Marriage & Family

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Posted 6/30/15 at 5:57 PM | Trace Embry

8 Activities to Improve Your Relationship with Your Teen

New Year activities can help facilitate a better relationship with your teen. These activities can be implemented at any time of year!

Here are eight suggestions for jump-starting a healthy relationship with your teen. It is important to also build a healthy foundation for your relationship.

Picture Provided by Zach Dischner

Eight Activities to Help Facilitate Relationships

1. Discern the type of entertainment you allow in your home. Intentionally use media to spark deeper conversations.

2. Schedule a time in the weeks to come for a family wide media fast. This means, turn it off; all of it. To take the challenge further, completely limit even phone calls and text messages.

3. If you are not already involved with a church, find one that meets your family’s needs. If you are involved with a church, use this year to deepen your involvement. FULL POST

Posted 6/27/15 at 9:46 PM | Duke Taber

Why I Have Become A Conscientious Objector To Same-Sex Marriage

This article was first published on Spirit Filled Christian Living

I am a conscientious objector
Picture from Spirit Filled Christian Living

I have a dilemma. Since 1988 I have performed weddings and I have always had the privilege of pronouncing the happy couple officially married by using these words. “According to the power vested in me by God Almighty and by the great State of _______, I now pronounce you man and wife. You are now married in the eyes of God and man.”

Up until yesterday, I did not have a crisis of conscience. Until yesterday, the definition of marriage by the state and by my own religious beliefs were synonymous. Now they are not.

So now I have to ask some very tough questions of myself.

  1. Can I risk being required to perform marriage ceremonies that are against my religious beliefs due to lawsuits or further Federal Government requirements?
  2. Should churches or clergy be “agents” of the State and invested with powers of the State?
  3. Does the State have the authority to define or re-define what the definition of marriage is?
  4. Does a Christian have the right or obligation to conscientiously object or even engage in peaceful civil disobedience?

In order to answer these questions, a little understanding of the difference between civil rights and religious rights, the history of marriage, the history of conscientious objection, and peaceful civil disobedience is needed. FULL POST

Posted 6/23/15 at 8:51 PM | Trace Embry

Understanding The Powerful Influence Media Has Over Your Teen’s Mind

Our culture has a lot more influence on our teens than many understand. This influence isn’t always good.

I have spoken regularly on the topic of media influence, including on the topic of anhedonia. In addition to speaking at conferences and churches, I am able to see the influences media, music and culture has on the students at Shepherd’s Hill Academy (SHA) and review it regularly.

Picture Provided by mkhmarketing

A Lack of Understanding

It is projected that 50% of internet traffic comes from mobile devices. This means influence is just a touch away. Parents would do well to educate themselves on the powerful influences of media.

Technology can be a good thing, but we are becoming more dependent on media and digital devices. We should realize just how much media influences our teens. We must also realize that teens were born into this media age, and do not know anything else. FULL POST

Posted 6/19/15 at 8:11 AM | Karen Kramer

America Needs Fathers

             “Listen my sons, to a fathers instruction; pay attention and gain understanding." Proverbs 4:1

As Father’s Day approaches, American Family Association (AFA) shares some fatherhood-shattering statistics:

• 24 million children in the United States of America live in a fatherless home.

• 40% of students in grades 1-12 come from homes with no biological father in them.

• 71% of teenage pregnant mothers have no father in the home.

• 71% of high school dropouts have no father present.

• A child is 4 times more likely to live in poverty if there is no dad in the home.

We won’t be fixing our schools, our broken homes, or alleviating much poverty until we elevate our dads to their rightful place in our family structure. Fathers have become the fodder for Hollywood sitcoms—mocking them with cheap jokes and diminishing their family leadership roles. To be a good father in the 21st Century takes strong resolve, sacrifice, and an unashamed commitment to God. FULL POST

Posted 6/19/15 at 8:06 AM | Karen Kramer

Every Family Needs One

“The world cries for men who are strong, strong in conviction, strong to lead, to stand, to suffer.” Elisabeth Elliot

The tiny infant in the intensive care incubator was his first child. It all happened too quickly. When his wife’s labor had started two months too soon he rushed her to their rural doctor. She was immediately flown to a medical center 100 miles away. A fierce snowstorm couldn’t stop him from hurrying to get there. As a farmer he knew about hard labor, caring for a crop, and the harvest. But this was unexpected and out of his control. Welcome to fatherhood.

As his work-worn fingers gently touched the tiny fingers of his precious daughter, he knew his life was no longer his own. He had no idea what that meant.

