Marriage & Family

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Posted 10/30/14 at 4:21 PM | Carolyn Henderson

Is It Time to Take a Break from Church?

Ocean Breeze inspirational original oil painting of woman on beach with cloth by Steve Henderson and licensed prints at Great Big Canvas iCanvasART and Framed Canvas Art
Steve Henderson Fine Art
There is a sense of liberation in taking charge of our own spirituality. Ocean Breeze by Steve Henderson.

Within many Christian circles, church attendance is synonymous with one's belief in Jesus, and for those who don't attend, at all, or even deliberately skip a Sunday or two, the validity and value of their spirituality is called seriously into question.

Before I go on, let me get Hebrews 10:25, the standard verse used to bring recalcitrant believers into line, out of the way:

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another."

Or, more familiarly, even for those who assiduously avoid the King James Version: FULL POST

Posted 10/30/14 at 3:49 PM | Bill Blacquiere

A Forever Family for Rocky . . . N.O.W.

N.O.W. exists because of the thousands of children in foster care who need to be adopted before they age out of the system and are sent out on their own. Without a loving family to nurture and support them as they navigate the uncertain waters of young adulthood, they are much more vulnerable to challenges such as addiction, incarceration, and early parenthood. We know this because the statistics tell us.

This November, we’re inviting everyone to help raise awareness for foster care adoption while participating in a fun, educational, and heartwarming activity. Simply visit Bethany.org/foreverfamily and follow the quick and easy instructions. FULL POST

Posted 10/30/14 at 12:36 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Surviving a Miscarriage or Baby Loss: Dealing with the Grief

Her hair was bright red. Her dress was flamboyant. Her smile was infectious. After sizing her up for just a few short minutes at my book table where I had been speaking, I knew she was the life of the party. She was a lovely, extroverted woman.

And yet she pulled me aside to talk to me. She had a problem, she said.

“Everyone thinks I have a great sex life because I look like such a passionate person. But it’s never felt that good for me. It’s just something I endure. I don’t want it to be like this, but I just can’t get excited about sex.”

We talked for a while, and it eventually came out that while she has three lovely children with her now, she has two others waiting in heaven. In just a short period of weeks she lost a toddler to cancer right when she delivered a stillborn baby. They were her first two babies and they were gone.

And I just knew. As we both started getting teary, I said to her, “I don’t think you can touch that deep place inside of you where your sexuality lies until you can also touch that deep place where grief lies. I think you’re afraid to open up to your husband, because if you fully open up, there’s grief there. And that’s scary, because what if you open the door and you can’t shut it again?” FULL POST

Posted 10/29/14 at 10:21 PM | Trace Embry

How Can Parents Change Today’s Culture

Shepherd’s Hill Academy (SHA) has been serving families from across America since 2001. In our experience with serving families this question comes to mind:

Can parents change today’s culture?

The answer to this question is complex and will require intentional leadership from parents. To start, at Shepherd’s Hill Academy, we coach our parents about the importance of incorporating an Authoritative Community within their own home.

What is an authoritative community model?

The two opposing ends on the parenting continuum are Authoritarian and Passive parenting. Therefore, leaving in the middle of the parenting continuum is the Authoritative (different from Authoritarian) parenting model, supported by the authoritative community.

Furthermore, the authoritative community model states: Wherever a child turns, in every facet of his life, authority points him to a common moral standard. FULL POST

Posted 10/29/14 at 11:33 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

When Your Marriage is in Crisis: How to Get Your Spouse to See

It’s Wednesday, the day when we always talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you all can link up your own posts below. Today I want to tackle a really hard question–one that is left often in the comments. What do I do if my marriage is in crisis, but he doesn’t think it’s a big deal and refuses to change?

Here’s a comment, for instance, that was left yesterday when we were talking about the trauma of a husband’s porn use:

If he is unrepentant how do I set boundaries? I have read your article on 4 things a wife needs to do if her husband is looking at Porn… but if he isn’t to the place of wanting to be done how are boundaries set? Technology free hours would never fly with him. His phone took a dive into the fish tank last week and I was praising God. But he mailed it in and got it fixed, and nearly every night he would take his laptop and dissappear. And now the smart phone is back and it travels with him every where he goes. Even to the bathroom! He also deletes history. FULL POST

Posted 10/29/14 at 11:07 AM | Karen Woodall

Scarier than Halloween

It’s finally the end of October! That beautiful time of year filled with pumpkins, colored leaves, and cool, crisp evenings. It’s also the time of year that we as Christians are inundated with blogs, ministry programs, articles and hallway conversations at church all centered around the reoccurring (and far too divisive) question: “Should Christians let their children participate in Halloween?”

