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How does a child know when they are accepted as an adult? In our modern world, young people are often left to figure this out on their own. Many never do. I’m joined by author Steven Arms, who shares with me the family Rite of Passage tradition he experienced at 13 years old to welcome his as an adult member of his family. We discuss the importance…
 
Six years ago I started a simple habit of writing five lines in a daily journal. Today I share six insights I have from this practice as I try to encourage you to develop this four minute habit. Listen to me explain how I learned: 1. God is faithful 2. My seasons of discontent are truly seasonal 3. Ingrained habits take very little willpower 4. Man…
 
There is a general principle that states that 70% of our learning comes from experience, 20% from the people in our lives, and 10% from formalized instruction and book education. Today I reflect on how these truths might impact the way we parent and approach spiritual development in our households and churches. Resources Mentioned: What is the 70 2…
 
Whether you are surviving a middle school lunch room or trying to navigate the adult relationships in your life, there will always be mean people. Based on an excellent sermon on the same topic from Andy Stanley at North Point Church, I walk through insights about getting even vs. giving love. We look at how attempting to get even almost cost David…
 
Great marriages don’t happen without intentional work. There’s a saying: “your habits will determine the direction and quality of your life.” In the same way, your marriage habits will determine the direction and quality of your marriage. As we wrap up our Building Blocks for a Healthy Marriage series, Nathan and Amy Oliver share with us five power…
 
Some couples naturally communicate very well with one another. But for most, it’s a learned skill. If we are not intentional with our communication, one day we might wake up next to someone we not longer know nor care to know. Marriage therapists Nathan and Amy Oliver equip us today with key skills to enhance our marriage through better communicati…
 
Every marriage has conflict. It’s how you handle the conflict that determines the direction and quality of your marriage. My guests Nathan and Amy Oliver outline specific steps you can incorporate into your turbulent issues to end more connected than when you began. You’ll learn the power of a time out in the midst of a heated discussion. You’ll al…
 
This is the first of a four part series on building blocks for a healthy marriage. Before getting into communication and conflict techniques, it’s important to remember that a healthy marriage must have a solid foundation. Today I share three vital pillars for every marriage to thrive in a spiritually broken world. As you listen, consider whether y…
 
A few years ago I began to craft my ideal week. While it never goes according to plan, the practice has radically increased my fruitfulness and decreased my stress. Today I share with you the benefits of crafting your ideal work week as well as the process for creating your own. Scheduling Your Ideal Work Week: First off, before beginning your sche…
 
I’m frequently asked about which Bible Translation is best for children or teens. Today I share an overview of the differences between translations as well as thoughts on what Bible might be best for your child. Additionally I share a couple of “pre-Bible introductory resources”. I discuss why it’s important to consider what translation your church…
 
Lisa Appelo went to bed married one night and woke up a widow and single mom to seven children the next morning. Her story of navigating raw, tender grief stands as a testimony that—regardless of your circumstances—life can be good again after it falls apart. We talk about the experience of losing her husband dan, the process of navigating her own …
 
The teenage years can feel incredibly unstable for both parents and adolescents. Today I share three pillars that can help your teen have a stable self concept even as their bodies, brains, and friends keep changing. Learn how important it is for your teen to know “I’m loved,” “I’ve got what it takes,” and “I can take responsibility”. As moms and d…
 
The teenage years are a time of radical change. But it’s not just our teenagers who must go through change. Parenting styles and roles rapidly evolve as our children move closer to adulthood. In this episode I discuss three different types of parenting styles. We review why the drill sergeant and the helicopter parent fail to prepare our teens for …
 
This is last episode in a four part series to help parents and teens improve their communication and reduce conflict. It’s adapted from a parent/teen retreat and includes small group questions you help you process the material as a family. Conflict increases when there is no compelling purpose or mission. Today we begin to re-vision your family as …
 
This is part three of a four part series to help parents and teens improve their communication and reduce conflict. It’s adapted from a parent/teen retreat and includes small group questions you help you process the material as a family. Every family is going to have conflict. We need a better conflict toolbox to allow us to win the person and not …
 
This is part two of a four part series to help parents and teens improve their communication and reduce conflict. It’s adapted from a parent/teen retreat and includes small group questions you help you process the material as a family. Today’s episode focuses understanding the emotional love bank each family member has with one another. Once we lea…
 
This is part one of a four part series to help parents and teens improve their communication and reduce conflict. It’s adapted from a parent/teen retreat and includes small group questions you help you process the material as a family. Today’s episode focuses on understanding the spiritual warfare behind many household conflicts and gives you tools…
 
