TLP 53: Counseling and Parenting | Dr. Heath Lambert Interview

Dr. Heath Lambert joins AMBrewster for a discussion concerning the difference between counseling and parenting and how that information can revolutionize your parenting.





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“No one . . . should ever feel unqualified . . . .” – Christian Quote

“No one who calls himself a Christ-follower should ever feel unqualified to give counsel as long as he gives God’s truth from God’s Word.” Click To Tweet


“No one who calls himself a Christ-follower should ever feel unqualified to give counsel as long as he gives God’s truth from God’s Word.”

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The New Me, Part 6: “The Counselor”

I wrote Part 5 of The New Me in May of 2012.

Over the summer I planned to write Part 6, detailing the new role I would assume in the fall.

I never wrote that post.

And now as I sit here in my office, I’m not sure if I should write about it.

The update I was going to write had to do with my then recent promotion to Dean of Students at Schaumburg Christian School. I was excited about the amazing opportunities God was going to give (and had already given) me in dealing with the students in that spiritually intimate way. My duty was to be the primary counselor in both preventative and corrective capacities for elementary through high school. Though there were hundreds of students in those grades, I can honestly say I was excited to no end at the opportunity.

And for the past two years that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.

Has it been challenging? Definitely. I learned early, though, that corrective counseling should be a supreme joy because God had allowed the student’s sin to find him out, and now my Lord wants to use me as channel of truth in that child’s life. That’s exciting! So I can honestly say I have loved my job.

Now, if you’re a perceptive reader, you are probably sensing that my enigmatic introduction and this present-perfect-tense-type of talk may be foreshadowing a recent change. Oh, what a smart reader you are!

There have been some significant changes to my life direction over the past few months, and I plan to divulge that in Part 7! But before I depart this should-have-been-written-long-ago post, I do believe the Lord would be glorified if I shared some important lessons I’ve learned being the Dean of Students in a Christian school.


  1. We’re all “professional” counselors. Is it possible to study counseling as an occupation, be certified, and become a respected voice in the broader vocation known as counseling? Yes. But biblically speaking we are all called by God to admonish, reprove, correct, rebuke, edify, encourage, disciple, sharpen, and bear (I Thessalonians 5:14, II Timothy 4:2, I Timothy 5:20, I Thessalonians 5:11, Hebrews 3:13, Matthew 28:19, Proverbs 27:17, & Galatians 6:2 just to name a few). No one who calls himself a Christ-follower should ever feel unqualified to give counsel as long as he gives God’s truth from God’s Word. Too many times I find myself dealing with a student who has other spiritual authorities who’ve neglected their responsibilities. Don’t relegate counseling to your pastor or some other “professional.” Share God’s Word!
  2. We’re all in need of admonition. In the same way that we’re all called to be “professional” counselors, we’re all called to be counselees as well. None of us make perfectly sanctified decisions every day, all day. We all need men and women in our lives who’ll keep us accountable and to whom we can turn for God’s truth. You’re not the exception.
  3. Our opinion doesn’t matter. Don’t merely seek out those people who will agree with your decision. Skim the cream from men and women who (regardless of what they think about you or your decision) will share with you truth from the inscripturated word of God. Everyone has an opinion, and if they do not source their philosophies in the absolute Truth of God, then there’s no guessing where’s it’s coming from. Do you really want to ground your reality in Wikipedia, your friend’s capricious emotions, the Disney Channel, Snopes, or the ever-changing arena of humanistic philosophy? (Ephesians 4:14-15)
  4. God allows sin to destroy those He turns over to a reprobate mind. “Getting away” with sin is never what it seems. Your sin is always known to God, and it seems to me (from biblical, historical, and personal experience) that having your sin “find you out” earlier is ALWAYS better than later. Romans 1:18-32 details for us what happens to unsaved people whom God turns over to their sin. It’s not pretty. Get help early! The consequences are always more bearable in the spring of a sin season then they are in the winter.
  5. God chastens those He loves. When we’re caught in a sin, the temptation is to feel defensive. The authority is the antagonist, you’ve been caught, and will now have to suffer the terrible consequences. But in reality, Hebrews 12:6 and Revelation 3:19 tells us that God chastens those He loves. This means that chastening is a joyous thing designed to communicate God’s love for us. He knows our sin will destroy us, and He doesn’t want that to happen, so He allows our sin to find us out. We should be thankful for the men and women God tasks with being his Truth-channels. God hasn’t given up on us, has a wonderful plan for us, and is actively working in our lives to accomplish it!
  6. Mom and Dad need as much admonition as the children do. I know this is a cheap repeat of #2, but there’s something about being a parent that deceives us. Look, I’m a parent too. No one’s a perfect parent. And we’re not fooling anyone pretending to be. The only thing that keeps parents from acknowledging their own sins in childrearing is pride. When my children make bad choices, I always question myself first. Don’t misunderstand, they’re completely responsible to God for their own choices, but I always check myself to see if I’ve been a bad example, allowed certain behaviors to go unaddressed, or faltered in my discipling. And, believe it or not, when my children have regular sin problems . . . there’s always something I can do better. This is why there’s not a child I am blessed to work with that I don’t make the opportunity to speak with mom and dad.

