Category Archives: Parenting

Episode 91: When Church is the Hardest Places to Go, and Combining Education and Fun on Family Outings [Podcast]

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On this week’s podcast, Adam and Leah share a short article about going to worship when it is the hardest thing to do, and then spend time talking about the importance of families taking educational outings together.

 

Resource

When Church is the Hardest Place to Go” (My Heart, His Words)

 

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Mothers and Daughters

My son-in-law called me a few months ago and asked me if I could help him out with something. He had booked a flight and a hotel room for Amber and himself at Pensacola Beach for the first few days of October. It was his birthday gift to her (which he has done for the last several years). They go and enjoy some relaxation on the beach and enjoy the beauty of the ocean and some of their favorite restaurants.

He had, however, failed to check his calendar before he booked this trip. When he did check it, he was booked for a gospel meeting for those same days. So, he called me and asked if I could help him out by taking his place on the trip with Amber. I thought about it for a nanosecond and said, “YES!” Luckily when I checked my calendar after agreeing to go, I had those days free.

We took that trip last week, and there aren’t enough words to tell you how much I enjoyed having that time with my daughter. As I was packing for the trip, I began trying to remember the last time we had been able to spend some time together – just the two of us – and really have time to talk and laugh and enjoy each other’s company. It had been way too long!

I thought about some important things about this mother/daughter relationship that I hope will help those who may be reading this – young or older.

  • She is my best girl friend and I am hers – at this point in time. It has been that way for lots of years. However, it was not that way when she was growing up. We had a warm and loving relationship, but I was not her best friend – I was her parent, her mother. I was teaching and training and disciplining her so she would be prepared for her role as a wife and mother. She had lots of friends, but at that point in time she needed a mother, not another friend.
  • Communication is so vitally important in the mother/daughter relationship. It is important in any relationship, but in this particular case who can explain womanhood to a girl better than her mother? Open lines of communication help your children know that they always have someone they can turn to, even if the topic of conversation is going to be hard to handle. If you are texting, or scrolling through Facebook or Twitter, and your child wants to talk to you…(please hear me on this) PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE AND LISTEN EYEBALL TO EYEBALL TO YOUR CHILD! Girls need to feel free to talk to their mothers. The daughter who can talk to you when she is young and knows that you will take time to really listen, will still be talking to you and asking for your advice when she is older.
  • Time goes by way too quickly. I know some young mothers right now who are so busy taking care of little ones and it may seem to them like they will always be there with you needing help. Trust me, the day will come when they will be out on their own – and it comes all too soon. Cherish the time you have now. Use it to wisely establish a relationship with your child that will never be severed.
  • The Bible doesn’t give us very many examples of mother/daughter relationships, and some of the examples are not very pleasant to read about. Just one example of this is Herodias and her daughter who was prompted by her mother to dance before men and ask for the head of John the Baptist. (Matt. 14)

However, we do read of other mother/daughter relationships: Jochebed and Miriam (the mother and sister of Moses) who worked together to save the life of baby Moses, Naomi and Ruth (a mother and daughter-in-law) who stuck together through some very difficult times, and then we read about the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31. When the scriptures tell us that “her children rise up and called her blessed,” I feel sure that she was blessed with sons and daughters. She displays the type of training for her children that would lead to a lasting relationship with them.

I loved my time with my daughter – my friend. We didn’t do anything special other than just spend time talking about all sorts of things – some serious and some not so serious. We enjoyed each other’s company and made a pact to try and do more of this very thing. We are both busy women, but we will be looking for more opportunities to be together. 

I’m praying that you mothers who read this (and you fathers with sons) will realize that time spent with your children, whether while they are young or when they are grown, is one of life’s greatest blessings. Fit it into your busy schedule and enjoy some quality time. 

