Category Archives: Parenting

[Quote] Parents Need to Step Up with Their Sons

Source: Dr. Meg Meeker, Boys Should be Boys: 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons, page 224

A Poem Every Parent Needs to Remember

Today’s post is very simple. It is a poem that you have probably heard before, but that every parent needs to keep in mind as we seek to raise those precious treasures God has given to us.

The poem is called “When You Thought I Wasn’t Looking,” and the author is Mary Rita Schlike Korazan. We hope it encourages us all.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator,
and I wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you feed a stray cat,
and I thought it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw you make my favorite cake for me,
and I knew that little things are special things.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I heard you say a prayer,
and I believed that there was a God to talk to.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I felt you kiss me goodnight,
and I felt loved.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw tears come from your eyes,
and I learned that sometimes things hurt,
but it’s alright to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I saw that you cared,
and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking,
I looked….
and I wanted to say thanks for all the things
I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.


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Yes, Our Kids Are Sheltered in Their Entertainment. Yes, We Want It That Way.

Our family loves movie night! On Friday nights when we are at home, odds are we will have a simple supper and sit down in our living room to watch a movie. It’s been a tradition now for 4 or 5 years, and we love it.

We also enjoy going to movies sometimes. While it is expensive, we enjoy making it a special outing. We don’t go see every “kids’ movie” that is produced, because we want a trip to the movies to be special.

Though we watch quite a few movies, have a couple of favorite TV shows on DVD, and enjoy listening to the radio at times, we are very selective in what we let our kids see and hear through the entertainment media.

Very selective.

If they take the Lord’s name in vain? We don’t watch it.

If there is cursing..at all? We don’t watch it.

If there is homosexuality? We don’t watch it.

If there is immodesty? We don’t watch it.

And, yes, there is more on our “don’t watch” list, but I figured you didn’t want to read every possible thing we will not watch.

I sometimes hear parents talk about choosing movies and TV shows and they have very low standards for their children (sometimes, even small children). One reason they often give is this: “I don’t want my kids to be sheltered as to what is really out there.”

Really? That’s our logic?

Now, let me say this: I fully understand that we cannot keep our kids as “kids” forever. Virtually every day I am struck by how quickly they are growing. In fact, as I write this, my “little” boy will be 10 in just a few days, so both of my children will be in double-digits for their ages. They will not be kids forever.

And I want them to know that sin is real and it is out there in the world. We are not trying to hide the fact that people do bad and sinful things. We are not trying to make them think that everyone on the planet goes to church and always speaks properly and always dresses in modest apparel (a trip to a shopping center or high school football game will teach them that that’s not the case).

Two Reasons Why I Feel This Way

But, when it comes to entertainment? Yes, I want to shelter my children. Yes, I like it that way. And here are two reasons why.

First, I want to teach them that just because it is produced for entertainment does not mean that we have to consume it. It is remarkable how many children in Christian homes are experts on virtually every entertainment option that is produced. They have seen all the movies. They watch a constant stream of TV shows. They can name music artists and songs…

…just like people in the world can.

We are not required to be entertained in order to survive! I want to teach them discernment in their entertainment. (By the way, that means I must model that in my own entertainment choices, as well.) Instead of just vegging out in front of whatever is on, I want them to see that there is more to life than just mindlessly consuming whatever is put out there in the world of entertainment.

Second, I want to shelter them because I do not want Hollywood opening the eyes of my children. It is not up to Hollywood to educate my kids. It’s not up to record producers, radio stations, iTunes, DirecTV, or Google, either. It’s up to me!

Christian parents, we have got to quit just giving lip service to saying our children need to be morally pure. We cannot say that and then let the entertainment industry teach them their version of morality. Hollywood’s morals are going to slide further downward over time. We know this.

But since we know that, how can we just let them feed our children more and more rude, crude, vile, and immodest material? Our children, literally, are not ready for what Hollywood feeds them, yet we let them have the minds of our children.

Not this parent! I want to show them what sin is from the Bible, and show them how to stay away from it. I want to be the one to help them begin to think through how to face temptation, not let them see Hollywood’s “just do what feels good” message.

So, yes, they are sheltered when it comes to entertainment. And, yes, I like it that way.

Because it is one way in which I, as a parent, am refusing to abdicate my responsibility to parent.

I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.

I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. (Psalm 101:3)


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

Episode 76: Reflections on Louisville, Dealing with Entertainment Choices, You Can Get Your Family to Worship on Time, and More! [Podcast]

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On this week’s podcast, Adam and Leah talk about some recent goings-on, they discuss how Christians can deal with entertainment choices, and encourage families with tips to get ready for worship.

Plus, they talk a little college basketball. It is March, after all!

Resources below.

