Archives For Christian Parenting

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I need to constantly update my understanding about healthy sexuality.

I recognize that I am raising children in the middle of a sex-saturated, perverse culture. My children will need greater help from me if they are to maintain purity before marriage and commitment after marriage.

This article titled Sex Before Marriage Rewires Your Brain caught my attention.

I believe the information contained in this research-based study will equip us to love our spouses more fully today and to equip our children for the future.

Take a look and see what you think.

 

Image: Tobias Gronemeyer “Wedding Hochzeit Hochzeitsfotograf” via Flickr Creative Commons
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What a tough spot for a granddaughter to be in!

This courageous woman is willing to lead a campaign to protect children and teens in our Wal Mart checkout line.....and she is taking on her own family to do it.

Check out this noble campaign launched by the granddaughter of the Hearst executive who founded the popular magazine empire.

As a Christian, she has urged company responsibility to clearly label Cosmopolitan as porn and shelve it as such. I think we should support her efforts.

You can read more here:

Cosmopolitan magazine hammered by Hearst granddaughter, anti-porn group

But be warned. Her description of the types of content in Cosmo is graphic. (And all she did was list the article titles!)

Frontline moms and dads...we do not want our children and their peers reading this stuff!!!

Image source

 

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I really need to help my children think more about themselves and their own needs…

…said no parent. Not even one!

Selfishness seems hardwired into the flesh at birth. From the moment of our first breath, we struggle to get someone to recognize-and-meet-our-needs.

Sharing, generosity and selflessness are character traits that must be developed. As parents, we need our children to come to Christ if we are to see true progress in conquering the self-absorption. He alone can give them a true heart of love.

But we, as parents, can co-labor with the Lord to help prepare our children for lives of effective service for Him both in their future families and in their future lives of work and ministry.

Cultivating selflessness takes focus. Especially in a world obsessed with selfies and personal autonomy. :)

I wrote this list today as much for myself as for you! What else have you found that has helped stamp out the selfishness in your home? Comment below, or message me on Facebook with your thoughts!

1. Set the example
Folks, we reproduce after our own kind. If our kids see our own self-centered needs dominating the home....well, what do we expect?  (Ouch!)

2. Cut the electronics & encourage group encounters
Does anyone else remember the concept of a family room? You know, that place where we all sat together to rest, refresh and recreate?? Surely our own personal electronics have wrecked this concept and turned us even more inward. What about pulling everyone out of their own worlds and back to some face to face interactions?

3. Praise selfless acts of service
It is so easy to criticize and correct. But words of affirmation and praise are far more effective in adjusting human perspectives and behaviors. Acknowledging someone’s loving kindness in front of others scores the biggest effectiveness of all. "Matthew, I was so blown away by your helpfulness when Josiah lost his shoes. Thanks for getting us out of a jam, son!"

4. Get involved in volunteer service
Nothing pulls us out of ourselves quicker than seeing the bigger needs of others. Perspectives are adjusted at a soup kitchen and on the mission field. But even less dramatic places can help cultivate the attitudes we all need. Lawn care and stuffing envelopes without pay may actually pay more than money can buy.

5. Create a culture of giving
At our home we celebrate birthdays and special events by encouraging gift giving . Now with a family as large as ours, the gifts may not be lavish or extravagant. But that is not the point. A candy bar gift from a teen who chose to skip his own friend's event and come to his sibling's birthday or graduation or post sports victory party says "you are more important than me."

6. Take care of the aged as well as children

But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. 1 Timothy 5:4

In our modern era where the elderly are often abandoned or ignored, we missing are a central key to our own personal development. Serving the needs of the aged as well as the cute, cuddly children is just what the Lord prescribes!

7. Provide role models
Somehow the pictures and headlines of the rich and famous on the front of People are not exuding an attitude of selflessness to our kids (or us!) We must get creative to aim our family for something different than a Dancing with the Stars version of "success." How about focusing on some true heroes like Corrie Ten Boom, Hudson Taylor, Florence Nightingale, and William Wilberforce? Our families need books and movies that cast our sight to God's version of success.

8. Travel in the same car
This might not apply to all of us. But for some of us with multiple vehicles please note how independent and self-seeking we all get when we set our own personal arrival and departure schedules on our o-w-n w-h-i-m-s and desires. (Hey, why should I help my brother find his shoe if I can just head out without the fuss!)

9. Family meals
This one is obvious. Are we all making our own personal pan pizzas or sitting around the table passing the dishes and then cleaning up afterward together with a smile?

10.  Chores
We do a lot of chores at our house. (We have to or we could not survive!) But even if mom and/or dad can do it all, it does not mean they should. Living in a family means serving each other. Even if you are not the one who tracked in the mud.

11. Point out the selfishness
When I need to, I pull one of my kids aside and point out repetitive problems of self-centered yuck. I try to be sensitive to my timing to this. Obviously, certain stages of development are more prone to self-absorption. However, it does no one any favor to leave them stuck on themselves and locked into their own personal world of torture. Because actually, selfishness is rather miserable.

12. Family prayer time
"God, we lift up each one of our family members to You today. We pray Your richest blessing on their lives. Help us to serve one another in love today. Help us to be patient with each others' weaknesses and kind when things don't go our way. We love You, Lord, and choose to die to ourselves, take up our cross and follow you today. Amen."

I believe number 12 is our best hope. How about you!?

