The Imaginative & Inspiring Parenting World of YES


There are several Christian parenting books out there but very few that take us through the imaginative and inspiring parenting world of YES. Mark and Jan Foreman’s new book “Never Say No: Raising Big Picture Kids” is by far one of the best parenting books I have read in years!

Many words have been used to describe the book including: holistic, road map, inspiring, wise, authentic and game changing. I agree wholeheartedly. The central theme of the book is the premise that “God is one big YES for us, and we want to pay it forward to our own kids.”

This book will challenge you to connect with the heart of your child and delight in raising wise young people who will one day leave your home well-rounded and ready to take on the world! Because I’d love for many of you to purchase your own copy, I’m only going to share a few tidbits of advice the author’s share in their book:

  • Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 9.29.52 AMHow you were raised matters. You need to struggle with your past (the good and bad) in order to make a better future for your own children.
  • Your children want to matter. When they ask you to be a part of their world, take time for them. Never say no.
  • Include your kids in the things you do. They learn from us and how we act/ react to every day life. In the same way, don’t segregate your home into kid and adult areas, travel, experience different cultures and people – say YES to every experience that will make life richer.
  • Be a parent whose face lights up when you talk about your children. How? Never stop seeing “the poetry of God” in your children!
  • My biggest challenge was the encouragement to continue (as a parent) to make my own life interesting in order to foster interesting children!

This book is packed full of advice on how to make parenting an adventure of saying YES to the incredible things God wants us to experience, love, and embrace together as a family. In turn, we will raise well balanced children who will appreciate others, step forward in confidence, and change the world they live in.

“If we’ve raised our children to live creatively on the edge, loving God’s world, they will likely be drawn to a part of the world that need their light.”

Share your favorite parenting advice or let me know what you think about the Foreman’s new book!

FOLLOW MY BLOG on raising unique, well-rounded young men!


5 Things Not To Tell A Teen

o-TEENS-AND-PARENTS-facebookOne of the most troubling things I have witnessed is the absence of good adult role models involved in the lives of young people. Quite often, it is not the things we speak to them that are so messed up but rather the absence of sharing, spending time with, or speaking life into them at all.

When we do speak however, we must ask ourselves: “what are they hearing?” and “are my words being wisely chosen?” because “death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).” After much thought, I’d like to share with you the five things I would consider the worse things to say to a teen. If you are a parent, mentor, spiritual guide, youth pastor, counselor or teacher – keep these things in mind as you seek to impact these young lives and help them dream about a better tomorrow.

1) Grow up.
Teenagers are at a very unique and important time in their physical, mental, social and spiritual lives. They feel stuck between freedom and captivity, play and work, knowledge and wisdom, love and sex, questions and answers. We have the wonderful opportunity in helping them navigate through these obstacles and prepare them for the time that they will be “on their own.” It is our blessed opportunity to help them on this journey. They know they need to “grow up” and they are trying. Sometimes, it’s just hard doing it alone and the faithful guidance and support of a loving adult is what they need most.

2) I know what you’re going through.
So, maybe you were a teenager once and maybe you did go through some similar situations, tragedies, lusts, heartaches, etc.; however, every person’s story is different and significant. They do not want to hear that we “get it.” They want us to know that they are experiencing a different struggle, dreadful day, or damaged heart. They want to know that we are not afraid to listen to or enter their story of brokenness.

3) BUT . . .
Sometimes we believe we are clever when we sneak in a little positive reinforcement while delivering needed criticism; when in fact, our teenagers would love them to be two separate conversations and the good outweigh the negative.

“Wonderful! You got an A on your test!! BUT . . . now you need to bring the rest of your grades up.”

“I love you so much BUT this attitude has got to stop!”

“I am proud of you BUT you really need to work on ____________________.”

Please, please understand that the teens in your life want to hear the “wonderful,” “I love you” and “I am proud of you” statements, but these beautiful words are often negated or drowned out by the other things we attach to them. Yes, they do need to be reminded of those things they need to work on BUT what they truly need is bucketfuls of affection poured on them each day so that when a grain of criticism is tossed their way they know without a doubt that it’s coming from someone who truly cares. Don’t have your love negated by coupling those beautiful, life-giving words with ones that seem to say the opposite.

4) You’re just like _______________.
I’ll keep it simple. Each young person is a special and unique creation of God. It is our job to help make them feel that way. This doesn’t happen when we compare them to their friends or siblings.

 5) Just move on.
No matter how we say it: “It’s just a phase,” “Go to God,” “Pray about it,” or “Just move on,” they all communicate the same thing to our teens: “I don’t have time for you. Figure it out on your own.” And here’s the crazy thing, sometimes the teenagers we work or live with don’t always want a response, a word of wisdom, or an answer; quite often, they just want us to listen and to know that we are near. Our teenagers want to know that when they need us most – we will be there!

ME copySteve Hinkle has spent several years loving, teaching, mentoring, and listening to young people as a middle and high school student pastor, counselor, single adults pastor, and both a junior and senior high school teacher.