Last night during the conversation with John Piper, John MacArthur, and me, Piper mentioned how helped he was by the kinds of questions that Rick Gamache (senior pastor of Sovereign Grace Fellowship) regularly asks his kids. Rick gave me permission to post them here:

  • How are your devotions?
  • What is God teaching you?
  • In your own words, what is the gospel?
  • Is there a specific sin you’re aware of that you need my help defeating?
  • Are you more aware of my encouragement or my criticism?
  • What’s daddy most passionate about?
  • Do I act the same at church as I do when I’m at home?
  • Are you aware of my love for you?
  • Is there any way I’ve sinned against you that I’ve not repented of?
  • Do you have any observations for me?
  • How am I doing as a dad?
  • How have Sunday’s sermons impacted you?
  • Does my relationship with mom make you excited to be married?
  • (On top of these things, with my older kids, I’m always inquiring about their relationship with their friends and making sure God and his gospel are the center of those relationship. And I look for every opportunity to praise their mother and increase their appreciation and love for her.)
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55 thoughts on “Questions for Kids”

  1. ChrisB says:

    What’s daddy most passionate about?
    How am I doing as a dad?
    Does my relationship with mom make you excited to be married?

    I think someone forgot to tell him that he’s supposed to focus on his pastorate at the expense of his family. Someone better straighten him out before it catches on.

  2. Jenn says:

    Thanks for posting these! I just listened to that conversation this morning and I was about to email Desiring God to get these questions!

  3. AerodynamicPenguin says:

    “with my older kids, I’m always inquiring about their relationship with their friends and making sure God and his gospel are the center of those relationship.”

    This last item is a little scary, depending on how old the kids are. if they are teenagers, for example, how do you “make sure” that God and the gospel are “the center” of those relationships? It sounds like that could potentially mean a lot of pressure on a teenager — the kind of pressure that teenagers love to rebel against.

  4. Paul says:

    Thanks for posting these very helpful questions. Your help to the body of Christ through your blog is exceptional!

  5. Steve says:

    Justin, you do a good job asking question, both last night and this afternoon.

  6. Wielding the Sword says:

    Thanks for these! When I watched the conversation (and when I wasn’t cracking up), I was wondering where I could find these questions.

  7. Nick Hill says:

    Wow, these kids are blessed to have a dad that cares so much about them and their relationship with the Lord. Great questions!

  8. Micah Tillman says:

    I’ve always wondered about question 2 and where it comes from. I hear people use it frequently, but the experiences people describe as “God teaching [them] something” make me wonder whether they aren’t giving God a bad name.

    Wouldn’t it be safer (less potential for Taking-God’s-Name-In-Vain) to say, “What are you learning?” rather than “What is God teaching you?”

    Or maybe there’s a passage I’ve missed that says that God is always teaching us something. If so, that’s really exciting, and I’d love to have it pointed to me.

  9. pduggie says:

    Augh. All those questions are full of works righteousness that just make me want to flee to Jesus for the purity of the Gospel of grace.

  10. MentalVelocity says:

    pduggle -

    How in the world are those questions “works righteousness”? Where do any of those questions imply that either father or child’s righteousness comes from how they answer? It’s not “works righteousness”, it’s catechesis in the best sense of the word. It’s a father being the shepherd of his kids’ souls.

  11. GUNNY says:

    Yeah, those are pretty sweet and remind me of my need for grace. Subsequently, I’m better able to point my children to a gracious God who works within to conform us to the image of Christ.

    THANKS for sharing these.

  12. Guy says:

    call me a rebel or an ignoramus (either way, i value any prayers you might send up on my behalf), but i thought the questions were acerbic, lame, and naive. while i have no doubt that i’m a Christian, those questions make me want to barf. i can just see the middle class white males asking them with their suit and ties on (with subconscious pleas to conservative, (professional – brothers, we are not!) middle class social authorities which the children begin to associate with the gospel). this kind of narrowmindedness presumes an anemic theology of “christ and culture” – rather, a more christ against culture / anabaptist view which fails to embrace that all things are good for those who are in christ. is it not true that if our hearts are pure that the fruits will be the evidence of that charity outpoured? yes, we are devious, but the call of the believer is toward the affirmation of culture and the diverse ways one can exist are vast, while maintaining faith (romans 14 – any act committed outside of faith (in christ) is sin). for instance, i think certain questions here indicate that we must all be evangelists in our social relationships, or else we’re not keeping Christ at the center. this is rubbish (*note the language of paul, oft translated “rubbish”). furthermore, it is ironic that many of the people who would say such a thing would turn right around and attend a major / professional sporting event and yell cheers of devotion for their favorite team (or substitute country through a nationalism). yet, these cheap thrills do not differ in kind from other “worldly” passions which we are called to embrace. God created us with individuality, and thus we should not be the kind of creatures who feel guilty for being curious about the good things he’s given for us to inquire and know in the world, especially when that knowledge might draw us away from ecclesial work. only a few are called to be pastors, and even the non-clerical positions which we are called to can be beautiful if we are truly free to know Christ through them. this is why we must reject the presuppositions of these questions, and embrace the freedom which we have in Christ rather than sow seeds to false gospels of works which these questions grind into its hearers. may God have mercy on us all, that we might know his grace and treasure him above all other things, that we might be freed to lose ourselves in the joy of his creation and live as whole and full creatures unyielding to the lies and fiery darts which the devil subtly uses to keep us from this high mission and calling.

  13. Anonymous says:

    in many ways these questions are no different then having accountability with your kids. Christ is exalted in these questions. We must also remember that these are questions for kids

  14. Anonymous says:

    Guy,

    What questions would you ask your kids?

    What questions do you ask yourself?

    What questions would you want someone to ask you?

    Sorry about asking this as “anonymous”…this is the first time I have “blogged” and am just figuring it out! New adventure!

  15. DJP says:

    Since almost everyone is praising the list, I’ll not add mine; and I’m sure objecting to the trendy use of “impact” as a transitive verb but without “colon” or “tooth” as the object would be to no avail here,I’ll just ask this:

    # How am I doing as a dad?

    Everyone’s evidently okay with putting a child in a position to rate and critique his parent’s performance?

  16. Guy says:

    Anon: What questions would I ask? I would not ask such scripted ones which “djp” was so wise to point out, puts the child in the driver’s seat of the relationship. I would let my relationship with my child, that is my understanding of their personality and calling influence how I asked my child about her faith. I would seek to draw my child out as we interact in the world socially and culturally, since I believe that God is deeply involved in this world and we are deeply in need of his sustaining grace as we wake and sleep each day.

    I wonder if Piper’s taking on too much criticism for the way his family turned out. Perhaps these questions are a way for him to try to overcompensate. I don’t know. They seem just sooooo painstakingly basic and unintuitive that one might ask severe introverts or disengaged souls. If someone asked me those questions, I’d tell them to buzz off. I’d reply that if they wanted to have a conversation with me, they might just talk to me instead of try to put me into a box through a (perfectionistic) evaluative paradigm.

    The thing that you Baptists (tongue in cheek, but not really…hah) need to realize is that the moral dimension, the evaluative paradigm, it is not the structure and does not make up the core of our very existence. Piper actually said he felt like he focused too much on the rational/theological/notional as a father rather than the lived/experienced/savored part of life. I’m just detecting an imbalance in these questions, and perhaps in my own life, and trying to (with words) realign my life in a worldly dimension. It seems that once we lose worldliness, we rarely know how to get it back. Once the worldly tether snaps, we become self-righteous, know-it-alls, disaffected by lived experience. In our globalized, technologized world, it is hard not to be puffed up by our right as heirs of both divine knowledge through scripture, but even more so, of all things as they happen on tv, the internet, etc. All of this big picture stuff dislocates us from human beings, which is most assuredly nearer to the call of God for us. Dancing, imagining, playing, kissing – sure these things alone are not sufficient to build a life on, or to give one a robust theology of suffering, but they have a place, a dear and tender place in our lives, which should chasten our law-bearing souls to love our neighbor as our selves because we have been so loved by our God.

