Four More Habits of Effective Parents (click to comment)


Raising children is 27% bliss and 73% guerilla warfare. Kids are organized and unionized, so if you’re a frightened, frazzled parent, vacate your hiding place and lend me your ears. Here are four more nuggets of parenting wisdom I’ve picked up while interviewing the experts:

1. Teach your kids to go MAD. Author/speaker Ron Hutchcraft told me that “When my kids left for school in the morning, I challenged them to go MAD! What I meant was ‘Go Make A Difference.’ Children need a personal sense of mission. They need to experience a Jesus who is a real member of the family. One who is talked to and talked about. Family devotions are great, but they don’t have the same impact as the integration of Jesus into our daily lives, where we take spontaneous, unstructured opportunities and turn them into teachable moments.”

2. Teach your kids to sacrifice. For 18 years, Floyd McClung and his family lived out the gospel in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, surrounded by pimps, prostitutes and pushers. “We believed,” Floyd says, “that there were more pitfalls and dangers bringing up children in the apparent safety and serenity of suburbia. Our kids need to see that we put obedience above comfort. Does God have our complete allegiance or is our primary question, ‘What is safest, securest, softest and most beautiful?’”

3. Don’t Give up. Kathy Peel, editor, author and mother of three spoke of commitment. “I’m a baby-boomer and our generation doesn’t even know the word. When things get tough, we want to bolt, to jump into the next thing and find something or someone else. That’s why half our marriages are ending in divorce. The good news is that God forgives us when we make mistakes. And we can make a commitment to stick with it where we are right now.”

4. Keep it simple. During the past 45 years, Bill and Gloria Gaither have penned some of gospel music’s most memorable songs, produced a hundred recordings and reared three children. They have also earned millions of dollars. When I asked Gloria what helped keep it all in perspective, she surprised me with her response: “Bill said way back at the very beginning of our marriage, ‘All I need is enough money to air condition my house, and I’ll never want anything else.'” I asked Gloria what she would like on her tombstone. She didn’t hesitate at all before saying: ‘She gave herself away for things that last forever.’”

Psalm 127:3 says this, “Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?” Mom and Dad: are you investing the most in those that will be crying the loudest at your funeral? Be encouraged, hang in there today.



Phil Callaway

Phil Callaway, the host of Laugh Again, is an award-winning author and speaker, known worldwide for his humorous yet perceptive look at life.

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