Shared Secret

Many ask how I taught my children to do so many things. Preparing Sons to Provide for a Single-Income Family is the long version of this.

Teach your children that they can do all things through Christ which strengthens us (Phil. 4:13). If God calls us to do something, He will enable us. If we don’t know how to do it, we have to first learn how (the easy part), and then we do it. Parents set the example by being sponges to learn (and enjoy work).


  • of the Lord Jesus, first and foremost
  • technical/vocational skills (make your time worth something)
  • relationship skills
  • communication skills, one-on-one and speaking to groups.

(Side note: if you aren’t a self learner, learning will cost you.)

Now comes both bad news and inversely the key. The enemy of learning is entertainment. If you and/or your children love entertainment, sorry. Ignore all of the above. Your children might as well be wearing a 100-pound backpack through life. Few want to learn and work when they can play.

“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (2 Timothy 2:4).

This is what I shared with my weekly Seriously Dads e-mail list. I encourage any Christian guy reading this to sign up if you haven’t. You can sign up through the button at the top of the sidebar or at this link.


Pouring concrete together for our house
Oh, the bus days. John learned so much about fixing things through research and trial and error.
Laying a beautiful wood floor at Joseph’s house. Joseph had never laid a floor like this before, yet he jumped in and learned.
Jesse also jumped into his house remodel! It was really awesome to see him figure things out as he went.
Nathan working with his girls at Jesse’s house.
My girls are amazing learners too.
Anna and Mary jumped right into demolition at John’s house.
Christopher loves working with Joshua, and this summer, they did lawn projects.

17 thoughts on “Shared Secret”

  1. “The enemy of learning is entertainment.” That’s worth framing! Thank you for sharing this incredibly powerful truth. It’s never too late to come to this realization, but it’s so much easier if your parents teach it to you while you’re young.

    1. I think one reason Steve has this mindset is because his mom did. She was a determined lady who learned to do anything she put her mind to, and that was before the Internet for easy information!

  2. I really loved this reminder. Being a mom of only girls we are evaluating things that they can learn with online programs to learn various skills and tools for themselves and still be at home with us. I would love to know what skills your daughters learned besides homemaking. Thank you for sharing.

  3. This is a really helpful and encouraging post.

    It takes repentance to give our energies to service, and I love the beginning of the post giving attention to the Word of the Lord showing us that we truly can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us.

    Thanks a heap!

    Sarah and family.

  4. Learning skilled tasks and working hard actually frees one from stress as they learn how to handle the unkown. The unknown becomes aquired knowledge.

  5. Dear Steve,

    such truth you wrote in your post!
    I teach this to my pupils every day: learning is a process and it takes time, effort and commitment. Sometimes, young people like learning more if it under the form of a game, and I do that from time to time. But, not all learning is supposed to be fun, entertaining or be right up the alley of things you like to do.
    Also, I feel that some of my pupils’ parents tend to choose the “easy road”, letting their children run carefree lives doing what they want, when they want, without any clear direction. This may pay off in the short run, but how are they equipping their sons and daughters to be responsible adults?

    Many blessings,


    1. Thank you for sharing. Today it is especially easy to make learning fun. No doubt kids love it if it is fun. The problem is children (and adults) come to expect it to be fun and do not want to apply themselves if it isn’t.

  6. Thank you for this timely reminder as this is an issue that God has put on our hearts as parents. ‘Preparing Sons’ is on my reading list this year after I ordered it last year.

  7. I agree with the earlier comment that “The enemy of learning is entertainment” should be a framed reminder in many homes (mine especially?).
    I’m convicted that we probably love entertainment more than learning in our home and I’m so grateful for your post.
    How does one go about turning the ship around though? How do we go from entertainment consumers (even if it is clean, safe, entertainment it is usually time wasted) to active and engaged learners?

    1. Hi Davina,
      Your question was a great one. I’m thinking it would be better suited for a blog post. I just couldn’t do it in the few words it would take to reply. However, the key ingredient is for your husband to be on board with the same desire to change the direction in the home. More than that will require a separate post.

  8. I concur with the idea that entertainment detracts from more useful application of one’s energy, especially since time can so easily slip away when you’re distracted. My question for you is whether there comes a point in time when one is too focused on serious pursuits, i.e. being a “work-a-holic”? How do you balance focused learning or on-task time with relaxing fellowship time?

  9. Thank you for this post. We’ve made learning things like home repair, gardening & remodeling hobbies while raising our sons. Our oldest was married last year and he and his wife found their home at a really good deal because it needed many repairs. It didn’t scare them off at all, as they knew that along with their families they could handle the complete remodel. They now have great equity in a home they purchased just over a year ago. It was a wonderful time of family and learning shared. Thankful for these adventures & blessings.

Comments are closed.