Book Suggestion: 5 Reasons For Spiritual Apathy in Teens.

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Books, leaving a legacy, Resources, Teen Boys, Teen Girls, Teen Guys



Rob is a friend and mentor serving on our advisory board. With decades of ministry experience working with students and families, Rob and Amy bring to the table lots of insight and practical ideas to help.  Click here to purchase book.  Click here for Kindle.

(Just a reminder, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Homes Devoted. Bookmark this link and support us every time you shop.)

“When teens are struggling, disconnected, and apathetic, they need parental engagement more than ever. It is not the time to passively accept the behavior as normal and ignore the situation. Parents must express unconditional love and give genuine attention to their teens cultivating faith and character for a lifetime. It’s about pressing in to the heart of your teen, and pushing past the emotional struggle that often occurs in this phase of growing up. Rob and Amy Rienow share from a place of genuine concern for teens and parents alike. They remind readers that spiritual apathy is a serious problem that needs to be given proper attention. The Rienows share five reasons spiritual apathy exists in the lives of teens, and counter those reasons with practical steps parents can take to resolve the issue. Readers are reminded teens are in the midst of making decisions that impact the rest of their lives, and parental involvement is needed more than ever.”511LxTjFrfL._SX312_BO1,204,203,200_

Raising Kids With A Lasting Faith: Interview with Ken and Betsy Delgado

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Challenging, Encouragement, Faith Conversations, Interviews, leaving a legacy, Why Bring Faith Home?

Ken and IOur family was blessed to have Ken and Betsy join us for dinner in our home.  What intrigued me about them was that all three of their grown children are following Christ and using their gifts to serve in ministry.   The week prior to our dinner, we heard their son preach at their church and while there, met their daughter and son-in-law who work for Hillsong Church in Australia.  They can say with confidence that there is “no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth.”  3 John 4

As full-time pastors of The House (, they raised kids who love the church and love the Lord and they continue to intentionally minister to their grandchildren.  I had to ask them to share some spiritual parenting tips.  So, around the dinner table that night, I asked, “Would you share with us the things that contributed to your children growing to love the Lord?”

This list serves as a great reminder for all of us, which we can refer to often:

  1. Complete dependence upon God. Betsy said, “We didn’t do anything without prayer.  We wanted them to taste God’s goodness.”   They said there were times when they didn’t have any food in the fridge, leaving them with only one option: prayer.  God miraculously answered with people showing up with food without them sharing their predicament with anyone but the Lord.  Their children experienced God at work!!!
  2. One-on-one time with Dad. Ken intentionally spent time with them individually on a weekly basis.  He took them on a walk around the block with the purpose of connecting with them at a heart level and at the same time sharing God’s truths.
  3. The Message. They gave each of their children The Message version of the Bible and asked them to read through the New Testament one summer.  [No matter your opinion of The Message, it is a great read for children.]
  4. Hour for hour. At one point, they instituted a rule: for every hour you read the Bible, you get one hour of electronics such as watching TV or playing video games.
  5. TV in the closet. For 30 days, they would put the TV in the closet with the purpose of spending time together as a family playing, reading, etc.  Fasting from electronics will bind the family together.
  6. Family Dinners. They regularly had dinner together; communicating, connecting, sharing life.
  7. Served Together. They put others first by serving together as a family.  How impactful to serve alongside mom and dad!
  8. Worship music. Not just Christian music, but music that was relevant and worshipful.  They would spend time worshipping as a family.  Who said we had to wait until Sunday morning?

Ken and Betsy lived out their faith at home, with their children.  Faith was a part of everyday life; it was a way of life; Jesus was talked about at home; the Holy Spirit was sought during prayer at home; the Word was read, discussed and taught at home.

“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”  Deuteronomy 6:7

Thanks, Ken and Betsy, for leading many people at church in faithful living, but also for giving us an example to follow in the way you led your home.



