Tag: children

Parenting: Taking the Long View – Inside Out – 2/28/24

Parenting: Taking the Long View – Inside Out – 2/28/24

Parenting: Taking the Long View

We want to raise our children well. Because of that, we look for instructions. That was true for parent and educational consultant Laura Spaulding.

 “It seemed to be that there was always just a right way presented to you, and some of it came from the Christian culture, and some of it came from the neighborhood, and some of it came from TV,” she says.

 Spaulding is the author of a January 2024 Gospel Coalition article titled Taking the Long View Revolutionized My Parenting.

Christian parents hold on to Proverbs 22:6, where we’re instructed to “train up a child in the way he should go,” so that, “when he is old, he will not depart from it. Taking that verse apart and recognizing what it really is saying: it is saying, ‘Start them this way, and it finishes this way.’ Like all the middle is so unique to each person,” she says.

 Two decades into her parenting journey, Spaulding believes she’s developed some perspective.

 “The chief end of parenting is not getting kids into perfect colleges so that they can find the perfect job and marry the perfect spouse, so that they could turn around and have perfect kids of their own,” she says. “The chief end of parenting, just like the chief end of life, is perfection for all eternity.”

Gospel Coalition

 That’s the kind of perfection that doesn’t come from formulas. It comes from Christ. “The ‘perfection for all eternity’ comes at the end of the race. At the end of the journey. And so our job as parents is to prepare our kids for a journey. It is to get them started.”

Get to know your children well, she says, and parent them accordingly. “Put the parenting books away and instead study the child in your arms,” she says, “really paying attention to what are their unique gifts and limitations. What motivates them. What stresses them out. What lights them up.”

 Proverbs 22:6, Spaulding says, is a gracious invitation for taking a long view on the development of our children. “Use what you learn about them to help them know themselves, to help them know and relate to their Creator, to help prepare them for the good works that God has prepared in advance for them to do.

Join us for our 18-minute conversation by listening to the podcast.


Read the article that inspired this conversation here.

Read Laura Spaulding’s other writing here.



Inside Out – Children’s emotions ….and the Psalms – 1/24/24

Inside Out – Children’s emotions ….and the Psalms – 1/24/24

Living your faith, from the “Inside Out”

If you’re having trouble helping your kids negotiate their emotions, you’re not alone.  

 “We always fall into kind of two ends of a spectrum,” says writer and Bible teacher Courtney Reissig. “We either want to protect them too much from experiencing hard things, or we don’t want them to feel or express those hard things when life happens. And we all probably know which one we fall into.”   

Reissig recommends parents turn to the Psalms for help. She’s the author of the recent Gospel Coalition article “Use the Psalms to Teach Kids About Feelings.”  

 “Psalms speak to very real feelings and very real emotions,” she says, “and that’s helpful to us because God created us to feel things, and then He’s given us a whole book of the Bible that teaches us how to navigate those feelings and to express those feeling back to God. Many of them are prayers or songs that we sing back to God. And so we take all of our feelings and all of our emotions and then we move them towards the only one who can do anything with what we’re feeling.”  

 Learn more about how the Psalms can help children express and understand their emotions by listening to our 14-minute podcast.  Read what Courtney Reissig is writing here

Inside Out – Biblical Worldview – Barna Research – 11/01/23

Inside Out – Biblical Worldview – Barna Research – 11/01/23

We develop our way of looking at the world—our worldview—before we turn 13.

Remarkably, new research finds that fewer than one in ten parents think through how to guide their children spiritually during those critical years.  

Dr. George Barna directs the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University and includes these findings in his new book Raising Spiritual Champions: Nurturing Your Child’s Heart, Mind and Soul. “Everybody has a worldview. You need a worldview to get through the day,” Barna says. “So children are going to develop a worldview whether their parents are involved in it or not. That is a vacuum that has to be filled.” 

If parents don’t work toward developing their children’s spiritual life, other worldviews will fill that void. “Without their parents being there to help guide them, they’re just doing the best they can to make sense of it all.” Barna offers ways to help parents to live out their roles as disciple-makers.  “The first of those is to recognize that God gave them these children to raise up to be disciples,” he says.  So it’s important to be intentional and not outsource this critical part of parenting.  

“They have to have not only a commitment, but a plan to take in these children during those formative 12 years, and do everything they can to lead them down the right path.” That begins by knowing what beliefs you as a parent want your children to embrace.  “Why? Because we do what we believe. In essence, your worldview is based on your beliefs, that then gets translated into behavior,” he says.  

“The only way that you can be Christlike is to think like Jesus so that you can live like Jesus.” 

Children see when stated beliefs are not reflected in behavior.  “Kids don’t trust their parents anymore because their parents say one thing and do another. You want to get to your kids? Model the beliefs that you’re trying to teach them. When they see you live it out, then they’re going to say, ‘Okay, I see it. It works. My parents believe it. I’m going to run with it.’” 

Underlying all of this, Dr. George Barna recommends that Christian parents bear in mind the context of all of their parenting.  “Parenting is a vital battle in the spiritual war in which we live,” he says. “We have to be aware of the nature of that battle if we’re going to fight it well.” 

Follow-up links for more information and inspiration:


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