10 Ways to Teach Your Children to Know God's Will for Their Lives

Here is the outline for my second session at the Thrive! NCHE Conference. You can  view the prezi I used in the presentation. 

Ten Ways to Teach Your Children to Know God’s Will for Their Lives

  1. Surrender your life to God (Rom 12:1-2; John 7:16; Luke 9:23-25).
  2. Study Scripture (1 Thess 4:1-6; 2 Tim 3:16-17).
  3. Pray (Phil 4:6-7; Jer 29:11-13; James 4:2b).
  4. Listen to God’s Spirit (Acts 5:32; 20:23; Rom 8:16; John 15:26; 16:7-15).
  5. Wait (Ps 25:4-5).
  6. Observe your personal desires and abilities (1 Cor 7:8-9, 36-38; 12:4-7, 11).
  7. Observe God’s work in your circumstances (James 4:13-17; 1 Cor 16:8-9).
  8. Listen to the counsel and those in authority (Matt 15:15-17; Heb 13:17; Eph 6:1-2; 1 Cor 12:14-21; Prov 15:22).
  9. Reason and test ideas and opportunities (Prov 14:15; Rom 12:2; 1 Cor 10:15; 1:20-21; 2:4; Prov 3:5-7; 1 John 4:1-6).
  10. Evaluate impressions and signs (Acts 8:26; 22:17-18; 2 Cor 11:13-15; Gal 1:8).

How to Stop the Fighting in Your Home


Here is the outline for my first workshop at the Thrive! NCHE Conference. You can download it and you can view the prezi I used for the presentation. If you would like the article that unpacks biblical conflict resolution, sign up for post updates in the right sidebar and get How to Stop a Fight Before It Starts for free.


How to Stop the Fighting in Your Home
Session 11 Saturday 1:50-2:50 p.m

Why do we want to stop the fighting in our home?

  • Because it is pleasant to have a peaceful home (Prov 17:1).
  • Because we want to love and obey God (Eph 4:1-4).
  • Because we want to prepare our children for a life of maturity (Eph 6:4).

Three ways to stop the fighting in your home:

1.        Set a peaceful example.

  • Stop fighting your spouse (Prov 26:21; Prov 21:19).
  • Stop fighting your children (Eph 6:4; Prov 15:1).
  • If you are fighting, then you are choosing to be selfish and prideful (James 4:1-2; 1 Cor 13:4-7).
  • Let the Spirit of Christ live in you! (Gal 2:20; 5:22-23).

2.        Set basic rules of engagement.

  • No yelling
  • No violence.
  • No manipulation

3.        Teach your children to speak truth to one another (Eph 4:15; Matt 18:15-17).

Teach them the Matt 18 process:

  • Speak to the other person privately.
  • Ask another person to help verify problem (I don’t require this step).
  • Go to those in authority to handle the situation.

4.        Teach your children biblical conflict resolution. 

  • Give space (James 1:19).
  • Check yourself  (Matt 7:3-5).
  • Let go of anger (Eph 4:26-27; Matt 18:21-35).
  • Love (Mark 12:30; Gal 5:14).
  • Pray (Matt 5:44; James 1:5-8).
  • Talk about it (Prov 18:13;15:1).
  • Discern the issue (Rom 14:1-12).
  • Speak the truth (Matt 18:15; Eph 4:15; Gal 6:1).
  • Give space

Thrive Homeschool Conference!

We are looking forward to attending Thrive! The NCHE Homeschool Conference this week, May 21-23!  I highly recommend this conference for the encouragement, resources, relationships, and information available for homeschooling families. It is not too late to attend. You can register when you arrive.

I will be presenting two workshops this year:

How to Stop the Fighting in Your Home—Are you fed up with the ugly talk and fighting in your home? It’s amazing that it is easier to be polite and patient with those outside the family than those we love the most! A major part of preparing our children for life is teaching them how to interact with others. In this session, we will apply biblical conflict resolution principles to the relationships in your home. You will receive practical tools for teaching your children to handle conflict (and practicing it yourself!).

Ten Ways to Teach Your Children to Know God’s Will for Their Lives—How can you know God’s will for your life? Many Christians want to know God’s will for their lives, but feel unsure how to discern it. Our children have their whole lives in front of them. They have the opportunity to avoid many mistakes and live for Christ. You can give them the understanding and encouragement necessary to know and follow God’s direction and calling. Come learn ten basic biblical principles for discerning God’s will that you can pass to your children.

How to Help Your Children Become Self Motivated

Here is the outline for my first workshop at the NCHE Conference. You can download it as a PDF and you can view the prezi I used for the presentation.

Session 4 Friday 11:00 a.m.-12:00
(Room B-D)


  • The ultimate goal for parents is to raise mature, Christ loving believers.
  • Parenting should move from discipline to discipleship, from external motivation to internal motivation.

How to Help Your Children Become Self-Motivated

  1. Pray for your children to surrender their hearts to Christ (Eph 3:14-21).
  2. Teach your children truth from God’s Word (Psalm 19:7-11).
  3. Teach your children God’s purpose for life and how everything we do fits into it (Deut 6:4-9).
  4. Encourage and affirm your children (1 Thess 2:11-12).
  5. Offer new responsibility and freedom in response to obedience and respect (Matt 25:14-30).
  6.  Correction can take the form of discipleship, instead of discipline, when there is respect and teachability (Psalm 25:8-15; 32:8-9).
  7. Give freedom to make their own choices so they can develop conviction (Heb 5:14).
  8. Help your children discover their gifts, talents, and interests and free and equip your children to purse them (Eph 4:7, 11-12).

One of My Favorite Conferences

We leave Thursday for the annual North Carolinian's for Home Education Conference. This is one of my favorite conferences. A few years ago I wrote out about the top ten highlights of the conference.

Another highlight for me that has developed over the last few years is the opportunity to teach a couple of the workshops. Here are the workshops I'm presenting this year:

Session 4 Friday 11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon

How to Help Your Children Become Self-Motivated—Are you tired of working so hard to get your child to do their work or make the right choices? When will they be self-motivated? How can you help them develop this? Discipline is when parents provide external motivation for right choices (which is a necessary part of the process). Discipleship is when parents help children develop their own motivation for making the right choices because of their love for Christ. In this session, we will discuss how to make the difficult transition from discipline to discipleship. You will receive practical tips on helping your child develop godly self-motivation.

Session 11 Saturday 1:50-2:50 p.m.

How to Stop the Fighting in Your Home—Are you fed up with the ugly talk and fighting in your home? Amazingly, it is easier to be polite and patient with those outside the family than with those we love the most! A major part of preparing our children for life is teaching them how to interact with others. In this session, we will apply biblical conflict resolution principles to the relationships in your home. You will receive practical tools for how to teach your children to handle conflict (and how to practice it yourself!).

If you are a home educator (or want to be) in North Carolina (or near enough to come) and you have not yet planned to come, you might want to consider it. I don't think you will regret it.

Top Ten Highlights of the 2010 NCHE Conference

I wrote the following article for the Greenhouse Report, the newsletter for the North Carolinians for Home Education.

Six years ago, my wife Dana and I wandered around the Convention Center in wide-eyed amazement. It was our first NCHE Conference ever and we had never seen so many homeschooling people, philosophies, books, and curriculum. That first year was life changing for us and helped us set the course for our home education journey. Since then, we have made the annual conference a priority and we are encouraged and challenged every year. This year was no exception. So I would like to share the top ten highlights of the 2010 NCHE for Dana and me.

10. Our hotel room card opened the door and there was no one staying in our hotel room. Two years ago we tried to save money and stayed in a crummy hotel. After returning to the front desk for the third time, the room card finally opened the door . . . but there were people in there! Recommendation #1: Don’t come for just the book fair or one day of sessions. Make it a priority, take off work, and come for the whole conference as a couple. Recommendation #2: Save up some money and stay in a nice hotel.

9. Buying our curriculum. Every year, the first thing we do is head to the My Father’s World booth and buy all our curriculum for next year. We love this curriculum, love saving money on shipping, and are glad to get the main, big purchase out of the way.

8. BrewNerds Coffee. Its hard to justify spending so much time in the insanely long line at Starbucks, but I usually do. Not this year. Instead, I found Brewnerds Coffee one block away on Fourth Street. It is easily as good (probably better) than Starbucks and the line was short. I also learned it owned from strong believers.

7. Meeting old friends. There are some people I don’t ever see except at the conference. What a blessing to give hugs and talk face to face instead of over e-mail!

6. Meeting new friends. This is difficult not to do. It is very encouraging to meet and be sharpened by so many other like-minded people.

5. Finding new books. The two book purchases I am especially happy with: What a Daughter Needs from Her Dad: How a Man Prepares His Daughter for Life by Michael Farris, and the first two books of The Peleg Chronicles by Matthew Christian Harding, Foundlings and Paladins (this series is supposed to be for the kids, but I sure am enjoying them!).

4. Helping wide-eyed first timers. We met a couple that was there for the first time. It was easy to remember what that was like and so we felt a little sorry for them! It was a joy to help them sort through the overwhelming mass of information and select a curriculum.

3. Being reminded of how important it is to spend quantity and quality time with my kids. Even though our family spends most our time together, there are two traps we must watch out for: 1) Spending a lot of busy time with your family without realizing they need also need more focused relationship time, and 2) Not taking the time to spend one on one time with your kids.

2. Renewing a godly generational vision. I especially enjoyed hearing Kevin Swanson speak on the importance of such a generational vision. The heart of home education is that parents are taking responsibility for diligently teaching their children to love God so that they can teach their own children. “That you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son” (Deut 6:2)

1. Spending time with my wife. We take all the kids (except the youngest) to Grandma’s house and drop them off. The time that Dana and I have together at the conference is always rich. We spend a lot of time talking, especially on our regular Friday night date to Macaroni Grill. We are inspired by what we hear and share what God is doing in our hearts. We talk about our family and discuss ways to grow and improve.

All in all, we are grateful to be a part of NCHE and the opportunity to participate in a conference like this. See ya’ll next year!