Parenting Requires Promise


Promise: something that has the effect of an express assurance; indication of what may be expected.

The thing we must understand about parenting is that certain promises and assurances are assumed and expected by the child in the relationship.

When a child is born, by virtue of their birth to the person who birthed them they expect and depend on certain things to happen. They expect care. They expect love. They expect food, and teaching and training on how to talk, walk and behave. Basically, protection, and provision.

All of this is understood in this relationship. If you have children, if your a mother or father then you must be willing to promise all of this.

However effective parenting requires promise at a whole other level.

Making these promises that assure a great development for your children requires integrity.

The very idea of making a promise implies honesty. Meaning, I will keep my word. I am assuring you that what is expected will happen, my word is my bond.

So integrity is key to good parenting. It means you chase hypocrisy out of your life, and you keep your word.

We know the understood promises that we talked about earlier but to be honest those are the basics. Sadly in our culture more and more parents are failing even in these basic parent promises and kids are truly suffering as a result. In society it feels as if more and more children are raising themselves. The promise in their lives has been broken.

Beyond that though, what are the promises, parents who desire to be effective, should make?

1. Continual participation.

This is a promise that seems
To be understood but surprisingly it’s not. You can protect and provide for a child and not really participate in their lives. Some parents parent like they are observing their child’s life from outside of it. You can do things for them but not really be doing life with them. Especially as they get older.

Participation is keeping the promises that are not understood. Going beyond “doing our duty” as a parent.

I see parents all the time especially dads who have a disconnect. They are there but not really there.

It’s fine to use technology and tv and different tools at your disposal to help with your child’s development, but not in place of you. Don’t let your kids grow up knowing their favorite Disney character better than they know you.


1. When your kids are small get down on the floor with them and play.

2. Be focused on your kids not other distractions. Observing your kids playing and watching tv at the same time is not participating.

3. Get involved. Start when they’re young and guide them towards things that are good for them and that they have a bent towards than get involved with them. Don’t watch them play ball only, practice with them at home. don’t just send them for music lessons go hang out with them at the music store. Have them play and sing for the family.

Understand effective parents promise participation and they keep their promises.

2. Training in spiritual things.

One of the biggest hypocrisies I see today are parents who say I send my kids to church because I want them to know what’s right but I’m not much of a church person myself.

That is not raising them right and you are sending mixed messages.

For the spiritual development of your children you need to have a relationship with Jesus yourself. You need to be connected to his church, and you need to lead your children into that relationship. Reading the bible should be a regular part of your life and praying should be your first resort. Then practice what you preach. This model creates such stability, love and positive development in your children. It has to be real however not just a behavior development plan, it has to be a true relationship with Jesus.

3. Total communication

Biggest mistake in this area is to think it doesn’t matter until they are old enough to truly talk about serious issues. Much of what your doing as a parent when your children are small is training and teaching them the proper parameters to know right from wrong with an attitude that gives them the right to be creative and live life to the fullest. A lot of parents wait until their kids are adolescent to truly start parenting. Big mistake!

You want them to be moving towards making their own decisions and taking responsibility when they are adolescent but how will they do that if there has been no real communication to that point. They must be thinking, “you haven’t placed any demands on me for 12 years but now all of a sudden I’m in chains.”

You want them at adolescence to know they can talk to you about anything, but if you haven’t really listened to or talked with them for 12 yrs why would you be their first option? Having conversation is not necessarily communication.

Communication starts immediately be a listener to your children. When that little 4 yr old is babbling non-stop remember to listen. It’s not about what she is saying its about her access to you. Remember when that pre-teen is asking questions non-stop take it seriously and don’t be impatient. Don’t ever send the message that you don’t have time. Because later when they need to talk to you they are going to assume you don’t have time.

There are so many promises we as parents should make to our children if we want to be effective. Most importantly we must keep the promises we make.

Integrity, honesty, and love are tools of the trade for parents. Make sure they are in your tool bag.

If we learn this, I promise you, your kids will follow.

Remember they do what you do more than what you say.

This blog is becoming a book, so I’ll stop here. Just remember effective parenting requires promise. Your word is your bond.


Parenting is a Process


Parenting is not about perfection, but about understanding the process of maturation. Not only for the child but for the parent.

Process is…

1. a systematic series of actions directed to some end.

2. a continuous action, operation, or series of changes taking place in a definite manner:

I think it’s interesting how the first child relationship works. You have the experience of your parents to go by, or even the books you read, and lord on that first one we read every book out there. Some of which were good and others which were garbage.

Even though you have those
Experiences and the books when that first child is born its as off all that goes out the window and your begging your parents to please stay and don’t leave this baby in your feeble care as to endanger it because you have no clue as to what to do.

Any parent who have not had that fear I truly worry about. It’s at
That moment the process of parenting begins. You quickly find out how imperfect you are and realize that you’ve begun a process that’s as much about you systematically changing as it is about your baby growing.

Life is seasonal, it’s incremental and if you desire to become a great parent you’ll be patient with the process.

Baby stage-you’re getting use to the fact the you are solely responsible for the life of this little one. You can’t get
them to sleep right, they are messy, and they can do nothing for themselves.

