A Theology of the Family  By Scott Brown and Jeff Pollard

“This book presents a perspective on the family largely forgotten by the modern church. There are fifty-six authors featured in this volume; authors such as: John Bunyan, Jonathan Edwards, John Gill, William Gouge, Matthew Henry, Martin Luther, A.W. Pink, J. C. Ryle, R. C. Sproul, Charles Spurgeon, and Thomas Watson. Each of them give a powerful testimony that the twenty-first-century church needs to be reminded of what she used to believe about family life. These authors bring a measure of the correction and the balm necessary to heal our amnesia and return us to biblical order.”

The Best Parental Control Software for 2020  by Protect Young Eyes

“We tried really hard to beat them. Thinking like a motivated, hormonal, tech-savvy, social media addicted, a 13-year-old teen who wants to evade all blockades that “the parentals” have put in place. Keyword searches. Circumvention. Backdoors. Even though we believe that 90% of kids aren’t like this, we know that “10% kid” pretty well.”

How Do I Bless My Children Before Bed?  by John Piper

” . . . look your children in the eye, and speak grace and peace into their lives based on the gift of God in the death of Jesus. And make plain the central blessings that Christ has purchased for his children: freedom from sin, everlasting life, everlasting joy, the personal presence of God — of Jesus — keeping them through all the hardships of life and suffering.”

Is Secondhand Screen Time the New Secondhand Smoking?  By Joelle Renstrom

” . . . I began researching screen addiction and conducting my own surveys. Roughly 20% of my students have used the word “addiction” when describing their phone habits, and many more have expressed misgivings about their phone use. While I encourage them to examine their habits, I blame students less for their tech addiction than I did a decade ago. They’ve learned this behavior from adults – in many cases since the moment they were born.”*

            Here is a book suggestion, and a review of the book, that may be helpful when thinking about our smartphone habits.

 Teens Need to Know They Can Make Money in Trade Careers  by Katie Bingham-Smith

“The trades are such a wonderful option for our kids. They are needed, they pay well, and the skills learned will be carried throughout a lifetime. The facts should be presented to them earlier in their life so it at least gets their brains wrapped around what a great way the trades can be to make a living.”

When Church Is Optional, You Set up Your Kids to Fail   by Blake Laberee

“It is a sad day when spiritual care of kids is pawned off onto the church, who having them for an hour or two each week is supposed to make up for the lack of spiritual vitality and leadership at home. Is it any wonder that kids get “bored” and fall away? It is even less of a wonder that upon the child falling away the blame is often placed directly on the lap of the church. Imagine if parents took to regularly praying with, studying with, and investing spiritually into their kids!”

Wise Counsel for Parents & Teens Mini-Conference  by Faith Bible Church

Faith Bible Church is pleased to host this one-day seminar Saturday, April 25, 2020, from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM on “Wise Counsel for Parents and Teens” with Lou Priolo.  Topics that will be discussed: 1) What Does It Mean to Be a Teen, 2) Helping Provocative Parents, 3) Bitterness: The Root That Polutes, 4) Danger Signs of an Unhealthy Dating Relationship.”

 Soli Deo Gloria,

Adam B. Burrell

 

*While I do not agree with every philosophy found in this research, this is a lot of good data that should help us to think about how much screen time we have and how much we allow our children to participate in.  

Dads, Your Children Need Both Quality and Quantity Time with You

“So dads, there’s a biblical mandate to raise your kids and invest time in them to do so. And there’s a biblical mandate to work hard to provide for your family. Just make sure that your work commitments don’t overshadow your need to be there for your kids.”.

Dear Church—Please Don’t Overlook or Undervalue the Young

“Expect wiggles, potty breaks, and the occasional outburst of a young child. It happens in your home (or did once upon a time), so you can expect it to happen on the church campus too. It may not be your conviction to have your children with you during the worship service or small group discipleship class. Some churches may offer various discipleship classes or nurseries for younger children and you may choose to use such resources for your children. However, don’t look down upon mothers who have different convictions. Furthermore, don’t become frustrated with children and babies near you during a worship service. Consider the sound of babies among your church as a sign of health and the blessing of God.”

