The Rock Church

Category Archive: Parenting

  1. Pure and Simple Daily Devotion

    Leave a Comment

    Pure and Simple Devotion

    I just had a chance to work through our family schedule with my sweet wife. It’s one of those weeks where all of our evenings (and most of our days) are filled up Monday through Friday.

    I am thankful to have such a full life, but at times, it can feel a little bit (okay, a lot) overwhelming. This is especially true when you add kids into the mix.

    (more…)

    You know how it goes….you wake up on Monday already looking forward to the “rest” you’ll get on Saturday… when you can slow down at your kid’s soccer game! Weeks like this are begging for some “down” time. If you are anything like me, you can tend to look for what you can take off of your plate.

    With that being said, let me encourage you to try and keep one thing ON your plate — your devotion time with your children.

    I know this looks different for all families. It should. My encouragement is not to tell you what plan works best. Rather, I want to encourage you to make the time to be talking and learning about Jesus together. I am not sure what rhythm works in your home, but I want to ask you (in the most gracious manner), “Do your kiddos regularly learn from YOU about Jesus?” My question is not meant at all to condemn but to clarify.

    For some, this can mean reading a children’s Bible story before bed. Or working through what they learned in Sunday School. Or journaling together. Recently, my oldest son and I have had a chance to work through Proverbs together while also reading a short and interesting devotional.

    As parents, when we are in a regular habit of carving out time to talk about Jesus with our kids, it becomes a part of their day and ours. Each devotional time doesn’t need to have an “AHA” moment or huge lesson involved. Instead, there just needs to be a time to value and emphasize the things of God and Jesus.

    Our days are spent on so many activities. Good ones, even. We have soccer games, music lessons, dinner times, snack times, school, church, play dates, work, car repairs, house projects, and….the list never ends.

    I know it’s hard. It takes practice, work, and time. But, you need to give your kiddos the gift of learning how to come before Jesus. Show them how worthwhile it is to take time out of life to learn from the Author of life.

    My prayer is that when it counts, when the metal is tested, my children will lean into those devotional times for wisdom and truth. My prayer is that when their little lives are squeezed, the overflow of their response will be that of wisdom and truth. My prayer is that they will one day see how mom and dad looked past the eye roll of “not getting to watch a show” and see how important it was that they grew in the habit of seeking Christ.

    Pure and simple daily devotion to Christ starts with you.

    Parents, you are heroes. You are involved in the greatest work of your life. Your kids are so blessed to have you. How wonderful it is for them to wake up in your home each morning. One day they will know it. They will be different because of it.

    The timer just went off — on to the next thing.

    Keep at it, guys!

    Steele

    Posted in A Word from the Pastor, Parenting by

  2. Out of the War Zone and Into Peace

    Leave a Comment

    Out of the War Zone and Into Peace by Steele Croswhite of The Rock Church

    Hey, Parents –

    You guys are heroes. You are involved in the greatest work of your life and your kids are so blessed to have you as their mom and dad. I mean it!

    I’m not sure about you, but sometimes it seems like my children’s favorite words to each other are things like, “Stop it!”, “That’s mine!” or “NO!”

    How many times have we heard this?

    (more…)

    If you are anything like me, those words (at times) can almost become like background noise and are easy to ignore. We can tend to think to ourselves, “They’ll work it out.” or “At least they’re not crying.” or “They’re just kids.”

    All that to say (like me), I know you want your children to get along with one another and to one day grow into loving adults who care for one each other.

    We have a couple of sayings in my house that seem to help a little with this “all-too- familiar” conflict.

    1. “Your family is your best friend.”
    2. “If you can’t play with each other nicely, then you can’t play with other friends.”
    3. “Your closest neighbor is your brother and sister.”
    4. “Older brothers and sisters protect, NOT pester.”

    I know it seems silly, but over time, it starts to work into their little minds and hearts.

    The desire for my kids to love and care for one another as they grow is not something that “just comes” naturally or easily. It takes work, practice, time, and prayer.

    Against my tired flesh, it takes me being willing to stand up (again) and calling those little warriors out of that war zone and into peace.

    I’ll say, “God calls us to speak kindly to one another and to care for one another. Let’s try it again. How should we talk to each other?”

    When the oldest child says, “But he’s too small and doesn’t play what I want to play!” then I have to say again, “Then play what HE wants to play.”