Here are some practical ideas and questions based on the above.  You can use these personally, discuss with your spouse, or share with your small group:

  1. Complete dependence upon God.  How do our kids see God at work?  Have they experienced God answering prayers?  Our kids must see God at work TODAY.  If we want our children to grow into teens and adults who believe that God is more than a fairy tale, we must lead them to experience God at work TODAY.  Read more here.
  2. One-on-one time with Dad. Your role is so important. How much time do you spend connecting with your kids one on one?  Click here for more “Dad Stats” to see how important our role is in influencing the spirituality of our family.
  3. Served Together. When have your kids seen you serve others?  What are some ways your family can serve alongside you?  Discuss and set a plan.
  4. Worship music. What are some of your favorite worship songs/artists?  How often do you have them playing?  Are you in a worshipful spirit, or mindlessly listening?  Idea: Set up Spotify or Pandora to a station and play it often as you work together worshipfully.  Pick some songs and play a few while you dance before the Lord like David.  The kids will love it!
  5. Family Dinners. Does your family dinners allow time for discussion?  Could this be a time we catch up on each others’ lives?  Could we take 10 minutes for a devotion?  If getting everyone together for family dinners is a struggle, plan ahead and schedule some nights where everyone knows they need to be home. (We have friends who had very active teenage boys and even after they had their driver’s license, they still knew they better be home for dinner or momma wasn’t going to be happy.)  Have device-free dinners.
  6.  Time Together.  Do we sit with the purpose of connecting and sharing God’s values?  Do we take time to connect at a heart level with our kids?  Can I honestly say I know what each of our kids are experiencing at a heart level?  Where are our kids struggling in their faith?  How have they been encouraged through the Word lately?  What are they reading in the Word?
  7. Time Together II.  Collect those tablets/cell phones and turn off the TV at least once a week to spend time talking, playing a board game, or just hanging out in the living room. It doesn’t have to be a whole night event, but rather 30 minutes more often is better than nothing at all.  (Doing something more frequently for a short duration is better, because it’s easy to miss out on the long event.   When it comes to all that techy stuff, I use an app called Screen Time which can set time limits on everything.   If you are interested in hosting our Parenting Techies workshop, you can read more HERE.

Two Settings To Keep The Dark Side Out

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Tech Stuff

Cell Phone

With 79% of our children being exposed to explicit material at HOME, the dark side is seeping through our computers, cell phones and tablets.  With the Force, we must do our best to safeguard our children from being exposed to the potential threat of pornographic material that is lurking in the web’s storm troopers.  It does happen and over 83% of the time, it’s accidental.  This means that our kids are just stumbling on it.

Follow the light side of the Force, which created these settings to fight the dark side.  Every phone, tablet and pc needs these settings in place.

  1. Google’s Safe Search. Make sure your browser’s search engine is set to Google (instead of Bing or Yahoo, for example)  On each device, type in  At the top is SafeSearch Filters.  Set it to “Filter explicit results”.  When you are on a pc, you can lock this setting.  You will see this option on the right, click it and follow instructions to keep it locked on that browser. You will need to do this for each browser you use.   

When you are on a portable device, remember to click “save” AND there is a little bad news.  On portable devices, there isn’t a way to lock this setting.  Which means this is great for the little ones, but if your teen chooses to look into the ways of the dark side, they will probably figure it out.  This is why many people use the highly recommended software, Mobicip.  

2. Youtube: Restricted Mode.

In an effort to appease the light side, Youtube has set up a Restricted Mode.  On a computer, as with Google, you can lock this in your browser.  At Youtube’s home page, scroll to the bottom, the very bottom.  Click on the box Restricted Mode.  Then follow the steps to lock it.   Once it’s locked, you will need to enter your Google password to turn it off.  Note: This will filter out most of the very bad stuff, but Mobicip will be MUCH more thorough.

