What would you give to know that your family will be faithful to Jesus over the long haul? And I'm not just talking about you and your children - but their children, and their children after them. What would you give?
The biblical picture of Christian faithfulness is radical faith, faith that is uncompromising and unrelenting in its desire to honor Christ above all things in the practical things of everyday life. That radical faith, passed down from one generation to the next is the only thing that will create generational faithfulness.
The Christian Home and Family podcast is my humble attempt to teach, challenge, and equip Christian families to take up the mantle of radical faith for the sake of seeing Jesus glorified in them and through them. It's not for the timid. It's not for the tepid or lukewarm.
Radical faith belongs to radical people. Will you be one of them? Will your family be one of generational faithfulness?
To build a Christ-centered home, you go first (Episode 106]
Why Our Kids Don't Date and How We Accomplished It - Episode 105
Why our kids do not date This post is not about dating VS courtship... so you can relax.
This post is about the wisdom (or lack of wisdom) that is inherent in the cultural practice of dating... and what can be done about it in YOUR family.
When my oldest son was very small, my wife and I prayerfully decided that our children would not "date" in the typical sense of the word. Our experiences had not been all that great, and we knew there had to be a better way for a Christ-centered family to go about it.
Before I tell you how we accomplished that in a way that all our children have willingly and even joyfully adopted it... let me tell you WHY we made that decision.
Reasons we didn't want our kids to date #1 - "Pairing up" as couples is for the purpose of heading toward marriage
We really believe that. There's no other reason for a young man and young woman to pair up. So think it through... at what age is a young man or young woman actually READY to be seriously heading toward marriage? Twelve? Sixteen? Eighteen? What do YOU think? You absolutely MUST answer that question well if you are going to think about this issue well.
When we allow eleven or twelve year olds... or fifteen and sixteen year olds for that matter, to pair up - it's premature. They are not yet of marrying age, so why would we allow them into a context where everything is heading toward marriage? They aren't ready for it... so it's foolish to allow it. We can talk about it in ways that prepare them for what's ahead... and we should. But we don't have to thrown them into dating in order for them to learn about it.
#2 - Romantic relationships require a tremendous amount of maturity and emotional self-control in order to be healthy
Even adults have a hard time handling the emotions that come with a committed relationship. There are vital, mature skills needed in order to make a one-on-one relationship like dating work - things like deep communication, consideration of others, insight into human nature, commitment to high moral standards, etc.
How many pre-teen or teen-aged kids do you know who have those skills? How many adults? Why would we put our children into a relationship for which they are not prepared? When we do, failure is the only logical outcome... as well as pain that doesn't need to happen.
Instead of putting them in the dating meat-grinder, why don't we use the time to build good character into them? Why don't we help them think biblically and maturely about marriage, relationships, and family? I think that goes a lot farther than the dating alternative.
#3 Dating places far too much sexual temptation on the soul of a child who is not ready to bear it.
Our culture sexualizes everything... dating most of all. From the moment a couple pairs up, the pressure is on to hold hands, get physically close, kiss, touch each other's bodies, and everything that naturally follows. It's unhealthy and unwise to put children in that context.
So think it though... here are some questions for you to consider:
Is this child ready for the responsibility of their own child? Is this couple ready for the responsibility of a family? If not... dating is a bad idea.
#4 - Dating encourages emotionalism that can easily cloud sound, godly judgment.
Every Christian parent wants their child to marry a person who loves Jesus and is impacted by their personal walk with Him. But how many times does that happen in the normal dating scene? Very seldom.
Here's an example of what happens instead: A young lady is allowed to get involved with a young man who is not all that the parents hope. He's probably not even all the the young lady hoped... but he's paying attention to her, saying sweet nothings, making her feel special... and it's hard for her to think about all the things he's not. She feels too many warm fuzzies being around him to let herself consider such logical matters.
This scene could happen with a young man just as easily as a young woman. I've see
Loving The Personal Weakness of Your Spouse [Ep 104]
Our culture tends to be a really self centered. There is not much grace for the personal weakness of others. And so, in step with our culture, a lot of the things that you hear talked about when it comes to the difficulties of married life have to do with one of the partners being bothered by the actions or attitudes of the other partner.
