By: Scott O'Malley
April 23rd, 2021
My wife and I had our first child in 1994. At that time I had a job working with troubled teens and had been thoroughly trained in behavior modification techniques. My wife was an ESL teacher in the public school. Despite these experiences that many would assume should have prepared us for parenting, by the time our son was three years old we had an angry tyrant on our hands. We honestly had no idea what to do with him. By God’s wonderful grace we went to a Bible conference and were introduced to a biblical view of parenting. Our eyes were opened to see the power and wisdom of the Word of God and how it was and is far superior to anything the world has to offer.
As a father of eight, I know the incredible joys and blessings of children, but also the immense sorrow and burden when my children struggle. After seven years of working directly with children in the field of social work and now over 20 years of counseling, I have had the privilege of knowing a wide variety of struggles parents face. Many parents call Twelve Stones to share the difficulties they are having with their children. While all the stories are unique, there are two basic questions that come through in every call: 1) is there hope for my situation, and 2) what can I do to address and stop the unwanted behaviors I am seeing? I always try to reassure the parents that there is hope because we serve a God of hope (Romans 15:13); but I also try to help them take a step back and be willing to assess the foundations of their parenting.