Marriage & Family

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Posted 10/17/14 at 8:25 AM | Karen Farris

Hope for Hard Times

Hard times happen. It’s what we become through our hard times that matters most.

It was a long drive from our dusty farm to Grandma’s lakeside cabin. Each mile brought memories of my idyllic childhood, but the peaceful thoughts quickly evaporated remembering our eminent financial demise.

My husband and I were nearly broke. Taking this trip had been cost-foolish, but it was too late to save what we were losing. Now I was grasping for anything leftover to believe in.

Grandma had always been pragmatic and ambitious. She’d worked full time while putting herself through nursing school. Having two small daughters to care for in the midst Great Depression, she and her husband knew about sacrifice. She believed in God and marriage—and holding onto both when life got hard. Who better to bring my financial lament?

I sat in the kitchen with Grandma. My expression told the story, but as I explained how bad things were, Grandma went to work. FULL POST

Posted 10/17/14 at 7:50 AM | Ann Frailey

Writing as Reflection

Writing is an opportunity for me to think about my life, the larger world, and the issues of our times. Reflecting is akin to pondering and one of the women I admire most in the world was know for doing just that. Mary, the Mother of God, must have pondered many things in her heart. Her fiat was a strength which stemmed from God’s grace and her ability to ponder, reflect ,and act accordingly. For me,there are few important steps that make the difference between fruitful pondering and humdrum daydreaming.

1) Though my life is often a mad rush from one to-do adventure to another, there are times when I give myself permission to simply stop. Stopping the mad rush through the house, as well as in my head, is the first step to lowering my chance of sudden heart attack and – as an added bonus – healthy pondering.

2) There is a transition time between getting off the merry-go-around and the clarity of thought that allows real pondering. Again, I have to grant myself permission to take the space & quiet time necessary to think freely and be released from the rush. Yes, even when kids are calling – hopefully not frantically. FULL POST

Posted 10/16/14 at 6:26 PM | Bill Blacquiere

Champions for Children like Michael—One of ‘These 400’

Today’s guest blog is contributed by Jeff Nitz, Vice President of Adoption & Family Services at Bethany Christian Services. Jeff is the proud father of 4 young adult children of whom two were adopted, and is a passionate advocate of our These 400 initiative.

Michelle Scarpello Photography
A family for Michael

To say that most parents who choose to adopt only desire or want to welcome infants into their families would perpetuate a myth of adoption. While many birthparents each year still do make the difficult decision to give their children the gift of life and the care of a loving family and place them for adoption—and while expectant parents often pray for their child to be born healthy—significantly more children are adopted annually from the U.S. foster care system. And, while international adoption of infants has declined significantly over the past eight years, the number of international older children needing adoptive families has grown substantially. What this boils down to is this: more children with special placement needs -- children with emotional or physical challenges, older children and sibling groups – are both in need of a family and are finding their forever families. FULL POST

Posted 10/16/14 at 1:07 PM | Lori Minutoli

He Flipped A Switch In Me And Sent Me On A New Mission

Living "in Christ" takes practice or discipline as Christians call it. One day at a time is all we are required to live. So we only need to give our best effort for one day, then repeat.

I've been dealing with many issues in my marriage and family for several months now. I partially moved out of my home back in August. For two months I have been alone in a small dwelling with only God, His Word, music and coffee! I've grown very attached to the solitude. I discovered things about myself during the time there, mostly what makes me happy. Last week everything shifted leaving me with very little options. The only workable one was to return home. Uncertainty was my shadow that day. I was terribly sad as I went to work thinking about my family who have not changed since I left and seemed to have adapted without me. Make note: I did not want to go back home to the same misery I left.

In life, I try to wait upon God in all things. I think about Him and talk to Him constantly. God and I are best friends. Because of this relationship, I know how to listen for His voice, call it a feeling or a nudging, but I know when He is speaking to me. This particular day while at work, more discouraging news was plopped on top of what I already was dealing with. Then to make things even worse, I broke a vase while cleaning a clients house. I had no strength left after all of these blows and I just fell apart and cried most of the time I worked. Yet through all of this, I did get that feeling and a full assurance of what I needed to do. I knew for sure that I needed to move back home. There was no doubt whatsoever. It didn't mean I was happy about it, I certainly was not. I simply knew that I needed to go and do something that I did not want to do. By God's grace alone was this even possible. FULL POST

Posted 10/15/14 at 7:13 PM | Trace Embry

Practical Parenting According to Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy provides practical biblical solutions to parenting. In fact, many parents are surprised at how practical some of its principles are in raising teenagers.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 states:

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

How can we apply this scripture in our own homes?

1)The Scriptures Need to be on Our Hearts

First, this scripture establishes that we are to have the scriptures upon our hearts before we are given the command to train our child.

Simply put, your teen needs to witness a consistent Christ-like example in the home. He/she needs to see that you are pursuing God’s word, His will for your life, and that you live out your faith and convictions regularly. FULL POST

Posted 10/15/14 at 9:17 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Two Models for Husband-Wife Love

Photo: torbakhopper - Creative Commons

By David Murray

Because of sin, husbands have a tendency to neglect or abuse their headship. That’s why the Apostle Paul combines his teaching on the husband’s leadership in Ephesians 5v22-32 with three commands to love his wife and uses two models to help them.

