.

Enjoy it, and share it.

What I Want My Son to Become (In Spite of What Culture Says)


Last weekend, we braved “Tax-Free Weekend” at Wal-Mart to buy school supplies for the kids. Actually, we survived this experienced, which is a small accomplishment in itself.

As Leah was looking at her list for the kids, she wanted each child to select a 3-ring binder as an “extra” notebook, just to keep loose papers in. She had in mind a cool notebook with a nice design for each child. Mary Carol immediately spotted a pink and green design. It was colorful and loud, so she knew it was hers. Then it was time for Turner to select his. So we looked…

and looked…

and looked.

Even the workers could not figure out why we were struggling to find a masculine design. “We have these,” they would say, pointing to plain blue or red. Leah was calm, but tried to get them to understand that we were looking for a design that was masculine.

Literally, there were none.

Now, we could have found an anime design or something like that, but we thought it was odd that not a single notebook could be found with truly masculine colors or designs on it.

And it seems that this is just a tiny example of what is happening to boys in our society.

Culture tries to push boys to the margins. One one side, you have the rude, obnoxious, and crude boy who learns that a real man fights and cusses. He makes fun of everyone and does whatever is necessary to get his own way. On the other side, you have the idea that there is not any real difference between boys and girls, so boys should be feminized. They should just have to adjust to a world where everything is equal.

Which begs the question: If everything is equal, why do boys have to be feminine?

I do not want my son on either of these margins. As Turner grows and matures, I have a specific goal for him. I do not know if we will hit that goal, but it is where we are pointing him. In a culture that wants to mold Turner in the margins, my desire is different. Here is what I pray he will become.

1. Spiritually Strong. Obviously, this is first and primary on my mind. The world needs people who are spiritually strong, but the Church and culture at large is starved for males who are spiritually strong. I want Turner to desire to be like Jesus, who never once wavered from His goal to complete the work that God had for Him to do. I want him to look at the qualifications for being an elder in the Lord’s Church (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9), and see those as a benchmark for living his life daily, whether he ever becomes an elder or not.

2. Unashamedly Male. It is not a sin to be a guy, nor is it shameful. “Male and female [God] created them” (Genesis 1:27). Both genders are created in God’s image, and both have extremely valuable roles to play in all parts of society. There are certain arenas of life where either gender can do a tremendous job, but that does not mean male and female are always the same. I want Turner to appreciate being a male and to not let society cause him to feel shame for it.

3. A True Gentleman. Turner already desires to protect his mother. In fact, until just a few months ago, I could not kiss Leah in front of Turner without him trying to pry us apart! I want him to always have that trait within him. I want him to show real honor and respect for ladies (as well as others, such as the aged). I desire for Turner to be mannerly and genteel. In a world that says that chivalry is dead, I want him to be a knight in shining armor!

4. Heaven-Centered. His feet may walk across the grass and soil of Tennessee or beyond, but I pray that Turner realizes that his “citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20), and that this realization provides the orientation for his life. With that realization, he will know how to treat others, how to stand for truth, how to love like Christ, and how to prioritize each decision in life.

Son, this culture says that what you are is no big deal. That is simply not true. God created you as our wonderful son, and we are going to do all we can to help you realize that you are wonderful because you are a son. In a society that tries to push real manhood to the margins, I pray you will not only be grateful for being a male, but you will show others what it means to be a man after God’s own heart and design.

I love you, son.

QUESTION: Do you feel that we are right in thinking that society is pushing boys to the margins? If so, where do you see this happening?


NOTE: Tomorrow, we will release the August episode of the Faughn Family Podcast. If you use iTunes, you can subscribe (for free) here. If not, be sure to check back in the morning for this new program.

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When I Learned How Much a Daughter Needs Her Daddy

She is 7 years old, and will be in the 2nd grade in just over a month. I have held her since just minutes after she was born, and now I watch her ride her bike all over our street. It won’t seem like but a few blinks and she’ll be driving a car down the street.

There is something special about that connection between a daughter and her daddy. Of course, Mary Carol has the greatest model of “lady-hood” that any little girl could ever hope to have, but she is maturing in her own way, too. She loves her mommy, but it is already obvious that Mary Carol will be her own person, and that’s okay (so long as it’s a person who is faithful to the Lord, like her mommy).

But it took a special gift for me to realize not just that there is a connection between daddy and daughter, but how much a daughter needs her daddy. And next week, I will remember that picture in a much clearer way.

Last Christmas, as it was time to open presents, there was a bag under the tree. For several days, Mary Carol had told me that it was for me. Of course, I would pick it up and shake it to show her that I couldn’t wait to open it, but it weighed nothing, and it didn’t rattle. I figured it was a card, or some hand painted work of art she wanted me to have.

