Monday, November 12, 2012

How to Raise Your Boy to Become a Good Man

I loved this article too.  Having two sons that I am trusted to raise, I am always looking for advice from good spiritual sources to help me lead them to God.  This has some good practical ways to build relationship and bond with the little men in your house.

How to Raise Your Boy to Become a Good Man - Whitney Hopler

Editor's note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Dannah Gresh's new book, Six Ways to Keep the “Good” in Your Boy: Guiding Your Son from His Tweens to His Teens (Harvest House Publishers, 2012).

While our society often presents unhealthy male role models and celebrates “bad boys,” God’s goal for your son remains the same as it is for every boy He has made: growing up to become a person who reflects God’s own good character.

The best time to lay the foundation of moral goodness in your son’s life is during the tween years, when he is between the ages of 8 and 12. Here’s what you can do to help your son become a good boy who is likely to grow into a good man:

Focus more on God’s promises than the world’s threats. Although the world threatens to influence your son to become a lazy slacker, God promises to help your son become a leader. While the world threatens to pressure your son into becoming a playboy, God promises to shape your son into a gentleman who honors and values women. Although the world threatens to distract your child through things that don’t have eternal value, God promises to show your son His purposes for his life and empower him to fulfill those purposes.

Connect with your son by spending lots of time together. Your son will be motivated to listen to your moral guidance if you develop a strong bond with him by intentionally spending time together talking and doing fun activities that he enjoys. Keep in mind that the concept of “quality time” is a myth; kids need their parents to spend lots of quantity time with them to experience good-quality relationships. Make it a high priority to spend time with your son and sacrifice lesser pursuits so you can be available to him. Try to eat dinner together as a family often, too, such many good conversations happen during meals. While you spend time with your son, study him to get to know the his unique qualities, strengths, and weaknesses so you can communicate God’s values to him in the ways that he will respond to best.

Explain the reasons behind your family’s rules. It will be much easier for your son to follow your family’s rules if he understands why you set them than if he doesn’t know why those rules are important. When communicating a rule to him (or reminding him of one), explain why following that rule will be beneficial to him.

Direct your son’s natural aggressive tendencies and need to take risks toward a positive goal. Realize that it’s normal for your son to experience feelings of aggression and risk-taking urges. But rather than allow your son to express those tendencies in negative ways (which can lead to many problems, such as violence), encourage your son to direct those tendencies toward discovering and fulfilling his life’s mission. Introduce your son to good men whom you respect and admire, and help him learn through relationships with them how to passionately fulfill God’s purposes.

Get your son outside for unstructured play when possible. When your son enjoys free time to play outdoors, he is able to develop a skill called self-regulation that’s a crucial part of developing the self-control to make good moral choices. Freeing up time in your son’s schedule regularly just to play outside with some friends gives him the opportunities he needs to learn how to regulate himself and make wise decisions about what to do and what not to do. Plus, it gives him time spent in nature and time for adventures, both of which are important to his health. When your son plays inside, don’t have him rely on toys to define his playtime. Instead, give him things to play with that encourage him to use his imagination, such as art and writing supplies and building materials.

Limit your son’s screen time. Make sure that your spend doesn’t spend more than a total of just 1 to 2 hours in front of any kind screen (including TV, video games, and computers) per day, since longer than that isn’t healthy for him. When you free up your son’s schedule from too much screen time, he’ll have the time he needs to participate in real-life activities will help him grow into the person God intends for him to become. Beware of too much time spent on video games, in particular, since those encourage your son to escape into a fantasy world and give him a false sense of accomplishment, distracting him from pursuing the real accomplishments that God wants him to pursue.

Encourage your son to develop a regular habit of reading. The more your son reads, the more likely he becomes to grow up to become a leader. So take him to the library often and let him choose reading material that he likes, while steering him away from unhealthy books, such as those that blur the lines between good and evil and those that focus mostly on gross humor. Expose your son to books and articles that inspire and challenge him to grow as a person.

