Category Archives: Family
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Once upon a time people thought it was the church’s job to instill faith into their children. Now only the naïve and mistaken parent adheres to that misguided idea. The faith of my children is primarily my responsibility; the church is there to supplement what I am doing to grow my children in the “nurture and admonition” of the Lord. Knowing that I have such a great responsibility means placing a priority on their spiritual development. Before anything else, musical development, athletic development, or even vocational development, comes their spiritual development.
I’m not arrogant enough to think I can do it alone. I constantly search for resources to aid in my teaching and training. To that end I recently read an article at Monergism that stood out. It was a very simple reminder to Christian parents about what it takes to raise godly kids. One striking feature of the article is that it nowhere mentions the church. Now, this doesn’t mean the author is suggesting the church holds no importance in our children’s faith formation. To the contrary this article is merely giving some practical tips to parents with a deep burden to grow faith in their kids.
Another feature of the article is that every tip given was directly aimed at parents. This reiterates that the responsibility for my kids’ faith development is primarily my responsibility. At least for a while I must lead in instilling those seeds of faith that I want to see grow. It is a very dangerous thing to try and unload this responsibility on someone else; or even the church. Not only are we risking that those seeds won’t be planted at all; we are risking that the wrong seeds will be planted or that they won’t be properly watered and will die.
Take a look at some of the useful advice from the article that can help us instill a life-long faith in our children:
There is no doubt that Muslims, Islam, and ISIS are front and center in the news. All of us will – if we haven’t already – have a conversation about whether these people are one and the same or if they can be separated. The talking points are reaching a fever pitch as political candidates are calling for deportations and registries here in the US for Muslims that want to be in our country. With all the noise it can be hard for Christians to know what the proper, biblical attitude toward Muslims should be. I confess that I have struggled with knowing exactly how the situation should be handled. (I’m thankful I’m not in a position where my opinion matters.)
I found this short video featuring world-renowned scholar James White helpful. In the video, posted on YouTube, White discusses some basics about Islam and a starting point for Christians that want to think through the issue. On one hand we want to extend the love of Christ and be a visual example of the Gospel to people trapped in a dark and violent religion. On the other hand we want to protect our family, our friends, and our country from people that seemingly hate us and want to inflict unending violence against us. That is not an enviable position.
Take a few moments to listen to Dr. White explain a good starting point for us as Christians as we think through this difficult and highly controversial issue. We need to have more than raw emotions and political talking points when we discuss Islam and Muslims. Our theology must carry over to this issue. Dr. White’s thought will help with that. I hope you find this as helpful as I did. (If the video doesn’t appear automatically, please refresh your browser.)
I never cared much for Thanksgiving. That’s a funny way to open a post about Thanksgiving but, the truth is this day never really had a lot of meaning to me. For whatever reason I never saw this day as more than a day off, a day to relax, eat, and play or watch football (or both). Then something happened.
The natural process of life: getting married, having kids, getting older began to change my attitude about Thanksgiving. I saw a desperate need to foster an attitude of thanks and gratitude in my own life. Instead of constantly pursuing more I wanted to be grateful for the many blessings God has given to me and my family. In fact, each night when our family prays we thank God for His “many blessings, like food, clothes, and a warm bed.” And why shouldn’t we?
Taking a quick glance around our world I see hungry people, men and women and kids with no homes, people being forced from their homeland for one reason or another, war, abuse, violence, and sin. The truth is, our world is not a very pleasant place. There is much to be discouraged and disheartened about. But, there is also much to be thankful for.
After posting an article related to the Ashley Madison hack last week, I had the opportunity to engage in conversation with a family member, a long-time friend, and a pastor-friend regarding, essentially, whether or not pastors caught in the scandal should be restored to pastoral ministry. It was an occasion for learning as it helped to clarify thoughts on forgiveness and consequences.
There is two sides that have voiced thoughts on how a pastor caught using Ashley Madison should be handled.
The first voice says that the pastor should resign or be fired. This side believes in forgiveness and encourages the church to forgive the pastor if he is repentant and seeks forgiveness. This side also emphasizes the critical need for the pastor to seek counseling to restore his marriage and family. But ultimately, this side does not believe the pastor should stay in his role at the church and should move on. Indeed, this voice isn’t sure the pastor is even qualified to be a pastor anymore.