  17. kida says:

    I’m slightly confused on how I as a person (let alone a father) am suppose to help someone defeat a sin? I’ve never had anyone ask me if they could help me like that. I thought the the only reason we have victory over sin is because of Christ and the work He did for us on the cross. If I’m off base or missing something would someone please fill me in.

    and…

    If my dad came and asked me the questions posted I’d wonder what he was smoking… My father knows me and would ask questions concerning where I am on my journey.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Strange questions–they bring out little if any emotions or affections!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    These questions were developed by one particular man for his particular children – if they work for others, great! If not, then take the MOTIVE behind the questions and develop your own style. Namely, figure out a way, any way, some sort of way to be a dad who lays his life down for his wife and kids and cares for them as one who is responsible for “presenting them blameless before the Lord.” God has given husbands a HUGE calling, and I think it’s great when they honor that calling. In my opinion, it’s better to have a list of “okay” questions (I personally, think they’re pretty good, although they apparently make some others want to “barf”) and pray that God would breathe on them and do His sovereign work in the kids’ lives than to not have any questions at all.

  20. jared says:

    All i know is I don’t want to ask my kids those questions. That is enough to know something needs to change.

  21. Kyle says:

    Guy said: “I wonder if Piper’s taking on too much criticism for the way his family turned out. Perhaps these questions are a way for him to try to overcompensate.”

    These aren’t Piper’s questions. They’re Rick Gamache’s.

  22. Tina says:

    Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.

    Two men seek to help us in our journey as parents. I am grateful. I am able to appreciate in love the spirit of the questions. We are, after all, brothers and sisters in Christ with our children. We sharpen each other with accountability.

    I am saddened by the lack of loving spirit from some of the posts. Even when in one is in sin, Paul tells us to rebuke gently. This blog is meant as a help.

  23. Steve W. says:

    More Christian behavior focus—not heart and affection questions. Tina, I think alot of the responses are accurate. Just what we need is more “performance oriented” Reformed kids!

  24. don gale says:

    THANKS!!! I was already preparing to scour the internet to find these, but you, o blogger, have done it for me.

  25. Jake says:

    How are your devotions?
    What is God teaching you?
    In your own words, what is the gospel?
    Are you more aware of my encouragement or my criticism?
    Are you aware of my love for you?
    How have Sunday’s sermons impacted you?

    I’m confused by people’s negative reactions here. These seem like very heart-centered questions, and the list also included lots of practical ones. Call me crazy, but I want my kids to fight really hard against sin and try to live a holy life. That can only happen by God’s grace, but it also involves their own laboring and striving. I don’t think it will make them “performance oriented.”

    I’m worried that we’re so afraid of legalism in the church today that we won’t lift a finger to pursue holiness in the fear of God.

  26. Anonymous says:

    This Blog is a blessing to all who benefit from DG. I find no flaw or theological error in these questions. For a parent to ask their Children how they feel they are doing as a parent is not relinquishing your authority as a parent but is a heartfelt question to those you love whom you want to understand and understand you. It gives you a great opportunity to explain you decisions of love in your discipline to them. The key is not the questions but what is talked about after them. hopefully they each provoke a thought filled conversation.

  27. Michael says:

    Sorry everyone I sent the last anon.

  28. Alex F says:

    For what its worth, I would be shocked if this dad sat down with a pen and pad in front of his kids and went through all of these questions as if holding some kind of interview or performance evaluation.

    More likely, as he spends time with his children (at the dinner table, in the car, on a walk, etc.), he may use one or two of these questions to begin to draw out his kids (or his wife or friend) into meaningful and substantive conversation.

