We think that your marriage is a wonderful forum for instilling values, beliefs, principles and morals. Society sometimes just doesn’t know what to do with great men, great women, great dads, great moms, and people are often baffled by the wise, well spoken,  and well centered children focused parents produce.

We were very proactive in our parenting. We share the details of how we raised our kids is in 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make. The main point is that all along the way we prayed specifically and planned intentionally. We developed a Learner and Leader Plan with a yearly Farrel Family Fun Day and on this day each year we negotiated privileges and responsibilities. We gave them a gift that applauded their calling each year.

We reinforced good choices with a Teen Relationship Contract, Education Contract, Driving Contract, and as media developed, we added in a Media

10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make; Got Teens; 10 Questions Kids ASk About Sex

Contract. We added in plenty of fun like, father son trips and individual time with mom enjoying their favorite activities with plenty of time for deeper conversations.

At sixteen we gave them car keys with a verse on it, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality;  that each of you should learn to control your own body  in a way that is holy and honorable,”  (1 Thes. 4:3-4 NIV) .

We also gave each son an ID bracelet with that same verse on it that they wore on dates.  Then as they prepared to launch into their own life, we have a walk into manhood inviting all their mentors to a celebration.

We also have a Freshman Foundation Dinner and Dialogue which is a series of five sets of discussion questions we used to talk through critical areas as our children went away to college. (All these are available at our Love-Wise website).

Farrel family

Sometimes people say, “Bill and Pam, you are so intense”.  We agree, we are intense—and intentional. Parenting is hard work, but the only thing harder is to not do the work and have to do much more repair work later because you didn’t spend the time sowing right thinking into your children’s lives.  We just elected to do much of the hard work early so we could enjoy the fruit of having kids making wiser choices as they grew up. One mentor said to us, “Pay now or pay later—but you will pay.”

Bill and I found working and planning together as parents drew us closer as a couple.  As a grandmother, I helped author, Raising a Modern Day Princess, because I was motivated to also

Raising a Modern Day Princess
Focus on the Family
Tyndale Publishers

help my granddaughters (and  grandsons) make wise choices.  As grandparents, we want to back up all the important wisdom our now grown kids will be passing on to their own children by reinforcing the

values mom and dad are sharing.

We know God’s desire is for us to be proactive in passing along our values:

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates (Duet 6:6-9)

10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make

We encourage parents to leave their trademark on their children ™

T- Traditions, the things you do yearly to pass on your faith and values.

M- Memories, the special once in a lifetime events or activities that build into your children.

So talk together about what you hope for as your children journey with you. What traditions, what memories do you want to plan in order to pass on your belief system?

Lord, help us be proactive in preparing our children well for the life journey you have for them. Give us wisdom and creativity as we plan traditions and memories. Amen

Pam and Bill Farrel are the parents of three godly grown sons, who each married God-honoring wives, and are raising 5 grandchildren to love and serve God too. The Farrels have penned several parenting books including 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make and 10 Questions Kids Ask About Sex. (Harvest House Publsihers) The Farrel family loves to gather on Bill and Pam’s live aboard boat in Southern California.

Pam and Bill Farrel
and family

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Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving . . . 

(Colossians 4:2 NASB)

We travel, and we really appreciate the hotels that have the small peak holes so that when someone knocks you can look out and see who’s there. That is what prayer is like. People usually aren’t phony when praying because it is a time of vulnerability before God.

Couples that pray together get a window into each other’s hearts.

Prayer is a window to the heart

You might feel irritated at your spouse all day, you might not understand why she did or said something, but during prayer, you get to see what was really going on in their life, their thoughts and in their heart. Prayer gives us a deeper understanding of our mate. Anything that gives a deeper understanding will deepen intimacy. Deeper intimacy creates the safety net for a nakedness of the soul, and if you are in a place where you both feel comfortable when your soul is naked before each other, then the physical nakedness with in marriage is the next logical step in the sharing of your live.

Reading the Bible is intimate:

The Bible is God’s love letter to each of us. If you know your spouse is listening to God, your trust level will grow.  If you notice that your spouse is seeking to follow the commands of God, you will feel more relaxed when you are together. God has a complete love for you and when God has your mate’s attention, God will steer your spouse into making more loving choices toward you.

As a result, the nagging rate naturally diminishes. And less nagging and negative corrective language and more positive affirming language is the cultivated, fertile ground for marital intimacy.

The influence does not stop with your spouse, however. If you are reading the Bible and praying, God will have your attention and make you a better lover. His love will flow through you to a grateful spouse.

The Holy Spirit is intimate.

Pray together
Stay together

When we know Christ personally, the Holy Spirit resides in us and gives us the supernatural power to love. It is a supernatural power so that we can love, not just with our power, but with God’s ability. And since the Holy Spirit indwells anyone who asks Jesus into his life and He knows the way your spouse was designed to be loved, you have the ability to become a great lover for your mate. You will notice that the Holy Spirit gives very specific instructions. He makes it simple enough that your only choice is to obey or disobey. In our life, it may sound something like this:

“Pam, what you said just now to Bill was unkind. He is really good man and he deserves a gentle response.”

“Bill, go home. Pam does really need you right now. Do not do that next task, leave right now.”

By reading the Word and praying, you will develop the ability to listen for God’s Holy Spirit whisper, and those whispers will help you become a better person and a better partner. These spiritual disciplines will also draw you two closer if you make daily use of them as individuals.

