Doing Life Together

dad and babyIf you want a persistent child, dads are key.

Persistent is a trait most parents want to see developed in their children. When the assignment is difficult, we want  our kids to persist in their studies and do well. When the team is losing, we want a child who stays in the fight until time runs out. When faced with an assault on faith, we want  a child who stands firm no matter what.

And we know from research that persistent children are less likely to be delinquent and more likely to be engaged in school.

So how do we develop this in our children? A study in the Journal of Early Adolescence concludes that dads matter when it comes to developing persistence.

Brigham Young University researchers studied children from two-parent families and found that a dad’s’ parenting style more so than a mom’s, influenced persistence in children.

Specifically, dads who used an authoritative parenting style influenced their kids in a positive way when it comes to persistence. Authoritative parenting is characterized by a warm style of lovingly listening, but also providing rules and structure. Rules are explained and autonomy is encouraged. So there is a nice balance between loving and accountability.

Why dads are more influential in this area of developing persistence is not known. One explanation could be that dad’s focus more on persistence. Whatever the case, dads play an important role.

So dads, think about what you are trying to pass on to your children. Look at your parenting style. And remember, you matter and have a specific role when it comes to developing certain traits in your children.

To all our veterans,

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To my dad, 93 years-old, a veteran of WWII, the greatest generation, love and prayers. Thank you for joining the fight at a young age and defeating the enemy!

To my brother, Captain Gary Marquardt who lost his life during the Viet Nam conflict, you are missed every day!

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To all our men and women who have bravely fought and served, thank you! Your sacrifice and service are deeply appreciated and the reason we are remain a free country. On this day, we salute you!


smaller worryJohn admits. He  struggles with addiction. He is determined to beat his habit but gives in, feels bad, intends to make a change, but ends up slipping time and again. When he does, it deeply hurts his wife. He sees the pain in her face and feels bad that he has hurt her. John is remorseful but not repentant.

Regret and remorse are different than godly sorrow noted in 2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death (NKJV). Godly sorry produces repentance. It is based on a belief that a behavior is wrong and must be stopped. It motivates one to make a turn in direction and change behavior.

Regret and remorse have consequences, but do not necessarily address the wrong-doing of those consequences. People get caught and can feel remorse because there are consequences to their actions. For example, you can speed down the highway, get caught and feel remorse. But you may not feel repentant over the speeding. You have remorse because you received a ticket. The ticket temporarily slows you down, but eventually you creep back up to that speeding level.

And so is the problem with remorse vs. repentance. Remorse can be temporary. It doesn’t always lead to change. Remorse can leave you filled with guilt that eventually leads to shame. This type of “worldly sorry” can eat you up emotionally. But repentance leads to confessing our sin to God, leaving it at the cross, and asking the Holy Spirit to change us. It brings a change in thinking and behaving. It is taking responsibility for our actions, not because they hurt people, but because they are sin. Ultimately, it leads to freedom.

Repentant people change from their previous ways and don’t wallow in guilt. Repentance comes when we cry out to God and say, “There is nothing in me that can make this change. I need you.” When we do, God forgives us. We turn from our sin and allow His Spirit to help us overcome.

To be free, repent and allow God to change you.


Letting Go of Worry“Holding on to anxiety is like character assassination to our Father. “

This statement took me aback. It is a quote from my pastor. I had never quite thought of holding on to anxiety is this way.

As the pastor preached the Sunday service on being anxious about nothing, I thought about his statement. When we hold on to worry or anxiety over our future, we are telling God we don’t trust Him. When I wrote, Letting Go of Worry, I talked about the root of worry–doubting God. So I see the connection. Being worried is saying to God you and your Word aren’t enough. Now, I know there is grace but God wants us to ultimate trust Him for everything and not hold on to worry.

Every time now, I am prone to worry, I try to think about this statement. What am I saying about God and who He is? Do I believe His promises? Do I cast my cares on Him and trust Him to take care of me?

Taking my thoughts captive is a mental habit I am trying to cultivate. Worried thoughts come and go, but I choose not to settle in with them or allow them to wander in worried waters. I take the thought captive–put it in confinement, acknowledge it but then direct it to God. Here God, this is my worry. You said to bring it to you and trust you. I don’t see an answer, a way out but you promised to walk me through the difficulty and never leave me. And your Word says there is a way of escape from all this anxiety–not necessarily problems, but the torment of anxiety.

Help us to be like your Apostle Peter who slept soundly in prison awaiting his possible execution. As the church prayed for Peter, he slept so well in prison that the angel of the Lord had to shine an intense light and hit him on his side to wake him up! Talk about trust!!! Truly, his mind was kept in perfect peace as he fixed his thoughts on God.

So what ever it is you are facing, turn to God. Fix your eyes on Him, not the circumstances. Trust Him to take care of you in the process of pain and uncertainty. Don’t doubt as you are saying He isn’t quite enough for you or the situation. God, helps us to trust you more!


For more help with worry, click on my book, Letting Go of Worry and order a copy today!