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INTEGRITY: A surprising discovery

As we think about integrity, we define it as “wholeness; as soundness all the way through.” When Jesus healed people, the scripture often says that “he made them whole.” As Chelsea mentioned in our LifePrep discussion, “Integrity is being the same in public and in private.” As followers of Jesus, we want our children to walk with God in a real way. For that to happen, we can’t just point the way, we must lead. We must walk with God first. Continue Reading…

SPIRIT TRAINING: The Strength of Waiting

“I just can’t wait.”

Have your kids ever said that before? As parents, our best answer to that might be, “Yes, you can.”

“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” (Isaiah 40:31)

Wait on the Lord and be of good courage; and he will strengthen your heart.” (Ps. 27:14)

Strength comes when we wait. Continue Reading…

SPIRIT TRAINING: Unwrapping the Christmas Gift

Can you think of any more delightful moments in a child’s life than Christmas? Decorations and trees and lights. Special foods. Gathering of families. The anticipation of Christmas morning. The joyful sounds of laughter, the irrepressible squeals of delight. Sparkling eyes. Bouncing excitement. What is it about Christmas that causes this unmatched display of happiness?

Gifts. No, not just gifts. Christmas gifts!

Christmas gifts are mysteries—wrapped up mysteries. Those mysteries often are placed under a tree where they tantalize the imaginations of those who hope to open them on Christmas morn. The giving and receiving of gifts is enhanced by this mysterious element of seeing but not knowing. Continue Reading…

RELATIONSHIPS: Self-esteem

A composite of research findings (Baumeister, 1993) described that people of low self-esteem have these tendencies: confused about themselves, uncertain, submitting readily to other people’s influence, and lacking in self-confidence. Not exactly what we want for our kids.

A later review of literature (Baumeister, Smart, and Boden, 1996) linked high self-esteem to violence. “Murderers, rapists, wife-beaters. . .and other categories of violent people are all marked by strongly held views of their own superiority.” The highest self-esteem scores come from people in prison. They appear to have no respect for anyone else. Obviously, we don’t want this for our kids either.

It seems that low self-esteem is bad for the self, and high self-esteem is linked to treating others badly, even leading to violence. What do we want for our kids? At the risk of sounding “religious,” let’s try instilling in our children a high esteem for God. Continue Reading…

SPIRIT TRAINING: Good choice/bad choice: God choice/no choice

Do you teach your children that they can make good choices or bad choices? If you do, I encourage you to reconsider that question. Let me explain.

What makes a good choice? What makes a bad choice? I have heard it explained this way: “A good choice is good for you. A bad choice is bad for you.” Does that mean that a good choice makes you feel good and a bad choice makes you feel bad? Would smoking pot be a good choice?

Does it mean that a good choice helps you and a bad choice hurts you? Maybe lying saves you from a spanking—good choice or bad choice? Maybe cheating helps you pass a test—good choice or bad choice?

What do you mean when you say good?

Isaiah 5:20-21 “ Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.” In our own generation, as in Isaiah’s time, people use these terms to suit their own ends.

How we explain good and evil or good and bad makes a difference. Continue Reading…

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