I have personally been on both sides of the discussion. When my first kid was a toddler, we didn’t participate in Halloween at all, and didn’t even answer the door to the neighborhood kids. But as our family grew and our children got a little older, my husband and I rethought the topic and decided that with careful explanation and guidance away from the dark side of Halloween, there was little harm in allowing them to dress up and get candy for a few hours one night a year, and would have no more lingering effects than a princess tea party or a super hero-themed birthday bash.

But, this post isn’t for the purpose of debating whether ‘to costume or not to costume.’ (There are plenty of other blogs on that topic.) Instead, I want to take this opportunity to point out a few things that really should be of more concern to believers than a door-to-door dress-up day once a year. FULL POST

Posted 10/28/14 at 11:50 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

How Our Culture of Sex Got So Messed Up

Today is the beginning of a 4-part series I’m running on this blog about the culture of sex, and how we in the church talk about sex. I’ll be discussing how we inadvertently make women ashamed of their bodies and ashamed of sex, and then I’ll wind up talking about how we need to reframe our discussions around purity. God meant sex to be something beautiful and wonderful in marriage; too often, as we try to keep people from sin we end up making it seem like sex–and our bodies–are bad.

I asked Michael Rittenhouse to set the stage for our discussion by sharing a little bit of his journey. He’s the author of Sex: What Your Parents Didn’t Tell You, which is a great book about how our culture gets sex wrong. Here’s Michael:

As a five-year-old, I didn’t get why Goldie Hawn danced on TV in a swimsuit and graffiti. But I knew it had something to do with “sex,” and even though they rarely said “sex” on TV, they did say “making whoopee,” so I figured that’s what we called dancing in a swimsuit and graffiti. FULL POST

Posted 10/28/14 at 11:12 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Why Does Marriage Matter?

WHY DOES MARRIAGE MATTER?

Recently, I was watching a debate over the current landscape of marriage in America. The talking heads were arguing over the meaning of marriage, the nature of love, and the limits of government to define and restrict who could and could not get married in a civilized, industrialized, advanced society. The conversation was lively and energetic, and by the end their passions had spilled over into screaming and yelling about how “close minded, religious fanatics” like Catholics and evangelicals, had tried to impose their views of love and marriage on America for hundreds of years. This, according to the enlightened panel of guests, was the source of all of our nations ills and woes. FULL POST

Posted 10/27/14 at 2:30 PM | Shaunti Feldhahn

Marriage Monday from Shaunti Feldhahn: Husbands, instead of getting frustrated at how much your wife chatters, see it as a signal of a specific need for connection.

Christian Post Blog Marriage Monday Tip Of The Day from Shaunti Feldhahn

October 27, 2014

Welcome to Marriage Mondays! Each Monday, join me as I share my top findings on the little, eye-opening things that make a big difference in creating great marriages and relationships. Today’s post is one of a series on the surprising truths that men and women tend not to know about each other–and which change everything once we do.

Photo Credit: nathancolquhoun via Compfight cc

Tip #35: Husbands, instead of getting frustrated at how much your wife chatters, see it as a signal of a specific need for connection.

We all know that women tend to be more talkative and expressive of their emotions than men. In fact, women’s brains are usually structured to process things by talking them through, while men’s brains generally process things internally. FULL POST

Posted 10/27/14 at 1:06 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

How a Simple “Thank You” Can Transform a Marriage

Last Friday I had the tremendous privilege of meeting up with fellow marriage author Shaunti Feldhahn while she was speaking in Ottawa. Shaunti is part of my new Christian Marriage Authors Pinterest Board, and you have one more day to enter our contestto win a marriage library of 12 books!

I took her on a bit of a walk in downtown Ottawa, where we saw the Parliament buildings with the flag at half mast and the War Memorial with the flowers from the recent shooting, but then we went to her event at night where she was sharing about the Secrets of a Happy Marriage.

(Really Bad Selfie Alert: Never let two 40-something women take a selfie together. “How do you hold the phone? Where’s the button? Is this right?”) FULL POST

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