As a result we hear complaining - we hear wishes of the things that the other spouse would do differently - and I think while that’s totally understandable, it is NOT the approach we as believers in Christ should be taking.
This episode is all about THAT - what do you do when it comes to your spouse’s personal weaknesses? My contention - you should love them not only in spite of those weaknesses, you should also love them IN those weaknesses.
Listen to this episode to hear my explanation.
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What you’ll learn about loving your spouse’s personal weaknesses… [2:00] The different approach believers in Christ need to take when it comes to the weaknesses of others - including our spouse [7:20] The approach of proactive love in the areas of weakness your spouse experiences [8:54] Jesus is the perfect example of proactive love - like we need to express to our spouse What I've discovered about proactively loving the personal weaknesses of my spouse (and that she’s learned about mine)... It was 8 to 10 years into my marriage before Iearned a very important truth about the way I’m supposed to love my wife. It has to do with those things that my spouse struggles with personally.
I'm talking about struggles here, things that give her a hard time in life - like in the securities and fears and doubts she feels, you know, those kinds of things that plague all of us but that we don't always readily want to admit to other people.
You know you get to see those in your spouse better than you get to see them in anyone else. And as time goes on you get to learn what it is that pushes their buttons…
Things that make them afraid Things that makes them doubt themselves Things that make them doubt God's work in their lives Instead of being bothered by those things, instead of being perturbed or irritated, or complaining - we as believers in Christ have a great opportunity to really care for our spouse in a proactive way when it comes to those things.
Take the time to listen to this short episode to find out how you can do that - how you can help your spouse in those very areas of personal weakness that plague them the most - by your effective use of proactive love.
Thinking ahead in light of your spouse’s personal weaknesses can help you help them through the power of love that never fails. Here’s how it works… Getting ourselves in a position where we're mindful of the struggles our spouses have, knowing the things that are hard for them is a great opportunity for us to help them overcome those very things that plague them the most.
What we need to do is to love them in a way that tries to help them with those very issues ahead of time. I can give you an example or two from my experience - and my wife does not mind me sharing this with you because she shares this with people all the time. It’s one of the examples she often shares to enable others to understand what it is to be human and how we fight our own failings and our own insecurities day after day after day in order to better follow Christ.
And so here's is the example when we first married.
My wife had this tendency to be very very concerned about what people thought of her. You know…
Did they approve of what she said there? Did they feel like she was being wise? Did they see her in some critical light or think badly of her? That may sound extreme but if we are honest we know that we all struggle with that sort of thing from time to time - we all have that sort of desire to please people. And with my
How a commitment to personal freedom is gutting Christian parenting [Ep 103]
A while back my wife and I were talking about absolutes... As we sat over coffee at our favorite local hangout (my favorite drink is a "Honey Badger," with a little extra "badger" - you should try one), we were trying to soak in the blessings God has poured out on our lives. We both teared up at times (which happens when you realize how much you don't deserve all the goodness you get from God).
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>>>>We were wondering at the fact that so many in the new generation of parents seem to be put off by absolutes.
We hear it often in statements like these...
I want to parent in a way that encourages my child to take charge of their life.
I don't want to require things of my kids, I want them to discover it for themselves.
I want my kids to be free to chose their own path.
On the surface all of these statements have some elements of truth to them. I have no problem there.
But stated in those ways, each of them communicates what I believe is an underlying belief system - that personal freedom is of the utmost value. And that's a poisonous contention that is quickly gutting Christian parenting of its effectiveness.
Freedom is a great blessing God has given to us as humans... but it has its limits. In my years as a pastor I was often asked what I thought about the issue of "free will." It's a sort of hotbed issue for many who enjoy the intellectual challenge of understanding deep things.
My answer was seldom satisfactory for most people who asked, but it's one I've come to over many years of watching the impact both sides of the debate have had on the real lives of people.
My response to the question?
I believe people have "free will," but only within the limits of what they are as creatures.
Simply, that means that God remains God. He gets to choose everything that happens, and He does. Our freedom operates within that, underneath that, never outside it.
So, are we responsible for the choices we make? Absolutely. But over and above that choice is God, working all things together for our good and His glory.
How does this gut Christian parenting of its effectiveness? When parents put emphasis on teaching their children that they are free to choose, to act, to determine their own destiny, they are doing a good thing. Those are important realizations for anyone to come to.
But if they do so to a greater degree than they focus on the fact that the child is deeply loved by and answerable to the living God, that child is being deprived of the most central reality of the universe: God Himself as an active part of life.
What's the most important thing you could teach them from an early age?
He is life. THAT is the truth that governs all that is. It's the sovereign fact that trumps the child's personal freedom every, single time.
Knowing that God is real, alive, and personally active in their life is what will activate and grow the child's godly conscience. It's what will make them care whether their actions and attitudes are rebellious and self absorbed, or appropriately submissive and others-centered.
This morning as we sat over our drinks, my wife recalled a memory from when our oldest son was very small, perhaps 7 or 8 months old. He sat in his bouncy seat on the kitchen table while she put away the dishes.
She told him about Jesus. She told him that her smile was a Jesus' smile, that Jesus was happy about Aaron (our son's name).
Those kinds of interactions have been a regular part of how my wife parents.
Did Aaron understand what she was saying? At that age, not intellectually. But his young soul was sponge-like, soaking up truth as it was being spoken.
As those truths were added to over the years and lived out by the most influential people in his life (his parents), they shaped him from the inside out, orienting him toward God-as-King rather than sel
The KEY to raising godly children (OR: God-fearing children and the parents who raise them ) [Ep 102]
Why would I throw in my thoughts on such a popular and written-to-death sort of subject? Because what I consider to be the KEY to raising godly children has not been said enough, or loudly enough.
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The key to raising godly children is to first be a godly parent.
Don't hear me saying you have to be perfect. Don't hear me saying you have to make no mistakes.
DO hear me saying...
your relationship with Jesus had better be authentic, not just something that you do on Sundays.
It had better be something more than religious actions.
It had better be more than moralistic teaching and corresponding rules.
It must be an ongoing, vibrant, up-and-down-but-always-headed-upward RELATIONSHIP with Jesus.
Anything less will smell of hypocrisy, and it will absolutely stink in the nostrils of your children. You can't fool them. They will know if you are a fake, and they will know if you really mean and live what you say. [gn_quote style="1"]Your kids want and need the real thing... Jesus. The best way you can give them Jesus is to give Jesus all of yourself.
The LORD has shown me this personally. I've seen the teachable, eager hearts of my children in response to my own honest struggles to know the LORD. And I've seen disinterested, doubtful responses when the churchy words coming out of my mouth don't match the attitude of my heart.
What does it look like?
Your children need to hear you talk about Jesus as if He is real to you... in the day to day circumstances of life.
Your children need to hear you pray in a way that shows that you truly KNOW the Person you are talking with.
Your children need to see your love for Jesus carried out in obvious ways - commitment to a local church, genuine worship, and a desire to honor Him in all you do.
Your children need to know by your own devotion that prayer and Bible reading are not just “things you do,” but the lifeblood of your existence.
Your children need to see you so absorbed by Jesus that they want to take part in something that is so obviously wonderful.
How to raise godly children
Begin with the last half of this post title. Start by considering the spiritual health of the parent(s) who raise your children. Here are some questions to help you begin...
Do YOU love Jesus (the LORD your God) with all YOUR heart, all YOUR soul, all YOUR mind, and all YOUR strength? (Mark 12:30) Or is there something else (spouse, work, hobbies, money, etc.) that you love more?
Do YOU love your neighbor (irritating co-worker, demanding boss, pesky neighbor, weird relative) as you love yourself? (Mark 12:31)
Do YOU seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness? (Matthew 6:33) Or are you more concerned with bank accounts, life-insurance, retirement funds, and upward mobility?
