"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"R" Kids "R" US

Focus: a central point, as of attraction, attention, or activity: The need to prevent a nuclear war became the focus of all diplomatic efforts.

Earlier this week I wrote a piece based on a new sermon series that started at my church, Cypress Wesleyan, dealing with the topic of Superheroes. More specifically, the sermon that Pastor Ken shared with us was on the topic of the forgotten virtue honor.

Captain American

The piece was entitled "Superhero" and it outlined the people that deserve our honor.  Based on scripture I shared with the reader that our parents & spouse, authorities, church leaders and God deserve our honor.

As I reviewed the piece I realized that there was one other group of individuals that deserves our honor and that is our children.

Captain Fashion
Logan: hat, scarf & in the middle... I love you Logan very much.

In July of last year I wrote a piece entitled "A Child's Anger", I outlined the ten ways we can provoke and anger our children. Today I want to share with you the seven ways I believe we can honor our children on a daily basis, and in by doing so, raising the kind of kids that have a better opportunity to enjoy their childhood and are more prepared to step into adulthood with their best foot forward.

I call them my Seven Pillars of Honor for our children.

Remember, parenthood is more art than science. I do not have all the answers and I failed miserably as a parent many times. These seven qualities are major contributors in honoring our children AND are based upon my reflections, readings and God's word.

I do not profess to have all the answers.

...just a lot of thoughts, reflections, observations and a lot of questions.

Captain Headache
(I love this little man...Addison Reid Bailey)

The Seven Pillars of Honor
...Concerning our children.


God's word is pretty straight forward on this topic:

"Do not withhold discipline from a child;
   if you punish them with the rod, they will not die."
-Proverbs 23:13

"A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom,
   but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother." 
-Proverbs 29:15

"Discipline your children, and they will give you peace;
   they will bring you the delights you desire." 
-Proverbs 29:17

"Whoever spares the rod hates their children,
   but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them."
-Proverbs 23:13

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."
-Hebrews 12:11

As you can see the harvest that is reaped by disciplining our children is almost incalculable. When we discipline our children we protect them, we impart wisdom upon them and we provide peace for them in the future. I don't know about you, but if I have the ability to give my children protection, wisdom and peace in some shape or form I'm all in. Discipline is the key to our children's future. Most child psychologists and counselors say that a child forms 80% of his/her personality by the age six. If we wait until the ages of three or four to discipline it is already late, and by the time children reaches 6 years old, it is over. Researchers believe that this is important for parents to keep in mind when it comes to behavior management issues. If we start to discipline them later in life we will ultimately fail our children miserably. And when we fail them we ultimately fail ourselves. The last point that needs to be made is that discipline is much different than punishment. Punishment is about the parent, discipline is about the child. The primary goal of discipline is about teaching the child something that will protect him/her later, not trying to cause pain and hurt because you are mad. Punishment is reactionary; discipline is a proper response with a proper outcome. An outcome that benefits everyone involved. In the end if you don't discipline your children you don't love them.

(might be the fastest 6 yr old I have ever seen... he makes me laugh everyday and I love this little boy. He saved my life...literally) 


Moms typically do a far better job at this then men do. This needs to change. Men need to hug their girls and protect them from men that show them attention later in life as they try to pursue only one thing. Men must hug their boys and look them in the eyes and tell them that you love them. Boys become men when their fathers model and teach their boys how to be strong and sensitive. When we raise boys with those qualities we are creating blessing for his future wife and children. Men we can never physically display through affection enough how much our children mean to us. Proper affection creates and builds proper confidence and esteem.


We can never pay enough attention to our children. When we pay attention to our children we are telling them they are important, when we don't we are telling them that they are not important. It is that simple.  


This one seems so simple, but when we reject our children it introduces the potential of sending our child into a tailspin for the rest of their life. We need to accept them for who they are and what talents they have. This however is not meant to confuse anyone into believing that we should accept poor, rude, destructive and disrespectful behavior because that is just the way they are. Norman Vincent Peale quoted that the trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism. We have to protect our kids from the evil villain called narcissism. Everything they do is not the most important thing on earth, let alone important at all, and everything they do isn't good or colorful. All of those traits I listed above are learned behavior that can be nipped in the bud early on if we as parents have the courage, and common sense, to stop them before these traits begin to blossom and grow like an ugly weed. Engaging in acceptance with our kids, like parenting, is more art than science.

