The Journey with Ron Moore

What are some of the important parenting tools you need to raise your kids according to scripture?

That’s Ron Moore’s topic in this broadcast. Employ them and watch your children grow into successful adults.

Of great importance, in every home, is the box in which the tools of parenting are stored.

In this half-hour, Ron Moore equips us with a biblical container that not only holds those tools but also instructs us in their use.

For the last twenty years, my wife Lori and I have participated in the March for Life in Washington D.C. When our children entered the sixth grade, we started taking them with us. We live in Pittsburgh, so the bus pulls out at six in the morning and we are home around midnight. It means a day from work and out of school, but we believe that is a small investment. For some of you, the trip may be much longer. But here are three reasons why we believe it is important.

  1. We want our children to understand why we believe in life.

We believe that life begins at conception. Life is not a political issue in a political platform of a political party. It is a moral issue embedded in Scripture. Man is made in the image of God. Each life deserves to be treated with honor and dignity until the last breath. Technology has taken away the argument that a fetus in the early stages is simply a blog of tissue. These are truths that parents (not the youth pastor or Christian school teacher) must teach their children.

  1. We want to show our children the power of their participation.

There is power in one voice. And that power is magnified when it is joined with others. It was reported that between 400,000 and 500,000 people attended this year’s march. That strong showing was dependent on one person at a time making a decision to show up. We want to show (not just tell) our children that their voice is important and powerful when joined with others.

  1. We want to show our children that they are not alone.

Our children may be one of the few in their classroom or at the lunch table who believes in the sanctity of life. But as they march with hundreds of thousands of others, they are reminded in a vivid way, that they are not alone. We pray that the experience of having them involved in the march gives them the confidence to speak out on this important matter.

  1. We want to show our children that we must speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves.

After World War II, German citizens living around the Nazi concentration camps were required to visit the facilities to witness the atrocities they had permitted to occur.  Though it was technically legal to kill Jews and political prisoners, these citizens were still blamed for remaining silent and not living by a higher moral code.

Many German citizens did speak up. One was Dietrich Bonhoeffer. For his decision to take a stand, he was put in prison. Bonhoeffer was put to death just days before the end of the war.

One of the prisoners who survived was Elie Weisel. Later in his life, he was awarded the Nobel Prize. In accepted the award, Weisel said this:

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endured suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps oppressors never victims. Silence encourages tormenters not the tormented.

Scripture says, Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 31:8). It’s one thing for parents to read that verse to your children. It’s another thing to show them that you mean it.



The most important thing about parenting has nothing to do with parenting.

The primary component of raising our kids is how Mom and Dad love and respect each other.

The husband and wife’s relationship is key to allowing a child to mature with security and provides a solid platform to form personal faith and values. A marriage done God’s way allows children to see faith in action and sets the example of a loving relationship that has a really good chance of being replicated when it’s time for our children to experience love and marriage for themselves.

And a godly marriage is not just important when the kids are young; it’s just as important when our kids have kids of their own.

Robert McQuilkin exemplified this Parenting 101 love for his wife, even when she suffered from the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s. McQuilkin, who at the time was president of a Christian college, resigned to take care of his wife. Here’s what he wrote in his resignation letter.

My dear wife, Muriel, has been in failing mental health for about eight years. So far, I have been able to carry both her ever-growing needs and my leadership responsibilities…. But recently it has become apparent that Muriel is contented most of the time she is with me and almost none of the time I am away from her. It is not just “discontent.” She is filled with fear—even terror—that she has lost me and always goes in search of me when I leave home. Then she may be full of anger when she cannot get to me. So it is clear to me that she needs me now, full-time.