    These questions are tools, useful gateways into the kind of discussion that we should be seeking to engage others with as we fulfill our divine call to shepherd them. Obviously there’s a lot of time and relational investment going on before, during, and after.

  29. Ann says:

    I grew up in a very legalistic Christian home…and since nobody really cared what my heart was like as long as I looked and acted right on the outside, I lived a very hidden life inside, yet one that cried out to be known and cared about for what was inside me! Had my parents asked me those questions as a teen, I would not have answered them honestly because the lack of trust in the relationship and the knowledge that my answers would be used against me, but I would have loved to have been asked such questions if I’d known I was loved and safe to answer. All that to say…I lived in a performance-based Christian world, and questions like these, if asked in a context of love and trust, will not create that sort of world.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I have got to stop reading the comments section of the blogosphere! It is remarkable how willing we are to criticize, and with invective, just about anything someone else does.

    Yes, I recognize the irony of my own criticism of other people’s criticism; the point is I also recognize that I’m too often a loveless, critical jerk. Some of you guys could stand to see the same thing about yourselves.

    Thanks be to God for mercy to folks like us.

    Matt

  31. Andrew says:

    Alex –

    Excellent point, exactly how I would envision it as well.

    For the harsh critics (and Guy in particular), maybe it isn’t wise (and probably isn’t gracious) to try condemn someonefor some questions they use to shepherd their child’s heart. And honestly, the comma convoluted and parentheses polluted scholar-speak doesn’t come across well on blog comment forums :)

    Also, although it’s hard to judge, it seems like the critics posting here aren’t fathers. Honestly, they sound a bit more like “pajama blogger jihadists who make declarations about how the world should be from the comfy confines of their mom’s house.” Do the critics know what it’s like to be responsible before God for their child and how they parent?

    There might be a relevant connection between dads loving the questions and single guys not liking them (or hating them, apparently). Maybe I’m wrong though.

  32. Daryl says:

    I think the “Daddy Rating” questions are great questions…to ask your wife.

    Incidentally, someone suggested that Dr. Piper is taking too much credit for how well his family turned out. In fact, during the Q&A at the conference this past weekend he indicated the exact opposite. He feels so badly about how he’s done as a Dad that we wished he had used these questions and has passed them onto his sons so they can avoid his errors.

    Some of the questions may be a bit misguided, but give the man his due. He passed them on out af a repentant heart, not an arrogant one.

  33. mondongoman says:

    If you don’t believe these questions reveal sin in our hearts, just look at all the comments they have provoked.

  34. his sister says:

    Questions like these are meant to foster communication between children and their parents. They are simple suggestions with potential for a profound impact. And, as an observer of Rick’s relationship with his children, be assured that his kids benefit greatly from their weekly times with him. As I watch the way they trust their father and seek him out to talk about anything and everything, I pray my children will do the same as they grow. Also, he lives a life that is continually focused on God’s grace through the work of Jesus Christ ALONE!!! And, to put your minds at ease…I don’t even know if he owns a suit:)…

  35. Carol Blair says:

    Jake–

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Especially your **very perceptive** last sentence:

    “I’m worried that we’re so afraid of legalism in the church today that we won’t lift a finger to pursue holiness in the fear of God.”

    I see evidence of this **everywhere.**

    Carol Blair
    Longview, TX

  36. Chase says:

    The men who posted and discussed these questions at the conference, by the lives they are living and the kids they have raised and are raising, speak with just a hair more authority than the Roger Eberts of the blog world.

  37. Steve W. says:

    And I see evidence everywhere that legalism is alive and very well—-we love to start with grace and mercy and then in our journey we want to add Christian behaviorialism to our own lives and to others—when one gets caught up with Christ; when one finds Him our only delight; when one finds Christ our appetite than the deadly system of legalism can be broken!!

