If No Man Is An Island, Is Adrian Peterson The Problem?

If you’re a dad… or a mom… or an American human being with a pulse, you’ve probably heard (at least a little) about the parenting-related news surrounding the NFL and the Minnesota Vikings’ All-Pro running back, Adrian Peterson.

If you need caught up… well, there’s really just too much flying around to detail here, and most of it is surrounded by a lot of righteous indignation and flanked by myriad uses of the term, “alleged.” That being said, Peterson “allegedly” spanked/beat his 4-year-old son pretty severely.¹ (You can find out more here and here if you’re interested.)

Spanking is not a new controversy.

Thinking Back to When We Were Expecting Our First…

Many moons ago…My wife and I were expecting our first child and it seemed like nothing in the world could stop us. We had each other, we had a baby on the way, I had a good job, and we had both read and practiced so much that we thought we had the birth and raising of our children nailed down. Boy was I naive!

Thinking back…

My eldest daughter just celebrated her 17th birthday a couple of weeks ago and I tell you that I am not ready for her to be going out into the world.


When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  

What’s Your Testimony? (Revisited)

On March 13, 2013 I wrote a blog post entitled, “What’s Your Testimony?”  Here is a snippet:

At dinner one evening, our pastor and his wife shared something that has transformed the way we have approached life ever since.

They told us that the Lord was establishing a “foundation of faith” early on in our marriage. They went on to explain that God wanted us to know that He is faithful and good; worthy of our complete trust, both for our marriage and for our future family one day.

Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose (the Kid)

I worry about losing my kids.

I like to imagine we all do, and that our worry keeps us vigilant and on top of their whereabouts.

But more than worrying about losing my kids, I worry about losing my kids. You know, like losing losing.

What I really mean by all that is that I worry about losing their hearts. Sure, they love me now. But they don’t know all of my weaknesses yet, and they’re still too young to see all the ways I’ve already screwed them up through inexperience and a lack of patience.

Getting Schooled

Wake up, dads! Rise and shine! It’s time for school!

What? You thought you were done with homework? Arithmetic? Mean ol’ Ms. Grizzardly? Nay. Ms. Grizzardly, despite being older than the standard European cathedral, is now teaching your kids—and she hasn’t gotten any cheerier, let me tell you. Sure, she no longer flosses with subpar English papers, given her lack of teeth … but she does gum them into a rather unpleasant mush.

No, when you’re a father, your schooling is never done until your kids are done with school.

“Daddy, Can We Chat?”

“Daddy, can we chat?” That’s one of my new favorite things that Daughter #1 says to me. It all started last weekend. Now, to get the entire effect of these words, just imagine in your mind’s ear a 4 year old little girl saying this in the cutest voice you can conjure up in your head. (Got it, now? Great!)

I was wrapping up Daughter #1’s bedtime routine, which includes reading a few books, praying and then singing a song or two.

Shattered Dreams

When I was a little kid growing up in Grand Rapids, my parents got their first set of the World Book Encyclopedia and I was hooked. I dove into them and explored news worlds as I read about other areas of the world and about science. But when I read the section on space, I was hooked and a dream was born. I read about the men who went to the moon, who built amazing rockets and most importantly, were building a whole new incredible machine, the Space Shuttle.

8 Parenting Insights for a Great School Year

I am always amazed at the people who walk the halls at Focus on the Family.  No matter the role the play within the ministry the depth of experience they bring to our organization is simply amazing.  I am thrilled to introduce you to Julianna Buller.  Julianna is one of our Marketing Research Analysts.  A few months ago I learned that Julianna used to work as a counselor at a school.  I asked her if she would write a blog post for us knowing she had some unique insights.

The Joy of Failing

It’s football season again. And, as a Denver Broncos fan, I’m often reminded–after Denver’s 43-8 shellacking at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks–how little patience our culture has for failure.

We love our winners. We shower them with money and throw them parades. “Second place is just the first place loser,” NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt once quipped, and he’s certainly not alone. We want to win, and we want our kids to be winners, too. We’ll do what we can to help them succeed, and do practically anything to protect them from the shame of failure.