Home christian living Raising Children to Love Him: Don’t Miss This One Thing! (Live Interview-I’m Talkin’, Y’all)

Raising Children to Love Him: Don’t Miss This One Thing! (Live Interview-I’m Talkin’, Y’all)

by Kelly Crawford

Recently, Christian Heritage Online invited me to speak in a live webinar on the topic of Raising Visionary Kids. If you missed that, you can listen to the podcast HERE.

The interview addressed an important topic for all parents, but particularly the homeschool community, especially now as some of the foundations are being shaken with recent scandals among popular leadership. So I hope you find some time to listen in and I would love to talk more about this subject of  raising children who love the Lord, in the comment section.

We have to be wise and discerning as parents, carefully dividing the word of truth as we disciple our children. We talked about some good stuff in the broadcast that I hope will encourage you as you seek to do that.

By the way, the interview includes a rare “Green Room” discussion at the end and the producer, Daniel Craig, brought up a most important point addressing the responsibility of this generation in light of some of the conversation in the interview. I strongly encourage you to catch that.

Live webinar: Teaching the Reason Behind the Rules

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6 arrows March 15, 2014 - 9:32 pm

It was so good to listen to this again — and this time I could pause it and take notes more easily. 😉

You touched on such important topics, getting beyond the trees (the rules) to the forest, the big picture — communication, trust relationship, honor, gratitude; and humility underlying it all. Bravo, Kelly!

But do you know what I’m most thankful you addressed? This (and a similar, brief statement you made toward the end of the webinar): “…some of the foundations are being shaken [in the homeschool community] with recent scandals among popular leadership.”

I firmly believe that the scandals lately involving Doug Phillips, Bill Gothard, and some institutions familiar to homeschoolers do need to be addressed with open, honest, and serious discussion. I know there wasn’t a lot of time for your concluding statement in the webinar (where you briefly mentioned the scandals), but I am so grateful you did bring it up, and especially that you are willing to allow discussion on these matters.

I will be committing to prayer this weekend on how to honorably expand on what you touched on regarding these revelations in the homeschooling community, and will be back next week to comment further.

Thank you so much for your commitment to truth, Kelly.

Annie D March 16, 2014 - 6:59 pm

I look forward to that discussion! I actually hadn’t heard about what has gone on until you mentioned it, and after reading up a bit all I could think was how God will shake everything that can be shaken until only that which cannot be shaken remains.

Kelly Crawford March 17, 2014 - 11:03 am


This I love.

6 arrows March 17, 2014 - 3:21 pm

Thanks, Annie 🙂 Not sure if I’ll have time to start that discussion today…maybe tonight, or tomorrow if not then.

BTW, loved your “shake everything…” comment!

Keri March 17, 2014 - 2:36 pm

I did very much appreciate the things Kelly had to say on this topic.
Wondering though 6 arrows why you would feel the need to “honorably” expand on the scandals. They don’t have to define us. Just my thoughts..

6 arrows March 17, 2014 - 3:25 pm

Thanks for your thoughts, Keri. I also did really appreciate Kelly’s talk, and I agree with you that the scandals don’t have to define us. There are other reasons I feel discussion on those matters is important, and I’ll explain more fully why I believe so, and how it fits into the context of Kelly’s interview, when I post on that.

6 arrows March 15, 2014 - 11:25 pm

By the way, I thought it was good the distinction you made between younger children and older children as far as discussing the “why” behind our rules. I agreed with your statement that, with younger children, it is enough to simply say, “Obey me, because that’s what the Bible says.”

I learned from experience that too much explaining “why” right in the heat of the moment with little kids just teaches them to ask “Why?” whenever a directive is given. In other words, they don’t get accustomed to obeying first, asking later. Obedience becomes conditional on the parent giving a good reason why, which obviously is not how we want to train our children.

It certainly does point to the need for us parents to raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, as you clearly pointed out, teaching them the Scriptures (especially, I think, during “neutral” times, as part of daily life, and not simply when they need reminding what the Bible says).

The study of the Scriptures as a family helps the children mature in their understanding of why we make the choices we do, which, as you said, facilitates trust, relationship-building, and mutual respect.

I’m glad you mentioned the book “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” too. That was a good, biblically-based book I read years ago when I only had three children, and it has informed a lot of my parenting over the years.

Kelly Crawford March 16, 2014 - 8:32 pm

I’ve enjoyed your thoughts here, “C”, hearing what you specifically liked about the interview. It’s a tricky thing, mainly because I think we fail to be deliberate about pointing to “reason behind the rules” with so much life going on. It comes, I think, when we set our minds on heavenly things, but more often, we are too earthly-minded.