Links

Is Genesis History? [Homepage]

To Go or Not to Go…” [Amber Tatum; A Legacy of Faith]

6 Tips for Getting to Church On Time” [Of the Hearth]

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[Quote] For All You Busy Parents Who are Struggling

SOURCE: For Better or For Kids by Patrick & Ruth Schwenk. (Page 220)

Episode 75: Leah Goes to Louisville, 3 Things We Put on Every Month’s Calendar, Parents: Don’t be Fearful, and More! [Podcast]

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In episode 75 of the podcast, Adam and Leah talk about an upcoming homeschool retreat Leah will be speaking at. They also talk about three things they put on every month’s calendar. For quite awhile, they talk about a great article (link below) that helps parents see that do not need to fear; they just need to parent.

Oh, and both Adam and Leah forget what the capital of Kentucky is. We hope you enjoy this week’s episode.

Resource

Print-A-Calendar (for March 2017)

Dear Younger Me: About All Those Things You Fear [Hip Homeschool Moms]

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Praying With Your Family

Yesterday something happened that gave my wife and children cause to celebrate. We had a late day – two hours late to school due to bad weather. I decided to take advantage of the extra hours in the morning.

We went out to breakfast together. It was a prayer breakfast. We used the time we never have on a Monday in which we are usually in a rush to get ready. We talked. We ate a sit-down meal together. We discussed the week ahead. Then I asked them all to tell me something specifically they wanted to pray about. It was a great morning for our family. It was also a very humbling moment for me as a father.

How often do you pray together as a family? I am not talking about a quick prayer before a meal or a brief nighttime prayer you may have with your spouse or your kids. I am talking about an organized gathering where you share your thoughts and anxieties and spend some quality time together with every member of the family present in unified supplication to Jehovah God.

We need to pray more together. The family at home needs to communicate and then pray. The local congregation that constitutes your spiritual family needs to communicate and then pray. But we don’t! We are in too much of a hurry!

And just as we go too fast in praying before a meal at home, we often rush through every instance in prayer with the church. There seems to be a time limit on the Lord’s Supper.  I mean, after all, we have got to get the preacher up there ASAP so we don’t go over! If old man Jones leads the closing prayer and he gets long winded the people begin to fidget! And when is the last time you heard a prayer in the assembly that was more than five minutes long?

Slow down to pray. Whatever is going on can wait. Your work for the day will hang out and still be ready for you until you are done praying.

We need to repent about our prayer lives! We have robbed ourselves, our families, and our Father from prayer time by simply not making it a priority. We think we are doing a great job as parents because we are making every practice, getting all the homework done, and being on task for each and every responsibility. I would rather have a child who wasn’t as good at basketball as the other kids, if my child knew how to pray. I would rather have a child that gets B’s than a kid who gets A’s if my child was one who walked and talked with God. I’d rather have the laundry backed up and the kitchen not as tidy as long as I had a spouse who was allowed the time to have a healthy prayer life with me and my children.

It just hit me yesterday. In doing the right thing about prayer for once I realized I had been doing the wrong thing most of the time. Families MUST share quality spiritual time together and pray. This is true for the church and it’s true for the home.

If you are an elder and you are reading this I ask that you consider making 2017 a year of prayer for your church family. If you are a parent I suggest you to the same thing for your home. You will not regret it. I left breakfast for once feeling like a pretty good husband and father. Not because I am good, but because my family had together just talked to the One who alone IS good, and that is God. We left everything at His feet. We trusted Him and His will and it gave us peace. We came together in love and care for one another in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And it was wonderful.

“Father, forgive me for not praying as I should. Forgive me for not leading my family in prayer as I should. Forgive me for all the times I didn’t make time for a conversation with You. Because You are what I need the most. And You are who I love the most. I am looking forward to talking to You more. Thank You for always being there to listen and help me. In Jesus name, Amen.”

Whatever you are doing, you have not done as much as you can do…until at first you have prayed.

“I desire then that in every place the men should pray…” – 1 Timothy 2:8


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AUTHOR: Jeremiah Tatum

Photo background credit: BillAC on Creative Commons

Episode 71 : Forever His (with Shelley Hazel) [Podcast]

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What can a congregation do to help families who have children with special needs? Forever His is a ministry that helps in that area. Recently, the Forest Park church of Christ in Valdosta, Georgia held a Forever His Bible Day Camp, and on the podcast this week, Shelley Hazel joins Adam to talk about this wonderful and uplifting day.

LOFpodcast

Links

Forest Park Church of Christ (homepage)

Video: Forever His [vimeo.com]

Forever His information at Karns church of Christ (includes registration form)

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Photo credit: Annika Leigh on Creative Commons

It’ll Never be the Same Again

The picture reproduced here is an image of the way things used to be. It is also an image of the way things had never been before. 

Four of us used to gather around a table to eat – just like the picture shows. In that way, the picture shows the way things used to be. 

Four of us had never gathered around a table at a Panera Bread in Nashville. In that way, the picture shows the way things never had been before. 

This picture was taken on the next to last day of 2016. It was taken close to the end of a whirlwind and emotional week for the “Faughn Family of Four.” 

On Sunday of that week, I had preached for the last time as the full-time minister for the Central church of Christ in Paducah, Kentucky. I completed sixteen years of work with that congregation in that capacity and over thirty-eight years as a full-time gospel preacher. On Monday of that week, our family finally got together to open Christmas presents and enjoy some time together for a few days. 

