Tag Archive - character

Gifts—“I asked for it; I oughta get it.”

When our children were younger and our finances were tight, Patricia and I agreed to buy them three Christmas gifts: a book, clothing, and a toy/game. Although they were disappointed at times because they did not get the “gift” they wanted, they were generally happy and learned to handle those times. On the other hand, we noticed that birthdays (when they received all the gifts) produced some pretty stinky little attitudes. More was not necessarily better. Continue Reading…

TRAINING: Have children; spread God’s glory


In Genesis 1, God instructs man, who is created in His image, to “be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and subdue it.” Have kids; spread my glory. Obviously, God wanted Adam and Eve to have children. Secondly, he wanted them to fill the earth with His image. Since he told them this before the fall, it would be God’s likeness and glory that would be spreading and subduing the earth, not man’s. Continue Reading…

The “Other” Factor of Meaningful Purpose

When he was six years old, Ryan Hreljak heard about the Ugandan people and their lack of water. He decided to earn the money to dig them a well. At six years old, Ryan earned seventy dollars. Proudly he took the money to his teacher at school to forward to the Ugandans. She had to explain to this little six-year-old that each well cost $2000. But Ryan was undaunted. Continue Reading…

TRAINING: Goodbye to bullies, Part 3

“Instead of trying to prepare the road ahead for our children,
we ought to prepare our children for the road ahead.” Ellen Black
It is a faulty parent model that believes that we can smooth out all of life’s wrinkles for our children. It just won’t happen, because life is wrinkled. Difficulty is woven into the tapestry of life with purpose. Jesus said, “In the world you will have trouble, but be of good cheer; I have overcome . . .” Jesus taught us a healthy and mature view of life. That is what we must teach our kids. 

Our kids will be teased about something. Why? We are all flawed. Our kids are flawed. Their friends are flawed. Our relatives, leaders, employers, employees, and neighbors are all flawed. We are flawed on the outside and on the inside. Welcome to humanity.

At the same time, we are amazing creatures, fearfully and wonderfully made. We think, communicate, laugh, write, compose, paint, build, plan, feel, and on and on. Psalm 82:6 actually calls us “gods, sons of the Most High.” We are made in God’s likeness.

If you read the Bible, you come to see these things about our lives:
1)    We are created to be like Jesus
2)    We all have imperfections
3)    Life will have difficulty (testing)

We must help our children get these three basic truths if they are going to be overcomers. Hebrews 2:10 states that Jesus was made perfect (complete) through suffering (testing). Our kids will be made more like Jesus through testing and difficulty.

When Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery, falsely accused, imprisoned, and forgotten, he still succeeded because the Lord was with him. At the right time, he became the second-in-command in Egypt. When his brothers appeared before him, he told them this, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.” What an incredible perspective; the testing did not destroy him, but made him strong in God’s purpose.

To equip your kids to handle bullies or testing of any kind, begin with the Bible. Read them the stories straight from God’s word. Read about the overcomers like Joseph, Moses, Gideon, and David. The Bible tells it like it is. Don’t leave out the struggles that these men had.

To equip your kids to handle bullies or testing of any kind, discuss with them their imperfections. Help them become comfortable with how God has made them. If they have big ears, talk about it. If they have one green eye and one brown eye, discuss it with them. Help them see that God has made them unique in some ways, and that their value comes from being made to be like Him. Emphasize the heart, not the body.

To equip your kids to handle bullies or testing of any kind, prepare them to expect some difficulty. James said, “Do not be surprised when you encounter various trials.” That’s good advice for our kids.
Let’s prepare them for the road ahead with this attitude:

Bring it on. . . the testing. . .  I am made to overcome.

Working with Father

Sweet Anna was a typical middle school student. Making her way through the hormonal minefield of 7th grade was challenging — for Anna and for her parents. In the fall of that year, Anna won the annual school spelling bee contest. This wasn’t her first win and she knew what was involved for the next level of competition. Probably for a variety of reasons, Anna was struggling. She did not want to be involved. Continue Reading…

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