This year our family has been stretched and scattered. We have experienced significant disorientation as we walk through a leukemia relapsed. To combat the disorientation, we are developing a new practice of a Family Sabbath Dinner. After years of toying with the idea, talking about it with others, we are finally doing it. Today I want to walk you …
 
How do you measure a good day? What are the things you can control when everything feels out of control? As we walked through a month of ICU hospitalization with our son for his bone marrow transplant, he was unable to even leave his room for 28 days. To keep from focusing on the isolation and sickness, we developed a plan to measure a “good day”. …
 
Sometimes I feel the pressure to fix all of the broken things in my family and friends. It’s especially paralyzing when you cannot see what God is doing. In this devotional form John 5, we see that Jesus did nothing of his own initiative, but only what he saw His Father already doing. If the Son of God only worked in areas where He could see his Fa…
 
What would happen if you had to live without 95 percent of your “stuff”? That’s exactly what our family has been experiencing as we live in a rental house for a couple of months. The conclusion: we are just fine. It’s led me to think about how much stress and anxiety we normally live under because of our accumulation of stuff and commitments. How d…
 
There are few fears more gripping to a parent than the thought that one of their children might get sick... really sick. Sick to the point of real suffering. Sick to the point of no answers. Sick to the point of death. This is something we’ve been walking through as a family for eight years now. Having experienced the dreaded diagnosis of Acute Lym…
 
One of the common feelings shared by our children is "I feel like I don't fit in.” The truth is this feeling doesn’t go away just because we become adults. I've been thinking about that... From my personal experience and from over 20 years as a pastor, I have come to believe that "I don't fit in" is a more common feeling than "I fit in". Today I sh…
 
Fear of failure as a parent can paralyze a mom or dad. In my new “What if…?” series I look at the reality of our parental failure through the lens of the gospel. We talk about: 1. Why many of our failures don’t matter 2. The reality that there will be many times when you really blow it 3. How to view your failure in the light of the gospel. Failure…
 
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 74 percent of adults in the United States are overweight. After 10 years of marriage and five pregnancies, Amber Lia, a former college athlete and recreational bodybuilder, found herself to be one of them. Feeling ashamed of her physical state and knowing that she could and should do…
 
Pastor and author Jonathan Pitts joins me once again, this time to talk about the growth and adjustments from his newly blended family. We discuss setting-but also adapting-expectations, the mix of grief and joy in a blended family, and giving one another grace with feelings and emotions. Jonathan Pitts is an author, speaker and the executive pasto…
 
Parenting doesn’t stop just because your children turn 18. But it sure can be confusing! Willow Sanders joins me to talk about the transitions from boss to coach to advisor that a parent must make over the years. We share our struggles and encouragements as we seek to navigate the challenges of parenting adult children in a healthy way. Willow Sand…
 
Family worship is one of the most transformative habits a family can have. It’s also very intimidating to most moms and dads. Dr. Rob Rienow, founder of Visionary Families, helps simplify the process of starting and continuing family worship. With a simple toolbox of prayer, Bible reading, and other elements, you can implement a healthy habit of fa…
 
When Stacy Callender was a young mom she felt burdened as her children entered public school. This burden led her to join a Moms in Prayer group that changed the trajectory of her life, family, and mission. Stacy and I talk about the work of God through prayer, and how we grow in courage and faith by consistency praying with others. You can’t help …
 
It’s a challenge to balance boundaries and freedom, adventure and responsibility when raising a boy. My guest Monica Swanson shares here experience of raising boys who are sensitive to the things of Jesus while still being strong and capable in the face of the world’s trials. She gives examples of success and failures in her process as well as her …
 
Sometimes our worst fears in parenting do come true. When Daniel and Kelly Crawford were pregnant with their first son Abel, they learned that he had a life limiting diagnosis. Directed to find services to terminate the pregnancy, they instead chose to carry their little boy to birth. They were gifted fifteen days with their little Abel. Their expe…
 
When Steven and Mary Beth Chapman took their 11 year old daughter Emily on a mission trip to Haiti, it changed the trajectory of their family. A burden to adopt started with Emily and spread to each family member. As the Chapmans adopted three children from China, God connected them with other families that needed support in their own adoption jour…
 
Kids and teens are more stressed than ever. As our world bombards them with social media, bad news, and inescapable connectedness, researchers are finding depression and anxiety rates are higher than ever. Author and counselor Eliza Huie joins me once again with great practical advice for moms and dads on fostering emotional health in every stage o…
 