Captain Cool
(Austin (pointing) & Friends... he reminds physically of Steve McQueen and his demeanor is unbelievably mature for a 19 yr old. He is one of the most unassuming guys I have ever met. I'm proud to be his father.)


Proper praise is important and is one of the most important ingredients into raising a confident child that will become a confident adult; a confident adult... not an arrogant adult. Arnold H Glasgow commented that; "Praise does wonders for our hearing." People love to be praised and children are no different. But remember, flattery and praise are a lot like perfume, too much of either and you begin to stink. Keep your head when praising your child, by doing this we protect them and every one they come in contact with. In conclusion concerning this pillar I love what Ernest Hemingway said about praise and criticism: "If you believe them when they tell you that you are great you got to believe them when they tell you that you are terrible."

Where is Robin?
(Bryce as Batman... Halloween 1997)


Webster defines direction as instruction or guidance. Proverbs 22:6 states; "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." It is truly unbelievable the influence and impact we have on our children's lives. It is almost scary to pause for one moment and entertain the larger than life responsibility we have in the area of raising children. In the end it is important to put our kids on the right path and to give them direction daily, but it is equally important that we don't squelch their growth, silence their voice and crush their spirit during this process. Ephesians 4:6 warns us of this very fact; "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Give them direction; be a director not a dictator.

Captain All American
(Bryce at is first prom last year... Bryce is one of the most polite young men I have ever seen. HE IS A SPECIAL ATHLETE, but he is even more of a special person. Great Kid, unbelievably bright future.)


To get the behavior you want you have to first be willing to model that behavior. Kids don't care about what you say they care about what you do. And like most people we would much rather see a great sermon than hear one.

Super Women
(Reese Olivia Christine... the r0c in mybabyroc and the very center of my heart. She means everything to me)

Finally, in 1948 Charles P. Lazarus (not to be confused with Charles Y. Lazarus and the Lazarus family from Columbus, Ohio... I spent 2 hours last night trying to find out if they were related... crazy) opened a baby furniture retailer in Washington D.C. As the store grew Lazarus received many request for baby toys, and after adding baby toys, he received more request for mature toys. Eventually, the focus changed in 1957 and Toys "R" US was born in Rockville, Maryland. Toys "R" US currently has its headquarters in New Jersey.

Because the focus was changed and Lazarus began to recognize a need that his customer had at his small single store his business grew into a toy store chain that has 840 stores in the United States and 716 stores in other countries around the world.

At the end of the day our children are our customers and should be our main focus. 

We have to be keenly aware of their needs, desires, appetites and behaviors. We owe it to our children to always remain focused upon them and the direction they are going.

It is a truthful principle that our children will most likely turn out more like us than not. In some cases it is a moment of prideful joy, in other times it is a sad reality, when we observe, and the community at large takes notice, that our children are becoming, or have become, just like us.

"R" Kids "R" US in so many different ways... They're our responsibility and gift from God. Pray for me and I will pray for you that we will do all we can to remember those undeniable facts, and that we will do all we can to live rightly and raise them in a manner that will build a strong foundation for them the rest of their lives.

Let's all just be the best we can be and see how thing works out.

1 Wisdom has built her house;
   she has set up its seven pillars.
2 She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine;
   she has also set her table.
3 She has sent out her servants, and she calls
   from the highest point of the city,
 4 “Let all who are simple come to my house!”
To those who have no sense she says,
 5 “Come, eat my food
   and drink the wine I have mixed.
6 Leave your simple ways and you will live;
   walk in the way of insight.”
-Proverbs 9:1-6

Phineas & Ferb: as Iron Man and Dash

sbb  9.3.2011

1 comment:

Erica said...

This sure put a lump in my throat. So very well said~ thank you Shawn!