The other side says the church should consider not just forgiving the pastor but becoming his biggest support in seeking reconciliation with his wife and healing for his family. This side says that since Christians have a bad reputation for shooting their wounded that perhaps allowing the pastor to continue at the church would be a powerful witness. This side does not believe the church should allow the pastor to be in leadership or even preach for a season; but that he can stay on staff through the healing process and, in due time, when the leaders believe it is appropriate, be restored to his position.
Richard Dawkins recently made one of the most ironic statements I’ve heard this week. During an interview for The Irish Times Dawkins, speaking about children, said:
“Children do need to be protected so that they can have a proper education and not be indoctrinated in whatever religion their parents happen to have been brought up in.”
The irony of the statement is found in the fact that Dawkins is one of the world’s foremost atheists, which is just another “religious” ideology.
I suppose people don’t often consider atheism a religion, but rather than absence of or rejection of religion. But that is a misnomer. Religion, at its core, is a framework of convictions and beliefs that are intended to guide ones thinking and give direction to one’s life. It’s a sort of roadmap for living each day. Considering this simple but fundamental definition of religion it is easy to conclude that atheism is just another religion.
If I were to ask Dawkins if he thought children should be brought up Christian, or Jewish, or Mormon, he would probably say no. Dawkins would tell me that they should be allowed to make their own decision and that parents should not force their religion on their kids. However, if I asked Dawkins if he would encourage atheism via scientific exploration, philosophy, and thinking critically and logically with his own kids, he would almost certainly say yes.
I like top 10 lists. I don’t know if late-night television popularized making “top” lists or not. But I would rather scan a “top” list than look through a long list any day. So when Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council compiled a list of the top 10 articles worth reading from 2014, I was interested.
As I scanned his list I recognized most of the articles and their authors immediately. They were articles I had read throughout the year. And I can say that they are indeed worth reading. In fact, what I would suggest is that if you are wanting a strong education defending traditional marriage and the family, these articles will serve you very well.
As you peruse the following list of some of the best articles relating to marriage and family from 2014 I hope you will learn from the wisdom and knowledge of some of our culture’s most notable voices. There is more than just a philosophy being advanced here, there is a fundamental idea of what marriage is (and is not) and what the family is supposed to be. It this idea that is under attack and in need of those adhering to traditional values to arm themselves with facts – not rhetoric – and stand in defense.
Many thanks to Mr. Sprigg for compiling such a worthwhile list. Happy reading!
Is it fair to say that children do best with their mother and a father? Is that statement both specific enough and true to be made without argument? Maybe, but it might need just a little editing to make it the most accurate and true statement possible.
Of course LGBT activists would argue that children do just as good with two moms or two dads as they do with a mother and a father. They might have a solid argument if we leave the statement as is. But, if we edit the statement by adding just one word, it becomes a nearly irrefutable statement. That one word: biological.
The statement now reads: children do best with their biological mother and father.
That statement can hardly be argued by anyone considering the rapidly growing body of evidence that shows the truth in the statement. We know from decades of evidence that children with step-parents and children in single parent homes do not do nearly as well as those in homes with their biological mother and father. And try as they may, advocates of marriage redefinition have a hard time arguing that children in same-sex homes do as well as children in homes with their biological parents.
All you need to know about a taxpayer funded sex conference in Oregon is what a spokesperson for the event had to say about what the event is all about:
“We really think the message that they are bringing to these children is not value oriented. It’s about helping youth make good choices on their own personal sexuality. It’s about making good decisions about their relationships; it’s about giving them skills to just anything that has to deal with health.”
In other words, one of the organizers of the event says that the event is not about teaching values, but about teaching youth to “make good choices on their own personal sexuality.”
The problem with this statement is that every choice comes from a place of values, which begins with morality. So, for a person to make a “good choice” regarding sexuality that person must first have a moral understanding of his or her sexuality that will enable a good choice. The result of not teaching any values associated with sexuality is exactly the problem, it’s how we arrived at this particular point in our culture.
President Obama supports a woman’s choice.
Unless that choice is to be a stay-at-home mom, then he doesn’t want you to make that choice. He would rather you choose your job and earn more money than to stay home with your children.
That’s the main take away from his recent speech at Rhode Island College in Providence, RI recently. It sounds as though our president would like the government to discourage mother from staying home with their kids. As though money, career advancement, and those things the business world offers are more important than raising children. The President said: