Posts in category Grandparenting

Grandfathering: A dad do-over



I walked into the living room, looked into the sweet eyes of my daughter Shannon, and instantly she began to cry.

She seemed overcome with fear and her eyes gazed at the floor while tears streaked her cheeks. Through sobs, she said, “Dad, I’m pregnant.”

My wife Cathy sat beside me as Shannon’s sobs broke my heavy silence. I sat there bewildered as the waterfall of thoughts rushed through my head. My daughter had recently graduated high school and was beginning her walk into adulthood.

Travel weary, I had just returned from training in Denver, after recently being appointed as Promise Keepers’ regional director for the Northwest. I was just 44 years old, and a pregnant teenager was not part of my five-year plan.

Thankfully, my heavenly Father quieted my inner turmoil and not a word of my initial thoughts was breathed. In a still small voice He spoke to my sprit: “Tell Shannon what I have told you time after time. This is part of my plan for her life and I am with her. This child will usher in the beginning of a new and rewarding life for you and Cathy.”

I must have been quiet for an extended time, because Cathy shook me out of my bewilderment when she said, “Say something!” I expressed to Shannon our commitment to be there for her and her baby. I told her, “There was a God in heaven who loved her unconditionally and there was a dad on earth who did too.”

God was right! It began a journey of grandfathering that changed my life. I have to admit that I was a preoccupied father. I struggled with my own insecurities, seeking to please others, and I often lost sight of those people in my life that really mattered most. I often allowed the “whats” in my life to determine my identity and significance. This affected how I related with the “whos” in my life – my wife and children and now grandchildren. In many ways, through my grandchildren, I got a “do-over” and a fresh start.

grandfathering

Photo by Tina Vanderlaan

Shannon gave birth to our first grandchild, Gabrielle, who we affectionately call “Gabby.” She is now 19 years old, going on 25, and working her way through college.

God allowed Cathy and me to become part of a moment in their destinies. That moment in 1994 could have gone quite differently. I realize now that God was testing me. He already knew what he was going to do. He was giving me a fresh start; He was giving me a do-over.

Shannon would get a do-over too. She married a wonderful man who adopted Gabby, and they gave me four more grandchildren. My younger son, Doug, found a beautiful lady and gave me two more. God has blessed me with a full quiver. My God, my wife of 43 years, my two kids and my seven grandchildren are the loves of my life. Apart from God and them I am nothing.

Family is the true expression of the heart of the Father.

I have determined in my heart and spirit, with the help of God Almighty that I will live a life that will leave a legacy, one that will echo now and for eternity.

Whether you’re a grandparent or not, you too can leave a legacy in the lives of those who matter most to you. Today can be the beginning of the rest of your life.

Maybe you can identify with me; you also need a do-over. I want to stir up and call out of all grandfathers (and anyone else who is reading) the belief that they can make a difference, that they can leave a legacy through grandparenting.

We should not fear failure. We should fear that we would spend our lives succeeding at what really does not matter.

Imagine the possibilities!

ErricksonDanMugDr. Dan Erickson is the author of “Grandfathering: Live to Leave a Legacy,” and leads People Matter Ministries. He is a former executive director of the National Coalition of Ministries to Men, and a former national director of PromiseKeepers. He has two children and seven grandchildren.

© 2014 by Dan Errickson. All rights reserved..

STEPSeek - 10-point checklistYou just finished reading a guest post by Dr. Dan Errickson, “Grandfathering: A dad do-over” on Stepping Up blog.

STEPThink - 10-point checklistWhat would you do over about parenting? What kind of legacy do you want to leave your family and grandchildren?

STEPEmbrace - 10-point checklistRead “Creative Ways to Teach Your Grandchildren About Life” by Jack and Lisa Hibbs on FamilyLife.com.

STEPPass - 10-point checklistBegin writing or recording stories you want to pass on and values you want to instill. It’s never too late (or early) to start.

Thank you for choosing to be my dad



Bill Eyster has been executive vice-president of FamilyLife since 2006. That Thanksgiving, he wrote this tribute to his stepfather, Dr. Alvin L. Morris, but felt it would be better to deliver it the following June to honor him on his 80th birthday.

Al Morris passed away October 10, 2013. Since then, Bill has felt led to move his family back to Kentucky so he can care for his mother, Beverly.

choosing to be my dad

Beverly and Al Morris

I know you don’t want a big deal made of your birthday and that speaks to the kind of man that you are, but this is as much for the rest of the family as it is for you. I want them to know …what I have come to know, understand, and appreciate about you.

