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UNITED FRONT: DISCIPLINE IS LOVE

 

                           UNITED FRONT: DISCIPLINE IS LOVE SERIES

                        Antonio & Christelle Baldovinos | Marriage and Family

 

 

 

Jesus said, “A house divided cannot stand.”

We as parents must always show a united front.

Before we begin, if you’re a single parent, this blog may not relate to you at this moment but there is a grace to bring healthy discipline to your children even if you are doing it alone.

Our kids regularly say things like, “can I have a cookie?” Our first question is, “Did you already ask your Mom (or Dad)?

Kids will ask for many things. Sometimes it is small and unimportant like a cookie, but sometimes it’s more.

I usually give an answer, “Did you talk to your Mom?”, or “go and talk to your Mom and tell me what she said.” We always want to show a united front. We have a rule in our home that if one has already said no, it means “NO”.

Kids are very smart, and like most kids, our kids already know who would probably say yes or who would probably say no to the particular question they are asking. For example, they know that if they are asking for a treat or a snack, I am the first one to say, “Oh yeah, of course”. Christelle would probably say, “No”.

Our marriage is more important than our children. Our kids are watching us to see if we mean what we say and if we respect each other. When they want to cross a line, they will often do it where there is dis-unity in our parenting, to access the easiest route.

If they see unity, they instinctively know it is futile and far more too difficult to rebel.

It is important as a couple to discuss your standards, methods and values ahead of time and implement them in oneness.

These are things that we decide together. We both do the disciplining when needed and our kids know, that no matter who is implementing the discipline at that moment, even though the other parent may not be present, it’s done together and in agreement.

This is a way we maintain unity and create stability for our kids.

THIS IS WHAT NOT TO DO

“I would let you do this, but your mother won’t”. What does that say to kids? Your divided at that point.

      A house…

                  divided…

                          against itself…

                                     will…NOT…stand.

Don’t take this lightly. It’s imperative that couples parent together.

Christelle is not going to pawn it on me to be the “bad cop” and she the “good cop”. When we first got married and we needed to discipline our children, she used to say, “when your dad comes home, he will deal with you.” But that was making me the “bad cop” and when I came home, I was related as, primarily, the disciplinarian. So over the years we have adjusted this and to the best of our ability, the same intensity is given by the both of us.

There is strength to the husband being the final authority but it is unfair for either parent to take the brunt of all disciplinarian action.

This also means that if a child respects one parent and disrespects the other, that parent ensures they honor and respect the other parent. I don’t let the kids disrespect Christelle and if I’m present. I don’t make Christelle defend herself, I jump in and do not allow this.

Also, we can’t say things to our children in private that creates dis-respect for the other. This gives permission for the child to be dis-respectful and ultimately creates rebellion.

Unity means, “what you did to her, you did to me”.

Division means, “You can disrespect them and I’m going to do nothing”.

I have the mandate, when you pick a fight with Christelle, you pick a fight with me. I do not allow division.

Always honor each other in front of your children. Never disrespect your spouse in front of your kids. This includes belittling of any kind.

If there are disagreements, talk about them privately and present your kids with a united front. Fight for it and they will feel secure.

When I was young, I was probably 4 or 5 years old, my mom and dad had just given their lives to Jesus.

As a result of their new fledgling faith, my dad and my mom had decided that they wouldn’t smoke cigarettes anymore. My dad was an architect and on one particular Saturday morning he took me to work with him. While at the office, he grabbed a cigarette to smoke it and he looked at me and whispered, “don’t tell your mother, this is just between us”. I knew that was wrong and I didn’t like it. So as soon as I saw my mom, I blurted out “mom, dad was smoking!”

Obviously my Dad is nothing like this today, he is a wonderful dad and an on fire believer. But the story still has a relatable and important point. Division, even seemingly small, creates disunity and is a breeding ground for sin to abound.

Just as I knew, children know and understand division. I, as a child, watched the power of God rapidly change my parents and they became a strong united front to us as children. No matter where you find yourself now, when we yield your home to God, He brings His grace to change.

We may not realize it, but when we are not united we force our children to choose a side. This is unfair to everyone.

Never Allow a Significant Difference to Develop in How You Express Love or How You Discipline your children.

Your children need both of you to be affectionate.  

Your children need both of you to discipline them.

