November 18, 2010

One at a time...

My husband Joe is the kind of dad who loves to teach our kids fun and useful skills, and is wonderful at explaining things to them in ways they can each understand.  He knows each child’s strengths, weaknesses, and personalities like any good dad would.  He’s taught them how to fish, how to ride a bike, how to play chess, among many other interesting things, but always in an individualized way, knowing they each learn differently.  He likes to take them out to exciting places whenever he can too, often as a whole family, but especially one child at a time to a place they’re interested in, giving them his undivided attention and teaching them all he can about it.

Taken over Hagerstown, Maryland
when Joe and Scott flew to Gettysburg
together for the day
Being this kind of father has translated into one of our favorite parts of the week in our home.  Every Sunday evening, Joe spends time one on one with each child teaching them his favorite subject, and the kids look forward to their turn with great anticipation.  For about a half an hour each, Joe does a Bible study with them in a way that makes sense to  them and meets their needs.  At present, he is studying the book of Revelation with Scott, the book of John with Zach, Hebrews with Daniel, and Esther with Audra.  While they each have their half hour, the other three kids are in our family room on another floor so as not to disturb them, doing something fun but of less eternal value, like watching SpongeBob.  I also steer clear of the living room where Joe teaches each child, but usually get some work done in a room nearby where I enjoy the benefit of four Bible studies without being a distraction.

The kids love having their dad’s full attention, and he loves teaching them.  It is what we are here for.  Our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is central to who we are and what we believe is the meaning of life.  We know without a doubt that we need to teach His Word, the Bible, to our children, while also recognizing that the Lord gives them each a choice to follow and trust Him or not.  It is our goal to teach them to read the Bible for themselves and understand what it says.  They are learning how to discern what others teach them, including us, and compare it to what they read there.  And Joe is taking them each through it, not telling them what he thinks, but showing them what the Lord says.
As much fun as they can have together fishing, bike-riding, playing chess, and even flying in an airplane to far away adventures, nothing compares to that.


  1. You have a beautiful and rare treasure in a husband like that. Very few men have been taught this growing up or learned to be that kind of Dad on their own. Most of us only dream and pray and watch the years go by as our dreams disappear while we try to do all we can on our own and always feel like a failure. It's hard to stem the tide of wordly influence when we are working on our own and having to allow for and respect our spouces choices in front of our children.
    However, your family will shine as an example of the difference a Christ-like father who takes the time to pass it on, can make in shaping the destinies of your dear children. Maybe some day Joe will be led of God to come along side some struggling young men or fathers and disciple them with edification and belief in them to help increase the numbers. You also are a wonderful example of a supportive godly wife and mother and could do the same I'm sure. Your children are unusually blessed.

  2. Thank you for your very kind words. It's definitely not us in our own strength, it's the Lord. We're thankful for the guidance He gives us in raising the kids, and hope that we will please Him in how we do it. If our kids follow Him faithfully as adults, the glory will be His, not ours. But we do thank you for the encouragement!