I think it’s important that the grandchildren recognize the legacy that their grandfather passes on. They need to know the impact you have made on my life. So, Al, please humor me and allow me to tell you how much you mean to me.

Al, you are intentional about everything and when you married my mother you knew what you were stepping into.

At age 13, I had been filling the self-imposed role of “man of the house” for close to four years. When you came on the scene and began to date my mother you were able to see first hand how broken I was.

You saw my anger, my rebelliousness, and my bad choices.  You witnessed crushed tables, all night outings, and other such challenges. But, because of your love for my mother, you chose to marry her and intentionally accepted the responsibility of raising an independent 6-foot-tall, 13 year old boy that was full of anger.

The challenges with me didn’t stop there. I was running hard and a living example of a rebellious “red headed stepchild.” You experienced late nights, bad grades, disrespect, ill gotten speakers, a trashed brand-new RV, “borrowed” cars, unauthorized parties, and a continually bad attitude. It’s not lost to me that you had already raised three great children and yet you accepted the responsibility for raising me.

In the 32 years I have had the privilege of being your son …

  • I have seen what it means to be a man of integrity,
  • I have seen what it means for a man to love his wife,
  • I have seen the importance of family,
  • I have seen hard work and dedication,
  • I have seen a man who loves the Lord,
  • I have felt acceptance … I have felt loved.

As I have gotten older and closer to the age at which you made this choice, I marvel. Through it all you never treated me or made me feel like a stepchild. You set high standards and challenged me to meet them. You selflessly and intentionally accepted me, loved me, and cared for me. You were always there.

As I have grown in my faith, I realize how God put you in my life to play a major part in making me the man, the husband, and the father that I am today. I thank God each day for you and want you to know I am deeply grateful for your love, for your acceptance, and for choosing to be my dad.

— I love you.

Your Son — Bill

_____

If you haven’t written a tribute to your parents, we’d encourage you to do it while you still can. If you need help, check out our free resource The Best Gift You Can Give Your Parents, or get Dennis Rainey’s bookThe Forgotten Commandment.  

If you’ve given your parents a tribute that you’d like to share with the readers of Stepping Up, we’d love to hear about it. Whether it’s something you’ve written or recorded on audio or video, just Contact Us here.

Finishing strong



finishing strong

What do you want your life to look like as you begin to approach the finish line?

Our culture tells us that we should look forward to retirement — a golden time when we can relax, travel, play golf and bask in the glow of a successful and lucrative career.

At the same time, reality tells many of us that the final lap of our lives will not be golden — it will be a time of living on a limited income and coping with infirmities.

As I’ve spoken with men over the age of 55 or 60, I’ve noticed that few seem to have a real vision of how God can use them.  Quite a few lament that they feel disconnected from their children and grandchildren … that they have little to offer … that their glory years are long gone.

That’s why I challenge men to become patriarchs during the latter years of their journey of manhood. As godly heads of their families, patriarchs can leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.  As figures of influence in their communities, they have the opportunity to be used by God through their words, their actions, and even their financial contributions.

The Scriptures describe life as a race.  In 1 Corinthians 9:24-25, Paul tells us, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may win.”  And Hebrews 12:1-3 says, “ … let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus … so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.”

We all start the race that is set before us, but it is common for many to grow weary and lose heart along the way.  Dr. William Culbertson, president of Moody Bible Institute, said it well:  “It is nice to start well.  It is even better to finish well.”

A patriarch is a man who is finishing strong.

Do you know someone who is finishing the race strong?  Share your story below and encourage others about the impact they can have as they age.

Keep Christ the center of Christmas



Keep Christ the center of Christmas

 

Pounds of turkey have been consumed and are still to be eaten in who knows what kind of concoction.  Christmas songs are probably playing around the house.  Black Friday shoppers are still sleeping and will arise in time for dinner.  Plans to decorate your home with lights and newly purchased or cut trees are in process of being executed.  It’s Christmas again.  For many of us, this is the holiday that we most look forward to celebrating.

But in this culture it’s become increasingly difficult to keep Christ the center of Christmas.  Materialistic desires abound.  Focus on gifts and holiday gatherings take our mind off of the significance of this day/season.  In an increasingly hostile nation, displays focusing on the Christ of Christmas are under fire, especially if they are on public property.  But trying to strip Jesus from Christmas will never work.  Why?  Because of who this holiday is about.

