Posts Tagged ‘familylife’

You Da Man by Dennis Rainey

February 9, 2011

Really liked Dennis Rainey’s devotion today from Moments With You devotional.  Debunks the fallacy that a strong man in the home is a threat to the wife/mom but rather correctly states that a man who leads his home spiritually, physically and courageously is a blessing to the health and viability of the family and its’ legacy.

You Da Man   (excerpt from Dennis Rainey/Moments With You)

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

Dennis Rainey

After speaking at a Promise Keepers event in Houston, I was met by a television crew offstage. The interviewer baited me by mentioning a group of women picketing the event and what they perceived as men being encouraged to take advantage of women.

In reality, the demonstration was pretty minor—a couple dozen women outside the Astrodome while 40,000 men stood inside worshiping the Lord. Still, I looked the camera in its little glass eye and said, “You know, it baffles me how any woman could criticize an organization that’s calling men to be responsible fathers and husbands.”

I added, as an example, “Up front, just to the left of where I was speaking a moment ago, there were more than 30 prisoners dressed in white. They had been given a day’s pass so that they could come to the entire session today. If you went up to interview them right now, you would find that most of these incarcerated men never had a daddy in their lives.”



DadPad: When is Enough, Enough? Kids, Video Games and Parenting

April 15, 2010

Are your kids into gaming?  I found some interesting statistics on the effects of Video Game Playing at the National Institute on Media and the Family’s website:  For instance:

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  • 63% of Americans have played a video game in the past 6 months, compared to only 53% of people who have gone out to the movies (NDP Group Inc., 2009).
  • A study of over 2,000 8 to 18 year-olds (3rd through 12th graders) found that 83% of them have at least one video game player in their home, 31% have 3 or more video game players in their home, and 49%  have video game players in their bedrooms (Roberts, Foeher, and Rideout, 2005).
  • In the same study only 21% of kids reported that their parents set rules about which video games they can play, 17% reported their parents check warning labels or ratings on video games, and 12% reported they play video games they know their parents don’t want them playing (Roberts, Foeher, and Rideout, 2005).

Did you read that last bullet?  Only 21% of kids said Mom and Dad set rules about video game playing and 12% play games that they (kids) KNOW their parents don’t want them playing.

The video game industry continues to grow.  In fact, the 2010 Game Developers conference in San Francisco had “an all-time record of 18,250 game industry professionals attending San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center for the March 9th-13th event. Surpassing last year’s total of 17,000 attendees.” (By Ubm Techweb Game Network, PRNE-March 14, 2010)

There are plenty of issues that can be debated and discussed about the pros/cons of video games.  Here are a few potential outcomes of excessive gaming (per the Effects of Video Game Playing post at

  • Adolescents who play more than one hour of console or Internet video games have more or more intense symptoms of ADHD or inattention than those who do not (Chan, 2006).
  • The most likely reasons that people play video games excessively are due to either ineffective time management skills, or as a symptomatic response to other underlying problems that they are escaping from, rather than any inherent addictive properties of the actual games (Wood, 2008).
  • Online Gaming Addictions display core components of addiction such as salience, mood modification, tolerance, conflict, withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and relapse (Chappell, 2006).
  • Both novice and expert online game players are subject to time distortion and have difficulty breaking off from the game without interruption by others in the real world (Rau, 2006).
  • Video game usage may be linked to a lower GPA and SAT score (Vivek, 2007).

Again, though there are pros of controlled video playing, there is almost no denying that it can be an addictive lifestyle that can have a negative long-term impact on our children.

In todays Moments with You daily devotional (at, “X-ing the Xbox”, there is an excerpt from the book, Playstation Nation by Kurt and Olivia Bruner, which tells the story of a mom who finally had enough.  Here’s the excerpt,

She had already earned high marks for unpopularity by limiting her boys’ game time to one hour a day. But when she came in one night before bed to tell them, “Time’s up,” they wanted to “finish a level” of their game before saving their progress. So they made a fatal choice: Instead of shutting the game off, they paused it instead . . . and returned to it in the middle of the night.

