Marriage & Family

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Posted 3/26/15 at 12:51 PM | Bethany Christian Services

Post Adoption Help for the Adoptee: First Steps

Today’s guest post is by Laura-Valentine, singer/song-writer artist and adoption advocate. She shares candidly and deeply about her ongoing journey as an adult adoptee.

I am adopted.

My parents never hid that fact from me, but it didn’t register for a long time. When it did, I slowly began to address another fact: my birthmother had given me up. Dealing with the lost connection to my birthfamily in China has been a struggle ever since. I started to understand words like “abandonment”. And as I grew, I asked many questions like, Why did my birthparents give me up? Was I not worth it? Did they think they could not love me? I would think about what my life would be like if I had remained a part of my birthfamily. Would I have siblings? A sister? FULL POST

Posted 3/26/15 at 11:32 AM | Bethany Christian Services

Coming Home

Amylynn, an adoptee, grew up with a desire to know more about the circumstances that led to her adoption. Despite being spoiled, wanted, and loved as the baby of her family, her determination to find the missing pieces of her story took her to South Korea, in hopes of understanding her identity and finding a place where she belonged.

I was young when I found out I was adopted, but not too young to have not noticed a difference between me and my siblings. My sister, also adopted, had black hair and brown eyes like me—but my three older siblings were blond-haired and blue-eyed. When I learned I was adopted, not like them, I was baffled and upset to discover my perception of reality was distorted. Mostly, I convinced myself that being “adopted” meant not that I was chosen or desired, but given up, rejected. I didn’t know what I wanted to know, but I searched for answers FULL POST

Posted 3/26/15 at 11:09 AM | Bethany Christian Services

Calling the Ordinary

Calling the Ordinary

Today’s guest post is contributed by Dr. Steven Timmermans, executive director of Christian Reformed Church of North America. Dr. Timmermans is the husband of Dr. Barb Timmermans, a father of seven children and former president of Trinity Christian College.

My wife and I have never believed that only special parents have special needs kids. Contrary to some opinions, angels do not convene a meeting and assign a special needs child to the strongest, most eligible moms and dads. Whether by biological birth or adoption, ordinary parents are called to welcome children with special needs into their families. FULL POST

Posted 3/24/15 at 6:09 PM | Trace Embry

1 Contributing Factor of the Breakdown of the American Family

I want to provide you with one factor contributing to the breakdown of the American family.

But before I do… this topic is actually a bigger discussion; like the one I had the privilege of discussing with retired Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin.

Jerry Boykin is the Executive Vice President of the Family Research Council and author of the book Never Surrender: A Soldier’s Journey to The Crossroads of Faith and Freedom.

So, what is a contributing factor of the breakdown of the American Family?

The shifting of societal norms has depleted the role for men in leadership positions within the family.

Essentially, it is becoming increasingly popular for the man to abdicate his role as head of the home.

Men are losing their will to embrace their role as a warrior. Not necessarily in militaristic terms, but a warrior to boldly lead, defend and fight for their family. FULL POST

Posted 3/23/15 at 2:15 PM | Carolyn Henderson


September inspirational original oil painting of floral still life and fruit by Steve Henderson
Steve Henderson Fine Art
All of us have been given something, and from whatever harvest we reap, we share. But with whom? And how?

There are certain things one simply does not discuss in church circles, and I really don't mean sex, alcohol, the f-word, or thong underwear.

As in most marriages, money is a topic that causes a lot of angst and disagreement, and within the substitutionary church "community," tithing -- didactically defined as giving 10 percent of one's income (gross or net?) to the church building one attends on a weekly basis -- is not up for discussion.

You just do it, friend.

Those Who Question, Are Silenced

For those who have doubts on the matter, the annual and semi-annual sermon on tithing, which emphasizes strongly that one is obligated to support the place where one receives the primary spiritual instruction, is a reminder to quiet any potential dissent. FULL POST

Posted 3/17/15 at 6:00 PM | Trace Embry

Are We Raising Healthy Kids in the Digital Age?