Parental Controls We Recommend (For Internet and Smartphones)

“Parental controls are NOT a replacement for parenting. Parental controls are NOT ‘set it and forget it.’ Parental controls ARE a great way to minimize accidental exposures to inappropriate online content. The right parental control solution is going to be different for different families. We believe that the parental control and monitoring solutions above should work for MOST families.”

The Counter-Cultural Vocation of Homemaking

“We recently received an email from one of Nick’s tenth-grade [public school] teachers, sent to all the parents: “I would like to invite parents to come to our class to speak about the career they chose. I want to expose the student to a variety of careers and experiences. Would you like to come and speak to us?” My very first thought was for Aileen: “I think you should go as a stay-at-home mom.”

The Most Dangerous Temptation That Faces Our Youth – Choosing their Friends

“Social media is not the culprit. Traditional media, in general, is not the culprit. Music is not the culprit. Yes, those outlets can be horrible, immoral, and soul-crushing. But the real culprit lies in the quality of the friends we choose both within the media and in real life. Choose good friends on social media and you’ll have a good feed. Choose good friends in real life and you’ll probably stay away from bad movies, TV shows, music.”

*While I don’t agree with every conclusion that is made here, I do believe that there are some good bits of wisdom to be had when thinking about our children’s friends.

TikTok Is A Pedophile Magnet And Unsafe For Kids

“If your child is using Tiktok, one of the most popular video-sharing apps, they might not be safe as many have regarded it as a pedophile magnet.”

What Every Marriage Needs Most

“Forgiveness is an awesome and wonderful thing. Every spouse needs to make a vocation out of asking forgiveness and giving forgiveness. It has to happen almost daily, I would say.”

Soli Deo Gloria,

Adam B. Burrell

In January 2013, in Douglasville, Georgia a conference was born.  Now there were many other conferences that one could attend in Reformed circles.  At the time there was T4G, Shepherds’ Conference, Bethlehem Conference, and Ligonier.  Those were (and still are) all fine conferences, and truth be told, G3 was never formed to compete with them.  It was formed with the purpose of having a solid, theologically rich conference in the southeast which hoped to strengthen the local church.  I first heard about the conference while attending the Ligonier Conference in 2012.  At that time I was on staff at a Baptist church in the Atlanta area, and when I saw that there was going to be a conference this close to me, I knew that I wanted to attend.  When January rolled around, two friends and I descended on the little town just west of Atlanta and my life has forever been changed because of it.

When I think of G3, I always think of it with fond memories.  I have yet to miss a single conference in the last seven years and Lord willing, I will continue on with that trajectory.  With the 8th annual conference beginning this week, I wanted to express why I think G3 is special and why I love G3 so much.  And like any good Reformed guy, I have 5 points or reasons why.

The Fellowship

I have heard many people say that meeting each year at G3 is like having an annual family reunion.  Getting to see old friends in the vendor hall or meeting someone new while waiting in line for lunch and talking about the glories of God is just one of the benefits of the conference. This conference provides a place of genuine love, genuine friendship, and genuine worship all in one place.  It is where so many of the “one another” passages are able to be applied.  One of the reasons I love G3 is simply because of the fellowship of both the local church and the church universal.  It is indeed a sweet fellowship shared by all.

The Singing

One of the first things that struck me at the very first conference in 2013 was the singing.  I have been to a lot of concerts and special church singings in my life, but there was just something different about the singing that first year.  There were 700 voices lifted as one.  The music was good, but it was the voices of the congregation that carried the songs.  It was a mix of old and new hymnody, but every song was dripping with theological truth.  Every year it is the same . . .  Christ-centered, robust singing. This year we are expecting over 5,000 in attendance.  What a joy it will be to sing with so many, lifting praise and making melody in our heart to the Lord.