I’m very much looking forward to writing Part 7 – about as much as I was looking forward to writing Part 6 two years ago. But hopefully it won’t take as long this time. :-)


One Type of Article to Avoid at All Costs


Everyone loves lists!

But some lists should never be made.

There’s a quasi-new, list-style article-type that everyone with a keyboard is taking a hack at. It’s the “_____ Number of Things Never to Say to ____________.” Here’s an example: “9 Things Never to Say to the Parents of a Newborn.”

In this particular article you will learn that the number one thing you should never ask a new dad is if he’s getting much sleep. The third thing you shouldn’t ask is how his wife is doing. If I take any cues at all from the author’s vitriolic sarcasm, I am led to believe that these are obviously asinine things to ask since . . .

She’s fantastic. She just pushed a watermelon through a hole the size of an orange. She’s never been better. In fact, she might just run a marathon next weekend on a whim. Instead ask, “I hope your wife is recovering well, what’s one thing I can do for you so that you can have a little bit more time to take care of her?'”

Of course, this advice contradicts the number two thing you should never say which is “Let me know if I can do anything for you.” Hmmm.

Is it true that newbie parents could be tempted to be annoyed by immature thoughts like “I just got a puppy, so now I know what having a baby is like“? Definitely. And ridiculously unsanctified questions like “Is having a baby worth all you give up for it?” should never be uttered by anyone who desires to glorify God with his life

But here’s the problem. There are two types of people in the world, those doing the saying and those doing the hearing. Unfortunately it’s not the “sayers” who’re writing the articles, it’s the “hearers.” This is problematic because everything that anyone might say to me (that I don’t like) becomes fodder for such an article; even if what they’re saying is good and I’m just in a bad mood.

I’m feeling unsanctified right now. Someone say something I don’t like so I can write a new list!”

I know it’s really easy to rally around “What Not to Say to A Miscarriage Survivor” or “13 Things Never to say to a Mother,” but most of these articles have very little to do with God’s truth. We rally around them generally because we put ourselves in the “hearer’s” shoes, and we acknowledge that it wouldn’t feel good to hear them. We don’t stop to gauge the response we’re supposed to have in light of God’s Word. And we definitely don’t give the “sayer” the benefit of the doubt!5-things

As an example, I’d love to see how most parents would feel about an article written by a child called “12 Things Never to Say to Your Daughter About Her Junior High Boyfriend.” How do you think most adults would react to an article from a convicted felon entitled “6 Things Prison Guards Should Never Say to Rowdy Inmates.” Wouldn’t it be great to see how many bosses would share “23 Things Never to Say to your Unproductive Employees“!

Do you see my issue?

My mom always told me, “It doesn’t matter what anyone says, and it doesn’t matter what anyone does, you’re responsible to God for your own reaction.” Most of these articles are not written because the advice in them will greatly help anyone spiritually; they’re written because the author is sick of hearing the things we’re supposedly never to say . . . whether they should be said or not.

I enjoy these articles much more when the author doesn’t have ulterior motives in writing it, and their observations are biblically informed. Normally the only people who write such articles are the “sayers.” Otherwise most of the stuff that we’re “not supposed to say” are actually innocuous – or worse yet – very necessary, potentially Christ-honoring things . . . but the author/”hearer” is just not in the mood to hear it.

Crankiness and oversensitivity are never going to help the “sayers” or the “hearers.”

For those of you who want to take back the Bible and apply it to every situation we encounter in life, consider Paul Tripp’s words in his amazing book, War of Words. He’d just finished about three and a half hours of being verbally eviscerated by two people who definitely were saying “A Bunch of things Never to Say to Your Pastor,” when he said . . .

I don’t know when I have felt so wronged or so wounded. I told Luella that I didn’t want to quit the ministry, I wanted to die! I called my brother, Tedd, wanting him to dress my wounds. I wanted him to tell me what a good guy I was and how I didn’t have to listen to this awful couple. But he told me just the opposite. Tedd said, ‘Pay careful attention, Paul. God had you in that room for a reason. Whatever evil they meant is not nearly as important as the good that God is trying to do in all of this.’

The people in my life are not there by accident. they too, are instruments in the hands of my Redeemer. Through them he continues the work he has begun in me.”

People who accept the beauty of God’s sovereignty in their lives don’t write articles fertilized with bad attitudes about the people God uses to conform them to His image. They encourage each other to love and good works.

Are there things we definitely should NEVER say because they don’t glorify God? AMEN and AMEN! But, consider your motivation the next time you start compiling such a list. Your first priority should be to check your own heart.