It meant cutting and selling more firewood while waiting for his summer crops to harvest.

It meant shoveling snow in the bitter cold, building fences, digging ditches, taking odd jobs—all so he could come home afterwards and enjoy his baby girl’s smile. FULL POST

Posted 6/17/15 at 11:17 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

When Daddy Issues Affect Your Marriage

It’s Wednesday, the day when we always talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then all of you who are bloggers can link up your own posts below. And with Father’s Day coming up this week, I thought I’d look at how those of us with father issues can try to keep those issues out of our marriage.

Whether your dad abandoned you, verbally abused you, molested you, hit you, or just disapproved of you, many of us have found Father’s Day a difficult day on the calendar. When I was younger I remember not being able to buy a Father’s Day card to mail to my dad, because the words in all of them weren’t true. What do you say to a father you have never lived with, whom you see for a week a year, and who doesn’t really know you? There just aren’t cards for that.

And I know many of you have felt the same thing.

Yet as I shared last week, marriage can be a vehicle that God uses for healing in our lives. When we marry good men, they show us how we’re supposed to be loved. They cherish us. And so much of those silent accusations we have inside our heads start to diminish. FULL POST

Posted 6/16/15 at 10:46 PM | Trace Embry

Why the American Trades May be a Solution to Your Teen’s Problems

Is America losing sight of vocational trades? Are we too dependent on technology today? What if the power goes out? Will our kids know basic skills of sustaining life that so many trades have to offer?

Are we Loosing the Know How

Picture Provided by Donnie Nunley

As a child, if my bike broke I would fix it. That was the mindset. If something broke we would fix it. If we couldn’t fix it, dad could. If dad couldn’t then we knew someone else who could. But today, if something breaks we throw it out and buy something new.

For example: How many under the age of 30 can do basic repairs in the home?

Studies show that there is already a great need for these trades in America, i.e., welders, carpenters, roofers, plumbers, electricians, mechanics, machinists, etc.

As Americans become more reliant on technology, we are losing both our ability and desire to fix and build things. FULL POST

Posted 6/15/15 at 9:36 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Monday Q&A: What If My Marriage Was a Mistake?

On Mondays I like to post a reader question and take a stab at answering it, and today’s is rather sad. A woman writes:

Can you offer resources toward unequally yoked marriages? Also info on how to deal with a severely emotionally disturbed spouse? I slept with my best friend ( but we were also in love), got pregnant, and got married. My husband isn’t against my faith, he accepts it and promotes it to the kids, but he doesn’t have it and won’t consider going to church, etc. He has some different morals, values, etc. also, it turns out he has major issues. Several people in his immediate family committed suicide and he’s dealing with depression, etc. I know that God can redeem this, but how do I know if our marriage was just a result of my mistakes or if it is something that God will use for good. I don’t want to be a martyr in my own life, but I do want to do what God wants. FULL POST

Posted 6/12/15 at 11:52 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Marriage Tip: Be Broken Together

I recently received this heartbreaking letter:

My husband and I have been married for 4 years. He brought me to God shortly after we started dating and have done everything we can to have a God based marriage. I thought that we could overcome anything. We have gone through being homeless, moving 7 times, job loss, family deaths,marriage classes to make sure we have the tools to overcome obstacles and are currently seeing a counselor to work on our childhood demons together. We are constantly working on improving our marriage in almost everyway. Except for in the bedroom.

I struggle with past sexual abuse. I also grew up in a home where I learned to never love myself and my self worth…well there was none. I thought that my husband understood and was willing to work though it with me. But I have never been able to communicate why because I never fully understood why sex was so hard for me.

The longest we have gone was a month. As of right now it has been over 3 weeks. I have never been able to tell him why. It’s mostly because I never realized that I can’t have sex because I can’t seem to put emotion into it because I’ve put walls up. FULL POST

Posted 6/9/15 at 10:18 PM | Trace Embry

Is it True, Are Teens Leaving the Church?

Ken Ham, Founder of Answers in Genesis, wrote a book entitled “Already Gone” outlining why teens are leaving the church.

I encourage every parent to read a copy. The text is right on the mark!

Picture Provided By TumblingRun

Honestly Evaluate the Stats

Many parents don’t realize how many teens are simply going through the motions of church, and have already abandoned the faith to a certain degree.

Statistics show that 94% of Christian college students will abandon their faith by freshmen year. Bible College and Seminary professors are alarmed at the startling new “low” of biblical literacy and worldview of these young students.

Take the Time to Identify the Problem FULL POST

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