When Mom woke up at 2 A.M. and noticed the light emanating from downstairs, she went ballistic at first. Then she disappeared into her bedroom and paced the floor in prayer, asking God for wisdom about how and when to strike. Finally resolved, she went in each room and began pulling plugs and boxing up every piece of game system she could find. Then—with her boys watching in horror—she opened an upstairs window in their three-story house and dropped the whole thing to the ground. Ah, the beautiful sound of smashing electronics!

Dennis Rainey (author of the devotional) then concludes:

Drastic? Yes. But one of those boys left soon after for college with seven of his buddies. Before the first semester was completed, four of the seven dropped out and returned home to take part-time jobs so that they could have more time for video gaming. For one young man, however, the addiction was gone, thanks to a parent who cared more about her children’s character than their point totals or her popularity.

If video games have taken control of your house, maybe it’s time for you, too, to bring your kids back to reality.

In the study 1/3 of parents actually participate in the games with their children.  So, it can be a time of family interaction and fun.  There are some other positive benefits of video games.  As in most things in life, the issue is one of “balance and intentionality”.  My wife and I regulated the amount of time our children were able to spend in “monitor” time (an age appropriate amount of time daily that our children could spend in front of the TV + Computer).  Nowadays you need to add in cell phone time as well.

These are not easy decisions and I wouldn’t advocate going into your child’s room and tossing their computer and gaming equipment ala Howard Beale (played by the late Peter Finch) in the 1976 movie, Network, ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’ Though it may not be clearly evident the exact steps you need to take with your children, what is or should be evident is that steps do need to be taken to ensure your kids don’t get swallowed up by the video game allure.  And, it’s much easier to implement some guidelines and boundaries earlier in their lives than later.  So, what will you do today to help your kids be wiser users of media and video games?  When will you say, “Enough is Enough”?

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Celebrating Rites of Passage with Your Children

July 13, 2009

We live in one of the greatest countries this world has ever known. But, one thing we don’t really do well is celebrate the passage of our children into key stages of their growing up. Many other cultures celebrate the passing of a child into puberty and then into adulthood (typically around the ages of 13 and 16 respectively). Graduations and Weddings we get. However, many of life’s greatest lessons happen long before these celebratory events. Subsequently, we’ve left much of the indoctrination or teaching of the major issues that our children are facing to the education systems. They need to hear about and learn them from mom and dad.

Though I don’t claim to be the world’s greatest “celebrator”, I learned about the importance of having these rites of passage with my children, especially my son. Through friends, FamilyLifeand PromiseKeeper’s, I was encouraged in how to help prepare my son for manhood and launch him into the awkward stages of puberty and high school.

When Bryan turned 13 we took a weekend to get away and talk about some very relevant and important topics, dating, peer pressure and sex. I knew he was aware of these things. But, I didn’t want this culture to be his teacher in these critical areas of life. I wanted him to hear that there were traps in each of these areas and he needed a game plan to navigate around them. FamilyLife has developed a great tool for this that I used to help plan a weekend to discuss these with him specifically. It’s called Passport 2 Purity and was my compass for the weekend.  I decided to book a hotel room across town and set up a golf outing around our discussion time.  We finished our weekend event around a steak dinner. There I presented him with a pocket knife, engraved with his name, the date of our celebration and my signature.

My wife did the same thing with our two daughters when they were a little younger (of course she didn’t play golf or give them pocket knives—spa and shopping were the order of the day for the ladies and purity rings for the girls 🙂 ). Ideally it’s done when they are 11 or 12 depending on the maturity of the child to handle these sensitive topics. We still refer to our “passport” weekend to bolster discussions about peer pressure (“bad company corrupts good morals”) and/or dating/sex issues . It was an event we’ll never forget and I believe it has helped and continues to help our children navigate these treacherous waters.