When demonstrated, even imperfectly, your children will experience the wholeness of love. Affection and discipline are 2 sides of the same coin and both are love. As we shared in our first blog, one without the other creates severe problems.

You are both empowered to discipline and you both are supporting one another in seeing your children flourish through it.

You see, when one parent is the “fun one”, the other parent has to be “stern” in order to bring a balance.

If you’re the one who is always having fun, to keep an orderly home, the other becomes the stern parent and it becomes off balance. The same is true of the opposite. This also robs from allowing the more stern one of being able to share their full affection, when they have to pull the weight of the majority of the discipline.

Children need affection and discipline from both the father and the mother. They need both parents to affirm them verbally and be affectionate. You need both to express discipline in a healthy way.

Come together.

Most couples often have very different personalities, but do your best to present a unified, balanced front to your children.

Don’t let your kids become a casualty.

If you are interested in more, we will continue this conversation and we look forward to hearing from you. You can email us at info@antoniobaldovinos.com. Share it with your friends on social media and keep connected by signing in to our email list to ensure you get the others.

DISCIPLINE IS LOVE SERIES: STARTING THE CONVERSATION

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                 DISCIPLINE IS LOVE SERIES: STARTING THE CONVERSAION

                     Antonio & Christelle Baldovinos | Marriage and Family

 

How can you love your kids through discipline?

Through the various seasons.

Ages.

Personalities.

Genders.

How do you effectively guide their hearts and lives?

There are countless ideas, methods and opinions.

We only get one shot at parenting and most parents want to do this right.

We don’t get a manual for how to father and mother and once you think you have figured out one season, you are being challenged to grow in the next.

For us to speak on disciplining and raising your children is risky and the controversies and differing opinions can be volatile. We know that we could even get hate mail because we even bring up the subject. We simply want to help.

We are not professionals.

We are not counselors.

We do not have a degree in child phycology.


We have 5 children from ages 7-17, and we have also lost 2 children who are in Heaven. We have been married 19 years, and we have more to grow in ourselves. We are not perfect and we have much to learn.


You may not know our children or us. We have done some things wrong, made many mistakes and by the grace of God we have done some things correctly. The reality of the need for God’s guidance and grace provokes our most frequent prayer “God, cover the holes in our covering”.

We have great parents who loved and cared for us to the best of their ability, imperfectly but always reaching to guide us Biblically. We have also learned from many other parents who have done it correctly.

We want to start the dialogue of disciplining children through a series of blogs to help those that want to learn and bring strength to their homes and the wisdom of God into their parenting.

Over 100 years ago when a young mother had her first baby the older women in the family came over and brought guidance and counsel to help the young mom. Similarly the older men of the families taught the young fathers and husbands how to be men. Somewhere over the years we have gone from the Biblical passing down our inheritance through family to leaning on the so called “experts”. We must get back to the tried and proved ways of God and can no longer ignore the time honoring ideas from the Bible.

The experts of the 1920’s spoke of a harsh no affection approach to parenting. As time went on we reached the 1960’s and 70’s that introduced a permissive, no discipline approach to parenting, where defiant behavior was viewed as something that could be “reasoned with” or grown out of.  

The pendulum swung from harsh oppressive discipline with no love or affection to a permissive approach that equates discipline as unloving.

Both have detrimental effects.

Oppressive harsh discipline belittles a child and creates rejection, hostility and a ruined self-worth.

Permissiveness breeds disrespect and it creates children that are tyrants and dictators. In adolescent years permissive parenting will reap hatred toward their parents. Permissiveness has not only failed as an approach to child rearing, it has been a disaster to those who have tried it.

We must understand that love and discipline interact to influence the attitude and formation of respect and stability in a child. Disciplinary action is not an assault on parental love; it is a function of it.

Some view love and discipline as contradicting one another; love and affection versus setting limits when defiant behavior occurs. Love and discipline seem to be opposing each other, yet they are two dimensions of the same quality. One demands the other.

We must understand that appropriate discipline is not something parents “do” to a child, but it is something they do “for” the child.

The goal of this discussion is to raise children that love God and Honor His Word, have a correct view of the Father, have respect for authority, a deep sense of self-worth and value and blossom into healthy mature adults that fear the Lord.