On portable devices, the app has the same setting.  It’s easy to turn on, but also easy to turn off and doesn’t include a way to password protect it.  Open the Youtube app and go to Settings>General>Restricted Mode.   Again, great for the little kids, but easy enough for teens to step over to the dark side.  How can the light side win?  With the Force on your side, you block the Youtube app altogether and only allow access to Youtube through your filtering browser, like Mobicip. 

Now if you already have a filtering browser on your portable device and think it is filtering Youtube, this may come as a shock, but NO filtering browser can infiltrate the dark side of the Youtube app (or any other app.)  

Want more suggestions/tips, etc.?  Host our Parenting Techies workshop. See our promo video, fliers, Powerpoint slide, description, references, etc.

Questions? Comments?  Post below so I can help.

One of the best things you can do to help other families is to forward this on.  You can also “like” our Facebook page and subscribe to our weekly texts (info on the left side.)

Don’t Make This Movie Mistake

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in Blog, Ideas

Movies  are a big part of our society.  It may be a regular source of entertainment for your family.  Unless we are proactive, we could end up watching with our kids or letting our teens see on their own, some terrible movies that look so funny and family friendly from the trailers.

Well, worry no more.  We have (This sounds like an infomercial.)  Recent movies, books, and video games are reviewed, listing in detail the good and bad.

When your kids want to see Daddy’s Home which looks funny and innocent from the trailer, you think to yourself, “It can’t be all that bad. After all, there are little kids in it.” All you have to do is look it up at Plugged In.  Here you read:


I wonder how many parents make the mistake of bringing their kids to see a movie only to shrink in their seats or put their hands over their eyes during scenes?

One of the best things you can do, so we can impact more families is to forward this on to others.  You can also “like” our Facebook page and subscribe to our weekly texts (info on the left side.)

Helping you have Homes Devoted,


Family Devotion: Christmas {5 minute devos}

Written by Jonathan on . Posted in 5 Minute Devotions, Blog, Challenging, Christmas, Christmas, Family Devotions

Elizabeth & Zacharias: Patience

Read Luke 1:11-25

The Bible tells us that Zacharias and Elizabeth “were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless” (Luke 1:6 NKJV). Zacharias was a priest who served in the temple. We’re also told that they were “well advanced in years.”

Despite this, they had no children because Elizabeth was barren. This could not have been easy on them. For the people of Israel in this time, it was considered shameful if a woman was unable to have a child. Imagine the grief this must have caused them, particularly Elizabeth. No doubt, the light of hope in a child of their own must have dimmed and burned out long ago.

Around the time of the first century, the duty of burning the incense in the temple fell to Zacharias. As he stood alone in the Holy Place, the angel Gabriel appeared before him to proclaim that their long wait was finally over . . . God had ordained for them to have a son named John. Gabriel told Zacharias that his son would be his joy, great in God’s sight, in the vein of Elijah. He would be the forerunner for the King of Kings; the one who would “make straight the way for the Lord.”

Sometimes, God puts something in our hearts, a great passion and desire, but then wants us to wait for His timing so His perfect plan can unfold. The wait, especially if it’s a long one, can cause us to doubt and lose heart.

You’ve probably heard the age-old expression, “patience is a virtue.” All throughout the Bible, we see God rewarding those who patiently wait upon Him, who trust in His promises and His faithfulness to fulfill them. We also see those who don’t wait and often learn difficult lessons. Elizabeth and Zacharias patiently waited upon God and trusted He knew best. Though the reproach of others hurt, this righteous couple found comfort in the arms of the Lord, and in His time, He took their shame away!

It’s not always easy to wait on God’s timing, but the rewards we reap when we do are well worth it!  

Are you experiencing some situation that, like Elizabeth and Zacharias, is testing your patience?

What might God be teaching you?

Elizabeth didn’t see what God was up to …for years.  Even if you can’t see how God is at work, what can you do to trust Him?  Will you trust Him?

*This devotion was edited from a devotional from Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale called The King Has Come: Prepare Your Heart.  It can be found in the Bible app.


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