Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!
On parenting, especially being a father to boys: A Few Tips for Raising Boys by David Murray
Dads need to try and get time with their teenage boys. My relationships with my teenage sons always went better when I spent time with them in the evenings, and especially on Saturdays. Ideally we would try to do something physical outside, whether it was working in the yard, going fishing, swimming, playing soccer, cycling, skiing or something like that. Time with them plus physical activity greatly improved our relationships. These were also opportunities to chat with them in a casual, informal, non-threatening way about spiritual and moral issues. (click here to read more)
On flattery and pride: Lay Aside the Weight of Flattery by Jon Bloom
Flattery is contrasted with a rebuke because flattery is a form of lying. And it’s a particularly insidious form, because in the moment it is spoken, flattery sounds so much like encouragement. Yet there’s a heaven-and-hell difference between the two. Encouragement is truth spoken from a loving motive to increase faith and hope in the hearer. Flattery is a lie, masquerading as encouragement, from a selfish motive to manipulate the hearer in order to achieve the flatterer’s covert purpose. (click here to read more)
On religious liberty: 4 Cultural Trends Leading to the Decline of Religious Liberty by Trevin Wax
In recent years, it’s been interesting to see how “freedom and worship” and “freedom of religion” are used interchangeably, as if they are the same thing. The First Amendment guarantees the “free exercise of religion” not the “freedom to worship as you please.” Or, to make the point clearer, we should say freedom of worship comes under the broader umbrella of freedom of religion.
Many Americans believe that as long as churches are free to teach and preach what they want, we have freedom of religion in this country. But this diminishment of freedom to a “worship service” is very different from the freedom to live out one’s religious convictions in everyday life. It walls off religion and consigns it to rituals and values that are personal and private (see Trend #1). But Christianity is not just about one’s private beliefs; it’s about a way of life. It’s one thing to say “Jesus is Lord of my heart” and another thing to say, “Jesus is Lord of all.” Christians affirm both of those truths. (click here to read more)
On parenting, in general: You Don’t Need More Parenting Advice by Paul Tripp
This is what we’re after in parenting. If you desire not only to cope but to thrive with vision and joy as a parent, you need more than seven steps to solving whatever. You need God’s helicopter view of what he’s called you to do. You need the gospel of Jesus Christ to reveal the foundational principles that will not only help you make sense of your task, but will change the way you approach it. (click here to read more)