Talk candidly with your son about sex. Don’t wait until your son becomes a teen to talk with him about sex; bring up the topic with him by the time he hits age 10, while he’s still forming his moral values. Be prepared to answer your son’s questions about sexual issues honestly, accurately, and specifically whenever he asks them. Don’t just have one major sex talk and then drop the topic; bring up sex in your conversations regularly to you and your son can share an ongoing dialogue about it. Focus on the positive more than the negative when discussing sexual issues: Instead of just telling him not to have sex before marriage, explain how God created marriage to be a picture of His love for people expressed between one man and one woman. Rather than just telling him that pornography is bad, describe how God created women to be beautiful people worthy of being treated with respect and honor. Instead of just warning him about wet dreams and cautioning him against masturbation, tell your son why his body is good and worthy of treating with integrity. Teach your son how to distinguish between good girls and aggressive girls, and explain why it’s important for him to resist aggressive girls. Explain your family’s dating standards to him long before he’s old enough to date.

Adapted from Six Ways to Keep the “Good” in Your Boy: Guiding Your Son from His Tweens to His Teens, copyright 2012 by Dannah Gresh with Bob Gresh. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Or.,

Dannah Gresh is a bestselling author, a speaker, and the creator of the Secret Keeper Girl live events. Her books include Six Ways to Keep the “Little” in Your Girl, 8 Great Dates for Moms and Daughters, the bestselling And the Bride Wore White, and Lies Young Women Believe (coauthored with Nancy Leigh DeMoss). She and her husband have a son and two daughters and live in Pennsylvania. Visit her website at:
Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a contributing writer and the editor of’s site on angels and miracles, at: Contact Whitney at: to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer.
Publication date: May 7, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

Should Have Been Here....

I observed a conversation with a father and another person.  The father had his daughter with him, and she had been hurt or something.  Several minutes later he responded to her calls for help.  He went over and asked if there was something that he could do. 

She snapped back at him, “You should have been here a long time ago!” 

When he was relaying the story he said, “Well I guy I’ll have to give back this father of the year award.”  Everyone laughed, but I thought about it later. 

I think this is something that is happening in too many lives of young people now.  I know of it happening in too many places.  Guy and girl get together.  They get close enough that they end up having sex, and then the woman gets pregnant.  Guy gets scared because all he wanted was to feel good, and now there is a kid there.  Then he gets more distant, and may even just disappear.  Woman (read girl in many cases) is left to care for the child.  Time and time again studies show that kids that grow up with the father being present (as well as a mother) they tend to turn out more well adjusted.  Too often though, young people are growing up in single parent homes.... usually mom is the one doing the main raising while the dad gets occasional visits.  Sad really.

There is a whole generation of kids out there calling out for the help of a father, and dad is nowhere to be found.  Maybe later on they come to the point where they want to kick in, but by then it’s often too late.  “You should have been here a long time ago!” they say.  And it’s true.  Dads, be there for your kids.  Love them.  Inspire them.  Encourage them.  Affirm them.  Help them build their talents.  Love their mother.  Marry her.  Commit to her.  Love God above all else, and let everything  in life be filtered through God’s word.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Stops of a Good Man

I saw this article and thought about this culture we live in here in Canada.  There is an increasing desire to remove anything that might have a moral standard for fear that it might offend someone.  It seems to be more and more like in the book of Judges in the Bible where people did what was right in their own eyes.  But the more people remove the stop signs, the more confusion is instilled into the next generation.  It's like the old thought about not moving the fencepost without first stopping to consider why it was put there in the first place.  There is too much "Yeah!  Let's remove all the rules so people can be free!" and not enough considering why God put them there in the first place.

Dr. Stephen Davey  - Wisdom for the Heart

Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil.Proverbs 4:26-27

Three young men from Tampa, Florida were driving home one evening after finishing a night of bowling. Kevin was driving his white Camaro, his friend Brian was riding in the front passenger seat, and Randall was sitting in the back. They drove through a familiar intersection, unaware of the danger that awaited them. Kevin didn't notice that the stop sign was missing from this busy intersection. He never even slowed down.