[This] decision was made, in a way, 42 years ago when I promised to care for Muriel “in sickness and in health . . . til death do us part.” So . . . as a man of my word, integrity has something to do with it. But so does fairness. She has cared for me fully and sacrificially all these years; if I cared for her for the next 40 years, I would not be out of debt. Duty, however, can be grim and stoic. But there is more; I love Muriel. She is a delight to me—her childlike dependence and confidence in me, her warm love, occasional flashes of that wit I used to relish so, her happy spirit and tough resistance in the face of her continued distressing frustration. I do not have to care for her; I get to! It is a high honor to care for so wonderful a person.

“Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). Wives should love and respect their husbands (Ephesians 5:33). Read all the great books on parenting after you have read the Bible—THE Book on parenting – that reminds us the most important thing about raising our kids is not about our kids, it’s about doing marriage God’s way.

Parenting Resources:

Fresh Faith Podcasts:

Parenting Sermons:

Blog Posts

Some time ago, I was emailed a page of “wise sayings” … Well, sort of. A first grade teacher collected them over the years. She gave her classes part of an old “proverb” and let them fill in the rest. Following are some I thought you might enjoy. Remember these are first graders.

As you shall make your bed so shall you … mess it up.

Better be safe than … punch a fifth grader.

Strike while the … bug is close.

Don’t bite the hand that looks dirty.

A miss is as good as a Mr.

You can’t teach an old dog new … math.

A penny saved is … not much.

It’s always darkest before … Daylight Savings Time.

You can lead a horse to water but how?

Children should be seen and not spanked or grounded.

If at first you don’t succeed … get new batteries.

Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and … you have to blow your nose.

As much as we enjoy the wisdom of children let me encourage you to move beyond these first grade “proverbs” to a portion of Scripture specifically designed to give godly wisdom for godly living-the Book of Proverbs. At the beginning of his writing, the author, Solomon, clearly states that the purpose of his proverbs are: for attaining wisdom and for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life … for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young. Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance … The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. (Proverbs I:2-7).

In this day who doesn’t need wisdom, understanding, discretion, and prudence?

Eugene Peterson well says that the Proverbs give us the skills we need “in honoring our parents and raising our children, handling our money and conducting our sexual lives, going to work and exercising leadership, using words well and treating friends kindly, eating and drinking healthily, cultivating emotions within ourselves and attitudes towards others that make for peace. Threaded through all these items is the insistence that the way we think of and respond to God is the most practical thing we do.”

I encourage you to read the Proverbs. Read them privately. The thirty-one chapters make for a nice chapter-a-day reading throughout the month. Before you read ask God to open your heart to the truth of His Word. Keep a pencil and paper close by. Some of the proverbs will jump from the page and attach themselves to a particular area of your life. Read them publicly. How about reading a chapter with your husband or wife at the beginning or end of the day? Looking something to read during your family devotions? Selected (and age-appropriate) Proverbs are great for family instruction and discussion. Read Proverbs and gain God’s instruction for down-to-earth godly living.

I confess that sometimes prayers for my children become wooden and repetitive. “And Lord, help our children to have a great day at school,” and “Lord, help them to do well on their math test,” while sincere are hardly specific.  Here are some requests from Ephesians 1:15-23 that asks for some serious spiritual stuff.

Here are nine things to pray every day for our children and grandchildren.

Thanksgiving: Children are a gift from the Lord (Psalm 127:3). Thank God for his gracious blessing. Thank him for the privilege of parenting.

Wisdom:  Ask God to give your children spiritual wisdom to make godly decisions.

Know him better: Ask God to grow your children deep in knowledge and love for Christ.

Future Hope:  Pray that sons and daughters live today with eternity in mind.

Glorious Inheritance: Thank God for the eternal inheritance he has in store for our kids. Pray for eternity together.

Great power: Ask God to give your children power from the Holy Spirit to live obediently.

Strength: Ask the Holy Spirit to provide strength for your kids to resist temptation.

Established in love: Pray that each child demonstrates a 1 Corinthians 13 love.

Grasp the love of Christ: Pray that your children know and live in the freedom of the unconditional love of Jesus.

These are meaningful requests and provide a powerful prayer for parents. You might even want to pray these things for yourself … just a thought.

So…we want our children to grow up with the virtue of respect embedded in their hearts. How do we make that happen? How do we plow the ground for respect to grow? How do we mentor, model, and monitor respect?

My friend, Dr. Robert Freado, has served as a teacher, coach, and principal at all levels of the school system. I have the privilege of teaching a parenting class with Dr. Freado at our church. Here are six ways he gives to mentor respect. I have added some personal comments.


Six Ways to Mentor Respect


  1. Use positive talk to promote respect. 

Sounds simple, but negative and cutting language tears a child down. Not only does it hurt them, but it teaches them that negative language is acceptable in communicating to others.


  1. Emphasize the importance of manners and common courtesies.

I will never forget walking into Exchange Bank in Perry, Oklahoma one afternoon and learning a lasting lesson of respect from my dad. I watched him hold the door open and let others walk in before us. He didn’t make a big deal of it, but that made a lasting impression on me. That small act demonstrated respect.


  1. Be the parent. 

It seems too many parents would rather be their child’s friend than a mom or dad. Too many parents give into peer pressure and allow their children to participate in unhealthy activities or situations. If we are going to teach and model respect, sometimes we will have to tell our kids “no” regardless of the peer pressure they are receiving, or the peer pressure we may be receiving from other parents.


  1. Speak respectfully about teacher, community members, neighbors, and coaches. 

As a parent, you will not always agree with the grade your child receives from a teaching. You will not always agree with how much playing time a coach gives your son or daughter. But speaking disrespectfully about these authority figures will erode the healthy and proper respect your child should have for them. I am not saying the teacher or coach is always right. But their actions may be the life experience that God provides to teach your child respect for others.


  1. Teach respect through the power of kindness and compassion.

For years, I took our children out of school around Christmas to serve at a Salvation Army Food and toy give-away. I wanted our kids to know that people down the road from us were going through a tough stretch in their life. And I wanted our children to serve them. Teaching involves life experience. Find a place to serve with your children.


  1. Demonstrate the importance of respect by how you respond to situations.

Once I was promised my phone plan could be renewed and upgraded on a certain date. I waited for the date and took my phone in expecting to get the upgrade. But the salesperson informed me that the plan had changed. What had been promised could not be delivered. I am saddened to say, I didn’t handle the news well (that’s putting it mildly). And unfortunately, two of my kids were with me. As a dad (and a preacher), they have heard me say many words that they’ve forgotten. But they will not forget that experience, and every once in a while, jokingly remind me of how poorly I handled the situation.



Parenting is modeling and mentoring…show and tell. Our actions must match up with our words. Let me know what you think of these six ways to mentor respect. What are ones that you would add?

The times require a special kind of dad…one who wants to make a significant difference in his children’s lives…one who embodies three critical character traits.

Those three traits are Ron Moore’s focus on today’s program.

Spiritual sentry duty is the obligation of every dad. The Godly father will be found at the gates of his and his children’s hearts watching and warning.

On today’s broadcast Ron Moore equips dads for those long days and nights walking the spiritual ramparts.

1 Thessalonians 2:11-12

For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

In his first letter to the Thessalonians (2:11-12), the Apostle Paul likens his dealing with believers to a father’s interaction with his children. From this passage we learn from three things that parents should be doing every day.


  1. The Greek work for “encourage” is parakaleo. It means “to call to one’s side,” “to summon,” “to invite.” The purpose of the invitation is to build confidence and courage into the heart. Parents, we need to be building up our children every day!


  1. “Comfort” means “to console.” It is used in John 11 when Lazarus died. Many friends came to “console” Mary and Martha. Our children don’t always need yet another “life lesson” or another story from our childhood about “walking uphill both ways in the snow.” Our children need a daily compassionate hug and a reminder of our unconditional love.


