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Helping Your Child Be a Real Friend pt 2


Our children have personalities, and maybe you’ve found yourself saying, “My child has a BIG personality!” Expecting all these personalities to mesh harmoniously to produce precious, genuine friendships in childhood is a tall order. But there are steps we can take to help our child be a good friend.

Hopefully since the first email on this subject you’ve done a little detective work; listening in on conversations between your child and their friends, watching them play with others in the backyard, and spying during practices or, even, in their classrooms. You’ve probably heard and seen things that made you cringe, and, more than likely, you also had moments that made you proud.

A good beginning step is to do some coaching AFTER those keen observations. Let your child know what you saw, not in a demeaning way, just what you observed, and let them know a better way they could handle the situation next time. This private coaching time truly will help them be a better friend.

The Bible gives us some incredible insight into the traits of a good friend. These are the traits we want to be developing in our children to help them be the BEST FRIEND they can be:

  1. John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”. A good friend is sacrificial. This doesn’t mean they let people walk all over them, but it does mean that sometimes your child plays what the other kid wants instead of what he/she always wants.
  2. Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Unconditional love is the mark of a good friend, meaning your child is loyal, stays put even through conflict.
  3. Proverbs 27:9 “Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.” Good friends give good advice, wise counsel. This is from the overflow of a heart that seeks God.
  4. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Insert Bible link here. True friends strengthen and help one another.

The best thing you can do is talk often with your child about the qualities of a true friend. Pray with them that God would help them be a good friend, and over time you’ll help your child become a friend “who sticks closer than a brother.”

Your partner,

Pastor Deknatel

Helping Your Child Be a Real Friend



We all want our child to be a good friend; someone who is kind, generous, and compassionate toward others. Learning to be a good friend only happens through practice. Our children will learn to be a good friend as they experience real friendship with real people. These interactions can be messy. Our child will hurt others and others will hurt our child, but that reality shouldn’t deter us from helping our child be a great friend.

Research shows that kids with good friendships feel better about themselves, perform better in school, and are better equipped to grow into well adjusted adults. We know there are great benefits to having good friends and being a good friend, but HOW do we help our kids BE a good friend?

Check out this video, and we’ll follow up later in the month with a few more practical suggestions on HOW to help your child be a good friend.

Your partner,

Pastor Deknatel

managing the Time Monster With My Family

A ton of research associated with time management emphasizes setting goals so that you know where to invest your time most. An incredible resource that will help you identify family goals in a step by step process is “The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family.” When we know what is most important to us it helps guide the use of our time.

Here are some very practical tools to help your family move from frantic hurriedness to calm predictability:

  • Learn the power of NO. We all want our children to be great, and often it’s at the expense of family time. In an effort to make our children the BEST at something, we’ll over invest our time toward that goal.
  • Stop trying to do it all and determine priorities. If eating family dinners together 3 nights per week is a goal, someone may have to say no to another opportunity to assure that happens.
  • Be very intentional with the time you do have. Steer clear of cruising Facebook or Twitter without setting some time constraints on yourself.
  • Give up on the idea of perfectionism and the idea that you can do it all.
  • Make sure everyone in the house is sharing responsibility, that everyone has certain jobs/tasks.
  • Think ahead and plan well/organize your time

The Bible has a lot to say about our use of time. There are many verses that lead me to believe
God desperately wants us to understand how BREIF life is. Psalm 39:4-5 says,
“O Lord, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!

Each moment of our families’ lives are measured out, and God alone knows the number of them. We each have the ability to choose how we use the ones we have by living in the present, being very intentional with the time we do have, and loyally following through with the goals we set as a family.


Pastor Deknatel

Managing the Time Monster


Most families today will tell you they’re too overextended, too busy, feel like they’re running a rate race; yet we’ve all been given a gift from God, 24 hours in a day. If you’re like me you’ve often wondered why in the world God only put 24 in there! Each of us has the same amount of time each day, but we all get to choose how we use it.

This month we want to help you discover HOW to manage your family’s time well. Take a moment to watch the following video to see how to manage the time monster:

We encourage you to take the time and really evaluate the 24 hours God has given your family. How exactly are you using the time given to you?

In the next couple weeks you’ll receive a second email from us that will include some steps your family can take to tame the time monster.


Pastor Deknatel

Teaching Honor Through Discipline Pt 2


We tend to look at someone with a slender, athletic build and think, “They must be really disciplined.” We also know we’re called to discipline our children, so what does discipline really mean anyway?! When we discipline our children we apply appropriate consequences now in a way that helps a child choose correctly in the future. How is this different that punishment? Punishment is repaying someone for something they’ve done wrong. The root of punishment is retribution. This is the opposite of discipline. The root of discipline is love.

In Hebrews 12 we get a beautiful glimpse at how God disciplines us. God’s discipline to us is proof that He loves us. It’s the same with our children. We discipline them because we love them. Take a moment to read Hebrews 12:1-13 now.

So what does disciplining with honor look like? Here are a few practical tools to assure you and I are disciplining with honor:

  • Set realistic expectations. Know your children well to know what he/she is capable of. Push them to be the best them.
  • Never threaten. Take a moment to think through consequences before you throw them out there. Only give a consequence that you KNOW you can stand behind.
  • Don’t discipline in anger. It’s OK to send your child to their room and tell them you need to calm down (or send yourself to your room) before you speak with them regarding their misbehavior.
  • Be consistent. Don’t dismiss misbehavior one day and punish it the next.
  • Don’t be afraid of consequences. We live in a world with rules and consequences. For every action there is a consequence. Real discipline teaches this union.
  • Set limits. Discipline and boundaries illustrate love and safety to our children. Don’t be a pushover parent.
  • Don’t get caught in the cycle of using words to correct behavior. Children are not miniature adults who understand the heart behind what we do. Employ logical consequences.

Discipline is basically short-term pain for long term gain. It’s not easy to discipline. In fact it takes personal discipline to discipline our children. God has uniquely created our children, and our desire should be to help them become the person God intends. We do that when we discipline with honor!


Pastor Deknatel

Teaching Honor Through Discipline Part 1


Disciplining our children is probably THE most difficult aspect of parenting. It requires so much patience and consistency on our part that it can be totally draining. Let’s admit it there are times that we all take a deep breath and wonder if we’re really doing a good job at this parenting thing.

We all realize that we need to discipline our children, and we all do that differently because our children are different. But in the end we all have the same goal, we want our children to honor and respect us. So how do we discipline our kids in a way that leads them to have honor and respect for us? Check out this video post about teaching honor through discipline.

Take some time to think through the questions you were asked, and look forward to the next email where we’ll discuss some practical tools for making sure your disciplining is getting you the results you want.

Til then,

Pastor Deknatel

My Child’s Mobile Device


Technology is everywhere! It is neither good nor bad, it’s what we make of it. Most kids today have some sort of mobile device. We want to take some time to figure out how we build boundaries around our child’s use of mobile devices.

Initially we need to address the real question: Do children need boundaries with technology? There are tons of bad things that COULD happen as your child uses his/her mobile device and setting boundaries on those will help protect them. BOUNDARIES GIVE PROTECTION.

In Exodus 16 we read about the Israelites in the wilderness. They’re starving and begin to complain. God miraculously provides manna and quail for them WITH some boundaries. The instructions are that every person is to collect ONLY what they need FOR THAT DAY. However, there are people that decide they want to collect enough for tomorrow too, and the extra gets infested with maggots!

Yes, our kids need boundaries with their mobile devices. We can help provide boundaries a few ways:

  1. Limit time. Many apps and settings will actually monitor your child’s amount of time on their mobile device. Have your child turn in their device at a certain time every evening.
  2. Limit content. Unlimited access to Netflix and YouTube greatly increase your child’s chance of stumbling upon inappropriate content. Both of these apps have safeguards built in that can be set on your child’s mobile device. Surfing the internet via mobile device is a disaster waiting to happen. Take all internet surfing capability OFF of the mobile device OR give them a SAFE browser such as McGruff Safeguard Browser, K9 Protection Browser or AVG Family Safety.
  3. Limit apps. BE SMART about apps, they are not all OK. Many parents allow children to have apps like snap chat-which allows easy access to nude pictures, and Kik Messenger-an anonymous texting app. Know the app your child is requesting. You can check out reviews of apps for kids at and

The sex talk used to be the awkward talk that parents had to have, and, YES, you still need to have that one. But in today’s society we must have talk with our children about the risks associated with technology. They should know WHY boundaries exist. There are tons of resources out there that provide boundaries for kids’ mobile devices, so take some time to do a little research, and set your child up for technological success!