 

Lord, help us make time for prayer, Bible reading and listening to Your Spirit as we do these things so we might hear Your voice louder than any other, Amen 

Pam and Bill Farrel have been happily married 38 years and credit praying

A Couple’s Journey
with God
Harvest House
Publishers

together through out each day as the key that unlock’s love. Read more about what makes for lasting love in one of their 45 books, like A Couple’s Journey with God. www.Love-Wise.com

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Jesus had a great mother.

She said “Yes!” to the angel when it was explained that the Spirit would overshadow her and she would conceive. (She was a very young mother)

“I am the Lord’s servant…May your word to me be fulfilled” (Luke 1:38).
She endured social ridicule because she was seen as a woman who became pregnant while still engaged. (People didn’t get the emaculate conception yet)

She rode a donkey in travel the days leading up to his birth. (This would be a sacrifice even if she was not expecting)

“You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:12)

She had to go hunting for a son who was busy doing his father’s business in the temple. (There were no Amber Alerts to help her find her bright and bold missing son)

43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”

49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:43-49)

She followed Christ as he ministered. (It is hard on we moms to switch roles from being the leader of our child to one where the grown child leads us)

She took her broken heaert to the foot of the cross and watched her kind, perfect son be crucified by an ungrateful mob and the immoral ruling soldiers and leaders.

“Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother” (John 19:25)

She waited, in hope, for three days, to see the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to rise again.  She went to the tomb to annoint his body. (She hoped for the best, prepared for the worst. Waiting as a mother is a very hard thing– but waiting for an “overcoming death” miracle must be the hardest of all).

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” Looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; (John 16) 

She had a weeks with her son, then she most liekly watched him glorified and enter heaven– never to return in her lifetime. (A mom laways misses a grown child, but a child in heaven when you are still one earth is one of the most difficult duties a mother can endure.)

Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. (Acts 1:9)

I had a great mom too. She followed Christ’s example in that she sacrifced much to keep her three children safe when her husband would drink too much, rage too long, and embarrass with his behaviors too often.

Chances are you have a great mom too. And even if she is not all that great, she is great for one very important reason– she gave you life! 

So call her! Thank her! Send her flowers!

Happy Mother’s Day

Pam Farrel is a grateful daughter, author of 45 books she happily wrote late at night and early in the morning to buy groceries for her three athlete sons who ate bags and bags of graoceries– but have grown into great godly sons who call their mother for Mother’s Day. Pam is the author of several parenting books including 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make. 

Farrel family

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It is all about the heart:

“the LORD looks at the heart. (1 Sam. 16:7)

David was called “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam 13:14)

And we pray with the Psalmist,  “Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” (Psalm 86:11)

A few of the Psalms in my Discovering Hope in the Psalms Bible study captures the kind of heart God is looking for:

God is looking for thirsty hearts.

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? (Psalm 42:1-2)

This word picture is of a deer searching, longing, desperate for living water to quench her/ his dying thirst. To me it is much like the kind of person Jesus talks about in the Sermon on the mount that God wants to bless: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matt. 5:6)

God is looking for contrite hearts.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51:17)

Broken in this verse means to “shatter into tiny pieces”. And contrite is to “crush to bits” I like to picture this as the tiny pieces of stained glass that in the hands of an artist becomes a magnificent work of art, more beautiful and valuable after it has been broken. In my life, many of my mentors have served as the artisans that God has used to put my life back together.

God is looking for grateful hearts

Enter his gates with thanksgiving   and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations
(Psalm 100:4- 5)

People with grateful hearts, seek out spending time with others who want to thank and praise the goodness of God.  All the many mentors of my life have taught me to be grateful, thankful, appreciative of every moment of time someone has shared with me, sacrificed for me, so I could learn to know God better.

Pam Farrel
Heart for God

Maybe today, thank God for drawing your heart to Him, and thank those who helped you along the way to have a heart that is fully God’s.

Pam Farrel is an international speaker, author of 45 books, most recently Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Bible Study Experieince, and she is one very grateful and thankful woman– who prays she will always keep a whole heart for God. www.Love-Wise.com

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I am a Bo Peep. Yes, I grew up on a Suffolk sheep farm–

Pam Farrel and 4 – H lamb

so Psalm 23 is very personal to this Shepherdess’ heart.

Let’s just glimpse at the first few verses:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
 he refreshes my soul.

One of the common heart cries of the human race is for greener pastures- a life better, brighter, quieter or calmer. God knows this is dream is on our hearts.

Lie Down in Green Pastures

When I read, “He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul,” that is exactly the experience of my upbringing.  I would often walk barefoot through the deep, lush, green grass of the pasture, as the sheep serenely grazed. I would take a blanket and a Bible, and lie down and spend quiet hours communing with God.

I might walk over to the creek, and sit on the simple wooden plank that created a bridge, and sit and rest quietly dipping my toes into the cool stream. This was my place of solace and restoration, far away from the chaos my alcoholic, raging, earthly father might be creating in our small farm house.  To this day, resting in an open meadow, or the sound of gently tinkling chimes, remind me of the restorative rest the Good Shepherd can create even in the midst of chaos.

Take a blanket and your bible and find a green pasture, a meadow, a park with a shady tree and

Green pasture quiet time with God

take a short oasis with the Good Shepherd

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— (John 10:14)

Pam Farrel is the author of 45 books, and international speaker who will always be a country girl at heart.

Her most recent book is Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Bible Study Experieince

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