1. Love as their own bodies (v. 28)

Jay Adams put this well: “Husbands know how to nourish and cherish their own bodies, don’t they? Something slips and John gashes his arm with a tool. Blood drips down and he dashes off to the medicine closet. He carefully washes it, cares for it, nourishes it, and cherishes it. He may spend the next six days nourishing and cherishing!”

Nourishing and cherishing translate two of the most tender words available in the Greek language. Nourishing is about feeding with a view to flourishing and growth in every area of her life: physical, intellectual, emotional, recreational, social, and spiritual. Cherishing is about keeping warm, as a bird puts her wing over its young to protect and treasure. FULL POST

Posted 10/15/14 at 8:03 AM | Ann Frailey

Simple Joy

There are a lot of ways to have fun, but I have found our most exciting, fun times happen when we are working together. Last week we had a chance to help pick apples at a neighbor’s farm and then, since we were such good workers, we got to go pick some pumpkins and squash. It was a bright sunny autumn day and the exercise of working out in the fresh air was invigorating. As we drove home with a car loaded with fresh apples, pumpkins, and squash, there was a gorgeous harvest moon glowing over the horizon – so spectacular it was enough to take your breath away. That day, and those memories, the kids will carry with them forever. I doubt there are many movie or party experiences that will last the wear and tear of time as well.

Over the weekend, we got together and peeled the many baskets of apples and cut them up and canned them. It took all Saturday, but once again, the joy of talking together, sharing thoughts and laughing at silly absurdities, made our time together a treasure. We now have 24 jars of cinnamon-apples which will last us through the winter, providing yet another joy in the form of hot apple pies on cold, snowy days, but also the joy of shared memories. FULL POST

Posted 10/14/14 at 12:12 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Five Ways to Lead Your Wife

Hands of married couple.
Photo: Flickr/MyBiggestFan - Creative Commons

By David Murray

Husbands tend to fall into one of two errors. Some are too passive, others are too domineering or controlling. In Ephesians 5, Paul addresses both extremes. To the passive abdicator of responsibility, he says, “Lead your wife.” To the aggressive tyrant, he says, “Love your wife.”

Let’s focus on Mr Passive today and see if we can help him step up to the plate and start leading. Before we do so, though, let’s just deal with some objections that may already be rising about this idea of the husband being the leader.

Two Equalities

First of all we state categorically that when it comes to salvation there is no distinction, no difference between men and women. All Christians are equally loved, forgiven, and adopted (Gal. 3:28). FULL POST

Posted 10/14/14 at 12:01 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

12 Pillars of Faith for Parents of Special Needs' Kids

Photo: Flickr/Steve Snodgrass - Creative Commons

By Paul Tautges

The society we live in expects life to be trouble-free; there is an assumption that we somehow have a right to an easy life. This mindset is reflected in the answer to a typical question. “What is the number-one question an expectant parent is asked? ‘Are you hoping for a boy or a girl?’ And what is the typical response? ‘It doesn’t matter as long as my baby is healthy.’ That seemingly innocent exchange may reveal a foundational belief that resides in the hearts of many of us—that there are few things worse for a parent than having a child who is not healthy.” [Steve Viars, Your Special Needs Child: Help for Weary Parents]. FULL POST

Posted 10/13/14 at 1:45 PM | Robin Sam

3 Secrets to a Happy, Married Life!

IF there’s anyone in the world, who ought to have felt bitter about his marriage, it should have been Adam – the first man ever. He once went to sleep, and woke up to discover two momentous things happened in his life without his knowledge. He’d had an operation done on him and he had become a married man. Adam had no choice in the question of his bride. Worse, he was not even asked if he’d like to get married in the first place. Nevertheless, jokes apart, Adam and Eve stuck together in good times (Garden of Eden) and bad (after being thrown out of the Garden due to their sin), and raised a family. Of course, they blamed one another and probably bickered along the way, but there’s no evidence in the Bible that they considered divorce or separation. They were married for life. (To read the full article, download The Christian Messenger Sept 2014 E-Mag now)

Sadly, things are not so rosy in marriages any more. According to the United Nations Demographic Yearbook (2014), Belgium, Portugal, Hungary and Spain top the countries in Europe in divorce cases filed per year. Around 32,000 Belgians file divorce papers every year. According to data available, only a third of marriages in Belgium actually survive the demands and pressures of the institution. In the US, a report in The Washington Post (March 27, 2014) said, divorce cases (53%) in America were actually on the rise contrary to reports that divorce rate had flattened. The report acknowledged that the number of divorce cases recorded in the US may not tell the actual story after all, because cohabitation is on the rise among younger Americans. The Post report said: “In the 1970s, a couple might get married at 25 and be divorced by 30. But today, that same couple would be more likely to simply live together for a few years and then head their separate ways when things go south.” FULL POST

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