Finally, the day came, and I opened the bag. Inside was a small, slick piece of paper. It was this photo:


Now, you may think, “You’re overthinking this. Most daddies have gotten a picture for a gift from their kids.”

But there was more to it. Oh, the picture was all that was in the bag (other than that weird paper you buy to stuff in bags to make them look fancier). However, Mary Carol explained the reason for giving this picture to me.

She said, “This is for you to take to camp, so you don’t forget me.”

Wow! What an eye-opening statement. Here it was December, and camp isn’t until July. I hadn’t been gone on any extra trips since camp the summer that kept me away from my family. Also, our camp is only a few miles away, and Leah brings the kids up there a couple of afternoons to visit.

I literally stared at the picture in my hand with my mind racing. Tears welled up at the innocence of not only her gift, but the reason behind it. Of course, I would never–nor could I ever–forget my precious treasure, but that she even thought that was a possibility touched me, and really made me think.

By the way, since camp was so far away, I have been using her picture as my bookmark in my Bible this year. Just in case I need any extra motivation to read that day, seeing her angelic face adds that extra “something” to help me open and read. But next week, I will be headed to camp. My Bible will go with me, as will this wonderful bookmark…and the reminder of how much this glorious gift from God needs her daddy.

Dad, if you ever think your daughter doesn’t need you, just watch her and listen to her. She wants you to be her hero. She wants your strength to protect her. She longs for her daddy to show her respect and love.

Your daughter gets up in the morning because you exist. You were here first and she came into being because of you. The epicenter of her tiny world is you. Friends, family members, teachers, professors, or coaches will influence her to varying degrees, but they won’t knead her character. You will. Because you are her dad. (Meg Meeker, page 5)

A simple photo reminded me of that. What will it take to remind you of it?

QUESTION: Why do you think this desire in daughters is so strong?


As an added resource, may I recommend Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker? This is a wonderful book, from which the inset quote above came, that will help daddies realize the powerful influence they have in this extremely important relationship.

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How Christians Can Destroy Traditional Marriage Without Supporting Gay Marriage

Yesterday, we looked at how some of the language used by those in favor of gay marriage betrays at least part of their agenda. However, gay marriage is not the only issue we need to consider.

And those who support homosexual marriage are not the only people we need to think about, either. It is possible that Christians can (and, in part, have) led us to this point in our nation.

Now, before you get too angry, take a look at the title of this post again. I am not saying that you support gay marriage. I would venture to say that 90% of our regular readers (if not nearly 100%) do not support homosexual unions. Many of you are, as I am, staunchly opposed not only to homosexual marriage, but to the homosexual lifestyle in general.

However, what we are seeing in our society is not just the push for gay marriage. What we are seeing is a total redefinition of the idea of traditional, God-directed marriage.

And even Christians have contributed to that.


For too long, we have said that God’s view of marriage is “one man and one woman for life.” What’s wrong with that? It is an incomplete description of God’s ideal. Of course, we know that the New Testament teaches that a man is to marry a woman and that they are to remain married for life, but that’s not the totality of God’s design nor His desire.

Instead of oversimplifying things to “one man and one woman for life,” we need to say what the Bible actually says. God’s view of marriage is “one Christ-like, loving, and servant-leader man, and one church-like, respecting, and submissive godly woman who have left father and mother, are cleaving to one another, and committed to the one flesh picture for an ever-maturing lifetime, to the glory of God.”


Now, that may not roll off the tongue as easily as the shortened version, but it also does not provide us an open door to destroy marriage.

What do I mean? Far too many, even in the Church, see marriage just as a lifelong “thing.” It’s not all that special, other than it just lasts a long time. If we do not present the full picture to the world, we are helping to pull away at the very fabric of God’s traditional view of marriage.

Any time I make fun of my wife and act like wives are just all overbearing, I am not loving my wife, so I am not not giving a godly picture of marriage.

Any time I participate in a gossip-fest where husbands are the subject of all the jokes, I am not respecting him, so I am not supporting God’s view of marriage.

When I leave divorce out there as an option, just in case we can’t make things work, I am not truly committed to the union, so I am not supporting traditional marriage.

When I let my mind wander to other people (whether in real life or online or a move star), to whom I am not married, and begin to fantasize about them, I am not honoring the “one flesh” relationship that is part of God’s view of marriage.

When I am not sure I would sacrifice even my own life for my wife, I am not loving her as Christ loved the Church, so I am not upholding God’s standard.

When a wife says (or thinks), “I’ll respect him, but only when he deserves it,” she is not doing as God said in Ephesians 5:33 (there are not qualifiers on either the husband’s love for his wife or a wife’s respect for her husband!), so she is not upholding God’s view of marriage.

When my marriage becomes secondary–either in action or in attitude–to my pursuit of money, leisure, or time with other friends, I am not placing the value on marriage that God does.

…and we could go on.