The Accessibility

One of the unique things about G3 is that there is no fencing of the speakers.  At many conferences, the preacher often stays in the green room while they are not speaking.  The attendees do not really get a chance to interact with the speakers.  This is not the case at this conference.  It is common to see many of the speakers out and about roaming the vendor hall, or sitting in the back of the conference center listening to one of the other speakers.  Many will stand and talk to conference-goers after their sessions or during the break.  The speakers are human.  They are not superhuman and untouchable.  At G3, one is able to speak with a Tim Challies or a Paul Washer just like you would your own pastor after the morning service.  It is a unique feature that I am thankful for.

The Church

Long before I became an elder at Pray’s Mill Baptist Church I was attending the conference.  There has always been a heavy emphasis placed on the local church.  It is always stated each year, “This conference is not a reality.  This is a taste of heaven where every one of like-mind gathers to worship.”  These words are true.  We gather to be encouraged, but then scatter to go back to our own local place of worship.  The hope is that when you leave you will be encouraged to go back to serve the Lord through your local church.  Pray’s Mill members love to serve the attendees of the conference.  Over half of our congregation helps serve in some capacity.  The very genesis of this conference was by a local church with the purpose of strengthening the local church and you can see how the Lord has done just that over the years.  If you look over the audience you will find young and old, black and white, yellow and red, pastor and janitor, men and women.  This is the church.  I love the emphasis on the local church while gathered with the church universal.  This is just another reason that I love G3.

The Preaching

By far the best part of the conference is the preaching.  There is a wide diversity of preachers who stand in the pulpit each year, but one thing that has always remained consistent is the quality of the preaching.  In my 7 years of attending this conference, I have to say that I cannot remember a “bad sermon.”  Richard Baxter has famously said, “I preached as never sure to preach again, and as a dying man to dying men.”  This is what it seems like is being done sermon after sermon at the conference.  The Lord is magnified.  The Scriptures are held high and exposited.  The listeners have no choice but to respond to the heralded.  Over the years I have wept, laughed, been deeply moved by my own sin, and rejoiced in the truths of the gospel, all of this because of the Spirit’s work in me through the preaching of the Word.  Bar none, the preaching at G3 is at the top of the list of why I love G3.

I don’t love G3 just because the Lord used it to move my family to Douglasville, Georgia.  Long before I ever became a pastor at Pray’s Mill I loved this conference.  I have long called this week in January “my second Christmas.”  Now I get the pleasure of working alongside an amazing church that is made up of some amazing people to help put on the conference.  What a joy and a blessing.  I love G3 because for three days I get to worship the Lord through the preached Word and sing gospel-rich songs with some of my most favorite people on the planet.  The Lord has used this conference to enrich my soul over the years.  I have no doubt that he will do the same this week. I have made many friends because of this conference.  I have many memories because of it as well.  Yet more than that, I have grown to love the Lord more because of it . . . and that is truly why I can say, “I love the G3 Conference.”

Soli Deo Gloria,

Adam B. Burrell

Repentance is one of the greatest gifts God has ever given His people.  While repentance is something that is a command (Acts 17:30), we also see that it is a generous gift (Acts 11:18, II Timothy 2:25) as well.  A few years ago, I was reading a book by the late Dr. RC Sproul.  In it, he provided an illustration that has profoundly impacted my way of thinking about repentance.  He wrote about an encounter that he once had with one of his parishioners.  He explained:

 “A man distraught about a guilt problem once came to me saying, ‘I’ve asked God to forgive me of a sin over and over, but I still feel guilty.  What can I do?’ This situation did not involve the multiple repetitions of the same sin, but the multiple confession of a sin committed once.

‘You must pray again and ask God to forgive you,’ I replied.  A look of frustrated impatience came to his eyes. ‘But, I’ve done that!’ he exclaimed.  ‘I’ve asked God over and over again to forgive me.  What good will it do to ask him again?’

In my reply I applied the proverbial firm force of the board to the head of the mule: ‘I’m not suggesting that you ask God to forgive you for that sin.  I’m asking you to seek forgiveness for your arrogance.’