So how do we keep Christ the center of Christmas in our home? There are no magic formulas.  What it takes is an intentional fortitude on the part of mom and dad to plan activities and moments that point to Jesus Christ during this month.  We’ve taken an excerpt from a FamilyLife Today program from November 28, 2011, where Dennis and Barbara shared some of the things they did as they raised their six children to capture their kids’ minds and help them keep Christ the center of Christmas in their home.

Barbara, you really had an agenda for about a four-week period between the end of Thanksgiving and Christmas. It was to capture the kids’ imagination and point them in a spiritual direction.

Barbara: Absolutely. I did not want Christmas in our house to be four weeks of “What I’m going to get?” and “What I get to open?” and “What’s in it for me?” We worked really hard to focus on the real reason for Christmas and to talk about that. We also helped the kids think about what they could give and what they could do for others.

Dennis: What Barbara’s talking about, being focused on what you’re giving another person, was even implemented on Christmas morning when we exchanged presents. Instead of going and picking the present that’s addressed to you, you’d go pick a present that you had given —

Barbara:  Yes, that you’d gotten for somebody else.

Dennis:  And hand-deliver it. And then that person opened that present.

Barbara: And then it was their turn to to give.

Dennis: Right. And so it was focused on not “What am I receiving?” but —

Barbara: “What am I giving?”

Dennis: Again, it’s back to the spiritual significance that Christ came and dwelt among us. And that really is God’s greatest gift to us.

What were some of the things that you did to try to tone down the noise of the culture and turn up the spiritual emphasis of the holiday?

Barbara: In addition to the whole gift-giving thing … I really worked at playing hymns about Christmas, songs that talk about Christ and Him coming to earth. We didn’t play very many “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” or “Frosty the Snowman” secular kinds of songs around the Christmas holiday.

And then we always made a big deal of putting out the Nativity scene. I wanted that to be the focal point for our kids, more important than decorating the tree. We always put it in a prominent place so that it was kind of the center. Even though the tree was larger, the Nativity was in a more important place.

Dennis: On Christmas Eve we’d have the special meal that the girls and I prepared. It started out to kind of be a one-man show with a little group of toddlers hanging around, but as the girls became young ladies, they really helped with that Christmas Eve dinner.

We turned it into a feast. At the end of the feast, we’d read about the coming of Christ and His birth in Bethlehem. I always thought that was really important, to open the Bible and begin to read the story about the Savior and who began to seek Him out — the wise men, the shepherds — and talk about that as a family.

WGWFC - Keep Christ the center of Christmas

You were talking about a Nativity scene. A few years back FamilyLife put together a Christmas resource [with a Nativity] designed for families. In the last few months, you’ve been involved in a project here, Barbara, to give that resource a little bit of a makeover. What was the objective behind the new version of What God Wants for Christmas®?

Barbara: Well, a couple of things. There’s a portion of a poem to read for each character in the Nativity scene, and it talks about who that character is, what that character’s place was in the grand scheme of things, and it tells the story of the Nativity in a creative way.

And in the new updated version there’s an audio CD that has the poem, and it’s sort of acted out — I guess that would be the best way to say it — with different voices playing the different parts of the characters in the Nativity. So you can do this as a family, but then the kids can listen to the story over and over again on their own.

Because moms are busy, and I know moms are busy because I remember how crazy it was for me at Christmas to try to pull off anything that was meaningful. I had a zillion things going on all the time. And as much as I wanted to do things that were meaningful, it was always a challenge to get it into the schedule, to get everybody together, and to plow through and do it.  So I’m excited about the CD because if all else fails and you can’t sit down and read the book, your kids can listen to it. They can hear the story of the Nativity.

How would you use What God Wants for Christmas if you had toddlers and teenagers running around the same house together?

Barbara: I would probably have my older kids read the story, and I would probably be refereeing the younger ones as they anxiously wait to open the boxes (the resource includes packages for the kids to open, in conjunction with the story). This is a resource that a family with wide age ranges of kids can use because it’s designed for younger kids to understand, but the words and the poem are intriguing enough that teenagers will be fascinated to listen to it because it’s not a little kid’s story. It’s a grown-up story.