6 arrows March 17, 2014 - 3:26 pm

Amen to setting our minds on heavenly things. Colossians 3:2 certainly applies just as much to parenting as it does to all other aspects of life.

Keri March 16, 2014 - 1:20 pm

Thank you for sharing this link. I missed the live webinar and did not realize that I would have the option to hear it later. I look forward to hearing you speak at the conference in April!

Laura Santos March 17, 2014 - 12:31 am

Kelly, you are so right that God gives more grace to the humble. My family can truly testify to this. My husband and I have been separated now for almost a year. On the outside we are not your model home school family. We have many wounds we are recovering from, but God is so good!

Even with the brokenness, there is laughter and peace in our home because we are living this life for real. It’s not about principles, it’s about Jesus, it’s about the Father, it’s by the Holy Spirit living life abundantly.

My kids laugh at me because I often say, “Hey, this is life or death!” They know that we are either for Him or against Him and that is the reason for everything we do. They also know it is their choice. Sure, we have rules, but I can’t force them to love God. I thank God every day for making it possible for me to home school even as a single mother.

See you soon!

Kelly Crawford March 17, 2014 - 10:48 am


What beautiful hope in the midst of such trial. I’ve offered up many prayers for you. I love that you seem to maintain a focus on eternal things in the midst of earthly sorrow. I am thankful, too, that the Lord has provided for you in a way that lets you be with your children. Thank you so much for sharing your heart.

Kim M March 17, 2014 - 8:44 pm

Loved the interview! Thanks for posting.

Natalie March 18, 2014 - 3:48 pm

Thank you Kelly! I was encouraged as I listened. We are expecting our 5th child and our others range from 3-17. If there is one thing I have learned through parenting, it is humility. Some have humbled me with their godliness (despite our mistakes) and some have humbled me with their sin (despite our attempt to parent them “rightly”). I believe one of the purposes of parenting is to show us our dependence on God, and many times that is humbling :).

Daphne B March 18, 2014 - 9:06 pm

Hello Natalie. I hope you don’t mind me asking. Does your comment mean that some of your children are more godly and some less so? If so, how have you as a parent dealt with this? I am not a parent yet, but I’ve done a considerable amount of babysitting, and though I really love children, I’ve always found it a big struggle to love more difficult children the same way (both in my heart and with my actions). This is an area that I feel much conviction over because of the ways in which I have failed in the past, and I know that I will probably struggle with it as a mother (if God wills to make me one). I’m curious if you struggle with this and how you work around it. Thank you.

Natalie March 19, 2014 - 6:56 am

Hi Daphne,
How cool that you are reading this blog even before you are a mom yourself! You are already considering the next generation, this is encouraging! I love that you have a heart to encourage other young women as well, may the Lord bless your outreach.
Well, to be honest some of my children are more difficult than others, but that is not what I meant to say.
Our 17 year old became a Christian when he was 7 years old, and I have seen a lot of fruit in his life since that time. It is easier to be “humbled by the godliness” when they are older and walking with the Lord, because we know we did not do everything perfectly, so it is easier to see the hand of God at work.
When they are young and still in training, we have a lot more “ungodliness” I am dealing with. Our other children are all under 8 years of age so I am encouraged when I look at the work the Lord did in the life of my older son, despite my imperfections in parenting.
I always laugh when people comment about the concern for socialization of homeschooled children. What better place to learn to love and accept others who are different than you than in your own family :).
By the way, I babysat a lot when I was younger, and based on my experience declared that I would never have children! Now I am delighted that #5 is on the way :).
I hope this helps!

Daphne B March 19, 2014 - 12:12 pm

Yes it helps – thank you for responding.

It’s great to hear how God changed your heart and how he has now blessed you with 5 children! 🙂 God has changed mine mostly through blogs like this one, and I stick around to keep hearing from older women and learning. 🙂

Daphne B March 18, 2014 - 9:57 pm

“I tend to speak my heart more in writing than I do face to face.” This is me exactly! I started a blog recently for this very reason, and because there aren’t many voices for biblical womanhood that younger women from my country can relate to. I’m hoping God uses my writing somehow. The letter writing idea is really awesome! I’m holding on to it. 🙂

Also, than you for the wonderful advice. I really appreciate that your focus is on building relationships. My fiance and I were just talking about this (is it too early?) and I’m very grateful that we’re in agreement on these issues.


Kelly Crawford March 20, 2014 - 6:58 pm


No, it’s not too early. And like Natalie said, kudos for getting ahead of the game and displaying such maturity. You’ll be far ahead of most of us!