  1. This word means “to insist” or “implore.” You are the parent! There are some things that you need to be firm about. Leaders lead. And our leadership must have this goal: “to live lives worthy of God.” God calls us to be deliberate about building into our children the framework of spiritual urgency that will allow them to make an impact with their lives in their world.


Parenting is intentional work. Let’s pray that God gives us the strength and courage to lead our children well.

Father, give us a passion to be parents you desire us to be. May we encourage, comfort, and urge our children on to be those who have a burning desire to follow hard after you. In Christ’s name. Amen.

Parenting is not for sissies! Raising children is hard work. Parents who desire to be popular with their children and their children’s friends will live to regret the compromises it takes to make that happen. But parents who love their children enough to lead them will have to make some tough and unpopular decisions.

There are three essential ingredients to effective love. Just like baking a cake, leave out any one of these ingredients and you’ll be disappointed with the results.


Love’s Three Ingredients

  1. Emotive: Creates an affinity or affection with a person.

Sure we “love” our children. For most people that’s a given. But the emotive part of love develops when we spend time with them, laugh and cry with them, hear their heart. Parenting is more than having children. It involves purposeful presence.

  1. Motive: Drives us to action.

Love is demonstrative. Just as God demonstrated his love to us by sending Jesus, so love for our children must be demonstrated. Love is not shown by purchasing everything our children want, trips to Disney World, and paying for their college education. Motive love is found in 1 Corinthians 13. Take the time to read it and apply it to your parenting.

  1. Expulsive: Expels foreign or dangerous interests. 

Love gets rid of things that are foreign to the interests it seeks to promote. Many times our children will not see these things are foreign or dangerous. But a parent cares more about protection than popularity.


Several months ago, I was speaking at an event when a girl, her boyfriend, and her parents came in a sat on the front row. The young girl was wearing a tight and short dress—inappropriate by most standards. Her legs were crossed exposing more than anyone needed to see. On one side sat her boyfriend with his hand liberally on her leg. On the other side sat her parents.

As I was speaking, these two thoughts came to mind:

  • If that is what I am seeing in public, then there is little doubt what is going on in private.
  • Parents, what in the world are you thinking! That boy represents a foreign and dangerous interest, and you are not willing to expel him.

That the parents let their daughter leave the house in the dress (or lack thereof) is one issue. But for them to sit passively by is inexcusable. Where was there “emotive” love? When you love someone deeply do you allow that type of thing to happen? Where was there “motive” love? How could they be so passive? Where was their “expulsive” love? This young man represented danger. They should have talked to the young man’s parents and let them know that he was no longer allowed near their daughter until he learned to respect her.

Parenting isn’t for sissies. Parenting isn’t about being popular. It’s about mentoring and modeling. Thank God there are parents out there who really love their children with an emotive, motive, and expulsive love!

Check out these startling statistics about children and money:

  • Advertisers spend $15 billion a year on child-focused advertising.
  • The average American child sees 40,000 commercials a year.
  • Children recognize brands by 18 months and by two years ask for them by name.
  • American kids get an average of 70 new toys a year.
  • Children spend over $30 billion of their “own” money
  • Children influence some $650 billion of parental purchases from snacks to SUV’s.[1]

Our culture is talking to our children about money and possessions. Parents cannot be silent. Here are five things we can do.

  1. Teach biblical stewardship.

We need to teach our children the biblical principles of money. God owns all things (Psalm 24:1; 50:10-12). All things we receive are a gift from him (Romans 11:35-36; James 1:17). All things we received must be used for him (Luke 12:48b; 1 Corinthians 4:2).


  1. Model biblical stewardship.

Words are important and we must demonstrate that we believe what we say by our actions. Parents must model a lifestyle of biblical stewardship. Show your children that you believe you will stand before God and answer for the way you handled all of his gifts to you. This does not mean living in poverty. It does mean living within your means and giving generously to God’s work.


