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A Personal Reflection from Joey

June 2016

little boy following Dad


I remember hearing soon after my first child, a son was born the phrase “Many men can father a child but it takes a special person to be a Dad.” That thought has stuck with me throughout my parenting years. I wanted to be that person that my kids could and would look up to. I wanted them to trust me and believe in me. I wanted their mom and I to be the primary people to influence their thinking and their belief system. Now that my kids are young adults, I want them to be proud of having me as their father and come to me for advice or counsel. I want them to draw from the wellspring I have put in their hearts of how to live God’s way to influence the day to day choices and decisions they will make as adults and parents.


What I have found is all the time of playing and riding bikes with my kids, as well as all the sports and music events I sat through, to the times I read from my Bible and devotion books to them, and for all the times we sang “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round” or played Candyland to insisting they learn their multiplication table and make their beds and brush their teeth to putting away the dishes exactly as their mom instructed them; these were ALL opportunities for them to know who I was and are lasting reminders that they can trust their Dad.


Today, I have a great relationship with my kids. We are friends and we have wonderful time together as a family. I am working in a similar way to build that same trusting relationship with my grandkids.


Why did I do all this? I realized the more they trusted me, the more they knew me. The more they understood why I trained them to obey me in all I instructed them to do, the more they would understand what God wants them to do. This may sound self-serving, but I actually had a bigger reason and they couldn’t possible know.

I realized a long time ago the day would come when I would not be the primary influence in their lives anymore; that I couldn’t go to work or college with them or live in their homes with their young families. I realized my goal was to transition their obedience, respect and trust in me to having that same loving commitment, obedience, respect and trust to their heavenly Daddy. He is someone who loves them more than I ever could.


I realized the greater blessing was for my kids to listen to and trust God their heavenly Father to an even greater extent than they would me. This meant if I was not a great example of a dad to them, they would not fully understand how God could be a Father to them too.


I have a friend who is a dad of teenagers and he rarely calls God his heavenly Father. He often says “Dad is so good to me” speaking of God and all the blessings He gives to him. I love the way my friend says, “Our Dad treats us better than I deserve!”


Did you have a wonderful dad who showed you how to live for Jesus? Or, perhaps he lived his life in such a way it is difficult to trust God to be a loving caring heavenly Father you can place your trust in. Either way, I hope as you live your life, especially around your kids, you will see God as your best cheerleader in the universe. He is the loudest voice in the grandstands cheering you on like you are competing in an Olympic sport because you are and He is. The sport? Fatherhood.


The more you see God – “Dad” cheering you on, the more you will obey Him and live the way He directs you to from his Word. The more you live God’s way, the more your kids will see that as truth and obey. Eventually as they mature into young adults, you get to transition them to become more concerned about pleasing and doing what their heavenly Dad says and then you get to sit back and watch them please Him and joy will fill your heart as you see them fulfill the purpose God gave them to you for, to raise them to bring glory to God through their lives.


A Dad has a tremendous opportunity and influence in this world, more than we think and usually get credit for. No matter how much your wife or kids tell you “You’re the world’s best DAD” on Father’s Day, ultimately it is enough to be your kids’ best DAD.


Here is a verse every Dad should be able to say to his kids throughout their life:

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”

I Corinthians 11:1

Why Do Children Lie?

Why Do Children Lie?

Joey and Carla Link

May 2016


Every parent will have a child who lies at one time or another. Why do children lie? Rarely do parents get to the heart of this question because they are more focused on the lie and the ramifications of the lie versus why their child lied. Getting to “why” a child lied is much more important than the lie itself.


Here are just 6 of the many reasons why a child lies (from the NEW Mom’s Notes Presentation “Liar Liar Pants on Fire”):

  • To get attention
  • To gain control
  • To get revenge
  • To escape responsibility
  • To be accepted
  • To get out of trouble


Jesus’ brother James says it this way,


“But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire

and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin;

and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

James 1:15


Parents need to help their child learn to deal with their evil desires. Parents don’t think of their children as being evil, but this verse says we all are. Satan tempts us in this area and way, he knows we will give in because the temptation looks really, really good. We will be celebrating a family birthday this weekend and I am already talking myself out of the eating the cake! That’s my (Carla’s) temptation I have trouble standing up to. When your kids give in to temptation and they know they have done something big time wrong, the last thing they want to do is honestly answer their parent’s questions about what they did so they lie, hoping their parents don’t know the truth.