Dennis: I just want to take some of the pressure off of moms and dads or grandparents who may be listening and thinking about implementing this into their Christmas tradition. Reduce your expectations, especially if the children are under the age of 5 or 6. I just remember that some of these traditions that we did were absolute chaos.

Barbara: It was not Norman Rockwell.

Dennis: It wasn’t. There weren’t all these children sitting with their hands in their laps, smiling wonderfully as you read the story and as you pulled the figurines out. I mean, they may be throwing the figurines at each other, or arguing, or fighting over who gets to open the box.

Barbara: Probably arguing and fighting over whose turn it is.

Dennis: Yes. No doubt about it. I would just say, it doesn’t have to be perfect. To execute this, you just need to do it. You just need to keep pressing into it. And when there’s spilled hot chocolate, or tea, or whatever you have as you read this, don’t worry about it. Just keep a sense of humor and keep moving.

_______________________________________________________________________________

What are some things you’ve done in your family that have helped keep your focus on CHRIST during Christmas?

Retirement: the most courageous step you can take



Stepping up and becoming a patriarch may be the most courageous step a man ever makes. It’s not only politically incorrect, which makes an even stronger case for it, but it’s countercultural, demanding grit and character to go against the grain of a youth-oriented society.

A man who doesn’t step up at this point in his life will most assuredly step down. True patriarchs are such an endangered species that most men don’t know this step exists. Others wrongly assume that they could never stand on this step; they don’t see themselves ever becoming a patriarch. As a result, we have a generation of men entering this last season of their lives feeling aimless, useless, and bewildered, instead of being on the cutting edge of what could be their most productive and fruitful years.

Grand theft of the elderly?

About a dozen gray-haired men sat at the table in a prestigious country club, all former executives who had been highly successful. Leaders. Champions. Bright, intelligent minds. These were risk takers who’d led big lives, checkered with successes and failures. Married between 45 and 60 years, these men clearly had plenty to impart to younger generations. As I prepared to speak to them, I couldn’t help but think that their gray heads only added to their dignity.

They had asked me to speak for 10 minutes about what FamilyLife was doing to strengthen marriages and families. As I unpacked what we were doing, I mentioned that I would be speaking to a gathering of executives a couple of days later about “Three Qualities of a Patriarch.”

What happened next was fascinating. It was as though I’d touched an open nerve. For 45 minutes, they peppered me with questions, peeling back their hearts and sharing disappointments, frustrations, doubts, and desires.

They talked about how their adult children were critical of them, pushing them to the fringes of their lives. They were treated as unnecessary — except as babysitters — and they felt their families really didn’t want their influence or their involvement. They said the only opportunities their churches offered were ushering, serving on the stewardship committee, and giving to building programs. They lamented that the culture had become so youth oriented, they felt emasculated — treated as though they were done and had nothing to give back.

These men — who had once been kings in their families, their businesses, and their communities were for the first time in their lives uncertain what their roles should be. Like broken antiques gathering dust in the attic, they were without purpose.

But as they interacted, I could see in their eyes that they longed to be challenged again. War hardened and savvy, these sage soldiers wanted to fill their nostrils with the smoke of the battlefield and engage in the fight again. They really didn’t want to trade their swords and armor for a 5 iron and a golf shirt. They realized they were made for something far nobler than watching cable news in a La-Z-Boy recliner.

I sat there astonished at what amounted to “grand theft” — men robbed of their glory — no longer dreaming because of a complicity of forces that had cruelly swindled them out of their courage to step up.

These men had been left behind. Disoriented. Lost. And if they didn’t act soon, this last season of their lives would be wasted.

Pursuing the most courageous step?

I left that meeting with two conclusions: First, most men don’t know how to think about aging. They don’t know what the Bible has to say about aging. Instead of facing upward on the fifth step and pursuing God and his purposes for their lives, they step down and squander a lifetime of experience, wisdom, and abilities. They erroneously conclude that their impact is over and take their cues from the culture about retirement. As they shrivel in self-absorption, all wrapped up in themselves, their lives become the smallest of packages. The result? A perennial shortage of sages.

Think with me for a moment: How many men do you know in their sixties, seventies, and eighties who are vigorous, still growing, and still using their influence for good? Men so visionary, so alive, so positive and expectant about how God is going to use them that you’d want to be like them when you grow old.