Thank you, Jeremiah, for this wonderful time with my daughter.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.”  Psalm 127:3


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AUTHOR: Donna Faughn

“What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate”

Those of us of a certain age may remember that line from the movie Cool Hand Luke. I’m wondering, though, if it is not more than a memorable line from a movie. I’m wondering if a failure to communicate may be at the heart of many of the marital (and family) problems today.

A few years ago, I wrote a book about families entitled God Give Us Christian Homes. I chose the line from the movie as the title of this post as the title of one of the chapters in the book. 

One part of that chapter dealt with what I consider to be some barriers and/or roadblocks as we try to communicate with one another. What follows below is a sort of CliffsNotes version of that part of the chapter. Each of these is fleshed out more in the book, but, perhaps, this will give you an idea about what I see as some real problems in communication. Along with that, I’ve included from that chapter some suggestions I made that might help us to communicate better.

The barriers and/or roadblocks I wrote about were:

DUSTING OFF YOUR CRYSTAL BALL

A real barrier to communication is erected when one person thinks he or she knows what the other person is thinking, what they are going to say before it is ever said, and/or their emotions. It is hard to tell somebody something when they’ve already decided for themselves what you have to say and have, in fact, already begun to work on a response.

PLAYING DODGEBALL

The woman that Jesus met at the well in Samaria was a great dodgeball player. As you read the account of the conversation that Jesus had with her, it is easy to observe all of the efforts she made to change the subject and, in fact, to try to put Jesus on the defensive (cf. John 4).

Dodgeball is still being played and it is not confined to grade school physical education classes. Husbands, wives, parents, children, and all members of any family often try this tactic to keep from really engaging in conversation. 

BEING AN HISTORIAN

You may have heard about the fellow who was complaining about his wife becoming historical every time there was a disagreement. His friend tried to correct him by saying, “Don’t you mean hysterical?” “No,” the man replied, “I mean historical. She brings up everything I’ve ever done wrong in the past!”

Communication will never be what it can be when one or more of the parties involved insist on being “historical.” The situation at the time is what needs to be dealt with. 

LIGHTING THE FUSE

Most of us, especially in family situations, know what issues, words, and/or ideas to avoid. How many conversations have been destroyed because somebody refused to resist the temptation to light the fuse on a firecracker we know will go off?

“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt…”  (Col. 4:6). This admonition leaves little room for something that we know will ignite a situation.

“IT AIN’T ME, BABE”

Sonny and Cher weren’t the only ones to use those words.  At least, they weren’t the only ones to have that idea. 

The blame game has destroyed many conversations and relationships and needs to be avoided.  This game has been around for a long time, hasn’t it?  In the garden, Adam blamed Eve (and God) and Eve blamed the serpent. 

***

The suggestions I presented that, hopefully, will help families to communicate better were:

2 ARE MORE THAN 1

Now that you know that I am a real math expert, let me explain what I mean by that. The thought is certainly not original with me that God gave us two ears and one mouth. Maybe He was trying to tell us something.

Far too many people think they are communicating only when they are talking. This is far from the truth. Good communication will involve listening as well; maybe a lot more listening than talking.

Repeatedly, during His earthly ministry, Jesus told the Jews, “You say…” (cf. Matt. 15:5, 16:2, etc.). To be sure, He was usually in the process of correcting some of their misunderstandings or misinterpretation of scripture. At the same time, though, He let them know He had been listening to what they had been saying.

THE EYES HAVE IT

In some meetings where votes are taken, the ayes have it. In communication, often the eyes have it.

Those who are experts in the field of communication inform us that we listen as much with our eyes as we do with our ears. Whether it is family members or others we are talking about, we need to look at them when they are speaking to us and when we are speaking to them.

HONESTY DOES NOT HAVE TO BE BRUTAL

“Let me be brutally honest.”   

That sentence usually precedes something that is very unpleasant. Hurt feelings, broken hearts, and/or broken relationships have been some of the results of somebody being “brutally honest.”