6 arrows March 20, 2014 - 4:43 pm

OK, late to the game with this comment, but to any commenters who are wondering where the follow-up to my comment at #1 above is, in which I said I wanted to expand on the discussion of the recent developments/scandals in the homeschooling community, which Kelly briefly mentioned, here it is, finally.

To start with, let me point out two relevant, very key comments I took away from Kelly’s interview, in addition to what I’ve already mentioned.

First, somewhere around the 13- to 15-minute mark in the webinar recording, Kelly was speaking of homeschooling as a means of discipleship, but pointed out the key truth that our children’s hearts are transformed by the gospel, and that homeschooling itself won’t do that. She went on to say that “there’s a tendency…to place our faith in a thing like that [homeschooling being one example] and think that if we just follow the formula, our kids will turn out a certain way…”

I agree with that concern. It can be very easy to get caught up in following man-made programs and formulas for our homeschooling and parenting, and get so comfortable in our routines that we neglect to hold up all our philosophies and practices to the light of scripture, to examine whether we are dealing with our children in a truly Biblical manner. We can also be easily led to believe and put into practice the teachings of leaders we’ve come to respect for one reason or another, and forget they are fallible, sinful human beings, as we all are, whose teachings we may find stand in stark contrast to the infallible Word of God, if we would dare to dig deeper into Scripture as good Bereans, and ultimately reject human teachings that are unscriptural.

And that is why I appreciated this second statement, which Kelly brought up in her conclusion, starting somewhere in the 48-minute area: “…across the homeschooling landscape, we’ve had some major people in places of influence, some major disappointments, throughout the community.”

Most definitely there have been long-standing abuses of power and influence that have come to light recently. I mentioned two of these prominent leaders: Doug Phillips and Bill Gothard. There have also been some questions raised about some institutions of higher learning familiar to many Christian homeschoolers, but I won’t address those, as I don’t know very much about the allegations or the legitimacy behind them as I do with the two individuals I mentioned.

I believe it is very important to expose the deeds of darkness (Ephesians 5:11), remembering that anyone, Christian or not, is capable of committing evil. If it happens in the Christian community, we are no less responsible to call out sin, to rebuke, and to exhort with a call to repentance. We must do so lovingly, though, examining our own motives, and if the sinner shows fruits of repentance (to repent means to turn, and is not simply an “I’m sorry”, or mere words without clear actions behind those words), we are obligated to forgive.

I am very concerned when scandals like these involving spiritual and sexual abuse are (1) not discussed, basically swept under the rug, in the name of avoiding gossip or “an evil report”, or (2) are determined to have already been repented of (based on apologies without actions that clearly exhibit a turn from one’s sinful lifestyle), and therefore, we are told, we should just drop the subject.

It is this silence, this refusal to talk about it when we don’t have clear evidence the abuse has stopped, that often perpetuates the abuse, and can tragically lead to more victims because few people knew about prior abuses perpetrated by an individual and/or within an organization, because appropriate, Biblical discussion was silenced.

It is my concern for past, present and potentially future victims of sexual and spiritual exploitation that prompts me to bring this up, and because the fruits of repentance in these two men have not been clearly exhibited.

I addressed this comment to other readers, but Kelly, I want to again thank you for sharing the webinar with us. Indeed, parenting from a place of complete humility, and understanding that we (and no other earthly being, either) can save our children, as you pointed out, but only Christ our Savior, is foundational as we bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

6 arrows March 20, 2014 - 8:59 pm

To clarify, the middle of that last sentence should read, “we can NOT save our children (and no other earthly being, either)…” Got my words mixed up with the parenthetical expression in the middle of that. But you all knew what I meant, I’m sure. Still, really have to get that one right…

Annie D March 21, 2014 - 3:30 pm

Excellent post, 6 arrows. Very well written. “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil,” even in the church. I feel so bad for people who followed these ministries and conformed to their teaching without checking them against Scripture. But we really must be discerning as more and more false teachings swirl around us.

6 arrows March 21, 2014 - 5:46 pm

Thank you, Annie. Yes, Biblical discernment is so important.

Mim March 27, 2014 - 10:12 pm

Hi Kelly
I am so glad I checked your blog again after not doing so for awhile. I loved this webinar and listened to it at just the right time. I have been struggling big time with our 6 yr old son who just doesn’t seem to listen or take in anything I say. Getting to the root of the problem (or the heart of the problem as it were) is such wise advice and I am so grateful for this and many other blogs that enable me to learn and grow as a mum. With my mum living overseas in Tanzania for most of my time as a mother it is not easy to find sage advice and wisdom from older, more experienced Christian mothers.
Thankyou for taking the time to keep this blog running
Mim x

Kelly Crawford March 28, 2014 - 4:19 pm

I sincerely appreciate your gratitude, Mim. Keep pressing on.


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