A second conclusion was evident: It’s time to resurrect the mantle of patriarch. It’s time for a new order of noble, life-seasoned men to courageously arise, strip away encumbrances, and do battle on behalf of their children, grandchildren, communities, and nation. God created men not to rust out but to wear out as they stretch out toward the finish line.

For those of you who are over 55 years old — and especially if you are retired — I have a tough question: If you’re finished making a difference, then why are you here?

Do you think your best days are behind you? Do you think you don’t have anything else to give? Are you going to believe the culture that thinks you should clip coupons, collect seashells, and spend your kids’ inheritance?

Or on the other hand, wouldn’t you love to be able to articulate your mission for the years you have left? Wouldn’t you like to know and feel noble about what you’re living for? Could you imagine others considering you to be … a patriarch?

A word that drips with dignity

The word “patriarch” comes from the Latin word patri, which means “father.”  Webster defines a patriarch as it relates to a family as, “a man who is a father or founder, the oldest representative of a group, a venerable [esteemed] old man. Unfortunately, in today’s culture, many people consider “patriarch” a dirty word.  For some it conjures images of male chauvinism, of self-serving men who rule their homes through fear, force, and manipulation.

But I believe it’s a word that drips with dignity. In the Old Testament, patriarchs like Abraham, Isaac, and David served as heads of their families and were described as men after God’s heart. In today’s culture, patriarchs are men who spend their final years investing in the generations to come. They are men who realize their potential to have a lasting influence in their families and in their communities.

I began to become interested in the thought of being a patriarch as my children grew into adulthood and began to marry. My role as a father was changing; I knew that as they established their own families I no longer had the same type of authority in their lives. But I also began to recognize that my work as a father was not finished — it was just changing. Even though my children were adults, they still needed my encouragement and prayers.  I’m no longer the head coach calling the players, but I’ve become a fan on the sidelines, cheering them on.  Young men raising a family in this culture need enthusiastic applause.

As patriarchs we have the time to cheer for our grandchildren and pass on stories of how God has worked in our lives.  One of my grandchildren once asked me how I helped start FamilyLife.  I gave him the Reader’s Digest version of the story, and was reminded of Psalm 71:17-18, a passage you might call the memoirs of a patriarch: “O God, You have taught me from my youth, and I still declare Your wondrous deeds.  And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.”

A new title

What an opportunity we have as we enter into the final years of life to use the wisdom and influence we’ve accumulated to reach out to the next generation. This is the vision many men today need for their final years. I think of Bill Barber, a lifelong Texan with a wonderful, earthy sense of humor. I met Bill after his son, Clay, came to work at FamilyLife, and I remember when I called him a patriarch. He later wrote me to say he was surprised at my remark. “Heck, I didn’t realize that I was one.”

Bill said he’s been called repulsive, obnoxious, anachronistic, a con man, funny, crazy, opinionated, a rascal, and “an enigma with savoir faire.”  But he kind of liked this new title of “patriarch.”

“Fact is, I’m really loving this patriarching,” he wrote. It is “a lot simpler than most of my peers think. You gotta quit fighting it. Admit your age. Oh, yes, it doesn’t hurt to be 1) an encourager; 2) a servant; 3) a discipler; 4) a man who is silent sometimes; and 5) forgiving to others and self.

“Being a patriarch is just not too bad.”

Taken by permission from Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood, by Dennis Rainey, FamilyLife Publishers.  Copyright © 2011 by Dennis Rainey.  All rights reserved.

STEPSeek - 10-point checklistYou just finished reading “Retirement: the most courageous step you can take” by FamilyLife founder Dennis Rainey.

STEPThink - 10-point checklistDr. Howard Hendricks invested his life into countless men, including Dennis Rainey. Read about that impact.

STEPEmbrace - 10-point checklistListen to “Finishing Well” broadcasts on FamilyLife Today to learn what retirement should and shouldn’t be.

STEPPass - 10-point checklistInvest in other men by doing a Stepping Up small group video series together. Find out how.

6 non-negotiables for training young men (part 3)



In our previous two posts (point 1 and then points 2 and 3) we shared the first three non-negotiable’s for training teenage young men to be adult men.  Here are the final three points.

Training young men to be adult men
4. The best time to begin preparing a boy for adolescence is before it begins.

In football, as well as in life, it’s much better to be on offense rather than constantly playing defense and having a goal-line stand.