Are we raising healthy kids in the digital age? I believe the simple answer is NO.

This is largely due to the fact that many parents are yet unaware of the challenges that the digital age brings.

For example: Technology may be one reason that teens are misdiagnosed with depression. Sound strange? I’ll explain further in the post.

However; before I provide an answer, I wanted to make everyone aware of my upcoming event at Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, GA on Saturday, March 21, 2015, titled Raising Healthy Kids in the Digital Age. I have the privilege of sharing the stage with John Rosemond and Alex McFarland. Together, we will help provide parents with practical tools to navigate today’s digital age.

If you would like to attend the event, please go to

Anhedonia is One Challenge Parents Face in the Digital Age FULL POST

Posted 3/13/15 at 8:27 AM | Karen Kramer

Wife-Swapping Entertainment

A & E Neighbors with Benefits

On the same channel featuring the faith-driven Duck Dynasty, A & E will soon be premiering, Neighbors with Benefits. Perhaps the title leads you to suspect what this reality show offers—wife-swapping with no shame and all the sexual favors. As the promo explains, this is just your average suburban community, but behind the doors of some well-kept homes, weekend parties are opportunities to hook-up with the neighbor’s husband or wife.

Once illegal, this swinger lifestyle is now glorified in ways that defy logic. Why even be married? There is no faithfulness, or promises for sharing a unified partnership, or much of a future beyond the next party. It’s hard to imagine this happening in a typical neighborhood, but having this lusty group willing to make it a reality show says a lot about them. Even more telling is what it says about our culture.

Maybe I’m just getting too old. Or maybe I’m disheartened with entertainment that deliberately confuses lust and love. Making adultery a game can only lead to disappointment then disillusionment and eventually divorce. A game where everyone loses. FULL POST

Posted 3/11/15 at 3:29 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Rebuilding Your Sex Life With Your Spouse After Years of Refusing Sex

Most of you who read this blog regularly are here because you want to make your marriage better.

Some of you may be in a great stage of marriage and just want to make sure it stays that way, but if you look at the search terms by which people end up on this blog, it’s often because you readers are lonely and frustrated.

You’ve been struggling to feel connected, or perhaps sex isn’t going well. You feel distant, and you don’t want to be like that anymore.

And so you try to change things–which means, of course, changing yourself and how you react to your spouse (since you can’t change anyone except yourself).

But what do you do if you were the one who was holding back in the marriage, and now you ARE changing, but your husband doesn’t trust you?

I had a letter from a low libido wife recently which said this:

My husband finds our lack of sex particularly hurtful. When this comes up, I often rush to read a book or post about sex, to try and fix the issue, but this would only ever work “for next time”. A sincere “sorry, (insert attempt at explanation), I’ll try harder from now on” just doesn’t cut it – my husband is hurt and I can’t fix it. What do I do to show him I’m serious? FULL POST

Posted 3/10/15 at 6:05 PM | Trace Embry

Should Teens Have the Same Rights to Privacy as Adults

Should teens have the same rights to privacy as adults? I believe many parents fall into the trap of assuming that they should.

Though this is certainly not a popular stance in today’s culture, I advise parents that their teen should not have the same rights to privacy as they do.

Parents make mortgage payments on a home that their teen begins to take ownership of and believe is their own.

Just think of some of the things you may have heard your teen say:

“It’s my bedroom.”

“Get out of my closet.”

“You have no right to go snooping through my things in my room.”

I would like to encourage all parents that you have every right and responsibility to access your child’s room, closet, bedroom, or anything else for that matter.

Lets say your teen purchased his own bed, car, dresser, etc. You still have a responsibility to go through them. FULL POST

Posted 3/9/15 at 2:48 PM | Carolyn Henderson

The False Promotion -- and Real Demotion -- of the Family

It's so easy to fall into the trap of wholeheartedly believing two opposite statements, cleverly presented, simultaneously. FULL POST

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