The man was incredulous.  ‘Arrogance? What arrogance?’ the man was assuming that his repeated entireties for a pardon were proof positive of his humility.  He was so contrite over his sin that he felt he had to repent for it forever.  His sin was too great to be pardoned by one dose of repentance.  He was going to suffer for his sin no matter how gracious God was.   Pride had fixed a barrier to this man’s acceptance of forgiveness. When God promised us that He will forgive us, we insult His integrity when we refuse to accept it.  To forgive ourselves after God has forgiven us is a duty as well as a privilege.[1]

I don’t think this man’s experience is unique.  Indeed, I think it is actually very common. However, it is thinking like this that has allowed Satan to rob us of the joy of repentance.  This should never be the case for the believer. There are two ways that Satan can rob a Christian of their repentance, yet we don’t have to let him.

Don’t let him trick you into thinking you don’t need to repent of the “small” sins.

“Little sins” can often go unnoticed by the human eye and heart.  Let’s say that you didn’t pay enough money at the parking meter today, and you ended up getting a ticket.  Truth be told, it kind of frustrated you and Romans 13 doesn’t really feel like it applies here right?  Your husband did something to hurt you, though he didn’t even know it.  You go to bed angry, but by the next morning you just brush it off and go on.  Your child has talked back for the third time today, and that was the last straw.  You discipline them, but you did so in anger.  You justify your over-reaching discipline by saying to yourself, “They were in the wrong.  They didn’t honor me.”  It seems like small stuff to many, but it is not in the eyes of God.  Though it may seem insignificant, it is the local government’s right to put in parking meters on their property.  And as Christians, we are called to “obey the government” and “those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God” (Romans 13:1-2).  Even though your husband may have frustrated you, it was your responsibility to “not let the sun go down on your anger” (Ephesians 4:26).  While your children needed discipline for their dishonor, we as parents are to discipline them in love, and not out of anger or done so out of control (Ephesians 6:4).  When we let these “little sins” go unrepented, we are robbed of our proper communion with the Lord.  Don’t let Satan convince you that those “small” sins are not worth praying about.

Don’t let him drag you down with guilt from past sins if they are forgiven sins.

Guilt and shame have their place. The Holy Spirit uses them to bring a person to repentance (II Corinthians 7:10). Yet, once a person repents of their sin, then their guilt and shame are removed (Romans 8:1). This is the beauty of repentance.  The psalmist reminds us of a great truth when he wrote, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).  When we sin, we must repent.  When we repent we must realize that God is the one to whom we have offended.   And while there still may be earthly consequences for our sins, we can rest in knowing that our standing with God is righteous.  We do not have to crumble under the weight of guilt and shame the way Dr. Sproul’s parishioner did.  Satan would love to do this to you.  If he can rob you of your joy and freedom in Christ by reminding you of your past sin, he will do so.  Yet in Christ, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).   Let us all remember as Dr. Sproul has said, “When God promised us that He will forgive us, we insult His integrity when we refuse to accept it.  To forgive ourselves after God has forgiven us is a duty as well as a privilege.[2]

When we turn away from our sin, we are to turn to God.  When we do this, he accepts our repentant plea.  When God says that something is good, we must believe it.  Repentance is a gift from God to his people. So, next time you want to forget about that little sin, DON’T.  Repent of it, and be freed from the guilt of it.  The next time you want to fall to your knees under the weight of a past sin that Satan brings to your remembrance, DON’T.  Plead the blood and know that God has forgiven you of that sin, and in that forgiveness, you no longer must bear the weight of guilt and shame.  Jesus took it for you.  You bear it no more.   Don’t let Satan rob you of your repentance.  If you are the Lord’s, you are free in Christ, so matter what Satan may try to make you think.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Adam B. Burrell

[1] Sproul, R.C. Does Prayer Change Things. (Lake Mary: Ligonier Ministries, 2009), 39-40.

[2] Sproul, R.C. Does Prayer Change Things. (Lake Mary: Ligonier Ministries, 2009), 40.

