Author: Geoff Surratt

Passing Down Patience

Let’s begin with a confession; patience is a virtue I aspire to, not one I’ve mastered. I hate to wait, I hate to wait in line, I hate to wait for people, and I hate to wait for a surprise. When I was a child I became a master at poking undetectable holes in my Christmas presents so I wouldn’t have to wait to find out what was inside. (Many years later I discovered my mom knew I poked holes in the presents, she just gave up caring.) This reluctance to wait has never worked out well for me;...

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How to Find the Perfect Gift

Right before Thanksgiving, I sat down with my granddaughters, ages six and three, with a Christmas toy catalog. As we turned the pages the oldest circled and put our initials by the toys we each said we’d like for Christmas. The girls picked out dolls and princess dresses, while Papa chose trains and race car sets. We talked about how much fun it will be if Santa brings us the toys we chose, and we tried to guess which toys we might get. If Santa brings everything we circled, he’ll need a bigger sleigh and some extra reindeer. There...

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Leading Your Kids to Serve

I grew up hating church. I didn’t have any theological problems with church, I was just bored. Sitting still for more than ten minutes was torture, and sometimes our services went on for two hours! The worst part is that my dad was the pastor, so we were there every time the door was open. And the door was open a lot: Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night. Sometimes we had “revivals” (which I assumed was a Greek word for “torture young children”) It meant going to a church service every night of the week. My number one goal...

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Making Your Children Obey – or Not

When my daughter was three years old, she hated going to her Wednesday night class at our church. I didn’t blame her; our church had a midweek program for girls that was like Girl Scouts with all the fun sucked out. The challenge was that I was the NextGen Pastor, so the midweek girls program fell under me. It wouldn’t look good if my daughter didn’t attend a program I oversaw. This dilemma came to a head one Wednesday night when my daughter refused to go into her classroom. She dug in her heels as only a three-year-old can and announced to everyone within two miles that she hated her class, her teacher, and her father, not necessarily in that order.

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5 Things to Know About Dads of Daughters

Raising a daughter is one of the scariest endeavors I’ve ever faced. Once we got past the toddler phase with our son, I had a fairly good idea of what to do; we played catch, we talked about sports and we laughed at body noises. I made my share of mistakes raising our son, but I was at least on familiar ground. When our daughter came along, that completely changed. We also played catch, talked about sports and laughed at body noises, at least when she was young, but there were so many more layers to our relationship. When...

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