  1. Replace the word “sacrifice” with “privilege.”

I hear too many people talk about the sacrifices they are making for Christ, the things they could have if they didn’t tithe.  This can convey the perception (reality?) that we give grudgingly. If our giving is out of a dreaded duty or legalism, our children will see that. Following Jesus is not a sacrifice; it’s a great privilege! Our kids need to see our willing enthusiasm and excitement. Now…if you are not excited about following Jesus, that’s a spiritual issue you need to address.


  1. Model and Mentor a responsible work ethic.

Modeling a work ethic for young children has to take place in and around the home. We model a work ethic when we mow the grass, rake the leaves, clean the house, fix meals, and do laundry. Children need to be included in this responsibilities age appropriately. An allowance should be given for assignments done well. This sense of accomplishment produces confidence, self-esteem, and allows them to manage their money with responsibility and generosity.


  1. Model and Mentor money management.

Teach your children that importance of saving and prudent spending. Teach them the danger of credit cards. Show them the enabling and enslaving aspects of debt. And remind them often that everything they have is from God and should be used to honor him.


The world is teaching your children about money. Don’t confirm what the world is teaching. Teach your children the biblical management of money. And remember…back up your words with your actions.


[1] Katy Kelly & Linda Kulman, “Kid Power,” (9.13.04).

A godly parent is a teacher, model and an unconditional friend. These responsibilities are like a three-legged stool. If one “leg” is missing, our effectiveness becomes minimal at best. Each “leg” is supported and held together by the Lord.

A Teacher

Our role as a teacher means that we must impart knowledge in a way that each of our children can understand – at every stage of his/her life. While others may be primary teachers in academic disciplines, only the parent can teach the bedrock “subjects” of spiritual values and character.

One has well said, “You cannot impart what you do not possess.” Therefore, as godly parents we must be in the process of spiritual development.

A Model

Our role as a model demands that our life must not be full of contradictions. Our words must not contradict our actions. The way we act in public must not contradict the way we act at home. Inconsistency destroys the message.

However, perfection is not a possibility either. We must be willing to say, “I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?” In God’s grace, even our failures provide an opportunity for modeling.

Every important relationship (God, Husband-Wife, and Parent-Child) is modeled (and learned) at home. We live our lives following the good or bad models; or working hard to break out of the negative “model mold.” Remember, if Christianity does not “work” in the home, it does not “work.”

An Unconditional Friend

The world is a competitive and conditional place. Most of what we do is based on performance. The home must be a place where you are accepted and loved unconditionally. And the parent must be an unconditional friend (not a buddy, but a true friend).

A true friend is able to separate the person from the performance (“I love and accept you for who you are, not because of what you do”). A true friend is able to “push” without pushing away (“I know you can do better. Let me help you.” – instead of – “Get with it, or else”). A true friend is able to motivate without manipulation (“We loved to watch your older brother play football” – interpreted – “You better do what he did if you really want to please us.”) A true friend is able to encourage without destroying (“God has given you unique gifts. Let me help you develop them” – instead of – “You will never amount to anything.”) A true friend is able to encourage unique gifts regardless of personal preferences (“I love watching you develop in your musical gifts” even when you have always had a passion for sports.)

Proverbs 17:17

A friend loves at all times…

What are some of the important parenting tools you need to raise your kids according to scripture?

That’s Ron Moore’s topic in this broadcast. Employ them and watch your children grow into successful adults.

Of great importance, in every home, is the box in which the tools of parenting are stored.

In this half-hour, Ron Moore equips us with a biblical container that not only holds those tools but also instructs us in their use.

Mothers, if you had to pick a role model who would it be?  Your mom? Your grandmother?  A woman in the king’s harem?  Did you recoil at that one?  Well, then you missed a role model for the ages.

Today, Ron Moore interrupts his Unselfie Series to share her story and urges you to follow in her footsteps.

Parenting is a fearful thing. We have children when we are the least experienced in raising them. But, thanks be to God, there is another fear that can lessen our fear of parenting.

Today, Ron Moore explains that fear and the great wisdom it brings. Listen and become a more confident parent.

I write to parents with children at home. Singles, married without children, empty-nesters – don’t misunderstand, you are important too. But for this post, allow me to narrow the audience. And don’t stop reading. Singles and married without children, my words may soon apply directly to you. And empty-nesters, we need your prayerful support and help.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY.  OK – read it again. This is the key passage on parenting in Scripture. Although this passage is rich in teaching and application, let me drive home this one point: God has given parents the primary and ultimate responsibility for spiritual training. The headquarters for Christian is not the Christian School, the Sunday School, the Kids Clubs, or Student Ministry. The headquarters is the home. Parent(s), the responsibility lies on your doorstep. The spiritual life must be taught and exemplified in the home.

PLAN. As you plan for business meetings and big meals, so plan for family devotions. Parents, spend time discussing what important truths you would like to convey. Determine in advance how to convey these truths. Pray that God will help you communicate effectively. Set a specific starting time and stick to it. There are many excellent resources available to you.

PROTECT. Protect your time together. Turn the WiFi off. Require all your children to be present. Homework is not a viable excuse. Allow your voicemail to do its job.

PERSEVERE. Initially there will be resistance. Satan will be sure to provide distractions. You may feel like you are not “getting through.” But even in the midst of all the distractions the Spirit of God will do His work, if you don’t give up.

PLEASURE. Make it fun!!! ”It is a crime to bore someone with the Word of God.” Laugh. Sing. Act out parts of scripture. One December we acted out the Christmas story at our home. Our children made sure we went through it five times so everyone could play a different part. I must say I made a much better Joseph than I did a Mary or the baby Jesus. Video singing or the drama and play it back. As your children watch it on TV, they are hearing the message again. Or how about a video testimony from a godly grandparent who lives a distance away? Come together with relatives and grandparents who live nearby. Periodically, share a meal and devotions with another family. By all means make this an enjoyable experience.

UNBELIEVING PARTNERS. Wives, some of you are married to men who have not yet placed their faith in Jesus Christ. Be sensitive. Prayerfully propose a time of reading the Bible and praying together as a family. But don’t push. Continue to live as a godly example before your children. Prayerfully read and apply 1 Peter 3:1-6.

PRAY. Pray that God will give you the boldness to apply Deuteronomy 6:4-9. Pray for discipline and perseverance. Pray that he will bring about eternal results.

I am convinced that if families will accept the leadership challenge and prayerfully persevere, American  families will see true revival and we will truly be a “city set on a hill.”


I believe far too many young men and women enter the dating game with no real plan. This leaves them open to move forward in a relationship based on immediate emotions. Too often they find themselves involved before they take a hard look at the person with whom they have fallen “in love.” “Love is blind” as the saying goes. Deep emotion can keep us from seeing another person’s true character.

Young people (and old people for that matter) move through dating, to engagement, to marriage without a thorough assessment of the person they are getting ready to look in the eyes and say “for better or worse.” Even when the relationship gets out of hand many feel it is too late to adjust or jettison.


Therefore, it’s important to make decisions before you get involved in a relationship.


Below is a process I call MATE. This is an evaluation process parents can use with their children to talk to them about the type of person they want to date. This is also a process young adults can use as they maneuver the complicated and confusing path of looking for a future spouse.


MATE is an acronym for Must Have, Add-ons, Take it or leave it, and End of the Road. I will explain each of these below. I asked our own children, ages 16-27, to give me examples of each. Two of them are married. Input from my daughter-in-law and son-in-law are included as well.

Certainly, some of the examples are subjective. You will not agree with all of them. You will need to guide your children to a list of their own. Use our examples to start the discussion.


This represents the starting point, the must haves. These things are non-negotiable. They must be there from the start. The relationship doesn’t even get started unless these are present.


