Tag Archives: Parenting

Dad as Protector

10 Jan

Christmas 2012When Josiah was born, I remember the first time that I took him in my arms. I carried him like a fragile flower. I didn’t want to put him down, but felt as if he was safest in my arms. There he was protected, and I never wanted to let go. The years have passed, and Josiah barely fits in my arms. Even if he did, his energy level doesn’t allow him to slow down. Josiah spends his days running here and there, trying to keep himself occupied.

Today, in the middle of a friend’s birthday party, he fell and broke his arm. I was not there to catch him, save him, protect him. I wish I had been there, and kept him from the pain and suffering.

As I sat in the emergency room, the what ifs invaded my mind bringing with them feelings of sorrow and frustration. Why did it have to be him? Since birth, my son has had a broken leg, a broken finger, and two other broken bones.

It is not fair. It is not fair to him, and definitely not fair to me.

So why?

In that moment, I remembered that God is in control and not me. God has a plan for my little boy, and I need to accept that His plan includes a broken arm. I may not like it, or want it, but I have to live with it. His plan for Josiah may bring me to tears, or anger. However, there comes a point when I need to stop fighting, whining, and crying, and step forward in faith. A faith in God’s love. A trust in His care. A Hope that He will see my little boy through.

As I sat in the x-ray room, I took my first step – a step to trust that God has a plan. I braced myself as they put my little guy under, and prepared to set his arm. Tears rolled down my checks as I embraced that even pain can come from the hand of the Father. The lab tech, worrying that I was about to faint, asked me if I needed a chair. I sat down, and begin to feel relief. I am not sure if it was from the chair or the freedom that accompanies faith.

Today it was a broken arm. Tomorrow it will be a broken heart. Many things, good and bad, will come upon my little boy. Some that I like, and many that I won’t.

My arms can’t keep him safe forever, because God didn’t design us merely for protecting our children. Instead, God designed me for trusting – a concept that I find much more difficult.

Parenting Your Emerging Adult

8 Aug

Equipping yourself for each stage of your child’s development is important.  At each stage, you must pick up a few new tools.  Emerging adulthood is the life phase following adolescents (approximately 18-28 years old).  For a full description, read this!

Here is a podcast by Steven Argue, who is an expert on emerging adulthood and faith.  He is also the parent of three emerging adults.

Click Here for the Podcast!

If you work regularly with Emerging Adults, connect with Steve and many others through joining the EA Network on Facebook.

Steve joined the Fuller Theological Seminary faculty in June 2015 in a hybrid role as assistant professor of youth, family, and culture and as an applied research strategist with the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI). He is a thought leader and researcher with decades of on-the-ground ministry experience.

Questions to Ask before they leave for College

7 Aug

Fall is upon us, and student will soon be packing their bags and leaving for college.  If your child is leaving, Kara Powell from the Fuller Youth Institute released this article about preparing your child for college.  Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary.

When our oldest started high school, multiple older parents told me that high school would fly by. I didn’t believe them, but now that Nathan is diving into eleventh grade, I’ve jumped on the “high school goes so fast” bandwagon.

Here is the full article! 

Pass it along to someone you know is dropping off a student this fall.

If you work with emerging adults, please join Kara and other members of the Fuller Youth Institute as members of the EA Network – a networking site on Facebook.

Other resources:

Faith in the home – Spiritual Conversations with your Children

5 Jul

Research done among youth group participants by Fuller Institute revealed only 12% of mothers have regular dialogue with their children about spiritual or life issues.  Only 5% of teenagers reported that their fathers have regular dialogue with them regarding spiritual or life issues.

The lack of communication in our homes about our faith is clearly an obstacle to the passing on of our faith and a cause of the Millennial Exodus.

Most of us are familiar with our responsibility as parents to imprint our faith upon our offspring.  Deuteronomy 6:6-7 states…

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 

However, being a spiritual leader in the home is not always easy.

Many parents struggle with addressing spirituality within the home.  Some parents struggle because it was never modeled for them, or feel as if they are not equipped.  The main reason that parents don’t talk to their children about faith is because they are afraid. 

Yes.  Fear shuts down the conversation before it even begins.

We fear how our child may respond either through statements, questions, or actions.  As parents, we fear that our child may reject the faith that we believe – and that their unbelief means that they are rejecting us.

Another source of this fear could be that our child might struggle with the same doubts that we ourselves possess.  Most Christians do not like facing our doubts, but we try to ignore or bury them in other activity.  We know the “church answers” or party-line responses for our doubt, but those pesky doubts linger.  Instead of leading our child on this pathway of faith, we give our children the glib responses that we don’t truly believe.

