Here are a few notes Vonda took regarding Pastor Ben's time with us:
Working with teens for the past ten years has helped shape how Ben and Ashley parent their own children. One thing they've noticed is that we need to take a daily inventory of how our kids' perceive us and how we relate to our Savior, Jesus.
God intends that we disciple (or teach) our children by how we live. So our pattern of living (what we DO more than what we SAY) will, in the end, be passed down to our children, whether that be positive or negative.
Our kids' perception of God is related to how we treat them. So we need to experience and live out that real relationship with God that we are trying to teach to our kids (i.e. love Jesus, love others). Often times we moms place a load of guilt on ourselves when we feel like we fail, but that guilt does NOT come from God.
When parenting pre-teens & teens, especially boys, we moms need to keep the lines of communication open but start backing off. We have to give them room to grow without us hovering over them. We can't parent our teen children like they are toddlers.
Dads need to be PRESENT and ACTIVE in our kids lives. Boys may not always need verbal expressions, but definitely an active and present dad. Girls need verbal affirmations and love from their dads, so they don't seek it elsewhere. Moms are often more critical of their daughters than dads, so be careful.
We need to encourage our kids but NOT at the cost of discipline and rebuking. God placed us in this position to discipline and rebuke (always from a biblical view). Romans 2:4 is Ben's basis for teaching repentance. It says, "Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?"
We need to teach our kids scripture and a biblical worldview. Ben encourages family devotions and catechism. One that he uses with his son is an app called New City Catechism.
We, as parents, need to be intentionally teaching our kids from a young age so that when they become teens, we have already established strong lines of communication and roots of faith.