They have the ability to reveal your weaknesses. How easily frustrated you are. How impatient and how fast you can turn on your spouse.

This season can be funny but in a very real sense terrifying.

Toddler stage-this is a fun season, they learn so many things, how to crawl, walk, talk, and completely play the angles. Yes they learn to manipulate. You find out again how imperfect you are realizing you can be yanked around by your emotions by a little 20 lb twerp.

Believe it or not I think it’s at this stage I most parents forget the process all together and make some of our biggest parenting mistakes.

Pre-school stage-this stage is fantastic and fun as well as a full on Frenzy. Many times it’s at this stage parents will have another child and deal with school preparation and releasing their child into the real world. The process for the child is becoming a bit independent from mom and dad and the process for parents is the ability to let that happen without becoming a control freak.

Elementary stage-this is the stage where you realize the baby’s gone and they are a little boy or girl. This season goes fast and crashes right into the next with a bang. The process for the child is massive cognitive development, seemingly at the speed of light, and for parents it is the process of learning how to help navigate friendships, hurt feelings, school stresses and pre-adolescent challenges. While going through a process of change theirselves trying to know how to be a parent, coach, counselor, and doctor all at once.

Adolescent stage-this stage is what I call elongated rapid change. This season is a long time of change but seems things are changing quickly day to day. For the child it’s fun, confusing, emotional, terrifying, and plain old weird. What’s interesting about this stage is that the process for the child and parent is exactly the same. Fun, confusing, emotional, terrifying, and plain old weird.

Young adult phase-seems this stage would be easier than the rest , simply because you’ve had this time to figure it all out. Truth be told it has been one of the hardest stages for me. Letting go is hard to do. Incredibly hard.

As I said before all of this doesn’t take perfection as a parent it takes understanding times and seasons. Understanding the process. The process the kids are going through growing up and the process the parent is going through helping to manage that process, while managing their own process of change.

My advice is to treat parenting not as much as a teaching experience from you but a learning experience for you. Then use what you learn to walk your children through the process of life.

So stop the madness of trying to be the perfect parent. It’s not going to happen anyway, but be patient with the process and treat each stage with the importance it deserves.

Process points:

Baby stage provide love, security and care. In your actions and tone. When you feel like a failure suck it up they are depending on you

Toddler stage-don’t make the mistake of “letting anything go.” This is such a huge development time. Now is the time to start drawing parameters, while empowering potential.

Pre-school stage-be ready to walk through the first stage of release. Be very encouraging and use positive reinforcement to guide positive behavior while not being afraid to confront wrong behaviors. Instilling the ability in them to learn how to be interdependent.

Elementary stage-listen, listen, listen

Adolescence stage– don’t believe the negative lies, be patient, be honest, communicate, communicate, communicate.

Young adult-take on role of guidance counselor. Relationship changes a lot and you have to let it.

This process of parenting is very deceitful. At times it seems like life is moving at a snails pace then before you know it the stages are over and you’re being forced to let go. So be a part of the process.

Bad parenting can be defined as observing, good parenting can be defined as participating. Get involved in the process and forget about perfection.

Father (& mother) know best

Proverbs 1:8-9 (msg). Pay close attention, friend, to what your father tells you; never forget what you learned at your mother’s knee. Wear their counsel like flowers in your hair, like rings on your fingers.

My Pastor, Kirk Pankratz was teaching on parenting last night, and he recalled like many of us do that when he was 14-16 he felt like his parents didn’t know anything but when he arrived at 21-22 he realized they were much smarter than he thought. We can all laugh at that because we’ve all been there.

Adolescence does that to us. As we develop independence we assume we know more than we do and that our parents know less, but when we are old enough to take on the responsibility of independence, we realize how little we know and how much they know.

Solomon is teaching us here that experience and wisdom from our parents is very valuable. He says wear it like jewelry.

Basically he is telling us to embrace and not reject what either of our parents told us as children. Be proud to follow their wisdom, consider it like treasure. I have found this to be true in my own life.

What if my parents weren’t the smartest people? Nobody’s perfect, but their experience has taught them something, and if you pay close attention you will glean some very important things from them.

There is wisdom In listening to those who’ve already gone down the road you’re trying to travel.

What important lessons have you learned from your parents? Please share.

Power in Parenting-seasons

Romans 8:28. All things work together for good to them that love the Lord and are called according to his purpose.

In life we go through seasons. Some hard, some easy. Some complicated, some simple. Some tumultuous, some peaceful.

It does no good to obsess over seasons. When we do we get stuck. Our growth is stunted. We may not always like the season we are in, but God takes all things and works them together for our good.

We need a big picture vision, not a small picture vision. Most people like apple pie or some kind of pie. If I were to offer you pie and you came to get it, and I gave you a bowl of flour, you would be frustrated, flour is in apple pie, but by itself it does not taste like apple pie. You will have flour moments but if you combine it with sugar, salt, crisco, and apples it’s all good.

Don’t obsess over seasons that are mere ingredients to the finish product. Wait and trust that all the ingredients put together will make a great finished product.

