Marriage & Family
Posted 10/7/15 at 12:45 PM | Audra Jennings
Parents often experience a "freak out" moment when they realize their children's view of God will primarily come from what they learn at home. Most parents spend more time helping their kids succeed at academics or athletics than infusing shared spiritual experiences into the rhythm of everyday family life. While the idea of strategically passing down our faith can seem intimidating, the annual Rites of Passage Experiences contained in Pass It On (David C Cook/ September 1, 2015/ISBN: 978-1434709073/$15.99),make it easy for families to celebrate milestones from kindergarten through high school graduation.
Q: Why do you think some parents place more emphasis on grades or athletics than spiritual development?
Burns: I think parents do want to help their kids grow spiritually, but they are often caught up in busyness of life, which distracts them from the main goal of faith development. They mean to, but they just don’t get around to it because of the breathless pace of life in which the American family is living. The Pass It On experiences give parents an easy opportunity to build into the spiritual formation of their family.
Lee: It’s easier to put an emphasis on those things because there’s a clear action parents can take to help their child improve. If I want my child to grow academically, then I can hire a tutor. If I want my child to grow athletically, then I can hire a private coach. If I want my child to grow spiritually, I can’t hire someone to do it for me. I can’t outsource the spiritual development of my child. Spiritual development is subjective and not concrete. One of the ways we want to serve parents with Pass It On is to help give them concrete, shared spiritual experiences they can lead their child through. It gets them started with spiritual leadership in their home.
Q: What is a rite of passage, and how does it help a child internalize a truth or lesson?
Burns: It’s simply celebrating a milestone in the life of a child and family. Sometimes a rite of passage is very spiritual, and other times a rite of passage is getting a driver’s license or learning to tell time. By celebrating rites of passages along the way, it keeps faith present in the basic aspects of life.
Lee: A rite of passage is an invitation to something greater than yourself. It’s crucial for all cultures to extend an invitation to things such as family and faith. In my opinion, it’s one of the reasons our culture is struggling. The most common rites of passage in our culture are a “sweet 16” birthday party and/or the loss of virginity. Those aren’t invitations to something greater than themselves; those are invitations to themselves. When parents invite their kids to faith through rites of passage they are helping their child connect to God’s greater story.
Q: Would you describe one of the rites of passages Pass It On encourages parents to experience with their kids?
Lee: I think my favorite one is the manhood/womanhood ceremony in the 12th grade. It’s actually the one that inspired everything. I was invited by a dad to his son’s manhood ceremony. His son was turning 18, and the dad had invited a group of men to come and teach him what a man of God looks like. The dad then asked his son to kneel down as he went to the closet, got a Braveheart sword he had ordered off the Internet and laid it on his son’s shoulder. Then he said, “Son, I have friends who are 30 and 40 years old who act like boys because no one ever told them they are men. I’m telling you tonight that based on the authority given to me by God as your dad, you knelt down as a boy, but you will rise as a man.” Can you imagine what that son must have felt in that moment? He was unleashed into the world with his father’s full blessing and a clear understanding of what a man of God looks like.
Burns: My favorite is the purity code in middle school. Kids are making major decisions that affect the rest of their life at a young age. We now know without a doubt that the more positive, healthy sex education kids receive from home, the less promiscuous they will be. It’s a really cool celebration that gives parents and their kids the opportunity to talk about a really important decision in their life. We ask kids to commit to the purity code, which says, “In honor of God, my family and my future spouse, I commit to sexual purity.” They learn how to:
- Honor God with their bodies.
- Renew their minds for good.
- Turn their eyes from worthless things.
- Guard their hearts.
Q: Can you share a story of how you’ve celebrated one of these rites in your own family? What feedback have you heard from your children about the practice?
Burns: Cathy took each of my daughters away for their celebration of purity. She took them to a nice dinner, bought them an outfit, stayed at a fun hotel. During that time, she read them part of a book on purity. Each daughters’ reaction was different. Christy loved the information and dialog. She engaged. Rebecca told Cathy what she was reading was “totally inappropriate” and to stop reading. Heidi, our youngest, told Cathy that she wanted to go on the outing to get the food, outfit and stay in the hotel, but her sisters had already filled her in on all the juicy stuff in the book!
I also took each daughter on an overnight before they could go on their first date. Amazing memories and incredible conversation. It’s all about memories and traditions.
Lee: I’ve loved every time I’ve gotten to lead one of my children through a rites of passage experience. My boys are 10 and 7, so I’ve focused on the elementary years. I guess my favorite so far was the second grade rite, which is called “An Invitation to the Bible.” This is where you invite your child, who should be a budding reader at this point, to engage with the Bible in a more meaningful way. We bought my son Campbell a red Bible that had a big lion on it. It was awesome! Our family and friends underlined their favorite verses in the Bible, and then we presented it to Campbell. That night when he was going to bed he went through the Bible sharing with us everyone’s favorite verses. Even today, he treasures that Bible.
Q: What about families who are getting a late start? Is it too late to build a legacy if your kids are in their teens already?
Lee: It’s never too late. It’s always better to do something rather than nothing. I tell parents to begin right where you are. For some parents you may have to begin with an apology and a promise that your spiritual involvement will increase in your child’s life. Also we encourage parents to feel free to change the order of the rites of passage or adjust the whole thing as needed for their family. The whole purpose of this book is to inspire parents to lead their children spiritually. If they feel inspired to do something differently or better, then we have done our jobs.
For more information about Jim Burns, visit www.homeword.com or follow him on Facebook (Homeword) and Twitter (@drjimburns). To keep up with Jeremy Lee, visit http://jeremylee.me or follow him on Facebook (yojeremylee) and Twitter (@yojeremylee).
Posted 10/5/15 at 11:31 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
That’s the question a reader is going to answer for us for today’s Wifey Wednesdsay!
