Raising children to become adults who honor God

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PACE–In a culture that increasingly breeds impatience and self-centeredness and seeks to weaken the bond of families, Woodbine Baptist Church in Pace hopes to encourage parents and families along a path that chooses to glorify God instead.

The church hosted a one-day conference with several guest speakers, including pastor’s wife Susie Lewis, who spoke with the wisdom of a parent of five and grandparent of 11. She encouraged listeners to set their standards on God’s Word because “children will mimic what they see” and urged parents to seek to produce godly character while they have influence.

Allison and Daniel Hartman, parents of 11 children and grandparents of three, have made their photography business a family endeavor, and they encourage their children to create their own businesses selling T-shirts, vanilla extract, moringa trees and more at local farmers markets.

Daniel Hartman spoke on the role of the father in the home and said, “Everything is discipleship. It is either for Christ or against Christ.” He encouraged more than 300 people who attended or viewed online to base everything on Scripture.

“If it’s creating division, fragmenting the family or causing children to separate from the family, don’t allow it. Do things that bring the family together,” added Allison Hartman, who went on to include practical tips for raising adults such as: when you’re a guest, leave someone’s home better than you found it; give your children responsibilities around the house; help children brainstorm ideas; encourage children’s passions, and allow children to make decisions.

Conference speakers Daniel Hartman, Robert Preston, Phil Smith and Doug Doll.

“I won’t do anything for them that they can do for themselves,” said Allison Hartman. “If they can do it for themselves, I’m hurting them by doing it for them.”

Other speakers included father and son, Doug and Tyler Doll of D’s Trees. Doug Doll spoke on guiding children along the right path for godly character traits of integrity, love, joy, perseverance and confidence. His 19-year-old son, Tyler Doll, the youngest certified arborist in the world, spoke on choosing your path, weighing the opportunity costs and knowing why you are doing what you are doing.

A lesson in failure and why parents need to let their children fail in order to gain grit and wisdom for the future came from local entrepreneur, Robert Preston, father of three who also serves alongside his wife as foster parents.

Father of five boys, Phil Smith, and his oldest son, Isaac Smith, spoke on the lessons learned in a close-knit family and how that prepares you for your future family.

“Establish a vision for your children, and remember the shepherd leads from the front,” said Phil Smith. “Don’t expect your children to do what you’re not doing. Lead by example.”

Many people continue to view the conference on the church YouTube channel. Jared and Brandy McComb watched with their children, “The conference was a great enrichment to us as a family, and it gave us new things to think about.”

“Woodbine Baptist is a church that loves the Lord and wants to display that love to the community. We are unashamed of the gospel, and it is our mission to love God, love people and make disciples,” said Taryn Kirkland, children’s director at Woodbine Baptist. “Family discipleship is important to us, and we are looking to make this an annual event.”

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