One of the best things I did was to go on the “offensive” and organize a weekend getaway with my sons as they approached the teenage years. From this experience I developed a package of resources called Passport2Purity to help an adult (father, grandfather, or uncle) discuss the transformational changes that kids will experience in the teen years. Every young man needs to know in advance about the “manhood awakening” that is so powerful it can overwhelm him. Ideally, between the ages of eleven and thirteen, or no later than fourteen, a boy needs to hear an older man talk about puberty, attraction to the opposite sex, how sex works in marriage, erections, masturbation, wet dreams, lust, and pornography. (Passport2Purity covers all of these topics in a day-and-a-half experience with your son. For more information, see ShopFamilyLife.com.)  Evaluate your children to determine when you should pass this information on to them.  The key: make sure they hear about this from you first!

5. Young men need to be with men.

Young men need to talk about manly things with older men. They need to rub shoulders with men who are modeling what it means to be a man. And they need to experience ceremonies and celebrations around what it means to be a young man. A few of years ago, I helped my friend Robert Lewis, founder of Men’s Fraternity, with a DVD series called Raising a Modern-Day Knight. This series is designed for fathers and sons to complete in a weekend or in six weekly sessions and contains a number of unforgettable ceremonies that commemorate a boy’s passage to the next step of manhood. (For more information about this series, see ShopFamilyLife.com.)

6. Teenage boys can’t be allowed to linger in adolescence.

Like a young eaglet that gets pushed out of the nest at the appropriate time, a young man must learn to fly on his own if he’s ever going to start stepping up into manhood. If the nest is too cushy, if all of his creature comforts are there for his enjoyment, then he may set up his high-definition television and perch for a while.

With both of my sons, I remember a conversation that occurred sometime around their nineteenth birthdays: “Dad, I just don’t get as much money from you and Mom at college as my friends do. I can’t make it on what you give me.” To which I smiled and responded, “Son, I understand. You are becoming a man. A man with adult tastes and expectations. Your mom and I love you, but you need to know that we are not committed to helping you satisfy these desires. If you want to eat out, buy things, and go places, you’re going to have to earn money.”

I am concerned about a migration of immature eagles back to the home nest. Some are delaying the manly duties not only of assuming responsibility for rent, food, and monthly bills, but also of stepping up to find a wife and begin a family. Ask any single woman in her twenties or thirties, and she’ll tell you that there is an endangered species of real men who want to assume the responsibilities of a man. As pastor Mark Driscoll observed,

“We live in a culture of hook up, shack up, break up. Men are marrying later and staying married shorter than ever. The average dude is not a dude but just a boy who can shave.”

Don’t give up

It’s easy to become discouraged when you feel as though you keep teaching the same lessons over and over to teenage boys, and you think they’ll never grow up. You wonder if they’ll ever grow into men stepping up into manhood.  And then God surprises you.

Benjamin and Samuel both attended the same university, and their time overlapped a couple of years. I remember speaking with a female friend of theirs who said, “Oh, did you hear what happened at the Campus Crusade for Christ meeting on campus the other night? First of all, Benjamin stood up. He shared how he was going to take a year off from school and volunteer to go to Estonia and be a missionary to reach college students. “After he finished, he sat down, and the next person to share was Samuel. He told everyone what a phenomenal brother he had — how much he loved him, how much he admired him, what a mentor he had been to him, what an example he had been of following Jesus Christ, and how much that meant to him as a freshman at the university. And then Samuel put his arms around his brother and just hugged him.”

It was one of those moments parents dream about. These were the same boys who once argued and fought with each other so often that we wondered if they would ever become friends. I wanted to hear this story one more time! I think God occasionally has compassion on parents and gives us just a glimpse of the men our sons are becoming. I tell this story to give you hope and to encourage you to keep on being faithful to bring up your sons “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). At some point you will see the fruits of your efforts as these young men step up.

Excerpted by permission from Stepping Up, Copyright 2012 by Dennis Rainey, FamilyLife Publishing.

STEPSeek - 10-point checklistYou just finished reading “6 non-negotiables for training young men,” a 3-part post by Dennis Rainey

STEPThink - 10-point checklistWhich of the 6 non-negotiables are your strongest? Which one(s) do you need to work more on.

STEPEmbrace - 10-point checklistListen to the broadcast series “What Every Man Wishes His Father Had Told Him” on FamilyLifeToday.com

STEPPass - 10-point checklistConsider doing the Stepping Up 10-week video study as a father-son event. The discussion is a game-changer.

 

 

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