He assumed the other car would stop... it didn't (that stop sign was missing, too). The two cars collided; Kevin, Brian, and Randall were instantly killed.
An investigation eventually led to discovering the young men who were responsible for this tragic accident. They confessed to stealing the stop sign. It was just a prank. In fact, they admitted to stealing other stop signs in the area and dumping them into the river on the outskirts of town.
Who would be reckless enough to steal a stop sign?

Apparently, stealing road signs is a fairly popular prank these days. In the state of Texas alone, 50,000 road signs are vandalized every year—costing the state more than $2,000,000! But two million dollars can't compare to the lives of three men. The cost of those lives is priceless.

I can't help but think of the analogy to our culture today. It seems that wherever God puts up a stop sign, someone comes along and takes it down. It's just fun to do. Besides, stop signs mean rules—laws—and no one likes either... they slow you down.

What a dangerous game to play. Pulling down God-ordained stop signs is a setup for disaster.
Christians are not immune to tragic collisions. Even believers ignore the fact that God has given us stop signs to help us rather than harm us. They are for our spiritual protection, safety, and security.
God isn't interested in creating a bunch of rules because He's some kind of cosmic killjoy, but our society would have us think that.

God actually sees the headlights of an oncoming car; He's fully aware of dangerous intersections; He protects us by clearly revealing His wisely ordained stop signs along the road of life.
Are you surrendered to the Lord's direction for your life? This includes both steps and stops!
What are some of the signs that you might be tempted to ignore today... or to remove?

Perhaps a friend is warning you to slow down or stop; Scripture jumps out at you, highlighting the verses on the danger of dating an unbeliever; the Holy Spirit persistently whispers a warning regarding dangerous activities: online surfing... boardroom compromising... expense account fudging.

Whatever form God's stop signs take, learn to obey them... stop signs are there to save your life!
Would you let the Lord examine your heart today and convict you of any hidden sins you might be holding on to? Ask Him to give you eyes to see beyond the here-and-now—eyes that look into the future to see where your decisions might be leading you. Then pray for wisdom to make courageous decisions, knowing that God has promised to give you the strength to slow down—or maybe even stop—at just the right time.

Read all of Proverbs 4, where Solomon tells his son to watch out for some very important stop signs.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Construction of a Great Dad

This is an article that I (Jason) saw and thought would be a good encouragement to those men out there that really want to be good, godly dads for their kids.  Sometimes as guys we just need someone to spell it out clearly for us to think about it.  Enjoy!

By Whitney Hopler
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Todd Cartmell's recent book, Project Dad: The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide for Becoming a Great Father, (Revell Books, 2011).

As a man, you may love to build things – from a new gadget for your house, to a new fence for your yard. You might even be so handy at building that you can repair your car’s engine yourself or make a toy for your kids by hand. Or, you may be one of those men who’s more likely to call a technician that tackle a do-it-yourself building project.

No matter what level of building skills you have, however, there’s one building project that you can’t afford to ignore: building yourself into a great father. God, your Father in heaven, stands ready to help you every step of the way if you’ll commit to the project – and you and your kids will love the results.

Here’s how you can be built into a great father:
Ask God to shape you into the man He wants you to become. Honestly and humbly confess your sins and shortcomings to God and ask Him to forgive and change you. Invite God to do whatever work is necessary in your life to help you become a better person and father. Commit to following whatever instructions God gives you for the project.

Build the right eyes. Look at your kids from the right perspective – the way God looks at them – to help them become the people God made to them to be. Ask God to show you the unique ways that He has made of your kids special. Keep in mind that God has placed many treasures inside your kids that He wants you to discover and affirm in them. Pay attention to the details of your children’s lives as they grow and change; doing so will make them feel valuable and loved. Encourage your kids to discover, develop, and use the gifts and talents that God has given them. Look past your children’s mistakes and help them turn those mistakes into great learning experiences. Remember that your time with your children is limited, so make the most of every opportunity you have each day to positively impact their lives. Use mealtimes, bedtimes, travel times, and time together in the mornings before work and school to engage in fun and meaningful discussions and pray together.

