Marriage & Family

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Posted 11/24/15 at 10:23 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Q&A: Is Watching Porn Together Okay if We Both Agree?

Is watching porn together as a couple okay if you’re both consenting adults?

I like to post a Reader Question and take a stab at answering it! But first, something quick:

I spent this weekend updating my blog! I changed the design, and made it much easier to browse past posts! Just click on the menus above and you’ll find all the categories of the blogs and snippets of posts. There are still some bugs I’m working out (especially on the mobile end), but I’m getting there! I hope you like it!

Now, on with the question of the day: When I do my Girl Talk, my one night event at churches where I talk about marriage and sex, I invariably get a variation of this question:

My husband and I like to watch porn together. If we’re both consenting, and he’s not watching it in secret, is it okay? FULL POST

Posted 11/24/15 at 10:20 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

10 Questions About Sex Christian Women Ask

One of the most fun parts of my Girl Talk presentation–when I go into churches and talk about marriage, sex, and intimacy–is the anonymous Q&A when I answer people’s embarrassing questions about sex–questions they’ve had for ages, but have never been able to ask.

This month I was in Raeford, North Carolina, at RockFish Church, with a great crowd of about 200 women. And boy did they have a lot of questions about sex! I got through as many as I could, but there were about 10 left over at the end of the night that I didn’t have time for.

The interesting thing about these Q&A sessions is that the same questions about sex pop up again and again. So we all really wonder the same things. So I thought that today, for Top 10 Tuesday, I’d answer those 10 leftover questions by sending you all to some of the posts I’ve written on the different topics. So here we go!

1. Is it right for a Christian to practice different styles and positions of sex?

It’s not only right, it’s good! We have freedom to enjoy sex and God created it and WANTS us to! It’s not like one position is necessarily holier than another, and in fact, many women find that positions OTHER than the missionary position are more likely to help them reach orgasm (especially being on top, since you can control the angle a little bit better). FULL POST

Posted 11/23/15 at 9:35 AM | Bethany Christian Services

5 Steps Toward Embracing Your Multicultural Family

The following was written by Sarah Horton Bobo, Director of Post-Adoption Support and Education for Bethany Christian Services, and originally appeared in Lifelines, the organization's quarterly magazine.

Parents adopting transracially or transculturally once commonly believed it was better not to address racial or cultural differences within their families. We now know that including the topics of race, ethnicity, and culture in family discussions creates an atmosphere of honesty and acceptance that empowers children. We also recognize that when a child, of a different racial background from his family, is adopted, the whole adoptive family becomes multicultural, adding a new dimension to family life. Consider the following suggestions and resources to prepare for a smooth transition.

1. Diversify Your Home

Have items in your home that represent your family’s diversity, such as:

  • music
  • movies
  • children’s books
  • toys, dolls, games
  • artwork
  • clothing

There are many different ways to find items that would be most suited to your family, including sites like Pinterest, which has a wide-range of pages focused on multicultural families and transracial adoption. FULL POST

Posted 11/22/15 at 3:58 PM | Trace Embry

4 Effects of Anhedonia

In today’s culture we live in a techno-centered world.

This means that we are susceptible to anhedonia. It is effecting virtually every aspect of the American Christian home. Here are four effects of anhedonia:

Picture Provided By Matthew G

1) The Negative Effect on our Health

The amount of technology and entertainment affects the pleasure centers of the brain.

Dr. Archibald Hart states that 80% of Americans have anhedonia. This may sound hopeless, but a therapeutic make-over (rather than medication) is possible.

At Shepherd’s Hill Academy, I get to see it first-hand. We know from science and experience that outside stimuli changes body and brain chemistry.

Stimulating a kid with the love, training, nurture, discipline, and truth of God’s Word, Will, and Way; over time, transforms a teen. We see it regularly. This is why so many kids who come to Shepherds Hill Academy on bushel loads of medication are able to leave medication-free at the end of a year. FULL POST

Posted 11/19/15 at 11:23 AM | Bethany Christian Services

Leap of Faith: When are you too old to adopt

The following was written by Paul Osburn, adoptive dad, and originally appeared in Lifelines, Bethany Christian Services' quarterly magazine.

Throughout my life, I thought that someday I’d adopt, but I resisted the idea because, in our culture, you raise your family, you work hard, and then you retire. Our three sons were grown, and my wife, Barb, and I were right on track for following the American Dream. Barb and I had raised our family, and I thought: Now we’re done!

I hid my thoughts about adopting from my wife, but she was vocal about her desire to adopt. I knew that if I said anything out loud, then Barb would make it happen, so I stayed on the fence for a long time. However, through prayer, the Lord made it clear to me that I was to discuss adoption with Barb. I was about 50 years old when we had our first serious talk about adoption.

When I finally told Barb that I thought we should adopt, her face lit up! As it turned out, she had already been exploring it. She said that she could contact some people to find out more, and I thought: Go ahead, make your calls, and when the agency finds out how old we are, they’ll kick us out of the office! Why would they want old people adopting kids? Privately, I figured: Surely our interest would be blocked by something, and then I wouldn’t have to do it! FULL POST

Posted 11/17/15 at 2:25 PM | Trace Embry

3 Things You Must Do Today

Implementing these three strategies will improve your home life.