Our culture is obsessed with influencers and leadership, but parents often forget that their primary opportunity for leadership and influence is in their own household. My guests Jeff and Terra Mattson talk with me about the distance between what we say and what we do in our families, and how that damages our credibility. We discuss the necessity t…
 
What if you could go back in a time machine and give your young parenting self some advice? My guest Cynthia Yanof and I talk about this very idea on today’s episode. As Cynthia watched her little one play on the playground, she thought about the lessons she could teach her younger self based on how the children were playing. We talk through her ex…
 
Sometimes our expectations for our families are just way beyond reality. My guest Lisa Clark reminds us that we are all just sinners raising sinners, still in the process of transformation by the gospel of Jesus. We talk about expectations, personality differences among children, settings habits for a thriving family, and what to do if a child is r…
 
We want our home to be a place of peace and stability, but sometimes external and internal dynamics make this extremely challenging. Virgil Tanner and his wife Joy have parented their children on three continents in a variety of difficult circumstances. Today he shares how they learned to order their family stability around regular prayer and the f…
 
The pornography industry makes more money than the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL combined. Porn is hunting for every member of our family, and the effects on the body of Christ are devastating. There is no greater obstacle we face when it comes to discipleship, spiritual leadership, relational and spiritual health than the enslavement of porn addiction. T…
 
More than any other period in our lifetime, the world seems to be swirling in chaos. On top of that, many of us have personal crisis or perpetual responsibilities that leave us traumatized. Today I talk with Virgil Tanner about two strategies for centering on Christ in the midst of a chaotic world. The first strategy is for long term soul health. T…
 
If we want to change our families, we can do so by concentrating on one habit at a time. Today I brainstorm several potential family habits to consider for 2022, and encourage you to pick ONE new one to ingrain in your lives. Habits: Prayer Morning Time Meal Time Drive Time Bed Time The Word Read at dinner The Bible App Devotions Verse of the Week …
 
When charcoal is grouped together it burns hot and does its job. When you remove a briquette from the fire, it goes cold. In this short devotional I give a simple explanation for the importance of staying connected to the Body of Christ, in a manner that you can easily demonstrate with your family. Sign Up for My Things For Thursday Email - https:/…
 
People are different, and because of that, discipleship does not always look the same. It’s not a step by step process, and just because our children have “caught” one area of discipleship we cannot expect the “next” one will come naturally. In this short devotion, I share how we can give room for differences and encourage the good we see growing i…
 
As we get near Christmastime, its a wonderful time of year to review a perpetual quandary of our modern age: How to we teach our children contentment when they are surrounded by unrelenting advertisements for more and more stuff. Today I revisit an early episode where we talk about a three part strategy for teaching contentment in the home. 1. Teac…
 
We’re entering the season filled with awe, wonder, gratitude, and dread. It’s that time of year where we get to spend time with family we love. Sometimes, we get to spend time with family who are easier to love at a distance. Let’s be honest, just because we grew up together doesn’t mean we now have the same worldview, parenting styles, standards, …
 
Revisiting one of my favorite early episodes, I lay out principles that will help you win the hearts of your family and influence the culture of your home. Based on principles form Dale Carnegie’s classic How to Win Friends and Influence People, I share three principles that can help lower defensiveness and increase the willingness of each member o…
 
At some point every single one of us is going to experience a Category 5 crisis in our life. When our worst fears are realized, we face the challenge of processing what we believe about God. We also need to figure out what to do next. Today I revisit one of my early LPOP topics, sparked by our preparation for a potential Category 5 hurricane pointe…
 
As we celebrate 250 episodes and nearly five years of the Let’s Parent on Purpose podcast, my friend Jenny Price interviews me about my favorite things, serving through suffering, and keeping our family on mission. You’ll learn how Emily and I set parameters to grow in trust in our young marriage. How do I refill and recharge from work and family? …
 
We spend a great deal of time lamenting the messes in our lives: our homes are cluttered, our bank account stressed, and our commitments overwhelming. But the mess is often indicative of the abundant life God has given us. This devotion from Proverbs 14:4 reminds us to be thankful in the midst of the mess as we look forward to the day when Jesus ul…
 
One of the greatest fears shared by moms and dads around the world is their child becoming addicted to drugs. While the motivations for using and abusing alcohol and drugs have largely stayed the same, the actual substances continue to evolve, and their availability keeps increasing. Richard Capriola is the author of The Addicted Child: A Parents G…
 
One of the most common conversations I have is helping parents determine what to do when their child doesn’t want to come to church. The reasons are as varied as the child, and we want to make sure we understand why they might hate church before we jump to our response. Today I go through many different reasons why our children might not like churc…
 
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