Do YOU set apart Christ as LORD in YOUR own heart? (1 Peter 3:15)
Start there. Go on by asking the Spirit of God to help you begin moving more diligently toward Him. Ask Him to GIVE you a heart that seeks Him first and foremost. He delights to answer those types of prayers.
Don't even think about raising godly children if you are not first and genuinely seeking to be a godly parent.
Q: What do YOU need to do in order to move closer to Christ as a parent?
What Does It Mean to Be a Spiritual Leader? : A Challenge for Husbands [Ep 101]
A spiritual leader is not the person who has all the right, holy-sounding answers. A spiritual leader is a person who humbly goes first in serving others.
That’s one of the many lessons I’ve learned about what it means to be a spiritual leader in my family over the past almost-30 years.
This episode of the Christian Home and Family podcast is aimed at gaining a greater understanding of two of the key biblical passages that speak to the issue of spiritual leadership in the home. In each of the passages, husbands are singled out as the ones responsible to take spiritual leadership in their home.
The first passage, Ephesians 5, points out very clearly that spiritual leadership is an act of service, self-sacrificing service. No man who understands spiritual leadership is going to be domineering or demanding toward the people in his home. Instead, he will be gracious, patient, and loving because those are the demeanors of a servant leader.
This recording contains my off-the-cuff thoughts about how men should approach the issue of spiritual leadership end to grow in their ability to be The Godly spiritual leader in their homes.
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Here’s a rough outline of Lessons for Spiritual Leaders [0:58] The home as the foundational element of society - and why we need to take a more diligent approach to that issue. [4:37] Looking at Ephesians 5 - A husband’s sacrificial role as a spiritual leader [11:20] Questions for husbands to consider about their spiritual leadership [14:58] 1 Peter 3:7 - Learning to be understanding of our wives [26:17] What does it mean that a woman is said to be a “weaker vessel?” [34:05] What does it mean to be a spiritual leader? Humility and Initiative Many times one of the first things we think about when it comes to Jesus is His self-sacrificing nature But how often do we consider that his leadership was being expressed in that sacrifice? As He said Himself, he did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.
That is the kind of leadership the Apostle Paul describes when he speaks of men being the spiritual leader in their homes. It's not an easy kind of life to live. It's not a “me on top” existence. it is a life like Jesus lived, serving those who were under His care.
In this podcast episode, I take you through Ephesians 5 with a view toward understanding why that kind of self-sacrifice is required for husbands in order to leave their wives and their families into a place of Health, spiritual strength, and eventual maturity.
Spiritual leaders also work hard to understand those they lead Those who are the best leaders are typically also the ones who have done the best job of understanding the people that they lead. In 1st Peter chapter 3 husbands are taught to live with their wives in an understanding way.
What does that mean, exactly?
It may sound overly simplistic but one of the primary meanings is that husbands need to understand that their wives are women, not men. Don't let the simple nature of that statement for you. There's so much that goes into a good understanding of your wife as a woman. It could take a lifetime to learn.
But I'm convinced that men who are willing to become students of their wives can be empowered by the Spirit of God to love their wives in a way that transforms their own home.
In this episode of the podcast, I share my understanding of 1st Peter 3:7 and how husbands can Learn to live with their wives in an understanding way, and in so doing, enrich the generational Legacy of their families.
Resources & People Mentioned www.DesiringGod.org - The ministry of John Piper Connect With Carey and Christian Home and Family Website: www.ChristianHomeandFamily.com On Facebook On Twitter On YouTube Subscribe to the CHAF Podcast On Android | Apple Podcasts | Stitcher | Google Play | Podbean | Spreaker | Emai
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Very Vibrant and Compelling
This show has some of the best insight and compels me to act in my Christian faith even more in passing my faith on to my own children. Great Job Cary is a great inspiration and disciple of God!
A Great Christian Family Podcast
If I could sum this ministry into a few words...it would be "I can see God's Heart" in this! The range of different topic are also special as most people won't talk about them. Keep doing what you doing.