Archives For cohabitation

Wedding canopy 4126307249_c075dc1431

By Lisa Cherry

Shacking up...

living in sin...

illegitimate births...

When I was a kid, people used derogatory phrases like these for behaviors which today are being perceived by our children as simply another version of normal.

I like how George Barna describes what I am talking about in Futurecast:

“Our nation is in the midst of a seismic reconceptualization of marriage and family.....Marriage no longer signifies the commencement of adult life; it is now a middle step in that journey, after one has completed his or her education, experimented with multiple lovers, relocated to a desirable place, become established in a career, and perhaps even had a child or two.”

—George Barna, Futurecast: What Today's Trends Mean for Tomorrow's World, 2011, p. 48-49, Tyndale House

I would say that is a major reconceptualization, how about you?

I am intrigued by Barna's word here. To conceptualize means to visualize and formulate in one’s head.

As the mother of several teens and preteens, I am very interested in their "conceptualizations"—and what influences them!

movies…

media…

Hollywood…

But even more influential are friends and family who can all move my kids' views of marriage and family away from what we know to be God's views.

Unless I intentionally do something about it.

Are you talking about these issues with your kids regularly?

Are you exposing, explaining, reasoning, listening, and shaping them?

Are you taking ownership of our collective problem and recognizing your family's unique vulnerabilities to "reconceptualizations?"

That is our job, parents.  No one else will be able to properly educate our kids on these issues. But if we abdicate our role, someone or something else will step in. 

We are in the middle of an Invisible Spiritual Culture War. But it is only invisible to those who choose to not see.

I am praying for your family today. I do not intend for my  descendants to reconceptualize... ...and I know you do not want it either!

Image”  Marcin Wichary Untitled via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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God is the inventor of Hot Romance...  This 7 part DVD is a family guide for dating, courtship, love and sex.  Get it at our store here.

Related posts:
Do You Have An OPEN DOOR Policy in Your Home?
Cohabitation: the New Dating?
“I Just Live With My Boyfriend Because it is Cheaper”
Fornication? What’s That?
There Go the Brides
The Cute Little Couple Next Door Could Destroy Your Kids
What if Dad and Mom Messed Up Sexually?

First Love or First Lust?

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couple on bench

By Lisa Cherry

First Love. Ahhh…  We all dream of the day when our daughter will meet the man of her dreams… or when our son will meet the woman of his dreams.

But the culture we live in promotes its own strategies for young love, and confusion of terminology has resulted. What most would call “First Love” would scripturally be labeled “First Lust.”

To form a relationship based on hottie status is not God’s foundation for hope.  If one should settle for lust instead of love, why not just cohabit instead of marrying?

The desire for a God-ordained match should cause us to question cultural dating scene, and even our family methodologies for identifying our child’s future mate.

Should we encourage our children to date and try out a few prospects and see if one fits the prescribed bill?

Or should we adopt a family strategy of courtship, waiting for that arrangement until our kids are of marriageable age and then “courting” them to confirm our selection? Currently, Christian families seem divided on the best method.

We urge parents to prayerfully consider these issues and agree upon a strategy long before their kids come home with their own pre-made decisions.

Anticipating the joy of launching our children toward a life of fulfilling marital bliss motivates us to pray for Mr. or Miss Right and the moment of their arrival on our family scene.  In addition to prayer, our children need to be discipled in God’s ways for marriage.

Have you talked with your kids about the difference between love and lust? Is the picture of true love first place in their heart and mind?

Do you point out the powerful marriages in your church that are growing the foundations of mighty homes?  Have they heard you expressing admiration for the mature love demonstrated by the couple celebrating 60 years of marriage as the wife cares for her husband?

Are you sharing with them some “true love” relationship stories of young people who married for the right reasons after becoming acquainted in God-honoring purity?

Don’t leave your kids to blow about in the cultural winds without your guidance.  Do so and they may emulate the crude counterfeits exemplified in the tabloids, the big screen, and neighborhood.

Instead, ask God for the grace to inspire in them a determination not to settle for anything less than God’s good and glorious plan for their lives.

Image: Jeffrey "whispered Promises" Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

In case you missed them, here are the earlier posts in this series:

Cohabitation: The New Dating?
I Just Live with My Boyfriend Because it is Cheaper,” Cohabitation Part 2
Fornication? What’s That?—Cohabitation, Part 3
There Go the Brides, Cohabitation, Part 4
The Cute Little Couple Next Door Could Destroy Your Kids: Cohabitation, Part 5
What if Dad and Mom Messed Up Sexually? Cohabitation Part 6

girl with Bible 2590819428_ccdd4820d8

By Lisa Cherry

I was speaking to a group of parents recently, exhorting them to talk about tough discipleship issues with their teens.

They were all ears as we discussed the challenges of bringing our children to Christian maturity in the midst of a godless culture that portrays cohabitation as a normal part of life.

As we were finishing our meeting about leading our kids to purity in their dating/courtship relationships, one parent in the back asked an extremely vital question:

How can I teach my children about purity and Godly romance when they know about my own sinful past?”