What is so enticing to your children that they would lie to you to get what they want or to get out of trouble? I remember a mom who struggled with this when her son wanted to go to a friend’s house for an overnight. He purposefully didn’t disclose that they would be watching a movie that he knew his parents wouldn’t approve of. So he didn’t tell them what they would be doing. Is this a lie? Yes, it is. It is called “deceiving” which is a form of lying. When you deceive someone you are deliberately manipulating the facts to cover up what you don’t want known. His parents did find out about the movie as the other parents told them what the boys watched because they didn’t have a problem with it. When their son came home, he knew by the look on his parents’ faces they knew what he had done, and that he had broken his parents’ trust in him. It took a long time for him to earn it back. His parents asked him if the movie was worth the consequence, and he shook his head that it wasn’t. This was a good lesson for him to learn to work it all the way through in his mind before he commits to doing something he knows is wrong.


Thankfully, this family understood the lie wasn’t the problem. The bigger problem was his inability to walk away from temptation, and they came up with a plan to work with him on that. It is not common for parents to look beyond the sin of lying to the why of lying.



Have you gotten the NEW Mom’s Notes presentation “Liar, Liar Pants on Fire!” to help you learn how to deal with and shape your child’s heart to be truthful?

Dealing with a Lying Child

Dealing with a Lying Child

Joey and Carla Link

May 2016


When our kids were growing up they each had their own bath towels. Carla assigned each of them their own color of towel, an easy way for her to keep track of them. I remember holding in my hand the towel of one of my daughters and I asked if it was hers. I also wanted to know why it was on the floor instead of hung on the hook. I couldn’t believe it when she said “it isn’t mine”! I knew it was hers. She was the only one that could use that color towel in our home. And now she was looking me in the eye and lying to my face! Not only that, she wanted me to believe her sister had deliberately used her towel and dropped it on the floor so she would get in trouble. I wasn’t buying that for a minute.


Do you ever wonder why a child lies even when they know it’s wrong? Do you get stressed trying to figure out how to deal with their lying?


Lying is the most grievous sin in the family. To such a point that in Proverbs 6 we are told it’s one of the 6 things God hates! There are not many things God says He hates, but when God says He hates something, it’s one of the strongest terms He uses.


The biggest thing lying does is destroy trust. If you can’t trust what comes out of your child’s mouth, then how can you believe them when they say they will be home from their friend’s house at a certain time or they will get off the computer when their time is up or they won’t get on internet sites they know are wrong for them to view?


I remember so clearly when a lying issue went on with one of our kids for several days and it affected the whole family. Finally, when this child confessed to the lie I told her (out of frustration) she had lost our family’s trust and if one of her siblings said something about her and she said it wasn’t true we would believe her siblings because we didn’t know if we could trust her to tell the truth so we would assume she was the one who was lying. Looking at her siblings, she quickly wanted to know what we would do if one of them would purposefully make up a lie just to get her in trouble. We told her that would be her tough luck, since she was the one who was characterized by lying. Of course, we did watch to see if her siblings would do this, but they stuck to the truth. This was what finally got her attention with this character flaw, and she started working on being honest.


Do you have a child that is prone to lying? Do you know the different forms of lying kids use that we as parents don’t catch? For instance, your child didn’t make his bed. You asked him about it when he got home from school and his response was he forgot to do it. It is important to learn to watch for characterization in your children. How many times a week does this child say “I forgot”? Watch him and see. If he uses it once a week, then it may not be a problem. If he used it several times a week then he is most likely characterized by using it knowing you are going to let him off the hook.


Solomon says “The Lord detests lying lips, but He delights in men who are truthful.”

Proverbs 12:22


If you want your children to please the Lord, you need to teach and train your kids to be truthful from their heart. This is why we have written a brand new “Mom’s Notes” presentation titled “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire”. Carla and I recorded it together sharing lots of great information and practical insights and helps. We know this new teaching will be of great help to parents dealing with a child who lies.



Carla Link

May 2016
fam (3)

I was in high school when my father left my Mom with three teenage girls. It was not common for Christian church-going families to split apart back in the 70’s and fellow church-goers didn’t know what to do with us. (I know, I’m old!) Mostly they ignored us and it hurt. Thankfully, my mother had been involved in Bible Study Fellowship for many years as the class administrator. Her faith remained strong thanks to BSF. She taught my sisters and I how to have our Quiet Times on BSF study notes (intensive Bible training). They invited my mom to join the National Staff of BSF when they learned my father had left her. God showed us through her faith He would always take care of His own.

My mom was not a talker. She was a great listener and was always available to us when we needed to talk. Once when I was frustrated with my husband and was talking about it on the phone to her, she asked me, “Do you want me to be angry with him?” I immediately said I did not. She then told me I needed to stop talking about him in a negative way or she would pick up my offenses towards him. I learned to never make my disputes with my hubby public from my mom.

When I would talk about something going on at school or work, she would say, “And if you were in their shoes?” Through this statement she taught me how to see things from other’s point of view.

In college (I attended a California State University) I was a Young Life leader at a large high school and was involved in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. Young Life is an outreach to non-Christian kids and I did have the privilege of leading several young ladies to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and met with them weekly to teach them how God wanted them to live. Since most of their families were non-believers, there were often struggles to deal with when they tried to put God first in their lives.

When I participated in an outreach event for IVF, opinions often collided among the leadership that I often would be drawn into the middle of. When I shared these struggles with my mom she would say how delighted she was I was in turmoil. When I asked her why, she said that Satan doesn’t attack lukewarm Christians and she could tell the things I was sharing would please God when I saw victory in them so she would pray for me to get there. I learned from my Mom when you are doing something big for God the Enemy will attack. You can count on it. Marrying someone in full-time Christian ministry, this is a lesson that we remind ourselves of on a regular basis.

One of our daughters has a blog and on a recent post she was writing about the oppression she felt from Satan about a project she was working on and went on to say she was okay with it as she had watched us deal with attacks from him throughout her entire life. I smiled when I read that, and thanked God she remembered this lesson. My Mom is no longer with us, but I know she would be smiling too if God whispered in her ear what Briana had written.

These are just a few things I learned from my mother. What have you learned from your mom you are passing down to your kids?

Who’s in Control?


Who’s in Control?

Joey and Carla Link

©April 2016

Authority – there are those who think this is an unnecessary word in parenting. Is it? Ephesians 6:1 says:

Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.”

What does obey mean?To be ruled or controlled by…” is what Webster’s Dictionary says. Well nobody wants to be ruled or controlled by anyone. Yet this is what God has said. Children are to obey their parents and we all are to obey God. So why does God think children need to be controlled by their parents? The obvious answer is because they don’t have the wisdom, knowledge or experience to make right decisions for themselves.

You may think you are the authority in your home, but let me ask you this: Do your children obey you with a good attitude 85% of the time? If not, they are in control. While parents may get obedience in action, they often do not get it in attitude. That’s where we were with our children in the early years of our parenting journey.

When your child’s attitude is out of control, it is very difficult to bring it back under control. Rare is the child who can bring it back without parental intervention (authority). When we ask parents what “parental intervention” looks like for them, we often hear they yell at their children, threaten them, bribe them, ground them and so forth.

For us, parental intervention meant our children would get one warning. If they did not bring themselves under control or repeated the misbehavior, they were told to sit to calm down and get self-control. They each had a place where this sitting took place. They were not allowed to get up from the chair until they were ready to apologize. After they apologized, they received a consequence.

Telling your child to go and sit to get self-control is not a consequence. It gives him the chance to think about what he is doing and to get ready to apologize. It gives you both a chance to calm down.

“Children obey your parents in everything for this pleases the Lord.”

Colossians 3:20