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New Horizons

February, 2010: Faith and Child Rearing

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Faith and Child Rearing

Raising our children in the Christian faith is important to us, isn't it? We talk about it a good deal in our churches, don't we? Dads and moms are regularly seeking out advice and counsel from others. Why? Because we want to make sure that we do it right! We want to do the best we can to raise children who trust Christ, who love God, who are led by the Spirit, who serve the kingdom of God.

Our desire is to raise godly children, not merely good kids. We've all heard the refrain "Oh, he was such a good kid" bandied about when someone gets into trouble. But our longing is to raise godly offspring who will bring glory to our God. Read more

Forming Covenant Identity in Children

Covenant identity" is a particular way of answering the hard questions, "Who am I? Who or what defines me as a person? Who or what makes me who I am?" To see what is so particular about the "covenant" way of answering such questions, it may help to reflect on how people in our world generally tackle the problem of personal identity, how they go about answering these hard questions.

It is a fairly sacred idea in our world that each individual (including each child) has a "right" to self-discovery, self-definition, and self-determination. I have a right not just to find out who I am, but also to define who I am and to determine what I shall be and what I shall do. Read more

A Lord's Day Handbook for Practical Parenting

Wise parents search continually for help and encouragement, for counsel and guidance, and maybe we've been overlooking a glorious gift from God that is right under our nose each Lord's Day. Fathers and mothers are sitting on the proverbial gold mine with lessons for nurture and training from public worship.

Just as the force of gravity provides energy—pulling objects toward the ground, whether we've planned it that way or not—so worship provides energy for parental nurture. By faith, this energy can be harnessed for godliness, for world-and-life-view training for our children and youth. Read more

The Coddling of Children

I recently had the pleasure of reading Albert R. Mohler's new book, Culture Shift (Multnomah), in which the president of Southern Seminary takes a long, hard look at aspects of modern American life.

In chapter 11, entitled "A Coddled Generation Cannot Cope," Dr. Mohler takes aim at the way in which parents have developed the habit over recent decades of overprotecting their children. A generation is rising, he claims, which has been so coddled and protected by parents that it is incapable of taking its place in the real world but is doomed to remain emotionally dependent upon parents, and thus at a stunted level of emotional and psychological maturity. Read more

Church Power

Dear James,

I stole a glance at the college newspaper when your folks had us over for dinner last week. It left me persuaded that the two constants in the story of my alma mater are the sorry fortunes of the basketball team and the dubious quality of student journalism. One feature of the latter that seems to be a rite of spring on many college campuses is the student uproar that ensues when a maverick though popular professor learns that his services will not be required the following year. Read more

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