1) Manners Must be Addressed

Picture Provided By kidchen915

Expressions like: Please, Thank You, Excuse Me, Sir, Ma’am, and many other terms, all have a subconscious effect on our kids. It brings a recognition and importance to others.

In a day of entitlement, teaching our kids manners from an early age will greatly improve your parenting experience.

2) Kids Must Learn to Delay Gratification

While shopping, has your teen ever asked you for something he just couldn’t live without?

He needed it now or else life would be over.

Before immediately buying it to keep the peace, or just giving him a flat out “no” – challenge your teen by asking him how important having that particular item today actually is. FULL POST

Posted 11/11/15 at 2:29 PM | Bethany Christian Services

God Worked it Out

Steve, David and Stacy (from left to right)

The following blog was written by Stacy, an adoptive mother, in celebration of National Adoption Month.

It all happened so fast.

For 22 years, it was just the two of us. Then, in a matter of 48 hours, my husband, Steve, and I were parenting David, a 6-year-old boy we had met only twice. But we knew with all certainty God had chosen him to be our son.

We had just started all of the paperwork to adopt an older child when the call came from our pastor. He had been contacted by a family at our church whose hearts were moved to find parents for David. His grandmother had been caring for him since he was 2 years old. She was tired, overwhelmed, and could no longer meet his needs. Asked if he could think of a couple who might want to adopt an older boy, amazingly—without even knowing we were heading in that direction— our pastor thought of us. God was working it out.

We’ll never forget the day we met David. We were expecting to look at photos of children and read their stories, but instead we stepped out of our car and into the life of a beautiful, playful boy—a boy who wanted more than anything to be loved by a mom and dad. After our first meeting, we engaged our Bethany adoption specialists to let them know what was transpiring by God’s grace. They urged us to meet with his grandmother to truly understand if this was what she wanted. FULL POST

Posted 11/4/15 at 9:22 AM | Bethany Christian Services

Welcome to our Family: Preparing Your Children for a Sibling

The following originally appeared in Lifelines, Bethany Christian Services' quarterly magazine.

Many adoption and foster care resources focus on the relationship and adjustment between the parents and the new child coming into the home. But parents often have questions and fears about how their other children will adjust to a new child in the family.

As they prepare to increase their families, adoptive and foster parents share similar concerns for their children that biological parents do when their only child is about to become a big brother or sister. They worry that they may, on some level, unconsciously fail to meet their children’s emotional needs or that their children will feel pushed aside for their new sibling.

Following is insight from Bethany Christian Services on how you can prepare your children to welcome a new sibling, whether by adoption or through foster care. FULL POST

Posted 11/2/15 at 1:00 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Fixing the Little Things in Your Marriage

When Rudy Giuliani became mayor of New York, the city was reeling from crime. It was a scary place to live.

And what he decided to do gave people apoplexy. Instead of trying to understand criminals, or get to the root of why people choose crime, he adopted James Q. Wilson’s Broken Windows theory. And I think this may apply to our marriages, too.

Wilson said that instead of worrying about the big crimes, you should start by worrying about the little ones: the broken windows, the graffiti, the muggings. Focus on petty things that give people the sense that “this is not a safe place”. The street looks dismal. People take no pride in things. Once one building has a broken window, people stop taking care of the buildings on either side. And that gives criminals the impression: you can operate here with impunity, because no one will do anything to you. Nobody cares.

So Giuliani started erasing all the graffiti, had people arrested for it, and arrested all those who jumped the turnstiles at the subways. And lo and behold, murders dropped. Burglaries dropped. Violent crime dropped. FULL POST

Posted 10/30/15 at 3:09 PM | Bethany Christian Services

National Adoption Month Brings Hope

As we celebrate National Adoption Month (November) once again, I am filled with tremendous hope. We continue to make progress for vulnerable children around the world who are waiting to know the love of a forever family. Yes, there are still far too many orphans and orphanages; but now, more than ever, we are seeing governments implementing or exploring in-country foster care programs. Children who have experienced the unspeakable tragedy of losing both parents are increasingly able to stay in their home countries, with loving families.

While hope is powerful, and there is a lot to be optimistic about—especially in the long-term—we must guard against complacency. With more than 144 million children classified as orphans, we are still in the midst of a global orphan crisis. We must continue to work collectively—as nations, as communities, as families, as humans—striving toward a world where every child has a loving family.

For the past several years, Bethany Christian Services has been working closely with a number of developing countries, including Haiti and Ethiopia, to create foster care systems. Given our 70 years of experience in providing essential support to children and families in crisis, Bethany was approached by government agencies within these countries to offer training and demonstrate best practices.
Bethany is now engaged in more than 15 countries developing in-country foster care and foster-to-adopt programs. For more information on these efforts, including our work with organizations such as Empty the Orphanage in Zimbabwe, I would encourage you to read and listen to this Mission Network News piece featuring Ruth Olsson of Bethany Global Consulting. FULL POST

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