You see, with each of these things that we might consider “small” in comparison to gay marriage, we have make a small pull or tear in the fabric of what marriage really is in God’s sight. We may think we are just kidding around with the gals, or just looking at a little pornography like every guy does, or just enjoying something else in life right now. In reality, we are chipping away at the pillars of a God-instituted and God-directed institution, and our nation is reaping the whirlwind of our “small” decisions. We can shout from the hilltops that those who desire homosexual marriage are only striving to have society sanction their fleshly and selfish desires. That may be true, but any time (any time) I deviate from God’s standard for my own marriage, I am also displaying my own selfishness.

Let’s not just oppose the sin and threat of gay marriage. Let’s be sure we devote ourselves fully to the strong and perfect standard that God has for marriage. Only when we do that to the best of our ability can we say that we are really upholding traditional marriage. And only then is God truly glorified in our home.

QUESTION: What are some suggestions to remain fully committed to God’s true standard for marriage?


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It’s Not (Only) About Loving Homosexual Unions


There can be no doubt that one of the issues of our time is homosexuality, and the twin issue of gay marriage. As our Supreme Court is preparing to give a ruling any day now on this issue, our nation stands at a precipice many of us never thought we would see. In fact, historically, our nation would be the first to sanction homosexual marriage. After defining “conjugal” marriage as that between a man and a woman, Girgis, Anderson, and George write,

But history also shows that hostility to homosexually inclined people could not possibly have given rise to the conjugal view. The philosophical and legal principle that only coitus could consummate a marriage arose centuries before the concept of a gay identity, when the only other acts being considered were ones between a married man and woman. And even in cultures very favorable to homoerotic relationships (as in ancient Greece), something akin to the conjugal view has prevailed–and nothing like same-sex marriage was even imagined. (What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense)

As the rhetoric grows and the tidal wave of influence continues to grow, we continue to see the emphasis on how all gays and lesbians desire is a strong, long-lasting, committed, and loving relationship. I am certain that, in some cases, that might be true. While homosexuality is clearly a sin (and we dare not back down from that truth, no matter the tide of culture), I have no doubt that some who wish to marry really do desire a life-long partnership, sinful though that union might be.

However, there are at least two reasons why we need to see through this rhetoric of this being about loving, committed unions.

First, statistics show that it just isn’t true. In fact, some studies show that a vast majority of gay men who wish to marry only want to do so for the “rights” and “benefits” that society offers, such as tax breaks. Among lesbians, there is more of a leaning toward life-long unions, but it is not exactly 100% (it’s more like 50-60%). A doctor named Bryce Christiansen wrote an article several years ago that states it well in the title: “Why Homosexuals Want What Marriage Has Now Become.”

But more than stats, the language being used betrays the homosexual agenda. Has anyone else noticed that, as homosexual marriage seems to be drawing more and more popularity, those who want this change have started changing their wording? While they often use “gay marriage” or “homosexual union,” they also have begun to talk about “GLBT rights.” Of course, those four letters stand for “gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender.”

Here is my question: If all this is about loving, committed relationships, how does bisexuality fit into that equation? How can one even know (or, better said, “think”) he or she is bisexual without having avoided true, lifelong, committed relationships?

Friends, I’m not one who always believes in the “slippery slope” argument. It is too often overused or overstated. But in this case, we are already seeing it before the issue of gay marriage even is decided upon by our nation. How long will it be before multi-partner marriages are also allowed, so that bisexuals can have these same “loving and committed” relationships?

I pray for our nation, and I fear that we are destroying ourselves by our own ravenous and selfish ways.

QUESTION: How can we lovingly but clearly make it plain that this is not only about “loving” and “committed” relationships?


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A Tribute to Homemakers

“What do you do all day?”

“I’d be bored stiff if I stayed home all day.”

“Must be nice to be able to watch TV all the time.”

It is 2013. We are well into the 21st Century. The idea of a woman wanting to be a homemaker seems, to many, like something from a bygone era. A woman who stays at home, either as a wife or as a mom, is sometimes treated like a sort of living museum exhibit.

Now, before going on, let me say that it is not sinful for a woman to work outside the home. So long as her primary focus is on glorifying God and her mind is on being a keeper of the home (Titus 2:5), then working outside the home is perfectly fine. My life has been, and continues to be, blessed by faithful Christian ladies who work outside the home.

But you homemakers…you work!

And I’m here today to give you a tribute. You deserve far more than I can articulate, but please know that this small effort comes from the heart.


Somehow, you are able to turn a structure of wood, carpet, and sheetrock into more than a house. You really do make it home. It becomes a safe haven. It is the place of serenity, because of you.

Because you stay home, you are the one who is called to run that elderly lady to the doctor’s office. You babysit kids because, after all, “You aren’t doing anything else.” You run a meal up to that sweet widower’s house just to help him smile today.

