My son, if your heart is wise,

My heart will rejoice—indeed, I myself;

Yes, my inmost being will rejoice

When your lips speak right things.  (Proverbs 23:15-16 NKJV)


The next few columns are going to be focused on helping dads work through their roles to responsibly provide spiritual influence in the home.  (Moms can read along, of course; just make sure it gets to Dad, since it’s directed toward him.)  As we share this subject, we will get very specific, right from the start.  So, “fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the drive!”


The above Proverb hits very close to home in our family.  Like most of you who read our column, we struggle with the give-and-tug of raising our children.  (We say “most of you” just in case there are some who have raised, or are raising, perfectly-controlled kids.  We don’t want to assume that all of our fellow home-schooling families are like us—having to work through issues like testing limits, disobedience, and maybe even different levels of rebellion.  God bless you if you have avoided this problem.  We would certainly love to meet you and learn your secrets of success.  And we aren’t kidding!)


Sorry for the digression for a moment.  For those of you whom we have had the privilege to meet over the past couple of years as we have spoken across the country on home schooling teens, you know that we share our experiences good and bad.  It’s not quite so easy to do so in this column because what we put in writing is permanent.  It may come back to haunt us!  When we share in workshops that “you get us—warts and all,” it may be recorded on tape, but even then, it is probably only going to be repeated one person or small group at a time, not copied onto a Web site or published in a magazine.  For us to write about our personal challenges, failures, and trials is another matter.  Therefore we do so very carefully and rarely.  However, we want to provide help to parents who struggle, and we think that this one is major, so it’s worth the risk.