Build the right mouth. Talk to your kids in ways that will nurture them and help them think correctly about themselves. Discuss both little topics (the details of your children’s daily lives) and big topics (values that relate to God, family, friends, work, and issues they face, such as bullying, dating, and alcohol). Ask God to help you develop a warm communication style when talking with your kids, listening carefully to them and encouraging them when you speak. Avoid communication styles that can damage your relationships with your kids, such as yelling at them, putting them down, and teasing them inappropriately. Whenever you want to discuss a serious issue with your children, choose the right time and place so you can all relax and focus best. Choose to communicate positive words to your kids as often as possible. Encourage your children to choose positive attitudes and actions by letting them you notice their good choices and praising them for what they’re doing right rather than complaining about what they’re doing wrong.

Build the right heart. Connect with your kids to build strong, lasting relationships with them. Spend as much time with your children as possible, sacrificing other activities to be with them regularly. Build bonds with your kids by using loving body language when you’re with them, such as hugging them and looking into their eyes when they’re speaking so they know that you really care about what they have to say. Decide to treat each of your children with respect in every situation, no matter what. Listen to your kids first and speak second, and do your best to fully understand the thoughts and feelings they express to you. Build a loving family culture by praying for each other regularly, enjoying fun activities together often, and honestly discussing issues that are important to each of you in the household.

Build the right hands. Act in ways that will open your kids up to learn the lessons they need to learn from you and grow in wisdom. Coach your kids to respond to challenging situations in healthy ways and develop the skills they need to learn. Ask God to help you manage your anger well, so it won’t undermine all the positive ways you relate to your children and break your relationships with them. Teach your kids to use their creativity to think of possible solutions to the problems they encounter. Pray together with them about challenging situations, asking God to give them the wisdom they need to respond to each situation well. Ask God to give you the wisdom you need as a dad to discipline your children with the right consequences administered with love and respect, so your kids can learn the right lessons in the right ways.

Build the right feet. Lead your kids along the path that God has laid out for them and protect them from the dangers that evil has laid ahead of them. Ask God to help you be the best role model you can be for your kids, showing them how to live faithfully in all ways, including how to spend time and money, how to treat other people, and how to make a relationship with God life’s top priority. Guide your kids to choose close friends who share their same values, and urge them to encourage each other to remain true to those values and keep developing a stronger faith. But also urge your kids to reach out to positively impact kids outside their inner circle who don’t yet share their values but need loving friends to help them grow closer to God. Set appropriate boundaries to protect your kids from spending too much time on entertainment and neglecting more important activities, and from consuming media content that may harm them (such as sex and violence). But rather than trying to shelter your kids from media, teach them to think critically about media, so they can learn a critical skill for adulthood: how to discern whether or not the media’s messages reflect biblical truth.

Adapted from Project Dad: The Complete Do-It-Yourself Guide for Becoming a Great Father, copyright 2011 by Todd Cartmell. Published by Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Mich.,

Todd Cartmell is a licensed clinical psychologist and a father of two. He is in full-time private practice in Wheaton, Illinois, where he works exclusively with children, adolescents, and families. He conducts parenting workshops across the country and is the author of Respectful Kids. You can visit Todd's website at

Whitney Hopler is a full-time freelance writer and editor. You can visit her website at:

Monday, March 5, 2012

I Love my Daughter....

As a dad with a daughter, I'll be the first to admit it.
I really find the idea of letting her go someday... standing there at the end of an aisle, kissing her cheek and giving her away to the man that she has chosen to love. Now, that day is a long way away, and as she turns two years old in a few days I realize just how fast time is going. So now, what do I do? I spend some time NOW with her. I am finding that one of my favourite things to do is just to lie on the floor and play with her and her dollhouse. It's so cute. She flips the chair upside down so I can lie on it, and them she tried the same thing with her chair. Where my body weight makes the chair, hers barely scratches puts any wight one it, so she is almost upside down herself. She wants to play with her daddy though, and it is one of the ways that I build the relationship with her.

