Posted 5/31/16 at 8:06 PM | Trace Embry
Today, there are as many parenting approaches as there are belief systems.
Parents are feeling hopeless and helpless. This is creating a culture that is divided.
Pop psychology has many approaches—influencing not just secular parenting experts, but Christian ones as well. Yet often times they contradict Scripture and its principles.
Psalm 86:11 says, “Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart that I may fear your Name.”
Do we as parents fear violating popular views more than God’s view?
As you interact with other parents who have kids in the same age group as yours, discuss strategies that help both of your family’s kids build and promote a biblical worldview. FULL POST
Posted 5/24/16 at 11:53 AM | Trace Embry
Today’s culture excels at objectifying young women.
How can you help your daughter succeed? Become a good spouse to your mate.
Dad’s, have you hugged your little girl today? Have you hugged your teenage girl?
There’s a natural yearning in every female, no matter the age, to want the approval and adoration of her Daddy.
Dad, you’re the first male to ever kiss your daughter—to hug her, and squeeze her, and tell her how much you love her. It’s nearly impossible to give her too much affection. And she’ll never be too old for it.
The more you appropriately hug and kiss your daughter, the less likely she’ll crave inappropriate affection from another source.
Dad must do more than show affection, but should also set a practical example of how to properly treat a woman. There is no better way to display this than to become a good spouse to your wife. FULL POST
Posted 5/24/16 at 10:32 AM | Marianne Kurtz
Think of any painting...it looks perfect but it's rarely PERFECT...it's done in EXCELLENCE and that, to me, is a state of mind. Doing it to the BEST of your ability, that's what matters in everything.
Let’s Be Honest, We Can’t be EVERYTHING to Our Kids but we can come close. I have always believed in saying you’re sorry when you’re wrong even though you are a parent as well as never being afraid to say “I missed it”. And believe me, I have missed it before.
Recently I had to do that. I taught my kids very well how to guard their hearts from everyone, including family. Not me, we can always be open and honest and but don’t trust others. What a huge mistake, I see that now…well, started re-teaching them how I messed up a few years ago.
I believe that being honest about where I still need work in my life is a way for my sons to see that it’s ok to be human, it really does happen, we are not perfect. FULL POST
Posted 5/17/16 at 9:52 PM | Trace Embry
Parents: did you know you can be firm and compassionate at the same time?
In a time where kids are surrounded by more temptation than before, exercising compassion is a must. This does not mean a standards change.
Standards are found in Scripture. When our kids are caught in a sin, it’s important to exercise firm discipline.
However, do this in such a way that communicates you are not acting out of complete disgust with them or disbelief in them.
Your teen needs to sense your compassion and love for them.
Statistics show that our kids are getting an incredible amount of sexual messages and images on TV alone—and from the very programs and advertisements we watch with them.
Not to mention the messages they get through other forms of digital technology. Folks, listen to me closely, a smartphone is an adult toy! FULL POST
Posted 5/16/16 at 4:36 PM | Marianne Kurtz
Is unconditional love, love that doesn’t judge our actions?
Are we supposed to judge each other’s action?
What is the difference between loving a person where they are and telling them the truth in love? If you don’t tell them the truth does that mean you don’t love them?
All of the truth in all of those statements is correct. However, the main thing, in my opinion, that is left out is the actual love.
If you are judging somebody for their actions are you still filled with L-O-V-E for them? I mean the real LOVE. The one that actually still loves the person and will walk with them through a time of change that might be difficult to understand. I don’t mean love the sin or the decision…of course not!
When I went through a hard time, I did some things that I’m not particularly proud of and my long-time friends, that I thought I could trust, abandoned me because I was in sin. But, really just because the sin can be seen on the outside doesn’t mean that sin that can’t be seen. Well, I did my own little search and I did not have to look far to find the answer. FULL POST
Posted 5/10/16 at 7:25 PM | Trace Embry
The 21st century has produced opportunities for kids to be entertained around the clock.
Christian parents need to set firm boundaries to create a safe environment.
Science is confirming that much of our kids’ behavioral problems could actually stem from a glut of digital stimuli. Many unsuspecting parents are grateful that Junior isn’t out causing trouble.
Yet, these same parents are missing the brain damage taking place.
Monitoring and limiting digital technology is a must. However, in today’s culture this may be more of a sacrifice on your part.
To create a safe environment you will need to set boundaries to prevent media from causing harm to your family.
This means you need to make decisions that most of today’s culture won’t understand. FULL POST
Posted 5/9/16 at 9:48 AM | Marianne Kurtz
I do believe that we need to guard our hearts from being hurt, taken advantage of, and really just never want to be too gullible. You just need the right amount of gullible so that you do not end up looking at everything through the eyes of someone jaded by life.
The past several months has me thinking about exactly what jaded means.
I remember the Aerosmith song “Jaded” and back then I didn’t really get it. Now, all these years later…I completely get it. I never wanted my kids to feel this and so I taught them to protect themselves. You can let people in but you must protect yourself, don’t get too close. All of sudden, I saw everything like a fast forward movie and how now I am seeing spending time with people as value added instead of before I was jaded in everything.
Don’t get to close…people die, move away, and leave. So, love them but always remain separate. That is how I got by without shedding a tear for about 18 years because if you don’t let people in your heart you won’t get hurt. FULL POST
Posted 5/6/16 at 1:18 PM | Julie Miller
While having a baby is one of the most rewarding event any couple can experience, there is more pressure than ever on working women to be super-moms. We’ve been sold the idea that in order to raise a functional child, you have to follow a strict set of rules, including inflexible bedtimes, breastfeeding and absolutely no non-organic treats.
Although these ideas promote good parenting, no child-rearing advice is set in stone, and mothers (and fathers) often end up feeling guilty for straying even slightly from these guidelines. The problem is, “Mom Guilt” isn’t healthy or helpful. In fact, it’s far worse for your little one than an occasional late bedtime or sweet treat.
Next time you feel a wave of Mom Guilt (Or Dad Guilt) coming on, remember this:
1. Breast isn’t always best FULL POST
Posted 5/3/16 at 7:55 PM | Trace Embry
Parents should proactively address media addictions within their home.
We must be alert and discerning to recognize idolatrous behavior in regards to media. But where do we start?
Media addictions in our youth are not derived only by the content, but by how often we allow them to be entertained.
Long before the digital age – A.W. Tozer said “I believe that entertainment and amusements are the work of the enemy to keep dying men from knowing they’re dying and to keep enemies of God from remembering they’re enemies.”
Constant amusement can simply numb us through life.
You can proactively address media addictions, as well as keep your teen aware and alert, by putting appropriate time limits on media interactions. FULL POST
Posted 4/28/16 at 9:09 AM | Ron Edmondson
I love the story of Manoah and his wife. They had been unable to give birth to a child. It was apparently their greatest desire in life. One day an angel of God brought them good news a child was to be born.
I think one reason I identify with the story is the huge number of people in our ministry who have struggled with infertility. It’s a huge hidden pain in the church. It’s one reason we have always highlighted adoption and foster-parenting.
But, when Manoah’s wife came to him with the news they were having a child, Manoah immediately did what happens to many men and women when they discover they are about to be parents. He grew up – literally – and he indicated this by what he did first. He prayed!
He asked for God’s provision!
It’s funny how “life” has to happen sometimes before we fall on our knees.
In the moment – realizing they were about to be blessed with one of life’s greatest blessings – Manoah prayed the most important prayer a parent can ever pray: FULL POST