Albert Mohler Offers 10 Points on Complementarianism in the SBC

“Albert Mohler delivered a timely and needed chapel message on complementarianism. It is a message that is timely not only for our seminary community but also for the entire denomination . . .”

Go Home and Love Your Wife by Voddie Baucham

In this 3 minute clip, Dr. Voddie Baucham explains why it is “absolutely inexcusable for a Christian man to stop loving his wife.”  He explains how love is an act of the will and a choice, not based on feelings, yet not void of feelings either.

Help! My Teen Is Questioning the Faith by Melissa Kruger

“So when your teens start to wrestle with their faith, don’t freak out. Don’t get angry. Don’t be insecure. Don’t fret. Don’t be condescending. Take your concerns to God and entrust your fears to him. Be patient and prayerful, loving and kind. Help your teen find answers to their questions, but know that only the Spirit can give discernment.”

IOS 13 Parental Controls Explained

“On September 19, 2019, iOS 13 released to the public. As usual, a number of things changed but we wanted to focus in on three changes that impact parents and kids the most: Photo Privacy, Screen Time, and Apple Watch.

Joy to the World: Daily Readings for Advent by John Piper

“Don’t let Christmas sneak up on you this year. Prepare your heart and take joy in the spiritual journey that leads you to that holy day! Dr. Piper offers 25 devotional readings to sweeten your worship of God’s Son this December, keeping candy and candles in their proper place and adoring Jesus above all.”

Modesty Matters: What not to Wear by Tim Challies

“It is not a sin to look handsome or to look beautiful. Far from it! However, it is a sin to dress in such a way that you deliberately draw attention to yourself instead of to God. If your great desire is to be noticed, you will not be concerned with displaying godly character.”

Soli Deo Gloria,

Adam B. Burrell

 

 

 

12 Ways to Love Your Wayward Child by Abraham Piper

“Many parents are brokenhearted and completely baffled by their unbelieving son or daughter. They have no clue why the child they raised well is making such awful, destructive decisions. I’ve never been one of these parents, but I have been one of these sons. Reflecting back on that experience, I offer these suggestions to help you reach out to your wayward child.”

Exploring the Bible: A Bible Reading Plan for Kids by David Murray

“Introduce your 6 to 12-year-olds to the most important passages and big-picture story line of the Bible! Each of the 365 entries includes a brief Scripture passage and space to write a daily prayer, along with either a question to answer or a verse to write out.”

From Preparing to Maintaining . . . Here Are Some Helpful Books For Every Season of Your Love Life by Adam Burrell

“One of the most rewarding things that I get to do as a pastor to families is to be a resource for them.  I have been blessed with the gift of time as a pastor.  During this time, I have been able to sort through a lot of books and studies dealing with family life.  With all of the thousands of books out there dealing with pre-marriage, young marriage, renewing and renovating one’s marriage, and child-rearing, I have gathered a list of several great books that I believe are helpful that I would like to share.”

Hope and Help for Parents (A Sermon) by Randy Patton

Pastor and Nouthetic counselor, Randy Patton, preaches a very helpful sermon on raising and rearing children from Ephesians 6:4.  It is both deeply biblical and practical at the same time.  I would encourage you to set aside an hour to listen to this sermon.

Risen Motherhood (A Book Review) by Tim Challies

“Risen Motherhood is a strong work and one that nicely fits a niche. Where so many books on mothering are essentially legalistic and offer news no better than ‘you need to try harder,’ this one grounds mothers in the finished work of Jesus Christ. It aptly shows that the gospel really does make every bit of difference not only in eternity but in everyday life as well.”