A few years later, I joined with four other dads and we began a yearlong bible study with our sons. The study was called Passages (from PromiseKeeper’s) and it guided us to have interesting and event filled studies with our sons about relevant issues they face as young men (e.g., pornography, dating, sex, choosing friends, being men of integrity, memorizing scripture, and becoming followers of Christ). We played games, ate food and shared what the Bible had to say about these topics and how we could apply them to our lives. It was a tremendous time of bonding for us as fathers with our sons and as a group of men and sons.

We celebrated the yearlong study with a camping event to the Boundary Waters, a very beautiful and rustic area of northern Minnesota. There we camped, fished, ate, and did other “guy things”. I wrote a four page letter to my son that I read to him while he rowed us out on the lake in a canoe. It was a touching time and one I still remember as if it were yesterday.  Here are some photos from the event:

Dads and Sons on Passages Camp wknd

Me and Bry at Psgs Camp wknd 2003

Finally, the night before we went home, each dad “knighted” his son. Each son sat in a chair in front of the other boys and fathers while his dad told him how much he loved him and how proud he was of him. The father concluded by praying a blessing over his son. Then, all of the fathers gathered around the group of young men and prayed collectively over them.

Dads praying over Bryan during Psgs Ceremony

Dads praying over Andrew during Psgs Ceremony

Dads praying over David during Psgs Ceremony

Dads praying over Eric during Psgs Ceremony

Again, it was a very moving time.

Bryan fishing at Passages wknd

Nice Catch Dad!

The boys of Passages

One of the dads in the group had a brother who was a graphic designer. He made up a framed portrait that had a scale model miniature swords, each of the sons and fathers name pairs and the verse, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” (1 Cor 16:13)

Warriors For Christ Plaque

Well, that’s been our experience in celebrating our children’s passage into adulthood.  We have many celebrations still to come; high school graduation for our youngest, college graduation, weddings, births of our grandchildren, et al.  Yet, I believe that maybe one of the most significant ones we have celebrated might just be their passage into these critically influential years from adolescence to puberty and into young adults.

SOUND OFF:  What rituals, rites of passage or celebrations have you experienced with your children that you know made a significant impact on their lives in preparing them to be mature men and women??

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3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Discipline Your Child

May 7, 2009

Disciplining children is a very touchy (pun not intended) subject. However, it’s hard to imagine a Dad blog that doesn’t deal with some of the challenges this issue raises. And, there’s a very good chance that we, the authors of DadPad, don’t agree on all aspects of the “how to’s” of disciplining our children. So, for some of my additional thoughts about this topic, read the post-blog thoughts after the SOUND OFF question below.

My wife and I recently attended a FamilyLife Weekend To Remember. We serve as missionaries on staff with FamilyLife so this marriage conference has helped and continues to help us in our marriage. If you’ve never gone, you really need to consider going…and at least every other year.  OK, enough of the plug.  Anyway, at the conference, the men and women separate on Sunday mornings to hear role specific teaching.  Greg Speck, one of the weekend’s speakers, spoke to the men about being a father.  In the area of disciplining children he shared this thought provoking statement; (more…)

Knee Pads Required

March 25, 2009

Growing up in a home that was irreligious (not anti-Christian, just no evidence of faith lived out), the practices of faith were never expressed in a way that I would catch them.  Prayer was not an everyday practice except for the mealtime ritual speed mumbling of “Come Lord Jesus, be our guest.  And let these gifts to us be blessed. Amen”.  We usually said that so fast that I don’t know if I really knew what I was praying until I just wrote them above.  It sounded more like, “Comelordjesus be-r-guest andletthesegiftstousbeblessed.  Amen.”

Needless to say, the power of this prayer was probably lost in translation. When I came to a personal relationship with Christ at the ripe age of 17, I began to understand the part Prayer played (and plays) in a relationship with God.  (more…)