In one day, you are a maid service, nurse, judge (and jury!), cook, banker, and lawn service. And that is every day. Your sports car is a minivan with 120,000 hard-earned miles on it. You often think about how many of those miles were put on that van just between your house and Wal-Mart, and realize you could have driven to Tahiti and back.

Which is a trip you deserve, but will probably never take.

Pharmacist, plumber, and painter…you take care of all of those before lunchtime, and still can whip up the greatest PB&J the block has ever seen.

You hear the conversations about promotions at work and advanced degrees, and you are so proud of your friends. They are accomplishing great things, and advancing up the corporate ladder in a world that equates such with true success. Meanwhile, you are painting a multi-colored birdhouse with finger paints (with not so much as a hair out of place), and are making an eternal difference. Those 20 minutes spent finding Waldo, coupled with yet another trip to the dentist? Your 4-year-old may never remember them specifically, but he’ll never forget that mom was always there.

When dad comes home, he is greeted by a woman who is tired, but who wants to hear about his day of “exhausting” meetings…while you were cleaning who-knows-what from underneath an ancient refrigerator. You sure would like to get a new fridge, but you just don’t have the money. What you do have are popcicles that you and the kids found time to make so daddy could enjoy one with the kids after work.

You are a teacher, and the lessons you are teaching can never be replaced or equaled. You are showing not only hard work, but Christian humility. You are not only planting seeds in the little garden plot out back, you are nurturing seeds of Christian maturity in your children. You may do far more window shopping than real shopping, but the payoff for what you do will only be known when our Savior returns.

Today, I thank you and praise you. And, to my favorite homemaker, happy 14th anniversary. I love you.

COMMENTS: In the comments, please leave a tribute to a homemaker you appreciate.


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50 Ways to Encourage Anyone Anywhere at Any Time

People need encouragement, but sometimes we over-think things. Encouraging people does not have to take a ton of time or a lot of money. Instead, here are 50 ways you can encourage nearly anyone at any time. Enjoy the list, then add your own suggestions in the comments.


These suggestions are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face!

1. Make a phone call out of the blue.

2. Smile

3. Give a sincere compliment (no flattery allowed!)

4. Make a small donation to their favorite charity, school, etc.

5. Praise their children/grandchildren/parents

6. Invite them over for dinner

7. Send a small floral arrangement…just because

8. Find a chore that needs to be done and just do it

9. Leave a $20 on the door with a note reading, “Supper’s on us tonight”

10. Post an encouraging Bible verse or quote on their Facebook wall

11. Tell a clean joke

12. Listen

13. Visit a loved one of theirs who is in the hospital or a local assisted living home

14. Make a “double” recipe tonight and take the extra to them tomorrow

15. Send a card on the anniversary of them losing a loved one

16. Pray for them

17. Offer a night of free baby-sitting/dog-sitting/house-sitting

18. Have your children make a small “What I Love about …” project and give it to them

19. Send a private tweet or Facebook message asking for a prayer request

20. Mail a hand-written note (remember those?)

21. Give a gift subscription to a favorite magazine for 1 year

22. Gift a Kindle book [may I suggest this one?] or Amazon gift card

23. Send a small ($5) e-card to a coffee house or restaurant with good desserts

24. Walk a fresh loaf of bread or batch of brownies down to their house

25. Have an old-fashioned talk on the front porch

26. Create a blog post or Facebook note honoring them

27. Remember their birthday

28. Hug

29. Have a small gift (balloons, for example) delivered to their workplace

30. Ask them to stay for a nightly family devotional

31. Pick a random day and just ask, “What can I do to help you today?”

32. Volunteer for a charity or organization they love

33. Give them a note from your child with their ball schedule (or recital, play, etc. schedule) saying, “I’d love for you to come!”

34. Invite them to church. Even if they don’t come, people appreciate that you care enough to invite

35. Leave an anonymous gift (like a potted plant) on the porch

36. Ask about their kids/grandkids and be ready to listen

37. Go out to eat with them

38. Call them by name

39. Remember your “please’s,” “thank you’s,” sir’s,” and “ma’am’s.”

40. Treat their children with honor

41. Attend the funeral when they lose a loved one

42. If it is too far away, send a gift of some kind to let them know you are there in spirit

43. Help coordinate some part of their life when a tragedy happens (travel plans, meals, or child care are just some suggestions)

44. Text regularly, just to say hello

45. Encourage them in their work. Treat it as valuable and important

46. “Just happen” to buy an extra ticket to the ball game or concert and invite them

47. Take care of their house when they are gone on vacation

48. Go the extra mile in any service you might do for them

49. Be joyful and peaceful around them

50. Did I mention, pray for them?

QUESTION: What else would you add? What almost universally brings encouragement to others?


Photo credit: the_moment on Creative Commons

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