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Tons of Affirmation and a Tone of Joy

Updated: Nov 17, 2023

by Dr. Shane Arnold

Ray Ortland is a pastor/theologian I have respected from afar for some time.  He is a solid preacher whose sermons always encourage my soul.


But that is not what has impressed me most.


What has impressed me is the job he has done as a dad.  I know how hard it is to raise kids while serving in the ministry.  Yet, his kids have turned out great.  They are warm and accomplished Christian leaders.


So, when a man like that speaks on parenting, I listen.  On a podcast, Dr. Ortland was asked how he was able to raise such wonderful, healthy, and balanced children.  His answer was parenting gold.  I share it for your consideration. 


He started by citing Exodus 33-34, where God reveals himself to Moses and defines ultimate reality as the glorious goodness of God.  Thus, he wanted to create a home where it would be easy for his children to believe in a God who is glorious and good. 


That means he wanted to create a home with two characteristics:


  1. Tons of affirmation.  Yes, kids need correction, but they also need affirmation.  They need to know when they do things right.  They need to know you believe in them.  They need both of these so much more than we think.

  2. Tone of joy.  That is, enjoy your children and help them enjoy life.


I love this.  Tons of affirmation and a tone of joy.  When these characteristics are present, you are creating a context that makes it easy to believe God is glorious and good.  And that is a setting for flourishing.

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