We as parents are entrusted to teach and give our children identity, self-discipline, self-control, and a holistic view of love.

Recently we were hiking in the Rocky Mountains. The trail we were on was steep and narrow and had no fence or barrier. We all walked as close to wall of the mountain as possible to avoid the steep drop off. There was a feeling of not being safe and a sense that if we made a wrong move we would tumble to the unknown below. It is safe to say it wasn’t a relaxing hike and we felt unsure and tentative.

A few days later we went on another hike in the mountains on a different trail. This trail was just as steep, but it had a small rock barrier built as a ridge between the hiker and the edge. The rock barrier gave a sense of safety and security and allowed for us to walk on the trail freely and with ease.

Limits create a sense of safety.

In the same way, we as parents are creating limits and boundaries that will help our children thrive in years to come.

We are simply starting the conversation. You don’t have to believe us or take everything that we are saying but at least consider what we are saying and we ask you to look through the lens of the Bible and not just believe what your parents did or what you hear society is saying or some magazine telling you.

If you are interested in more, we will continue this conversation and we look forward to hearing from you. You can email us at info@antoniobaldovinos.com. Share it with your friends and keep connected by signing in to our email list to ensure you get the others.

#1 Goal in Marriage

                                  # 1 GOAL EVERY MARRIAGE SHOULD HAVE

                                              Antonio Baldovinos | Marriage and Family

 

The most important day of your marriage is not your wedding day.

People put all this energy into the first day of marriage by getting ready with invitations, dresses, venues, dinners, videos, etc. Though this is fine, it does not have any lasting impact on a marriage. We need to put far more effort on that last day than on the first day—the last day is the most important.

A marriage has to be built for a 50, 60, 70 year run, not a 50-yard sprint.

It’s safe for me to say, and you would probably agree with me, that marriage is under attack from every side.

Our culture bombards our minds with the idea that our aim in life is to make us happy. Marriage is looked upon as no more than simply dating; it is not viewed as a covenant relationship. Even the concept of one man and one woman in marriage is under attack. This isn’t news to you.

Why do I say this?

We would not dream of going through a battlefield in World War II with bullets whirling past our head and bombs and mines exploding around us, and simply stroll through hoping we not only survive, but win.

No! We would train, exercise and study the battle plan, study the enemy’s tactics, and most importantly we would be alert and ready!

When we build a good foundation in marriage we build a great foundation for our children and the generations that follow.

Marriages don’t necessarily choose to grow apart, but husbands and wives stop fighting and choosing to stay together.

It’s the second law of thermodynamics: things are naturally pulling apart; things are naturally going into ruin.

It is so easy for this to happen in a marriage through parenting, vocation, and your own avocations and hobby’s. This is not even taking into consideration our worldviews and what culture preaches.

THE LONGEVITY OF MARRIAGE IS FOUNDED UPON ONE THING

Friedrich Nietzsche once said “It’s not a lack of love but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”

Without friendship in marriage, you live a lonely life.

Marriage is two imperfect people walking face to face by the grace of God. It is the greatest and only strength a marriage can have to thrive, and it takes God to have this!

You’ll find countless volumes of books on romance, intimacy, and passion in marriage, but not much on the simple act of being good friends as husband and wife. It seems friendship is secondary to romance in the minds of many. 

FRIENDSHIP IS THE ANSWER FOR LONGEVITY

I can’t emphasize enough the only thing that will be the glue in your marriage is a lasting friendship.

Many in years past used to stay married for the sake of children when they went through struggle. But what happens when the children are gone?

It’s increasingly become more common to “gray divorce.” Meaning, the 50 and older population has increased in divorce by 52 percent in the last several years.

As soon as kids leave the nest it wrecks havoc on the loneliness the couple feels because there was no friendship established within marriage. The glue that kept them together was the children, and when the children leave it seems there is no reason to stay together.

I’m not endorsing divorce for the reasons people are getting divorced today—the reasons are ridiculous and unbiblical.

Today’s mindset (and main goal of marriage) is to enhance personal happiness rather than seeing marriage through the eyes of Biblical love.

However, to strengthen long-term marriage the couple has to be committed to building a lasting, deep friendship; a marriage that is planted by streams of water, that brings forth fruit in season, whose leaf does not wither; you will prosper in all seasons of marriage (Psalm 1 paraphrased).

 

HOW TO CULTIVATE FRIENDSHIP

Cultivating a friendship will take time, labor and attention.

Most relationships go through highs and lows.

At the beginning of all relationships, especially a marriage, it begins with some kind of infatuation. But Infatuation doesn’t last longer than 2 years. When the honeymoon settles, then what?

Friendship.

If there is no friendship, there is no root system.

Friendship takes focus and attention.

It begs to ask, what makes a good friendship?

A couple should be best friends.

Best friends talk.

Best friends share thing with each other, both good and bad; there are no secrets.

Best friends look for the interest of the other.

Best friends sacrifice for the other, with no strings attached. And, sometimes they do things they don’t necessarily like.

They work out their differences.

We are talking more than just any type of relationship. We are talking about the lifelong, till death do us part; the kind of relationship made in blood, covenant blood, under heaven and before witnesses!

The number 1 aim and goal for every marriage to have lasting fruit is to build it on friendship, not on children, a mission or any other thing.

After all, the reason why God created marriage in the first place was because it was not good for man to be alone (Gen 2:18). Tons of other benefits overflow from this friendship, but the base of a lasting and strong marriage is friendship!

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                        # 1 GOAL EVERY MARRIAGE SHOULD HAVE

                             Antonio Baldovinos | Marriage and Family

 

The most important day of your marriage is not your wedding day.

People put all this energy into the first day of marriage by getting ready with invitations, dresses, venues, dinners, videos, etc. Though this is fine, it does not have any lasting impact on a marriage. We need to put far more effort on that last day than on the first day—the last day is the most important.

A marriage has to be built for a 50, 60, 70 year run, not a 50-yard sprint.

It’s safe for me to say, and you would probably agree with me, that marriage is under attack from every side.

Our culture bombards our minds with the idea that our aim in life is to make us happy. Marriage is looked upon as no more than simply dating; it is not viewed as a covenant relationship. Even the concept of one man and one woman in marriage is under attack. This isn’t news to you.

Why do I say this?

We would not dream of going through a battlefield in World War II with bullets whirling past our head and bombs and mines exploding around us, and simply stroll through hoping we not only survive, but win.

No! We would train, exercise and study the battle plan, study the enemy’s tactics, and most importantly we would be alert and ready!

When we build a good foundation in marriage we build a great foundation for our children and the generations that follow.

Marriages don’t necessarily choose to grow apart, but husbands and wives stop fighting and choosing to stay together.

It’s the second law of thermodynamics: things are naturally pulling apart; things are naturally going into ruin.

It is so easy for this to happen in a marriage through parenting, vocation, and your own avocations and hobby’s. This is not even taking into consideration our worldviews and what culture preaches.

 

THE LONGEVITY OF MARRIAGE IS FOUNDED UPON ONE THING


Friedrich Nietzsche once said “It’s not a lack of love but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”

Without friendship in marriage, you live a lonely life.

Marriage is two imperfect people walking face to face by the grace of God. It is the greatest and only strength a marriage can have to thrive, and it takes God to have this!

You’ll find countless volumes of books on romance, intimacy, and passion in marriage, but not much on the simple act of being good friends as husband and wife. It seems friendship is secondary to romance in the minds of many. 

FRIENDSHIP IS THE ANSWER FOR LONGEVITY

I can’t emphasize enough the only thing that will be the glue in your marriage is a lasting friendship.

Many in years past used to stay married for the sake of children when they went through struggle. But what happens when the children are gone?

It’s increasingly become more common to “gray divorce.” Meaning, the 50 and older population has increased in divorce by 52 percent in the last several years.

As soon as kids leave the nest it wrecks havoc on the loneliness the couple feels because there was no friendship established within marriage. The glue that kept them together was the children, and when the children leave it seems there is no reason to stay together.

I’m not endorsing divorce for the reasons people are getting divorced today—the reasons are ridiculous and unbiblical.

Today’s mindset (and main goal of marriage) is to enhance personal happiness rather than seeing marriage through the eyes of Biblical love.

However, to strengthen long-term marriage the couple has to be committed to building a lasting, deep friendship; a marriage that is planted by streams of water, that brings forth fruit in season, whose leaf does not wither; you will prosper in all seasons of marriage (Psalm 1 paraphrased). 

HOW TO CULTIVATE FRIENDSHIP


Cultivating a friendship will take time, labor and attention.

Most relationships go through highs and lows.

At the beginning of all relationships, especially a marriage, it begins with some kind of infatuation. But Infatuation doesn’t last longer than 2 years. When the honeymoon settles, then what?

Friendship.

If there is no friendship, there is no root system.

Friendship takes focus and attention.

It begs to ask, what makes a good friendship?

A couple should be best friends.

Best friends talk.

Best friends share thing with each other, both good and bad; there are no secrets.

Best friends look for the interest of the other.

Best friends sacrifice for the other, with no strings attached. And, sometimes they do things they don’t necessarily like.

They work out their differences.

We are talking more than just any type of relationship. We are talking about the lifelong, till death do us part; the kind of relationship made in blood, covenant blood, under heaven and before witnesses!

The number 1 aim and goal for every marriage to have lasting fruit is to build it on friendship, not on children, a mission or any other thing.

After all, the reason why God created marriage in the first place was because it was not good for man to be alone (Gen 2:18). Tons of other benefits overflow from this friendship, but the base of a lasting and strong marriage is friendship!

WHAT SINGLE MEN SHOULD KNOW TO PURSUE A GIRL

                            WHAT SINGLE MEN SHOULD KNOW TO PURSUE A GIRL

                                        Antonio Baldovinos | Marriage and Family

 

The current Christian culture says basically “don’t have sex" and “date only Christians”.

People view singleness as merely a time to “try out” different girls/guys romantically.

People believe they need a girlfriend/boyfriend to find who is your possible soul mate.

The decline of a culture is marked by a decline in its respect for marriage and the opposite sex. One of the most important social developments of our time is the recent rise in age at first marriage, which now stands at 27 for women and 29 for men, a historic high.

Finding a Great life mate is not like winning the lottery. It’s not a mystical exercise. It’s a pursuit: one is intentional in pursuing and one is to be pursued and responds accordingly.

There is a big difference between a man and a woman. The make up of a man, with testosterone and woman with estrogen. After puberty, testosterone in males is fifteen times that in females and estrogen in females is eight times to ten times in males. This is why men have facial hair, squeaky voices, larger muscles, etc. Men are combative, aggressive in nature. They are to pursue!

Proverbs 31:10 “A wife of noble character who can find.”

Passivity in a man is not God’s fault.

Every man needs to become proactive, intentional, and find her. Hang around places you want your future wife to be and be intentional about pursuing her.

The bible tells young men to search for a woman of character; it reminds these men that while looks won’t last, godly character improves with age. It says nothing – absolutely nothing about “feelings”. This verse Proverbs 31:10 makes a woman’s faith the defining characteristic of her suitability to be an excellent wife.

This is not to say that you are not to find someone who is sexually compatible.

Simply the first priority, according to Scripture, is to find a spiritually compatible person, and then, under that umbrella, find a sexually compatible person.

TEXTING AND RELATIONSHIP

Texting and Facebook is not a relationship. Texting is not a real connection. Text-based relationships can bring false sense of intimacy – the same way following your favorite blogger.

Texting handicaps the communication that is necessary to build a healthy relationship. After all, you don’t want to text your spouse do you?

Men: texting is a sign of laziness and passivity. It’s either a tool for players or a crutch for the timid. If a guy doesn’t really have to work for something, he won’t hesitate to discard it for something even easier. We don’t value for what we haven’t earned.

Let me suggest some things you should consider when discerning and choosing a future wife:

1.         You have to start by knowing yourself. Who are you? What is your ministry call and life’s work? What is your personality like? Without really knowing this, you will be lost in trying to find who you would be compatible with you.

2.         What is your prophetic history? What are some of the things that God has spoken over your life? Being a Christian is a must, but more than that does their life have long-term fruit? Do they spur you on in the things of God or cause you to compromise? What are your theological stances that are unshakeable?

3.         What are some things that you know you can’t live without? For example, if you want to have many children and she doesn’t. How will this work? Or if you want to be a missionary in India and she is only into western lifestyle and not adventurous is someone willing to bend? How will that work? Or if she doesn’t cook or will ever cook, you will starve. 

4.         Know who she is: If she is used to and expects to have a high standard of living financially and you want to be a missionary in Zambia choosing to live simply how will this work?

Questions Every Man need to ask when consider a wife:

1. Does she have noble character? (Prov. 31)

2. Is she modest? (1 Tim. 2:9)

3. Will she follow your leadership?

4. Can you provide the lifestyle she expects?

5. Is she like the worst women in Proverbs? (nag, quarreling, foolish, unfaithful?)

6. Is she a one-man woman?

7.  Do you want your daughters to be like her & your sons to marry someone like her?

Now Lets Get Real Practical:

After a season of hanging out in groups in the right environment, having established a friendship, communicate your interest in person, face to face speak your intentions.

If she responds vocalizing her interest back, the next step is to go and speak to her parents or her mentors. If she doesn’t have them help her find someone who loves her, such a grandparent or friend, that she looks up to and speak to them about your intentions. This will show honor, create accountability and enhance her covering. This is the next level of commitment and step to taking the relationship more serious and intentional.

This is not marriage, so there is a way out, but this is not an excuse to date around and hop around. If it doesn’t work out, it was done with safety and nothing was lost or regrets created. You set your sights on the one girl you want to pursue and go after her.

I hope this was helpful. Please leave me any comments or questions at info@antoniobaldovinos.org

SEEING LIFE’S SEASONS THROUGH THE REAR VIEW MIRROR

Antonio Baldovinos | Family Life

 

My oldest son turns 16 next week.

I know you may have heard this said before…”but I simply can’t believe it.”

The first thing he wants to do next week is take his drivers test.

I’m excited and nervous all at the same time. After all, I’ve been driving him all of his life.

I’m reflecting on life’s seasons through the rear view mirror of my car.

When I started this parenting thing, I looked back in my rear view mirror and there he was, my son, in a car seat.

We drove him home from the hospital.

And our car got full of stuff and the seats got dirty frequently.

I can still picture him there, buckled, safe and giggling…happy in my rear view mirror.

Now he is going to have his own rear view mirror to look at.

 

All through life’s seasons, what an amazing journey we parents get to experience and I haven’t experienced half of it yet.

Through all the drives, long distance and quick errands I’m just overflowing with gratefulness that I get to experience all of them.

Life through the rear view mirror has many turns, ups and downs and I’ve learned some things. Let me share them with you.

  • There is no time in a child’s life that rear view mirror moments don’t count…they all matter. My journey as a Father begins with protecting and covering, then it moves into teaching, coaching, correcting, and loving and eventually releasing them into adulthood.
  • I’ve also realized as my kids get older, they need me in a different way but they will always need me.

Enjoying every moment can be hard, especially through the hard days. It’s so easy to forget the why behind the what. Each age and stage will have its challenges and rewards.

Today a flood of memories came back to me.

The diapers, mess ups, dirty shoes, greasy hands, clutter and toys…all of which can be a big deal in the moment but that’s not what really impacts you.

Its that you got to drive and cover your children, your family.

 This is one of those reflections that you can’t forget. I can’t shake it off.

 Our Heavenly Father is seeing us right now grow up before His very eyes too. He covers us, nurturing us and releasing us too.

 And all the while we will always need Him too.  

I’ve enjoyed the giggles in the back and the napping on the seats and the cleaning up…well… it was cleaned up out of love. But I simply enjoy every moment.

 Lately my oldest son sits in the front seat, as much as he can and now he will drive himself.

 Every moment, ever season is significant. As fathers, we reflect the heavenly Father. What a weighty, sobering and awesome thing it is!

RAISING BOYS: 5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

RAISING BOYS: 5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

Christelle Baldovinos | Marriage and Family

Pop cans shaken and sprayed on our walls, Happy Birthday being “burped” and not sung. Then a sword fight and a pillow fight quickly followed by nine - 8 year old boys screaming as one had blood dripping down his face from a cut on his head. This was the scene at our son Elijah’s 8th birthday party.

Our daughter Isabella’s 6th birthday was one week later. I still remember the drastic contrast. Ten little girls in dresses, quietly playing dolls, painting their nails and brushing each others hair.

In case you haven’t noticed boys are very different than girls. In raising our 4 boys we have come to realize that keeping them alive during their adolescent years may be our greatest accomplishment.

Although the disposition of boys varies they tend to be more aggressive and risky than girls. This is exactly the way God made boys. They are designed to lead, protect and risk life and limb(s) for others.

Here are FIVE things TO KNOW in raising boys:

#1: Be VERY specific in your instructions.

When they say they didn’t hear you, they probably didn’t. We have learned that when instructing our sons in any task we must clearly lay out all the expectations and have them repeat it back to us. It also helps to even put one hand on their shoulder as you speak to them; it keeps them focused on your instructions.

#2: They Love their moms.

Boys are full of cuddles, and affection for their moms. Moms have a great opportunity to help shape their boys. Men need respect more than love. Give your boys respect and as they grow teach them what it means to love and protect a woman. Give them affirmation about their character qualities. Show them how to treat a woman. Let them protect you, open the door for you and order their own food. 

#3: They are boys, they act like boys and it is GOOD.

Our culture is trying to “feminize” our boys and moms especially must recognize this. Boys will inevitably make guns out of bananas, where capes, jump off of things and flex their muscles. We can’t overlook naughty behavior, but we can acknowledge their assertiveness as a God-given part of their nature. Our society is desperate for “real men” who love Jesus and will lead many to follow Him. And our little boys are these real men in training. Shape them do not change them.

#4: Boys learn by example.

To become a man, boys need to watch a man. Sociologist Peter Karl believes “that because boys spend up to 80 percent of their time with women, they don’t know how to act as men when they grow up. When that happens, the relationship between the sexes is directly affected. Men become helpless and more and more like big kids”. If there is not a dad available, find a coach, uncle or friend to mentor your son. The behavior your son sees in another man will be directly emulated so help channel that influence.

#5: Have regular age-appropriate talks about sexuality.

Talking to your children about sexuality should not be a “one-time” conversation, but a regular dialogue. Kids are exposed to sexual things at far earlier ages and their first knowledge of sexuality needs to be pure and bible-based. We highly recommend the book series called “Learning about sex for the Christian family” here’s the link:

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THE BEST GIFT A FATHER CAN GIVE

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THE BEST GIFT A FATHER CAN GIVE

Antonio Baldovinos | Marriage and Family

Every man when they walked down the aisle had every intention of being a great husband. And every new father has a dream to raise a great family.

Every husband and father have a lot of important decisions in front of him daily. They carry great weight of responsibility.

A husband and a father have an innate desire to provide for their families, create a great covering, and show love and care. 

Also, leading a home spiritually is probably at the very top of the list, but often with a feeling of falling short. 

Out of all the priorities however, what is the best gift a father can give his children?

Is it an inheritance?

How about a house?

What about a good education? 

I always thought that as a father and husband having a strong spiritual life personally is the most important thing I can do for my family. It is true that a strong spiritual life is the foundation for everything and is a great gift I can give my kids.

Yet, there is another gift that goes right along with it that will make the foundation of a home a good one. Let me explain.

What if loving and caring for your wife is one of the most important things a husband can do for his children? What if how you loved your wife was the proof of how you loved God? 

You see you can’t really love your wife well without the first priority of loving God in place. And one of the sure signs that you love God well is practically demonstrated in how you love your wife. 

“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen” (1 John 4:20).

Flowing from the growth of your own spiritual life, God wants every man to grow in loving his wife. Out of this overflow he will demonstrate love for his children. 

A man’s priorities are reflected in how he spends his time, his affections, how he communicates, how he coaches and how he loves those in his care, especially his wife and children.

Why do I say this?

Why is loving your wife such a big deal? 

A child learns by example.

The book of James is threaded with showing your faith and not just studying or intellectually knowing it. Faith without corresponding action is dead (James 2:14).

So showing love coupled with saying you love is the best gift you can give. You show love by your regular, consistent, focused nurture of loving your wife. This will be imitated and learned from.

Instructions are given to a husband to love their wives in Ephesians 5:25. We are told to love our wives as Christ loved the Church, which was self denying- self-sacrificing love. Out of this love, we are to teach the Word of God to our wives. This is the proper alignment and order.

This example will create a foundation that will impact generations.

This example will show children how to love and receive love.

This example will show how to be selfless rather than be selfish. 

This example will create a covering of protection that will guard from divorce and division. 

This headship love will protect your home and lead to the most successful life ever! 

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