Dating Principles by Voddie Baucham

During a Q&A at the “Abide Faith, Hope, Love” conference Dr. Baucham answers the question, “What are biblical principles for Christian dating?”  He provides some very helpful and biblical principles for what Christian dating should look like.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Adam B. Burrell

Imagine the scene at Thanksgiving.  You have the table set just perfectly.  You have the adults’ table, and the kids’ table with everyone’s plates, cutlery, and origami folded napkins prepared for your family to enjoy a wonderful meal together.  You have your spot for the turkey, your spot for the ham, and all the other fixings for your meal.  You know exactly where everything goes to make your Thanksgiving experience optimal.  Now picture something different: plates just tossed everywhere, no napkins, there is a fork here or there, and the spoons are actually dirty . . . oh, and the kids’ table has been completely forgotten.  Is this a picture of Thanksgiving bliss, or a recipe for disaster?  Any mother that saw this second scene would immediately rush to reset the table(s).

While most of us would like to think our homes function more like the hallmark picture that was painted first, the reality is, sometimes in our day to day family life we find ourselves at the second table and we just want to throw up our hands and throw in the towel.  Life gets hectic.  Children get disrespectful.  It can seem like everything is just flipped upside-down.  If this is the case in your home, as it is in mine at times, let me suggest something . . . it may be time to reset the table.

Resetting our Roles

Scripture clearly identifies the roles of all family members in the home.  God is the supreme authority in any Christian home.  Everyone must submit to Him and His Word.  If things seem to be flipped upside-down in your home, chances are the Lord is not looked at as the supreme authority there.  Next, we find the father is called to be the spiritual leader in the home.  He is to be the head of the house (Ephesians 5:23).  If things at home have gotten unruly, how is the father helping to straighten it up?  Since he is the head, he must be involved in the fix.  Next, we find the role of wife and mother.  While she is to be submissive to her husband, she also has been given the responsibility to be the keeper of the home (Titus 2:4-5).  In this role, she has authority over the children just as the father does.  And when we come to the children, their role is to be submissive to both mom and dad as they submit to the Lord.  This is the structure that the Lord expects in an orderly home.  And if your family table has dirty and broken dishes lying around, chances are, the roles have been subverted in some way.  It may be time for a reset.

Resetting our Responsibilities

Thinking through the roles in the home should allow us to see our responsibilities clearly.  When a child expresses their desire to “not eat their vegetables” with a loud but silent eye role of disgust . . . they need to remember their role.  A child is responsible to obey his or her father and mother (Ephesians 6:1).  Their responsibility is to eat that vegetable out of honor and appreciation (Philippians 2:14).  Their responsibility is not to offer an opinion (unless allowed by the parents), but to remember their role and respond appropriately. A mother has authority over the child and is to assist her husband in carrying out his responsibilities (Ephesians 5:22, Titus 2:4).  A father is charged with teaching, encouraging, and disciplining his child as well as loving and leading his wife (Ephesians 5:25-29, Ephesians 6:1).  In the home, everyone has responsibilities.  When spaghetti starts flying, or voices get raised in disagreement, chances are the responsibilities have been tossed aside.  This is when everything becomes a mess.  It is time for a reset.

Resetting our Relationships 

In many homes in America, the children rule the house.  While they do not pay the mortgage, the car payment, provide food to eat, shelter, or clothing . . . many children think that the home revolves around them and their needs.  And unfortunately, many parents allow this to happen.  At first, it is innocent and can even seem funny when your 4-year old says, “Mommy, get me some milk” while playing with her toys.  Yet, it isn’t nearly as funny, when your 16-year-old starts to tell you when and where they are going on Friday instead of asking permission to do so.  It can be easy to let their schedules rule us.  Many of us want them to be well-rounded and involved in a variety of things that stimulate personal growth.  So, we run them from the ball field to piano practice.  Then there are church functions and other school activities.  We become slaves to their schedule.  Then it happens.  The children become the center of all that is done.  The mother becomes the taxi driver.  The father . . .the fan.  The relationship that God designed for the good of the home has become a chaotic blur instead of a blessing.  If this routine has distorted the relationships in your home, it may well be time for a reset.

Joel Beeke has said, “You are either the best or worst book that your children will ever read.”  This is a profound statement.  The way our children see us live out the truth of scriptures will either shape them for the good, or the bad.   When we think about our homes, most of us, I imagine, want it to be a place of fond memories, love, and encouragement.  But, to do this, there has to be order.  If there is no order at dinner time, there can be no dinner time.  Without order, there will be little fond memories, a lack of love, and frustration more than encouragement.  Just like the dinner table, our homes need order.  God has set the order for our homes.  Husbands, love your wife well.  Fathers, be active in the training of your children.  Wives, respect and love your husbands.  Mom, love your children enough to teach and require order.  Children, obey and honor your parents.  It is required by God.  Children will be accountable to God for this.

The family table is a wonderful place.  It is here where we can often see it as a metaphor for life in the home.  So, if your family table looks like something that Joanna Gains has staged, that is a blessing.  But don’t let it become an issue of pride.  Praise the Lord for His blessings in it, but continue to pursue a godly home humbly.  But, if it looks a little more like the dinner scene from the 1991 classic “Hook” movie, it may be time to start afresh and reset that table.  The Lord has provided the way to do so.  It may take some time and some work, but it will be well worth the effort.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Adam B. Burrell

Are Sundays Good for Babies?

The quick answer to the question is, Yes!  Megan Hill reminds us that, “ . . . The disruption of Sunday is a chance to remember that even our schedules are under the Lord’s authority. Once a week, the Lord breaks into our routine and reminds us that naptimes and snacktimes are not ultimate, nor are they determined by our own desires. In all things, we serve the Lord.”

Does Your Schedule Know You’re a Christian Dad?

“We probably won’t see an app come along anytime soon that informs us how our schedule lines up with our responsibilities as Christian dads. But we can pray that the Holy Spirit will grow our love for the gospel and our desire to faithfully instruct our children from that love with as much of our schedule as we can within the limited years in which God places them in our care.”

Five Lessons Learned from Twenty Years of Marriage

These are 5 timeless lessons that we can all learn from, whether you are a newlywed or you have been married for 40 years.  Divito says, “ . . .We still have many struggles. We argue, we can become cold and distant toward one another, and we don’t always see things eye-to-eye. But because of God’s love for us, with Christ’s grace toward us, and by the Holy Spirit’s strength in us, our marriage is like a beautiful flower that continues to flourish with age.” This is a refreshing reminder to all would be married couples or seasoned couples alike.

How to Have Assurance of Your Salvation

“Are you plagued with fears and doubts regarding your salvation? Ask yourself a couple of very important questions as you examine your own soul. Do you have evidence that the Spirit of God is causing you to hate sin and to fight against it? Do you have a love for the church of Jesus Christ? If this is not true of you—you may simply have religion, but your religion apart from genuine faith in Jesus Christ is empty and vain.”

How to Teach Kids to Tell the Truth

“If you’re going to use words—and you are—mean them. Mean what you say, and say what you mean. If you say, “Turn off the video game”—and they ignore you, and you do nothing—then not only does “turn off the video game” come to mean nothing, but all your words lose value. You make your words into a kind of lie, for “turn off the video game” apparently doesn’t mean what it seems to say.”

Young Children are Tricking Parents and Viewing Porn at Alarming Rates

Do you really know what your teens have on their phones?  In this piece we find, “The devastating effects of porn are widely known within the scientific community today, but what many don’t consider is how exposure to porn at an early age can lead to long-term negative social, emotional and cognitive effects.”  This is pretty eye-opening.  I would encourage every parent who allows their youth to have a smart phone to check this out.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Adam B. Burrell

The Family Toolbox (February 2019)

Posted: February 25, 2019 in Uncategorized

Can social media good outweigh the bad?

A recent study from Pew Research found that over two-thirds of teenagers ages 13-17 feel like they experience positive benefits from using social media, while less than half say they experience negative effects. Facts & Trends speaks about how parents and church leaders can use these statistics to help teens navigate the complicated and ever-prominent world of social media.

Few churched teenagers become devout young adults.