On Wednesday, our son and his family left for their home in Haleyville, Alabama. On Thursday, our daughter and her family left for their home in Cookeville, Tennessee.

On Friday, the four of us met in Nashville because our son is a life-long Nebraska Cornhuskers fan. He had never had the opportunity to see them play in person, but they were to play later on that Friday in the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tennessee.

His wife had surprised him with a ticket to the game as a Christmas present. Our son-in-law did the legwork and secured that ticket and three more so that the four of us could enjoy the game together. (Yes, all the rest of us paid for our own tickets.) 

As you can see from the picture, his sister (our daughter) probably enjoyed the game more than he did. She has become a Tennessee Volunteers fan and, as you may know, the Vols beat the Huskers on that Friday.

It wasn’t about wins and losses on that Friday, though. It was about the four of us being together. It was about, as my late mother-in-law used to say, “making memories.”

The four of us spent a little time that Friday trying to remember when it was that just the four of us did something special like this together. None of us could come up with a definite answer to that. There have been some changes over the years. For one thing, when the family got together earlier that week for Christmas, there were not just four of us. There were eleven of us. 

While I could not come up with a specific memory of the last time the four of us did something special together, I did come up with a very distinct memory. I remember very well the night before we took our daughter to Freed-Hardeman University in order for her to begin her freshman year there. 

I remember the four of us lying on a bed together and “just talking.” I can remember all four of us crying.

As long as I have a memory, I will never forget something her brother said that night. Through the tears, he said, “It’ll never be the same again.”

I’m not sure he realized then how right he was. In the years since that statement was made, there have been more changes than I need to document here. There have been changes in the composition, ages, and locations of our family. Degrees have been earned. Careers have changed. Loved ones have been lost. The list could go on and on.

The words of a song that we sometimes sing present a pretty accurate view of the changes we all experience. The words also present to us some valuable admonition/advice.   

Time is filled with swift transition –

Naught of earth unmoved can stand.

Build your hopes on things eternal,

Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

Along with the admonition and advice in that song, I would add the following from one who has lived long enough to see more changes than I can remember.

Treasure time with your family and others with whom you share your life. Do all you can to make good memories. Do not take any moment, event, or experience for granted. 

Remember that it’ll never be the same again.


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AUTHOR: JIM FAUGHN

7 Reasons Why We’ll be in Worship on Christmas Day

It happens every few years. Christmas day falls on a Sunday.

Amazingly (and tragically) there are churches that cancel all services on that day or move services to a weeknight. Other congregations decide to only have one worship service or to move the time of services, but they are still meeting on the Lord’s Day to worship the Lord.

Still, a lot of families decide that “since it’s Christmas” they do not have to attend services on that day. After all, it’s a day for family and traditions and it only comes once each year. So, many people will stay at home while the church meets.

However, barring illness or some other unforeseen event, our little family will be in worship on Sunday, December 25. And here are 7 reasons why.

1. Worship is Commanded by the Almighty. Our Lord does not make worship something to be chosen by His followers. Hebrews 10:25 makes it clear that we are not to willfully forsake being together for worship. This is not a suggestion, and it does not have caveats for special holidays.

2. God is More Important than any Holiday. If I am going to say that “God is first in my life,” then there is no holiday that can take His place. There is no holiday that should be able to keep me away from worshiping my Lord.

3. Our Family Will be Together. I am amazed at how many people stay home from worship on Christmas so their family will be together. Our little family will still be together, just dressed up and in a church pew; not in pajamas in front of a fireplace.

4. Our Children Need to Learn Priorities. “Well, since it’s Christmas, we’ll stay home.” In the mind of children, that translates to, “What you want to do is more important than the commands of God.” He is first, and this is a glorious opportunity to teach that.

5. I Want to Encourage Every Christian Who Attends. How discouraging would it be to go to worship and see that a large percentage of your Christian family did not think enough of you to come and encourage you? We are uplifted and encouraged when we attend worship together, and I want to encourage those who make the effort.

6. We are to Obey Our Elders. Elders have no right to cancel Lord’s Day worship altogether, or to move it to another day of the week (that’s another article for another time). Many are making the decision to only have one service or to move the time to best accommodate family traditions. They are not making an ungodly decision, so I am commanded to obey them and to let them rule with joy (Hebrews 13:7; 13:17).

7. There’s Nowhere Else I Want My Family to Be Every Sunday! Whatever date is on the calendar, I want my little family loading in our car and going together to worship God. There are times when one or more of us has been sick and we have not gotten to worship together. I can’t stand it! Each and every Lord’s Day, I want my family to know the joy and the high privilege it is to join hands and hearts together as we worship.

Christmas is special. Each year, we enjoy all kinds of movies, snacks, get-togethers, and gifts. Having kids makes it even more special, as they get so excited for the holiday. The Grinch is not welcome at our house!

That said, no holiday–Christmas included–can ever top the joy and excitement that should fill our soul as we are allowed into the very presence of God to express our adoration and praise to Him. Every Lord’s Day, we should do that with all our enthusiasm…including December 25.


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn