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Keeping Our Children's Hearts Preface

We could not have written this book from a theory-only basis. We share here what we have implemented in our own parenting of eight children and also what we have observed in other families.

When our children were young, we were led to believe teen rebellion was to be expected. That has not been our experience with our children. What happened? Did we simply have compliant children? No, we know our children better than that. After our salvation, we began to grow in our Christian walk. The Lord led us to take the Bible as our daily direction book. This meant we also started making choices in our personal lives, and as parents, that were different from those of other people. We believe these decisions were in large measure, or even completely, responsible for our children not having to struggle with rebellion and immorality. Looking back, we have not regretted any of those decisions.

We are so blessed to have enjoyed our children, to have strong relationships with them now, and to see them serving Jesus Christ. At the same time our hearts have broken as we have watched families lose their children to the world. Even if those children begin to walk in obedience, they will carry the scars of their own and their parents’ failures.

When we first wrote Keeping Our Children’s Hearts, we asked our three young adult children to write their thoughts and experiences growing up with parents who were learning to keep hearts. Each wrote a section in Chapter 18. You will also find some of their quotes at the beginning of chapters. Years later when all of our children were adults, and we had a reprint of Keeping Our Children’s Hearts, we asked the younger five to share with you as their older siblings had done. We felt it was important for you to hear from all eight of the children who were raised in our home.

We have used many real stories in Keeping Our Children's Hearts, but we have changed pertinent information, when appropriate, for privacy's sake. Any resemblance to someone you may know is circumstantial.

Steve & Teri