That is a dandy question. We all know the old saying that actions speak louder than words.

So are we all doomed to have our children repeat our own disparaging past?

I do not believe we should give in to that dismal temptation! Our God is bigger than that!

While it is true that our children will obviously question such things as out-of-wedlock conceptions, previous failed marriages, adulteries or fornications, we do not hold over our children the final say of their instruction…..unless we choose to.

The one force that is stronger than our own history is the Word of God! It is living and active and able to divide out all soulish activity that does not line up with sound Godly wisdom and behavior.

So the question becomes, how much authority does the Word of God carry in your home and your family?

Is your Bible simply a dust-gathering, coffee table ornament? Is it only pulled out on Sunday when the preacher is giving the sermon?

Or is it something you seek after daily as the instruction manual for life and behavior?

Your kids will imitate your strongest teachings. So what do you want them to remember most? Your tormenting past?  Or your deliverance through the blood of Jesus and your reliance on Him and His Word?

Living a life of authentic faith lends credibility to our testimony....even if our testimony includes sin we hope our children can avoid.

Image: abcdz2000 “prayer a powerful weapon”  Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Here are the other posts in this series:

Cohabitation: The New Dating?

I Just Live with My Boyfriend Because it is Cheaper,” Cohabitation Part 2

Fornication? What’s That?—Cohabitation, Part 3

There Go the Brides, Cohabitation, Part 4

The Cute Little Couple Next Door Could Destroy Your Kids: Cohabitation, Part 5

Photobucket

Couple on bike 8814696187_aa564656a6

By Lisa Cherry

What a crazy idea.

We take our kids to Sunday school and church from infancy; we teach them right and wrong; we pray with them and for them; we anticipate their successful launch into mature adulthood by carefully selecting the right Christian education programs…but we do nothing about the cute little couple next door.

You know…that nice couple that smiles at you, backing in and out of their nice little suburban driveway in their nice, newer model cars.  They are so friendly to your teens and tots.  They’re even nice enough to buy the gizmos that your kids offer as fundraisers for their youth group trips.

They just found out they are expecting their first baby, and your family is invited to the baby shower.

One problem. They are not married. They are members of the “counterfeit young couples” club.

And your children will be hard pressed to recognize this. Why? Because cohabitation and those who practice it have been so “normalized” in TV commercials, movies, and novels.

With about two-thirds of couples choosing to live together before marriage these days, we’d better do something with the cute young couple!

At our house, we talk about those abnormal “normals.”  In fact, we talk and talk and talk. If my kids are going to truly grab onto the Kingdom of God normal of purity and marriage, then I, as the parent, must carry the responsibility of thoroughly discipling them on these issues.

My teaching must go beyond the mind gait. Sure I need to tell them of the radical costs of such behavior. But I must also communicate on a deeper level to their hearts and souls. Praying for their love relationship with Jesus, I must inspire a desire for radical purity and radical romance…all in God’s blessed package.

Image: Kat N.M.L. "The One You Love" Flickr Creative Commons
License:  Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

In case you missed them, here are the earlier posts in this series:

Cohabitation: The New Dating?

I Just Live with My Boyfriend Because it is Cheaper,” Cohabitation Part 2

Fornication? What’s That?—Cohabitation, Part 3

There Go the Brides, Cohabitation, Part 4

Bridal bouquets 8472457350_93d909a35e

By Lisa Cherry

When I was a girl, I remember watching a TV series called Here Come the Brides. Set in a wilderness logging camp, a group of men were eagerly searching for women who would be their wives.

I do not remember the show to be sanctified and holy with its made-for-TV sexual humor.

However, the goal of the show seemed to be pretty clear: lots of weddings.

I am not sure that show’s theme would make it in today’s culture. We might want to call the alternative There Go the Brides.

With about two-thirds of couples choosing to live together before marriage and 6.4 million couples self-identified as “cohabiting,” the traditional image of the bride seems to be passing away from our culture.

Now don’t get me wrong. Sales of white dresses have not lagged. Just note the bridal magazines at any Wal-Mart check out line.

We obviously still enjoy the drama and fanfare of a gorgeous party. But what on earth does the white dress mean at our modern weddings?

Most of what’s advertised in Brides magazine looks more suggestive of the lingerie for the honeymoon than dresses for the ceremony!

Contrast this with the Biblical picture of a bride. Jesus, when He returns, will come for back for the church—prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  In fact Paul tells us Jesus is anticipating a holy bride without spot or wrinkle.  Would our kids even know what that means?

A popular worship song by Hillsong United called Savior King says it like this….  “Let now your church shine as the bride, That You saw in your heart as you offered up your life.”

Parents and grandparents, we must not allow the Kingdom of God definition of the bride to disappear! We are His salt and light to a confused generation.

Image: Katsu Nojiri “Wedding Photos” Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

In case you missed them, here are the earlier posts in this series:

Cohabitation: The New Dating?

I Just Live with My Boyfriend Because it is Cheaper,” Cohabitation Part 2

Fornication? What’s That?—Cohabitation, Part 3

 

Linking up to Marital Oneness Monday.