Image: Lynn Friedman “Teens Together Staring At Their Cell Phones” via Flickr Creative Commons
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Overload. As a mom with over 30 years of training, I know the problem well.

But after the last couple months I think I know it even better!

Surely you know what I mean by a mom overload.

Picture a cute little mule with a pretty pink hat loaded down with so many heavy bundles that her back is bowed and her knees are buckling.

Usually well equipped to tote her load, she is now straining to keep moving.

Maybe you never thought of a mule as cute. Or maybe you don't like my comparison of a mom to a mule.

But nevertheless, that is what I sometimes picture myself as! …A work horse for my family who needs to be equipped to carry loads selflessly, tirelessly and steadfastly no matter what my family's hiking terrain may be.

Since the end of February I have weathered some crazy days:

Unexpectedly moving my parents out of a 2600 square foot house to a 700 square foot apartment

Preparing their house for sale

Supporting my mom through an extremely painful illness and emergency surgery

Helping Nathan and Tara welcome their 4th child Andrew

Taking my mom back to the hospital for a second stay due to surgery complications

Dealing with a mystery appendicitis threat with my 12 year old, and

Weathering some nasty viruses in the house....

All during my most demanding season of speaking engagements of the year and my usual challenges of homeschooling, dishes and laundry.

Sometimes the demands of life can seem overwhelming.

And now that I am sandwiched in between 4 generations of people who need me, I am very glad the Lord has been working to increase my capacity to stand up under the unpredictable

Today, I want to encourage you with 7 things I realized I needed to appropriate in my life in order to keep smiling and trucking on through my tough season. (Which I am very happy to report seems to be easing up in its intensity!)

1. Trust God's timing over yours
When I got the call saying my parents' name had unexpectedly come up on a senior apartment waiting list, I was shocked. They had told me last year it could take a l-o-n-g time for a 2 bedroom that would meet their needs. It seemed like the worst possible timing to rush a moving decision and pack them up all during my busiest season of travel ever.

But God knew what He was doing! From His perfect vision He knew of the crisis in my mother's health that would put her and my dad in need of more support and services. Sometimes we can only understand His timing when we look back. But I guarantee His timing and plans are always better than mine.

2. Re-prioritize your many demands
Perhaps some of my subscribers have noticed a lag on my blog posting lately. It was necessary during this last season for me to do some re-prioritizing and let some things go. Frontline Moms was one of those things....and that is okay.

We cannot do it "all" in all seasons. Pray and trust God to help you lay the non-essential aside. And then walk away from those items on your list with a heart of peace that He will make up what you cannot do.

3. Let others step up...even when they do not do it as well
I was so grateful to my children and husband who stepped in to "cover" some of my jobs while I spent days at the hospital and at my parents' home packing. Looking back I can see how God built us into a team to survive the storm.

Some days I was tempted to feel guilty when I just could not cover all my bases. The children had to have a dad solution to their problems even when the mom solution might have been what they wanted. :) But that was ok! We all pulled together and love prevailed.

4. Give your body some room to tribulate
Fatigue and stress are tough on our bodies. I had to give myself some room when my nutrition slipped off track, my exercise routine went out the window, and my wrinkles were looking a little more pronounced. I learned to say to myself, "Lisa, you are going to get back on track again. Just do the best you can for right now and don't add guilt and condemnation on top of the burdens you are already carrying!"

5. Expect your weaknesses to rise up...again!
It doesn’t always seem fair that stress can cause our own personal performance to go down...just when we really need it to go up! I used to be afraid of my own weaknesses surfacing for others to see. But now I think of what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10: I boast of my weakness...for where I am weak, He is strong.

6. Know the season will end
As surely as spring follows winter, smooth seasons in our personal lives follow the hard. When we set our hearts on the Lord we can weather the difficult seasons with peace and strength. (See Psalm 29:11)

7. Feel the emotions...but cast them on God
Women are designed by God to feel emotions deeply. I think that is one beautiful thing about being a woman! But sometimes my emotions are just too much for me to bear (and definitely too much for others to understand.) Stuffing my emotions is not healthy.

But sharing my emotions with the Lord is healthy. Grief, anger, fear, sadness, pain, remorse, guilt...He can handle them and He wants to carry us through the storm. Learn to cry out to Him. Learn to let the tears flow as you cast the weights on Him. (See Psalm 55:22)

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Gratefully linked to Mom’s Library

 

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In a recent heated discussion between siblings, Josiah, our eight year old, attempted to exert his authority to get his way by quoting a "bible verse":

"Guys, you know what the bible says: He who hesitates is lost!"

:)

One problem with his quote. That statement, of course, is not in the bible!

It is simply something my husband frequently says when he gets home late for dinner and some of the favorite serving bowls on the table are empty!

How easy it is for children—or even us adults—to think we are basing our life on biblical ideas only to later discover we have been duped by counterfeit look-alikes!

I loved this list of 9 Unbiblical Statements That Bible-Loving Christians Believe  by Shane Pruitt.

His article was so good it was picked up in a magazine targeting millennial Christians.

Bible truth is priceless. In fact, Psalm 119:72 saysThe law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.”

But the counterfeit, worldly “wisdom” is worse than worthless. It can be downright dangerous!   See James 3:14-15.

This would make great discussion material in your family or group.

Image: Brielle King “disciple” via Flickr Creative Commons
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