A reader recently sent me this beautiful email about porn, redemption, and hope. I wanted to share it with you today, because I know so many of you struggle with your husband’s porn use. Tomorrow I’m going to write a wrap up post on how to fight the porn, not fight your husband, but for today, I thought a story may help.
Recently my husband sent me a text and told me that he wanted to share some things that he had been keeping from me for our entire marriage.
As you can imagine, I let my lady brain take over and had all kinds of scenarios going through my head. He sent the text at 9AM and I wouldn’t be home until after 6PM! All day I kept thinking “Am I ready for this? Can I handle what he’s going to tell me?” We will be married 15 years this June and we have been together since we were 15! So what could he possibly tell me that I don’t already know? FULL POST
Posted 10/5/15 at 8:39 AM | Veronica Philips
From the "I want you right here, right now" to the," Is that all I'm good for ?" this man is going to have to have the patience of JOB in order to get through this without going to jail. I love him, that doesn't change..he once said to me, "Ronnie, I KNOW the sweet girl I married is in there somewhere". He's doing the best he can with what he has. I get that. I think, one day a month, I'll set aside some time so I can get right with God...even if HE does hate me. Your Affirmation comes in the knowledge and Praise that you're not going through this.....I'd be grateful too...if I were you. Pray for me. Be Blessed. Remember you set the Tone, you ARE the Example. BE KIND to each other. Show GRACE and MERCY to all those who cross your path today. With your Daily Affirmations complete, enjoy your Monday.
Posted 9/28/15 at 6:31 PM | Trace Embry
As a society we tend to prefer style over substance and comfort over discomfort.
As postmodern thinking becomes more prevalent, how is the family being affected?
Every civil society recognizes the need for discipline; both self-discipline and discipline by the law of the land or the greater good.
When parents refuse to exercise discipline they become more of a peacekeeper instead of a peacemaker. Parents cannot afford to be peacekeepers.
By becoming a peacekeeper, and foregoing proper discipline, parents become co-dependent and short-sighted. This type of parenting ultimately inflicts its own pain.
The child is prone to grow up with resentment and rebellion against the parent. Ironically this pain results from the fellowship the parents thought would bring them closer to their child. FULL POST
Posted 9/28/15 at 12:44 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices
Every Monday I like to put up a Reader Question and take a stab at answering it. Today I thought we’d do a 3-part series on battling porn in marriage (since that’s the most common problem in the huge backlog of questions I have), starting with this one: how do you re-establish a sexual relationship after pornography?
A reader writes:
My husband has had an addiction to porn for our entire 13 year marriage. He lied, deceived, blamed me, neglected me and I only found out it was porn by accidentally walking in on him one night. That was more than two years ago. Since then he promised many times to seek counseling and support groups but nothing changed. About a month ago I asked him to separate. He refused but he did move out of our bedroom and into my daughter’s room (she’s bunking with her brothers for now). He now sees a counselor weekly but I have not gone with him yet. He asked me last night when he can move back into our room. I don’t know what to tell him. I don’t know what criteria to use or how to know. We haven’t had sex since before my last baby was born and she’s almost 9-months old now. The time we were intimate it was obvious he didn’t want to do it and that he was trying to simulate something he’d seen in porn in order to reach orgasm. It didn’t work. I felt like filth afterwards. How can I answer him when I don’t know what it will take to get comfortable with him back in our bed? FULL POST
Posted 9/21/15 at 11:31 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
Every Monday I like to take a Reader Question and take a stab at answering it. Here’s one that I think we don’t talk about very much: what do you do if there’s one part of your body that you absolutely HATE being touched during sex? One woman writes:
My husband is obsessed with my breasts and I loathe having them touched 49 times out of 50. If, and it’s a big if, I am super super in the mood I can tolerate them being kissed if it’s brief and there are no hands involved. As soon as they get grabbed/brushed/rubbed/whatever, I at the minimum am set way back on the “in the mood” scale and at worst go absolutely cold and want him to get away from me immediately. For 6 years I’ve been telling him to leave my breasts alone and for 6 years almost daily he has been making grabs at them and more recently telling me I’m withholding.
He’s a wonderful husband, but why can’t I have one thing that I am allowed to say “I’m not comfortable with that”? No reasoning or excuse has made any difference to him in what he feels is his God-given right. Most women ARE turned on by it…but I’m not one of them. On the contrary, it’s a huge turn off. He’s not rough or mean or anything. He’s a wonderful man. I just hate being touched there. (Side note: nursing children felt like a huge amount of self sacrifice for the same reason so it’s not an issue with my husband). He wants me to just get over it. How?! Just tolerate something that I despise just to make him happy? Then what? How can I get in the mood when I want to bolt from the room? I have no issues with being touched elsewhere and he’s always considerate in virtually every other area of our marriage. This one “small” issue has become a big hang up for us and I just don’t know what to do anymore. FULL POST
Posted 9/21/15 at 11:22 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices
The moment I said “I do” was the very moment my life changed forever. It was a moment I will always remember. It was the moment my life officially ended. There’s more to the story…
Marriage is a beautiful thing. It’s filled with excitement, extraordinary love and God-breathed passion that can only be experienced through intentional pursuit and relentless compassion. It’s hands-down one of God’s most alluring creations, faceted with unforgettable moments and timeless learning experiences.
Marriage has forever changed my perspective on life. It has taught me what it means to be selfless, patient and understanding beyond compare. Those rings meant more to me than a marriage license, they meant a lifetime of love, respect and honor. The moment I said “I do” was the moment I no longer ran through life unescorted. My life officially ended, and “ours” officially started. Life wasn’t about me anymore; It was about US. It was a divine experience. It was a breath of God’s rejuvenating Spirit. FULL POST