  38. Mason says:

    It is astounding that bearing fruit could be called legalism. We praise the dead theologians but O how far we have drifted from them

  39. Christopher says:

    A pastor is required to have a family that is faithful, otherwise, how will he shepherd the church?

    It’s no surprise that these good shepherds, who ask the probing questions from the pulpit each week, would also see fit to do a little probing at home.

    Those who do not shepherd their children show they are not fit to shepherd the church.

    Those who mock these probing questions appear to me to be mocking the role of the pastor.

    I hope Piper takes some time now in a sermon or some other forum to teach us all the importance of probing questions on the path to heaven.

  40. Jamie Dunbar says:

    I think these are great questions to be asking your kids. I’m not a parent, however I am a young adult. After I became a Christian I had some adults in my life from my church that would ask me some of these questions. I think if we value our children’s relationship with the Lord and ours we will take the time to ask children questions.

    # How are your devotions?
    # What is God teaching you?
    # In your own words, what is the gospel?

    These are great questions for a parent to ask. Parents should desire to see their children grow in godliness and how else to do that but to spend time in scripture and devotion. The gospel is something each believer ought to preach to his/herself, children should not be exempt from this. The gospel is just as important for them to know.

    The rest of the questions concerning family are huge if you want to stay close to your family and continue as the kids grow older to openly talk about spiritual things and ways that the parent can change if there is a problem or sin. Parents, some of the greatest relationships I’ve seen between parents and young adult children are the openess to dicuss spiritual things and to not only view yourselves as parents to these kids, but also as brothers and sisters in Christ, who encourage, teach, pray for, and lean on each other.

    Thanks for posting these questions.

  41. Mrs. J says:

    Obviously these are good questions to get us thinking about the KINDs of things we should be focusing on/talking about around the table–these are options, not mandates. Even if we don’t ask these questions to our children out loud, we should be considering them as good, simple ways to reflect on our parenting.

    I’m not Baptist, but I think this is a valuable exercise.

    I stil would like to hear if Guy has any positive contributions to make in terms of the questions he would ask.

  42. luke middleton says:

    Micah Tillman,

    You raise an interesting point, but I’m not sure what was gained from your critique here. It’s hard to not see this as splitting hairs or just missing the boat by loading more on the topic than was intended.

    If you are learning truth, is it not God who is teaching it to you? Sure, we could also attribute falsehoods to God (thus using His Name in vain as you mentioned), but that should keep us coming back to Scripture. Is there anything we have learned that God has not revealed to us? This question seeks to give God the credit and glory for sinful minds being renewed and sinful hearts being changed. Is it not the norm for fruit to be produced in the life of a believer and does that fruit not involve the exposing of sin and the understanding and application of God’s Word? Are Scripture and the Spirit not the teachers we give all the credit to?

    aerodynamicpenguin,

    It seems as though your thesis is: “That could be a lot of pressure; it could be a cause for kids to rebel.” While not wanting to present unnecessary obstacles to children that could cause them to stumble, are we all not called to keep the Gospel central in all things? Does Jesus not call teens to also delight in Him above all things? Your point is valid in the arena of paying attention to how we go about encouraging our children in this area. I’m sure overzealousness on top of misguided efforts from a parent could cause frustration for a child. But to seek to edify your children in the area of their friendships, to encourage them toward true Christian fellowship with those their age … if they rebel against that, then that is out of the parents’ hands. But we cannot stop our analysis with just examining if it could be hard (picking your cross is never easy) and it could be something they’d want to rebel against.

  43. Todd says:

    Guy,

    You said, “this is why we must reject the presuppositions of these questions, and embrace the freedom which we have in Christ rather than sow seeds to false gospels of works which these questions grind into its hearers.”

    I’m not sure what you mean by all of this. It seems as if these questions are just trying to relate to your child on a spiritual level as the head of the house which God has established. What is the Gospel? This question alone seems appropriate, as our very souls depend on our aprehension of the Gospel. For that matter I’m quite sure that we would benefit from asking ourselves this very question as often as possible, because we are prone to wonder from the biblical teaching of the Gospel and all that it entails. I’m not sure the Gospel is as simplistic and “free” as your making it. Of course the Gospel is absolutely unmerited favor towards us but it cost the Son of God his life. Scripture speaks of Christians as bond servants even slaves to Christ. Paul repeatedly refered to himself as a slave to Christ. Seems like a serious calling to me.

    Todd

  44. Thomas Fluharty says:

    man , this is pathetic all this wrangleing about with words. im sickend that someone would call these questions into question. Great job rick at being a great dad to your kids. knowing you and delaine personally and seeing Jesus at work in you and your kids is testimony enough of the power of and love of these questions. its a sick day when the church cant encourage you in pursuing your childs heart. God bless you brother. you are my pastor and i know i am WELL cared for. in admiration~TOM

  45. Anonymous says:

    “My Name will be blasphemed among the gentiles becauae of you”

  46. AerodynamicPenguin says:

    Luke,

    My concern with the last question is specifically related to the way it’s worded, and what those word imply. He says he is “making sure God and his gospel are the center of those relationships.” I cannot see how you can “make sure” a teenager’s relationships are centered on the Gospel. What does that mean? To me, it implies a very controlling father. It’s one thing to say, “I try my best to help my children develop Christian friendships.” It’s another thing to say that I “make sure” God and his gospel are central to their friendships. What does that mean? That he “ensures” that they are either 1) evangelizing non-Christian friends, or 2) hanging out with Christian friends? But, if that’s what he means, shouldn’t evangelism come from a teenager’s heart and desires, not from the controlling supervision of a father? To me, it’s one thing to try to direct your children to make God and His gospel central. That, to me, is praiseworthy. But, it seems like something altogether different to “make sure” God and his gospel are central to the lives of teenagers. That does not sound praiseworthy; that sounds controlling.

  47. centuri0n says:

    Wow. Lots of my friends posting here with a lot of varied responses.

    Let me say a couple of things under the paid of blogopsheric anathema:

    – I don’t think this list puts a kid in the position of judging his father. I think it puts a father in the position of trying to see how his God-ward intentions are being received by his child. Just because we chose to do something we really suffered over, and we see it as the godly thing to do doesn’t mean we’ve done the right thing or that it’s being received as it is intended to be delivered. While I admire the apostle Paul, I am sure I am not inspired as he was and I could use some feedback — even from an 8 yr old.

    – The “B” side of the prodigal son is the “other” son, the one who didn’t go squander his Father’s wealth. Notice that when the unprodigal son complains to Dad, Dad doesn’t say, “button it up, kid — it’s my money.” Instead his father came out and entreated him, but the son answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ And the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’

    That is, it wasn’t my way or the highway: it’s a matter of generous and loving correction. We can correct if we aren’t listening.

    – most of this list is absolutely essential household catechism, both by repetition and by example.

    – I think it is a mistake to class openness and willingness and humility the way the world does. For that specific reason, I think these questions give us a worldview-shaping avenue into the lives of our kids.

    Thanks for posting these, Justin, as I think they open up an excellent conversation.

  48. centuri0n says:

    oops –

    “pain” not “paid”

    “We can’t correct if we aren’t listening” not “We can correct if we aren’t listening”.

    Sorry

  49. luke middleton says:

    AerodynamicPenguin,

    Thanks for your reply.

    You said:

    I cannot see how you can “make sure” a teenager’s relationships are centered on the Gospel. What does that mean? To me, it implies a very controlling father.

    I’m glad you stopped again (as you did in your first post) to ask what the author meant. While it is ok to consider the possibilities, I hope you have kept yourself from drawing conclusions if you are unsure of his intentions.