When you look at the results of so many young women growing up without their dads, or just seeing their dad every other weekend, and when you see how much time those men are not spending with their daughters, it is almost no wonder why so many of the young women go searching for male attention. It's sad really.

I will set the example of how a man should treat a woman in my house, first with how I love my kids' mother... my wife. And then I will treat my daughter with love and respect so that she will have a better chance seeing the slime bags.

Here is an article I ran into about loving your daughter in this increasingly sexually charged culture:

Parenting and Protecting Daughters in America's Sexual Culture

What do you do to keep your daughter safe?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

If I could just find the right words...

Here we are at the crest of our chance to speak sweet nothings into the ear of our honey.... Yep, you guessed it!  Valentine's Day is upon us again!  I know, some people shun the day because they feel it is just another commercialized holiday.  Some feel all alone on the day, and really you don't need to be "with" someone to feel self assured.  Others jump headlong into all this mushy stuff.

Over the years I have seen a lot, and some men have the ability to share how they feel with their wives, while others just grunt, and provide for them and want that to be enough. 

Where do I stand with all of this?  I love Valentine's Day!  I think it is fun.  I think it is a great time just to love people.  I, of course, try to spoil my wife a bit, but I also want my kids to feel loved too.  We always try to do something to include them.  It could be something as simple as heart-shaped pancakes.  They love the chance to give out cards to their friends at school too.

I also think that Valentine's Day is an excellent excuse to love on my wife, but it is not the only day of the year that she hears that I love her, or feels that I love her.  Walking into a room, she knows that whoever is there, she is the most imporant person there.  I want to just be self-sacrificing and loving unconditionally.  Some days it is easy, and other days I'm in a bad mood and I don't do so well.  It is a process.

Men, do YOUR best to love your wives and women in your life.  Stretch yourself.  Do what you need to to show them that you care.  Some men do this easily.  Some men really struggle with it.  Here is a skit that just shows some that process from a bit of a humourous perspective.  Enjoy!

"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,"
Ephesians 5:25

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Beginning...

This issue has been one on my heart, and it grows as I keep hearing stories where men don’t live up to, or abandon their responsibilities.  This is the point where I will do my first post in this blog. 

Maybe it comes down to my upbringing.  Here is where I come from.  My parents got married and THEN began to have children.  They have stayed faithful to marriage for 37 years.  My father worked hard to provide for us.  He tried to behave in a way that would set an example for me and my sisters to live by.  He tried to spend time with us.  He did what was needed to mentor us.  Of course he made mistakes, but he also worked to make things right. 

From what I know about, the example that he had himself was… not the standard he wanted for his own family.  So I try to live at the standard my father worked at.

But what do I see in many of the other men in my age range?  I see men living life as boys.  Video games dominate their time.  Time out with the guys dominates their time.  Neglect for their marriage (if they bothered to do that) and neglect for their kids is just discouraging to see.

What is the difference?  I would love to say that those that claim to be Christian made the difference.  Unfortunately, there is still a big disconnect between those that call themselves a Christian, and those that live as a Christian.  It’s so sad.  I work with young people.  I have several female friends going through struggles in their marriage.  I see the pain.  I see the crying.  What is going one with men?  Why are they being such jerks?  Why do they ignore their responsibilities?

Here is what I see.  Many men have lost their fear and reverence for God.  According to the Bible, which I believe to be true, men should love their wives.  Men should be faithful to marriage.  Men should love women like sisters and not objects.  Men should not be given to drunkenness and other substances.  Men should love their children, and inspire them to grow into the best possible person.  They should serve in the church.  They should love people.  They should work hard and be faithful with the little things.  They should manage their houses with efficiency.  They should strive to spend time with God.  They should pray.  They should read the Bible to see God’s plan for living.  They should pour that into those that they meet and live with, with all love and grace. 

As a man, this is the kind of man I want to be.  As I continue this blog, I will be looking for things to encourage men in their walk with Christ.  I will be doing what I can to give them practical ways of leading their home.  I just want to be a man after God’s own heart.