With enough promise of reward or threat of punishment, most children can exercise self-control for a time. But a deeper problem exists. We're controlling our children's behavior, but neglecting the beliefs of their hearts.
My son is getting straight As," boasted John's dad. "He's a starter on the football team, and, best of all, he isn't into earrings, tattoos and all that weirdness. He's not like so many kids today."
What's wrong with this picture? Maybe nothing, but maybe a lot.
This dad discovered the importance of transparency when he tool his 14-year-old son on a father-son adventure in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Wyoming is far from our home in Florida, but my 14-year-old son and I grew closer together when we took part in a Christ in the Tetons father-son retreat last year in the breathtaking Teton Mountains in Jackson Hole.
Joshua was happy to commit after hearing the itinerary: Five exhilarating days filled with climbing, fishing, rafting, horseback riding, hiking, biking and a day at Yellowstone National Park.
I wanted this to be an exciting time of refreshing and renewal for both of us because we've had our share of challenges to work through these last few years. read more
You may struggle with feelings of inadequacy regarding your fathering
abilities, but you have a God-given role to protect and provide for your family.
And you have great impact on developing character in your sons.
Fathering is at the heart of masculinity, of what it means to be a man. Godly fathers put others' needs before their own. If you're like me, you spend the majority of your conscious thought and effort on satisfying your own wants and needs. It's almost an unconscious response to life. But if we are to be authentic men and fathers, we need to rethink that attitude and consciously make sacrifices so others can benefit and prosper.
When fathers neglect this duty or are absent from the home, predators attack families. Young men, such as gang members, who are raised without the influence of older men often become marauding wolves themselves–predators preying on women and children for their own self-gratification.
You married an amazing person but has your Woman of the Year become a wall flower, frozen by fear? If her fire has cooled and her pizzazz has fizzled, then take her in your arms and lead her to dance again.
Maybe you wonder where she went—that woman you fell in love with so deeply that you asked her to marry you. Remember her? The one with lots of energy. The adventure girl who inspired you with her enthusiasm. The woman who lit up the room just by showing up. The passionate, alive, beautiful person who stole your heart and made you want to be a better man.
Maybe it's been years since you've felt like you've seen that woman. Maybe today you live with a version of her that reminds you there is more to that person than you're experiencing now.
Best-selling author Emerson Eggerichs has cracked the marriage communication code. He says the answer has been hidden in plain sight for 2,000 years.
Imagine Robin Williams in a manic appearance on Late Show with David Letterman. Now imagine his crazy energy focused on a singular topic, instead of the sampler platter of conversation that Williams usually totes with him. Now imagine that energy tempered by the cool intellectualism-but none of the fustiness-of David Hyde-Pierce (a.k.a. Niles Crane from Frasier). Now imagine that he speaks with the spiritual directness of the Apostle Paul.
Got it? Now, one more thing: Add some fashionable glasses.
This is a pretty good picture of Dr. Emerson Eggerichs as he stalks the sanctuary stage of a Southern Baptist church in Oklahoma City, energetically delivering a lecture he's given many times before … and getting a reaction he's also gotten many times before.
Like the father whose name he bears, Duane Lee Chapman is a bounty hunter. When he puts on his badge, the does it with the blessing of law enforcement...and the blessing of Jesus. Although he may lurk in the darkness outside your back door, and although he may pounce on you as you exit, hurl you to the ground and scream in your face as you pee your pants in raw fear, he tries to do it in a compassionate, Christian sort of way.
He is Duane Lee Chapman II, and like the father whose name he bears, he is a bounty hunter. When he puts on his badge, he does it with the blessing of law enforcement. He is confident that he also does it with the blessing of Jesus.
He sees his job as a ministry, albeit a ministry that involves considerably more pepper spray, yelling and threats than your average ministry (unless you include a particularly rambunctious Sunday school class of sixth-grade boys). read more
We recently wrote a book for moms about the unique and vital role dads play in parenting. It's called Make Room for Daddy: A Mom's Guide to Letting Dad Be Dad. In researching the book, we questioned hundreds of moms and dads about the differences between mothers and fathers, and what dads need most in order to be the best dads they can be.
Bottom line (you like to get to the bottom line, don't you?), you can help your wife to help you by telling her about your needs as a father. These "Five Talking Points About Fathering" should get you started: read more
For Christians, the worst consequence of vulgarity's ubiquity may be the influence upon children.
"All children, whether they swear or not, learn what the words are that they're not supposed to use," says author Timothy Jay, who also is a psychology professor at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
Sometimes teens must learn that words matter by going too far, such as being kicked out of a restaurant or fired from a job for using vulgarity, Jay says. Yet enforcing rules is more difficult when many of the rich and powerful--movie stars, athletes and politicians--use vulgar words with impunity.
Serendipity means to find something unexpected when we are looking for something else. Perhaps we put on a coat and find money in the pocket from the previous year. For me, it was finding a letter I had written to my wife, Nancy, years ago but had never given to her.
I was going through some files a month after our 54th wedding anniversary when I found it. I had written the letter decades earlier after counseling a couple determined to divorce. After they left my office I considered what it would be like to divorce Nancy and wrote her the following letter:
Before you judge your wife for letting herself go, take a good look at the man in your mirror.
Sometimes it's physical--wrinkles and sagging body parts. Other times a raging boredom sets in. Sometimes it's a career that goes awry. Sometimes it's just a simple unhappiness with the way your life is turning out. A man looks at his wife one morning and thinks, Maybe I should trade in my 40 for two 20s.
Forty percent of first marriages eventually end in divorce. Will yours? Many of these dissolutions take place during midlife.
What can the shtick-slinging comedic candor of married TV characters teach us about women?
In all the push to become the knight in shining armor rescuing his beauty, it might be good to let our reality catch up with our fantasy. The bad news is none of us are Brad Pitt, but, apparently, the good news is that we don't have to be.
A female friend and I had an interesting conversation recently about what women really want from men. Much of what she told me was in reaction to the popular paradigm that a man should approach a woman as a rescuer. This was all good and fine, she said, but the knight-in-shining-armor caricature is more of a male fantasy than a female fantasy.
A study by the Federal Trade Commission released suggests that video game marketers and movie studios don't take seriously the entertainment industry's own self-regulation when it comes to keeping kids away from mature material. read more
Looking to turn your marriage around? Stop trying to nit pick your spouse to perfection!
Steve is the kind of guy you love to hate. He always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"
Steve's philosophy is quite simple. "You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I chose the positive side of life."
The impact of a positive attitude is best understood through Steve's personal account of falling some 60 feet from a communications tower.