    I hope that you are leaving wide open the door of possibility that what you are interpreting is not necessarily what the author intended, meant, or prescribed. Until you believe you are crystal clear on what the author is saying, I’d encourage you to consider the profitability of arguing against what you perceive his point to be and also consider how arguing against what you believe this pastor’s point is could potentially shed incorrect negative light on his character.

    I would assume that I’m not alone in this, but I did not interpret what the author said the way you did. In this situation, we may be hanging too much weight on what the author potentially said. In examining the evidence, it may not be fair to ascribe as much as you are to what “make sure” could possibly imply. It definitely could imply some rather bizarre and unhelpful behavior, but it also could imply drawing your child out about his relationships and where he has seen the grace of God at work, asking where he needs help in applying Scripture to his friendships, and how he can seek to keep the Gospel central in all aspects of his life, including his young friendships.

    If we’re not clear on the author’s intent, it may be most helpful to not move beyond what we know for sure.

  50. Mike Brown says:

    When someone uses the phrase “make sure,” I generally don’t understand them to mean “to force something to absolutely be the case.” Generally, I understand that phrase to mean “make a concerted effort to cause something come to pass.”

    I think that makes a difference – we’re not talking about forcing kids to hang out with only Christians or always do nothing but witness to non-Christians – we’re talking about exhorting them and teaching them how to understand the gospel in such a way that it transforms all of their relationships and activities (from having Bible studies to playing video games to sharing the gospel to playing basketball).

  51. Anonymous says:

    I feel it is pointless to comment due to the intensity if some previous posts and an unwillingness to see things from a corrected and more informed perspective.
    To ask question like these, I think, is awesome…if the one asking them loves his kids, and they are asked as a sign and demonstration of that love! People here have been very good at tearing this issue apart, and some are gulty of even tearing the man apart, without any real consideration of the family life and relationship dynamic that exists between father and kids! I think that is why some undrrstand and some don’t. The other reason being a lack of understanding!! O to have no other debates to be involved in, what would our lives be? More effective probably! Guy, you need to wise up!

  52. Kim says:

    I think it’s dangerous to incite your kids to think about your own inadequacies. They’ll just take advantage of it.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Is it right, though, that we take that risk in order to show our kids that mom and dad aren’t perfect and do still mess up and sin, and in so doing, we point to the One who is perfect and still shows mom and dad grace, even though we deserve none of it! “But Jesus is a great Savior kids”! I think the pressure would be greater on kids if we get on like we are perfect with no acknowledgement of our failure! I don’t think that would be authentic or genuine parenting!

  54. Tina Harkey says:

    Just this morning during our staff prayer time I prayed for the families of our church. I’ve had several moms voice to me that they wish their husbands would lead devotions for their family or be the spiritual headship for the family.

    This is a great place to start for families that aren’t quite sure of how to do devotions, how to lead their children. By having some initial questions they can add more of their own and have great conversations with their children.

    Isn’t that really the point – the opportunity to build relationship with your child. Yes, I want her to be a disciple of Christ, to have a relationship with Him, but does that not come by starting with good relationships with her parents. We show her what relationship is and that we are available – just like her Heavenly Father – for anything.

    Thanks for posting these questions. I will use them to challenege my dads to have dialogue with their children.

  55. Bob Meredith says:

    I agree with Ann who said that she would have answered them dishonestly. The person who is hiding something becomes very adept at lying and shading truth to look good. I know because I have done it many times, and I am ashamed. But the truth of these questions is that if you are not asking your kids anything even close to them, whether you, in your great wisdom and might, think they are performance or works oriented or not, something is amiss.

    Having “substantive conversations” with your kids is something that people with infants or no children talk about. They talk like “When my kid gets to that age, al of my interactions with them will be God-centered and substantive. HA!

    I think the questions are a great place to start, and if you have “Deeper, heart centered” questions, well then use them, just drop the high and mighty criticisms.

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Justin Taylor


Justin Taylor is senior vice president and publisher for books at Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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