Must Have Examples:


Person of character

Person of high moral values


Easy to talk to/spend time with

Physically attractive

Respects you without requiring you to change

Respected by peers




Just below the “Must Haves” are the preferred things you desire in a relationship. These are not showstoppers, but they are serious considerations. They are the things you may or may not want to live with or without.


Add-On Examples:

Spiritually mature

Knows calling/vocation

College graduate

Gets along with family/friends

Similar views of husband/wife and mother/father roles 

Good sense of humor

High (or low) activity level

Challenges me intellectually (makes me think)

Has a good relationship with his/her parents/family.

Wants a good relationship with family of origin and spouse’s family

Good conversationalist

Makes me laugh

Willing to lead

Shows empathy

Willing to be spontaneous


Take It or Leave It

You could go either way. These are optional things. Electives. Available but not obligatory. May be family of origin issues.


Take It or Leave It Examples:

Good singing voice


Likes the Oklahoma Sooners

Wants to live in the same places

Close with family

Would rather vacation at the beach than the mountains

Volunteers in the community

Specific physical characteristic (I was looking for someone taller than I was, and I did succeed. Note: This came from my daughter-in-law who is 5’5” and my son is 6’3”)

Likes coffee

Has tattoos

Eyebrow ring

Willing to travel and/or move away

Morning person

Likes dessert

Enjoys playing games

Likes repairing things

Likes dogs


End of the Road

These are showstoppers. A character trait. A bad habit. An annoyance. If this person did this thing or acted this way there will be no future. This discovery may not be made until months into the relationship. However, if it shows up, game over.


End of the Road Examples:

Not a believer

Does not respect his mother

Addicted to video games

Allergic to peanut butter

Drug use


Alcohol abuse

Unwilling to listen

Loud chewer

Crazy laugh

History of lying/deceit

Does not get along well with immediate family/close friends

Large debt with no plan to try and actively decrease

Unwilling to travel and explore

Rude to waiters at restaurants

Not well matched on significant issues (denominational differences, political differences, etc.)



Explosive temper


Previous marriages/relationships


I encourage you to use the MATE process with your children. We have had a great time discussing this with our children. Let me know how your children respond.

Parents are exhausted these days.  Life is busy.  Let me share with you an experience I had when our kids were younger…

I had been moaning about how busy things were. My job. The new baby. Soccer, softball, and baseball practices and games. School stuff. Yard work. And on and on. But God was clear. These are the best of times. I have blessed you with another miracle. Your children are at an age when they want to be with you and want you involved in their lives. Too soon these will all be memories. Enjoy it while you can!” Then He spoke in a letter of encouragement and recollections from my mother. “Believe me,” she wrote. “I remember the pee wee ball games of [yours]. At the time they were time consuming, but now I have so many good memories. [It was] also nice because I had dad here to share all of good times. Time goes by so fast, enjoy all these times.”

Don’t waste time on temporal stuff. How much time do we spend on things that don’t count’? How much energy do we spend piling up straw that one future day will not survive the final evaluation (1 Corinthians 3: 10-I 5). Life is about eternal things. The present is about the future. We must live each day knowing that an account will be given to God.

Don’t sacrifice the future for a moment of pseudo-pleasure. I have seen too many fall to sexual temptation to make the mistake of saying, “It could never happen to me!” That day God reminded me just how much I have to lose. The love, respect, and trust of those I love the most could be shattered in a moment. The beautiful love of a beautiful wife; the hugs and kisses and respect of four gifts of God, the fun of wrestling on the living room floor; laughter at the dinner table; nicknames for each have sworn to card board games: “party nights” by the fireplace with popcorn and videos—-just being with those I love the most could be lost in a moment of irrational disobedience that I am protected from only by the grace of God.

May God continue to use all the things that make up life to remind to stand firm in His grace.

You and I will no doubt cry the tears that parents cry as our children grow. But by His grace we can enjoy these busy days; invest in things that count for eternity: and be a part of our children’s futures instead of living alone some day in the desert land of remorse and regret.


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