In a recent survey we find that most young adults who attended church as a teenager say they believe in God today, but fewer consider themselves devout Christians. And as a whole, they have conflicting recollections about the churches they attended in high school. LifeWay Research surveyed more than 2,000 American adults between the ages of 23 and 30 who attended a Protestant church twice a month or more for at least a year as a teenager.  Here are the results.

How can we glorify God with our time?

In this video, Tim Challies talks about redeeming our time in a busy world that vies for our time every second of the day.  This is some helpful information if you would like to know how to use your time better for the sake of the Kingdom.

The most significant lessons we’ve learned as parents.

In this video interview Michael and Melissa Kruger reflect on parenting as their oldest daughter is preparing to leave home for college in the fall. That kind of milestone makes parents stop and reflect on what they’ve learned in 18 years of parenting.  Listen as they give some good advice on parenting that may provide helpful for you.

The sufficiency of Scripture for manhood and womanhood.

In this sermon Dr. Voddie Baucham explains how today, Christians and churches have drifted away from Scripture and are affected by modern culture’s redefinition of manhood of womanhood. He goes on to make the case for why we must return to Scripture as being all-sufficient for every aspect of life, including the determination of manhood and womanhood.

Training your children in family worship.

This discipline of family worship is something that is very dear to me.  In this short video Dr. Joel Beeke gives some practical advice on how to train your children to participate in family worship.  He says, “Training your children for family worship – to do family worship when they have their own family – is an important aspect of daily family devotions. This is best accomplished by the older children seeing the parents teaching the younger children and occasionally delegating leading family worship to them when appropriate.”

When a child disobeys: six steps for healthy correction.

Correcting children can be a matter of babies and bathwater. How do we preserve the phenomenal God-given potential these children possess, without condoning the defiance that boils over from the cauldron of their sinful little hearts? How do we love the baby well and hate the dirty bathwater?  Here, Sam Crabtree explains.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Adam B. Burrell

5 Ways Athletes Have a Unique Gospel Platform

In this article David Qaoud provides 5 unique opportunities that athletes have when it comes to sharing the gospel.  He writes, “You can’t fake it on a team. Your true self comes out. If you claim Christ but you’re a hypocrite, you’ll put a bad taste in others’ mouths. If you claim Christ and your actions and words align, however, you may not have to summon the courage to initiate every gospel conversation; people will likely come to you.”

5 Ways to Help Affair-Proof Your Marriage

Here are 5 tips that I have found helpful in fighting to keep your marriage pure and affair-proof.  “It is a scary thing to see what seems to be a good and godly marriage come to an end because of an unfaithful spouse.  Most of these affairs do not happen overnight.  Most who have an affair do not just end up in the bed with a total stranger and wake up the next morning and wonder how they got there.  It started out as “innocent” conversations, but then it progressed from there.”

Has Your Child Been Looking at Bad Stuff Online?

Tim Challies gives great pastoral advice in his latest VLOG on how to navigate the uncomfortable conversations with your children if you have found out that they have been looking at inappropriate images of sites on the internet.  He provides some very good wisdom and counsel for concerned parents.

How Can We Prioritize Our Marriage over Work and Kids?

In this episode of “Ask Pastor John” John Piper answers the question, “How do we keep our marriage a priority when life is so busy with kids, work, and the other duties of life?”  Pastor John offers some practical and biblical advice on the subject.

I Have an Hour a Day to Read — How Much Should Be Bible?

In this episode of “Ask Pastor John” John Pipers provides some tips on how to read scripture and solid theological books for those that don’t have much time in the day.  His answer might surprise you . . . but I feel certain that it will encourage you to read more to the glory of God.

Our Daughter’s Nightly Struggle (Not just for parents with daughters)

If your child has a smart phone, you may have noticed that it seems more like an extra appendage than just simply a tool to call and keep in touch with other people.  To separate a teen from their phone is akin to separating a mama bear from her cubs.  In this short article, you will find what one parent did to separate their daughter from her digital Pharaoh.  Their decision had a wonderful effect on their daughter, and it may be something that you want to consider doing for your family as well.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Adam B. Burrell