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.



Hometown Heroes – Bill Matteson – 2/27/24

Hometown Heroes – Bill Matteson – 2/27/24

Family Life’s “Hometown Heroes” Feature

COPE is “Children of Opioid Parents and Empowerment”.

The program in Chautauqua County, New York, offers of full year of services to children and teens who lost a parent to an opioid overdose.

Bill Matteson is the executive director of the COPE Foundation 19. He knows this tragedy personally. One of his sons died at age 29 due to heroin laced with fentanyl, leaving three children without their father. Matteson offers his family’s story as an encouragement — and a caution — to other families.

In this conversation, he also tells us about how the COPE program became a positive step his pastor promised could come from the disaster, as well as the ways COPE reaches out to guide other children who have faced something similar. It is open as well to children who This effort also includes counseling sessions with a Christian agency.




Hometown Heroes” is hosted by Family Life’s Mark Webster. He talks with individuals throughout Pennsylvania and New York who are transforming lives and answering real human needs in their local communities.

This feature airs during the Family Life Noon Report on Tuesdays, and is available on our News Podcasts website and through most podcast sources. You are invited to subscribe to this feature — and to share this interview with anyone who may find it helpful for their circumstance, or for a congregation looking to create a similar outreach.

Missions Pulse – Community Bible Study – 2/26/24

Missions Pulse – Community Bible Study – 2/26/24

Missions Pulse : Community Bible Study

An international movement, with local and online options, brings diverse people together to study Christian Scriptures. 

Community Bible Study offers short-term groups for all age groups and stages of life. Its mission statement: Transform lives through the Word of God.

The local coordinator of New York State groups says CBS brings together people from a variety of Christian backgrounds, people who might not otherwise get together, become friends, and learn from each other. Regional director Pat Bailey tells our Abigail Hofland that a northern New York prayer effort has now brought together 40 children and they recently registered their 100th adult.

Listen to our podcast here, and consider sharing it with other friends and church members.

More information about Community Bible Study:

Capital Connection – 2/23/24

Capital Connection – 2/23/24

Capital Connection” on Family Life

Christian Watchdogs Michael Geer and Jason McGuire take a deep dive into the issues that matter from the state capitals every Friday on “Capital Connection“.  Here’s what’s happening this week.


Why New York may reject new Congressional Districts

A Pennsylvania Plan to gut Cyber-Charter Schools

One-Party Rule here to stay in Albany ?


Campus Ministry – Positive Impact for Today’s Young Adults – 2/22/24

Campus Ministry – Positive Impact for Today’s Young Adults – 2/22/24

Christian outreach and support for today’s young adults has transformed — yet again.

The unique needs and perspectives of this generation of college students has shaped how campus ministries are doing their work. Today on Family Life, we hear from Mike Andrews, Impact Ministry’s campus pastor at Penn State Altoona.

Andrews tells us about how the most significant impact which meets students where their lives are is primarily in small groups and Bible studies. Even for young people who have never had experiences in a church — or who have wandered away from an earlier faith — he says a hallmark of this generation is an openness to talk about deep core values and to explore spiritual issues.

Greg Gillispie also asks Andrews to give guidance to local church leaders on effective ways to shape youth ministries and to encourage the children of the church to plug into campus ministries if they go away to school.

For more information:

  • The ImpacttheU website
  • A promotional video to show high school and college students




Real Answers – How to Fight, Right – 2/21/24

Real Answers – How to Fight, Right – 2/21/24

Real Answers – How to Fight, Right – 2/21/24

New research discusses factors that lead to divorce. How people fight is an important dynamic.

Christian counselor Christopher Anderson joins Family Life’s Sarah Harnish to talk about how to fight in our relationships. He is not (obviously) encouraging spouses to seek out arguments, but to be able to handle disagreements well.

Attentive listening matters, he says. So does awareness on when to take a timeout to allow emotions to settle, so that the people involved can avoid increasing the tensions when differences arise. Anderson also suggests another good practice: writing out questions and responses ahead of time, when a problem needs solved.



“Real Answers” is a Wednesday Family Life news feature which helps Christians tackle the tough topics in our everyday lives. Check out our archives for more advice and encouragement — on relationships, parenting, work place issues, faith dilemmas and more, seeking a Biblical perspective on how to cope with and thrive in life.


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