While making spiritual conversations with your children doesn’t take a lot of training, it does take courage.

  • Be courageous – step out and speak to your child about their spiritual lives and beliefs.
  • Sit back and listen.  Don’t attempt to answer all their questions, or solve all their doubt.  As your children age, you should not be looking to convert them or change their beliefs.  You should seek understanding for yourself, and encourage them.  If you seek to change them, these conversations will always end in conflict.  If you seek to listen to them, these conversations will lead to a deeper fuller relationship with your child.
  • Speak to your journey – trials, failures, victories, and hopes.  Share with your child your own experiences, while acknowledging their autonomy to make their own decisions.
  • Reflect and pray.  Don’t express your concerns to your child, but express your thoughts through praying to God.  Process what you hear with your spouse or friends.  Having community with others who are parenting emerging adults is essential for maintaining your sanity.
  • Repeat. 

May God grant you the faith and courage you need to faithfully parent your emerging adult children.

Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder of EA Resources.  He has a passion to encourage parents of emerging adults, and faith communities who want to minister to their needs.  If he can help your community, please contact him at gdavid@earesources.org.

Hatred for that Cat in the Cradle.

13 Jun

I listen to various types of music – disco, Motown, classic rock, and current tunes.  There are very few classic songs that I do not love.

However, there is one song that I have hated my entire life.  A song that makes my skin crawl.  A song that will always make me change the radio station.  “Cat’s in the Cradle” is a 1974 folk rock song by Harry Chapin from the album Verities & Balderdash. 

The song is too depressing, and I still hate it.  Apparently my children feel the same way, because they now throw a fit anytime they hear it.

the middle - cat and cradle

The song was highlighted in an episode of the Middle.

Here is the original scene.  I am a fan of the Middle – Here is a post that I dedicated to the show.   The Middle will give parents an outside perspective of the issues facing emerging adults – with ALOT of laughter.

The second video definitely lightens the mood.  Here is the video.

While in the midst of raising your children, remember that like other life stages – emerging adulthood has its trials and blessings.

Whether you love or hate that song,

Remember to minimize the trials, and focus on the blessings. 

7 Lessons for New Fathers: Do It Anyway

16 Jun

By Ryan Casey Waller, pastor at Church of the Incarnation

Here are seven lessons for new fathers. What do you think? What would you add?

img_08171. IT’S OK TO BE SCARED.
I was terrified when my son was born. Overjoyed? You bet. But also terrified. I was thirty, in a loving, stable marriage, employed, and scared out of my bloody mind. Who’s actually ready to be a father? Nobody. So stand up, take a deep breath, and get ready to become the man you’ve always hoped you could be. You’re not ready. Do it anyway.

2. CHANGE EVERY DIAPER.
Yes, it’s gross. Yes, it’s hard in the dark. Yes, you’ll be terrible at it. Do it anyway. Wiping a baby will forever change the way you experience love. Something magical happens when we use our hands to love. I can’t explain it. You just have to do it. You’ll never regret it. Well, actually, you might regret some of them. Do it anyway.
.
3. SPY ON BABY AT NIGHT.
Your wife will threaten to kill you if you wake the baby. And sometimes, you will. And she will try to kill you. Do it anyway. There is no view on earth like the one from above the crib at night. If you want a sneak peak of the Good Lord’s shore this side of a heart attack, watch your baby sleep. Then slip your finger in his hand, and try not to lose it when the warmth of his palm becomes the only thing in the world.

Click HERE to read full post via Ryan Casey Waller.

 

3 Ways To Avoid Talking About Sex – Guest Post by Adam Mearse

20 Oct

Messages about sex fill our society, and many of the messages are not healthy.  In our sex-saturated society it is crucial that we speak to our children about their sexuality.

As fathers, it can be intimidating, but don’t worry…

  •   you don’t have to cover it all at once (but it should be the first of many conversations).
  •   you don’t have to know everything about it.
  •   you don’t have to be smooth and polished.

However, don’t wait until you feel ready or you may never do it.  Here is an article that I recently found that provides parents some pointers when talking to your children about sex.

In my conversations with emerging adults and teens around the country, one theme continually roars up to the surface…no one is talking with Christians about sexuality. I know that kind of statement colors way too many people with the same drab crayon, but my own research, and that of a lot of other good people studying the sexuality among Christian folks, makes it pretty clear that the exceptions are few – especially in the mainstream evangelical world.

Read the remainder of the article HERE!

memeupdated

Picture Source: http://adammearse.com

Adam Mearse is a pastor and researcher and blogger at www.AdamMearse.com.

%d bloggers like this: