"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 — What will your child grow up to be?

Christian Parenting is Teaching and Training Children 

In Christian parenting, our most important task is building a strong foundation for our children’s relationship with God. Just like a wise master-builder, you simply must have a detailed blueprint to guide and order your parenting activities. A builder’s plan is designed to be used to visualize the end result to make sure that the individual project elements provide the desired functionality and finish. For a building, the foundation comes first and everything else is build on the foundation.  It is essential to develop your own knowledge and understanding of Biblical teachings on discipline while your children are still young and teachable. Your teaching at the outset of their lives forms your children’s understanding of God and His creation. More than anything else, your behavior as parents when they are young will determine how they respond to God’s authority as adults. Strong childhood spiritual foundations lead to a healthy walk with God in the teen-age years and beyond.

Parents want their children to be happy and successful as adults, but often undermine their prospects for success by being permissive and undisciplined in their parenting during early childhood. Many undiscerning parents are led astray by the many popular, but anti-Biblical teachings about parenting that infuse almost every aspect of modern culture. Make no mistake about it, in Christian parenting, ideas based on secular humanism can harm the long-term spiritual health of your family! The Bible-based information you’ll find here is designed to help you develop a clear and winning strategy for training your children. Training children in accordance to Biblical truth leads to a unique family experience where love and harmony becomes the norm, rather than the exception. In short, our method is to define success by the standards and teachings found in the Bible. Rather than critique the Bible by modern ideas we prefer to examine modern ideas by the Bible. If there is a difference of opinion we are going to stick with what the Bible teaches. 

We have great confidence and trust in the unchanging truth found in the Bible and seek to encourage your own confidence in the Word of God.  To this end we encourage every believer to carefully research the teachings of Scripture.  As you read our materials, test and prove every idea and thought to see if it conforms with Biblical truth. We believe every Christian needs to be a participating member of a sound Bible-teaching local church, so we encourage you to meet regularly with other faithful believers.

What we believe about Parental Success . . .

Ruth&SallieAdvice on solving family problems is easy to give, but not easy to implement!  Successfully working through the problems faced by many families requires many small steps in obedience to God’s Word. It often takes an extended period of time and a measure of patience before the results begin to show.  We don’t promise instant results, just eventual results!  We are fully convinced the key to solving the most complex family problems is to faithfully follow God’s instructions.  We believe God instructs individuals by engaging their understanding of His truth through reading and meditating on the Bible. This is why we recommend to each person to start every day by reading God’s Word, the Bible!

No matter how deep in trouble you find yourself, we hope you’ll read your Bible attentively for a few minutes each day.  If you are willing to let God prove to you that His Word provides the best answers about families, children, and your life in particular, you are very close to finding lasting solutions to your problems!  God will help you in the midst of your current situation!  If you’re desperate and don’t know where to go for help, we encourage you to seek high quality, practical Biblical advice from someone who lives in a way that clearly demonstrates their trust and confidence in God’s Word. Truth will help you succeed as a husband, wife, mother, father, or parent. However, you must put God first in your life by allowing him to speak to you through regular meditation in His written Word.

All Families Have Problems!

Mom_and_ChildWhen we were younger, it would have been tremendously encouraging to have an older couple tell us, “You know, in the past, we used to have a lot of problems.  We fought and argued when we were first married, but God worked things out for us and now we’re very happy!”  It would have been an encouragement for us to realize a certain amount of strife was normal.  We simply needed to trust God would work everything out in time.  It’s very common for Christians to hide their failures and share only their successes! At first, Sallie and I were surprised how frequently we experienced conflict.  We thought we were the only ones having marital problems until we discovered how many Christian couples hide an unhappy marriage beneath happy “go to church faces.”.

If you’ve been spared the conflict we’ve experienced and would just like to make your “good” marriage even better, we rejoice with you!  We hope you’ll find resources at our web site to keep your marriage growing stronger each day. Marriage is designed to transform and strengthen both husband and wife. One of the main reasons for marriage is to pass the torch of faith from one generation to the next. A vibrant, strong, and spiritually growing marriage relationship is essential to lead your children to a living faith.

Despite our rocky beginning, God blessed our home. We are quite happy today. While we never considered ours a “model home,” more than once our friends and acquaintances offered to swap their children for ours.  We’re sure most of them were joking, but a few of them sounded like they hoped we would trade!  Ruth and Tim weren’t perfect, but we were blessed to skip the experience of rebellious and unmanageable children. For us, parenting has been a sweet experience with few regrets.

So What About our Family?

In our writings we share the Biblical principles we followed in raising our two children and building our marriage of 38 years. We have been blessed to witness each of our children develop a strong faith and Christian walk. We are not perfect, but our friends who know us personally and have spent time in our home know that we are a happy family and have a lot of fun together.

Christmas2001However, many married couples experience significant conflict in the early years of marriage even though they may be genuine and devout Christians. God is gracious but does not force himself and his ideas upon us. He taught us how to overcome the challenges we faced and find spiritual harmony in our home. Biblical truth, when applied to the problems and challenges of the modern family, works just as well now as it did 2000 years ago. To that end we share this web site as a collection of Biblically sound resources for couples and parents in the hope that they will personally benefit from them.

Children are a Blessing!

Parents need not do everything right to experience God’s blessing. Even though we were both Christians when we married, we thought at times about calling it quits in the first few years. Thanks to our upbringing and religious convictions, divorce was never a word in our vocabulary. Separation, our only allowable alternative, was highly impractical! At times we thought God made a serious mistake in bringing us together!  Despite our genuine faith and regular Bible study, for the first seven years of our marriage we were only marginally successful in making Christianity work comfortably in our own home. We experienced frequent conflict over many things.  The only thing we always agreed on in those early years was that we truly loved our children and could not bear to see their lives torn apart by a failed marriage! God was gracious and He helped us learn how to live together and love one another, despite our stubborn ways!

What is Parental Success? 

As we experience the gradual release of our children to God, and the adventures that await each of them, we often meditate on God’s Word in Psalms 127:3-5:

“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”

Parental failure is more easily defined than success.  It is always sad to see a family torn by divorce or see children rebel against the family. We feel compelled to share our experiences because we know that much of the boldness in sharing our faith has come from knowing that God has been faithful in our family. When it comes to witnessing to others, there is nothing so important as the state of your own family! Our testimony to family and friends has been deeply influenced by the fact that our children share our faith and are not ashamed to witness to their own friends and acquaintances.  We believe one of the key signs of successful parenting is the transmission of a vibrant faith in God, from parents to children. 

A second sign of success in parenting is the establishment of a warm fellowship between parents and children that continues after the children leave home to begin life as adults. Parents have a mentorship responsibility for their adult children even after they’ve left home.  Children raised under the influence of spiritual leadership and sound Biblical teachings willingly seek continued advice and influence from their parents.  It is a sign of wisdom and maturity for young adults to seek the advice and council of their parents when facing important decisions. Successful parenting leads to a family unit that spans multiple generations based on respect and admiration for God’s work in each succeeding generation.

We challenge you to give some serious thought to defining what it means in your own life to being a successful parent. If you can’t define a successful outcome, the chances of achieving a successful outcome are pretty remote.  We know many parents are hungry for some kind of encouragement on how to succeed in raising Godly children. We challenge you to carefully read through the materials we’ve collected at our web site. Some we’ve written ourselves, some we’ve gathered from resources we’ve found on the web.

You will find some controversial issues. You might not agree with all of the materials we’ve collected. They may challenge you to reconsider some opinions about subjects that you prefer to leave unchanged, perhaps because you’ve been comfortable in taking the easy route when it comes to your family. Our desire is to equip you to make right decisions and obey God in both the small and big matters of life, so we hope you’ll approach our materials with an open mind and an open Bible nearby.

Some of our readers are bound to take offense to materials that are critical of the teachings of popular Christian teachers and movements. We include these materials not because we are “against” anything, but because we are deeply committed to the idea that Biblical truth is more important than the thoughts and opinions of any man, including our own. We are “for” Biblical truth, and “against” anything that undermines the believers full trust and dependence on the sufficiency of God’s Word for every facet of life.

Your response to the teachings of scripture as they apply to popular ideas and movements will reveal much about your own spiritual character. Truth is not always comfortable. We do not have the option of picking and choosing to believe only those things in God’s Word that we like. When he reveals truth to us, we must obey and change our lives accordingly. Our prayer is that you will respond as the “noble” Bereans in the Book of Acts:

“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11

If your response to this  web site is to search the scriptures to determine if the things written there are true, then we will have succeeded in our goal:

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25

Our Challenge to You: Test All Things By Scripture

We are closely focused on family life issues but make no claim to be an authoritative source of everything needed for success in this field.  There is so much information available on parenting, and you won’t find it all here!  We offer what we’ve learned in the belief it can help you succeed.  Our two children are now young adults walking on their own with Christ so we are not “Arm Chair” theoreticians. We still give them plenty of counsel and direction, but we are trusting in God’s watchful care to finish the work we started!   

We don’t claim any infallibility, the simple fact is that every man is subject to error. We should never accept anything blindly. God has charged each Christian with the duty of evaluating everything they hear or read to see if it is in agreement with God’s Word. It is always profitable to search the Scriptures. We hope that as a  result of reading the materials we provide, you will each become good Bereans and prove everything by God’s Word, holding fast to only the good, which He approves.

Speaking from our own hard-won experiences, as well as from what we learned from others, we believe the advice we offer is sound and works well.  We labor to base our thoughts and opinions on scripture, but challenge you to look carefully and draw your own conclusions.

For our friends who would like to check up on our kids, (Never take advice about marriage or children from someone you wouldn’t want to be married to, or whose children you wouldn’t want living under your roof.) you can read Ruth’s testimony here, titled “A Daughter’s Testimony,”  written as part of her College English Composition course. You’ll find some pictures and information about us spread through the web site.

After you’ve had a chance to browse our site and before you leave, feel free to comment on our articles so we know you’ve visited. The Christian Family Online site is a part time labor of love, I try to add something new when I can.

For us, this is a busy time of life.  We’ve been blessed with good jobs and ample financial means.  Time, however, is always in short supply.  In the past, when I’ve been tempted to conclude that the few visitors to our web sites weren’t worth the effort,  I’ve been blessed by a short note from someone who wrote me an email or left a message reminding me they had been encouraged and blessed by something they read here.  So for you that care, we’ll hang in with you until the Lord returns.  We appreciate your notes and comments!

Our Warmest Regards in Christ Jesus

The Editors

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