Should Happiness Matter to Parents?

Over at, Sarah Hamaker begins her article on parenting and happiness with this story:

When I was pregnant with my first child, I asked my mother if she had been happy as a parent. This godly woman who had raised six children and fostered more than 40 over a nearly 50-year span shrugged, saying “What does happiness have to do with it?”

Through interviews with myself, and Andrew Hess of Focus on the Family, Sarah has gathered together “some ways parents can put happiness into its proper prospective in relation to child rearing and the family.” Her main points are:

  • Communicate joy
  • Consistently discipline
  • Guard innocence
  • Embrace sadness
  • Eschew materialism
  • Curtail media
  • Focus on group happiness
  • Ride the highs, and lows, of parenting
  • Seek gratitude

She concludes:

Our calling as parents doesn’t mean we have to feel happy all the time. Emotions like happiness ebb and flow throughout our lives. We would do well to remember that ourselves and to teach our children that happiness isn’t only a joyful feeling—it’s also a deliberate choice. We can choose to view our circumstances in a positive, rather than negative, light. This doesn’t make us Pollyannas, but gives us a better foundation on which to handle life’s ups and downs.

Choose this day to be happy in your parenting, despite the not-so-great times and the downright dreadful ones. You’ll find much joy amid the sorrow, much pleasure amid the pain, and much happiness amid the contentment.

Read the whole article here.

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Children’s Daily Bible Reading Plan

Here’s this week’s morning and evening reading plan in Word and pdf.

This week’s single reading plan for morning or evening in Word and pdf.

If you want to start at the beginning, this is the first year of the children’s Morning and Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf. And this is the second year in Word and pdf.

The first 12 months of the Morning or Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

Here’s an explanation of the plan.

And here are the daily Bible Studies gathered into individual Bible books with Genesis and Matthew now complete (explanatory note).

Old Testament

New Testament

The Worst and Best Words in the World

They crucified Him (Mark 15:24).

Three words full of hell and full of heaven.

Three words full of horror and full of hope.

Three words full of damnation and full of salvation.

Three words full of sin and full of pardon.

Three words full of darkness and full of light.

Three words full of death and full of life.

Three words full of hate and full of love.

Three words to ponder.

Ponder the “”they.”

Ponder the “Him.”

Ponder what “they” did to “him.”


The three worst words ever written.

The three best words ever written.

Why Study Shadows When We Have the Son

Why study shadows when we have the Son? That’s a question I’m often asked when I’m trying to promote more reading of the Old Testament. The question is usually focused specifically upon typology. Why study the types when we have the anti-type? It’s a valid question and if there is no satisfactory answer then the Old Testament, or large parts of it, are going to continue to gather dust. But I believe there is a satisfactory answer, six answers in fact.

You can read my full answer over at The Christward Collective, but here are the main points:

1. We need and use the types more than we realize

2. The OT type sometimes gives more detail than the antitype.

3. We can learn more from pictures than instructions. 

4. The all-wise God chose to teach through stories, events, and objects that He packed with symbolic meaning.

5. Jesus used Old Testament types to explain His person and work. 

6. God especially blesses teaching and preaching on neglected parts of His Word. 

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