For example, the birth of your child is incredible, everyone is there, and so excited. Not long after you have to go home. The full responsibility is on you. The baby keeps you awake all night, you feel unqualified.

How about the wonderful times when your baby starts talking and walking, it’s so much fun, then all of a sudden they have a mind of their own and are almost impossible to keep up with, and you wish they would just be quiet.

I love that fun elementary age, they’re learning and think you know everything, then they become an adolescent, and they know everything and you know nothing.

As our kids grow, there are some great things that happen, some very painful things that happen. What we should never do is obsess over a season. Get hung up in a season that is so good we refuse to release and move on, or allow a bitter season to make us bitter, and everyone else moves on and we are stuck.

Remember ALL things work together for good! Live in the moment, and let your faith and trust in God help you realize, that at some point, your gonna have a fantastic tasting pie, and maybe a little ice cream.

Something to say about Leadership…My daddy’s bigger than your daddy.

I believe that in order for us to break free from insecurity, which remember is fear, we must have the right perspective about several things. The first of which is the right perspective about God. It really is sad to me how many people see God through a skewed view point. Instead of believing Him based on what He says about Himself, many have taken other peoples word for who God is and what He does, and many times their perspective is based on fear. It reveals their own insecurity and by no means truly reflects the heart of God.

How do you see God? Many See him as a mean spirited judge who is anything but just. They see Him as a vengeance seeking tyrant who wants to destroy people when they make a mistake. Others see Him as a sadistic Jester who gets his kicks out of playing with our lives. Others See him as a force, far removed, and distant from our lives. How do you see Him?

Why does it matter? I believe if we have the right perspective about God then we can have a right relationship with Him, and if we have a right relationship with him, and we get a true revelation of what that means, fear will be run out of our lives. How do you see God?

We can view Him a lot of different ways. As the powerful creator, who created all that is. We could view Him as the bible describes Him the first and the last. The genesis and final authority of all things. We could see Him as the judge. Make no mistake, He is. He will be the final judge of all things. Isn’t it interesting however that while we could view Him as all these things, that is not how Jesus said we should view Him and It isn’t what He illustrates in the new Testament.

How did Jesus say we should view Him? In Matthew 6:9, Jesus was teaching the disciples how to pray, and He said, “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be your name.” Couldn’t he have said, our creator in heaven? Or our Great Judge in Heaven? Or even just the Hallowed one in heaven? He purposefully told us to call Him Father. A few versus before this he said “pray to your father in secret” Jesus is telling us to look at God as our father. When Jesus, God’s son, referred to Him, he called Him father. It may not be clear yet why this is important, but follow me, you’ll see.

The new testament gives us several illustrations of this. The story of the prodigal son. This story is a picture of the relationship between God and Man, God being the father. The Gospels say in luke, “if you being earthly men know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more does your father in Heaven want to give you the Holy Spirit. There is One more scripture I want to give you that kind of sums this up.

Romans 8:15 says, We have not been given the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, abba Father. This passage of Scripture answers our question. Why does this matter? It tells us that we have been adopted by a good father so we don’t need to be afraid.

Please don’t take me out of context or understand me to say that God is not the judge, or creator, or due reverence, but God wants us to view him as our father. Why? Because when you truly realize that God is your Dad, then you will also realize there is nothing to be afraid of. Not poverty, cause your dad owns it all. Not sickness cause your dad cares for you and is also your healer. Not stress, because your dad is bigger than all that, and He loves you. He says, Im not just a father, but I’m a good father.

I really didn’t understand this until I became a father, and experienced a fathers love. I know how much I care for my girls. I know I would do anything for them. I would fight hell itself, I would give my own life, I would go to what ever extent to take care of them. I’m imperfect, I have flaws, I don’t always get it right, but if I have this heart towards my kids, and God is perfect and He never gets it wrong then what a great dad He must be.

So what does that have to do with overcoming insecurity? Were you ever on the playground and got in an argument with another kid about who’s dad is the best or biggest, and what does it always come down to. Someone says, “my dad is bigger than your dad.” Well in this case that is always true.

No matter what we are facing, our father, God is always bigger. So if God is always bigger than what do I have to be afraid of? Why should I be insecure. Fear, insecurity, much of the time is driven by intimidation. We feel intimidated by our circumstances, or competitive because of someone else’s gifts. However if we truly get a revelation of God that he is our father, and he is good, and he wants what’s best for us. If i really believe that, and that’s the perspective I have in life, then I have no need to fear. My girls know, I’m always here for them. In my humanity some day that won’t be true, because physically I can’t always be there. Humanity doesn’t apply to God. He said in Matthew…”I will never leave you or forsake you.”

So I encourage you as a leader if you want to overcome insecurity and really find your place and confidence then begin to see God like he wants you to see Him. Not as a judgmental person who is merely tolerating you, but a loving father who is always there for you.

Thank God for His grace, his mercy, and His Father’s heart. Let me encourage you, the beginning of this type of understanding is to become a son or daughter of God. You do that by inviting Jesus into your life, and forgiving your sins and committing to follow him. If you ask him to have this relationship with you he will.