    It takes me telling my daughter to play “bad guy” with him and likewise, telling my son to “play baby” with her.

    It takes us sitting down as a family to “practice” kind speech. Talking about what the “right” and “wrong” way to speak to one another looks like.

    Parents, don’t give into the “all-too-easy” desire to let “your kids work it out.” There is a time for that, no doubt. But, in the younger years especially, you need to jump in there. Be willing to stand as a reminder to them, that there is a circle of blessing God invites them to walk in.

    Remind them again and again that they were born (out of all the people in the whole world) into YOUR family. That is truly something to fight for and rejoice in.

    Next time you hear your little people scream at one another… take a breath, smile, and bring them into peace.

    In the war zone with you,

    Steele

    Posted in A Word from the Pastor, Parenting, Thought by

  3. Know

    Leave a Comment

    Parents — your children are SO BLESSED TO HAVE YOU! They are so blessed!

    I went on a walk to stretch my legs and breathe some fresh air. It just so happened that it was also the time when many kids were getting off the bus after school. The tree-lined street was filled with children running to their respective homes.

    This made me think of my kids. I thought about how quickly the time really has flown since they were born. The day is fast approaching when they will walk by themselves (without me or my wife next to them). That thought was both sad and encouraging to me. It was sad because they grow too fast but it was also encouraging because I know they are being equipped and loved every day as they grow.

    (more…)

    I thought of how many of the children I saw were possibly going home to less than ideal home situations. Perhaps some of their homes were filled with neglect or lots of yelling or worse. To be fair, it is equally true that many of those kids may have had stable home environments.

    But, here’s what I know for certain — I know my home.

    In His grace, God has seen fit to entrust Kim and me with three precious lives. What an incredible responsibility to be a parent. What an incredible privilege. Each day I feel like I am reminded anew how hard, amazing, and wonderful it is to hear the word “Dad.” Because of this, I do not take my joy or responsibility of parenting lightly.

    So, I KNOW my home.

    • I know what my kiddos are hearing from my wife and me.
    • I know what my kiddos are hearing from each other.
    • I know what they are watching and playing and whom they are playing with.
    • I know they hear ALL THE TIME the words: “I love you, I love you, I love you!”
    • I know they hear ALL THE TIME the word: “NO”.
    • I know they are learning how to laugh and play and work.
    • I know they are learning how to love by our love for them.
    • I know they are learning how to trust and rest.
    • I know they are learning about Jesus and His Word, His love, and His salvation.
    • I know they are learning about family.
    • I know they are learning about responsibility.
    • I know they are learning about the world around them and are learning truth about this world.
    • I know they are learning about what’s important and what’s not so important.
    • I know they are learning how to pray and sing and what faith is.
    • I know they are learning how to love their neighbor.

    What a blessing to KNOW your own home.

    Each day, we have precious hours to make our homes havens for these little people. Our houses become forts and playgrounds — they also become our “churches” and “schools” and “hospitals” for them. What an amazing privilege to know your home.

    Every time you say “yes” to wrestling or “no” to a movie…. you are giving them so much. Every time you squeeze your little baby or wake up in the middle of the night for “the late night feeding” you are teaching them trust. Every time you have “coffee at my house so the kids can nap” with your friends, you are showing them you care. Every time you sit down for dinner as a family, every time you celebrate a birthday, every time you sign them up for soccer, every time you take them to church, every time you organize a “play date”…. you are blessing your kiddos beyond measure.

    For the better part of 18 years (at least), you are providing not just a house, but also a home for your children. What an awesome time to fill your home with good things… to fill your kids with good things. It is true that I don’t know what is happening in the lives of “all the other kids” around me or what is in their homes. But I DO know what is happening with my kids and I know what is happening in my home.

    Today, I want you to tell your kids (no matter how old or young they are)…. “YOU ARE SO BLESSED TO HAVE ME AS YOUR DAD/MOM.” Almost every day I tell my kids, “God must have really loved me to give you to me, and He must really love you to give me to you!”

    Your kids are so blessed to have you! They are SO BLESSED! You guys are heroes!

    I am praying for you all the time, parents. You are involved with the greatest work of your life.

    With you,

    Steele

    Posted in A Word from the Pastor, Parenting by