The Bible informs us that we are to be about “…speaking the truth in love…” (Eph. 4:15, emphasis added). How we say something can have as great an impact as what we say. 

REPLACE THE TUBE & THE TABLET WITH THE TABLE

Modern families eat on the run and often eat separately. If, on a rare evening, all of the family members find themselves at home, they might be found eating while watching television or fiddling with some electronic device.

There is a real need in our society to use the dinner table for something other than a nice piece of furniture to be admired. There is a need for the family to sit as a unit around the table with no distractions and share their days and their lives.

Some of the best memories I have of the house in which I was reared and, then later, of the houses in which our children were reared involve eating together. The food was always good, but one can get at least a decent meal at a lot of places.

What is memorable and now missed is that our children are no longer at home and my parents have passed away is the time we had as a family to share more than a meal. We got to share in each other’s lives.

***

So; there you have it. At least you have some of what I suggested in that chapter. Maybe you have some things you would add to these ideas.


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AUTHOR: Jim Faughn

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Episode 90: No Excuses! Spiritual Outings, and More! [Podcast]

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On this week’s podcast, Adam and Leah discuss how we need to avoid excuses in following God’s commands, how we should take our family on spiritual outings, and several things going on in our lives. We hope you enjoy the program and check out the links below.

Links

There are No Excuses” (Perspectives of a Bondservant)

Training Kids to Love God’s Word” (Come Fill Your Cup)

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Episode 89: The “Profit” of Biblical Parenting, Pew Packers Resources…and More! [Podcast]

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In this week’s podcast, Adam and Leah share a fantastic quote from Gregory Tidwell about the need to focus on Biblical parenting. Then, to help families do just that, they share a free resource from the blog to help children memorize basic Bible facts, memory verses, and more.

Links below!

Resources

Quote from Gregory Tidwell on parenting [Facebook]

Pew Packers Resource homepage [A Legacy of Faith]

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My Mother Spoke at Polishing the Pulpit Last Week

Those of you who know me know that my mother passed from this life in February of 2009. It was right after an epic ice storm that left so much damage in our area. The loss of my mother, even though I knew she was going to a better place, left a huge hole in my life and in my heart.

You may be wondering about my mental state when you glance back at the title of this post. I hope you’ll bear with me as I explain. I also hope you will take the lesson and apply it to your life.

I was blessed to be asked to teach five lessons for the ladies at Polishing the Pulpit. The weeks of preparation that go into writing and studying these lessons are surely a blessing to me as I grow spiritually.  It is always my prayer that those who listen to them will also learn and grow.

While working on these lessons I began to notice a pattern in my thinking. I would often think of something my mother had taught me, or said, or done in her life.  She had so influenced me that it seemed like she was speaking through me.  I think there is a lesson for us.

What will your children or grandchildren remember from your life that will live on and be expressed to the next generation?

  • Will they remember a home that was full of love or just a place that provided a roof over your head? My home wasn’t perfect by any means, but my mother’s love made it the place I wanted to be. I knew I was loved there.
  • Will they remember kindness or harshness? I seldom heard an unkind word come out of my mother’s mouth. Her touch was gentle (unless you were being spanked!).
  • Will they remember being taught how to care for a home and those living there? You didn’t get to sleep in at our house. Since my mother had to work, we had to be up and ready for school early, and Saturday was the day we cleaned, bought groceries, and took care of the laundry. I learned at an early age how to do all of those things.
  • Will they remember serving others? My mother was the kind of woman who was sought out by those needing help. She nursed my grandmother (her mother-in-law) who lived to be 98 years old. She could care for neighbors, church members, and even pets that were hurt.
  • Will they remember you as a godly mother and grandmother? Godliness isn’t talked about much in our world, and yet, it is so needed.  I grew up living with a godly mother who fully trusted God’s word and always tried to put God first in her life.

This list could go on and on.  I don’t write these things to glorify my mother, but to use her as an example of the qualities we need to be instilling into our children and grandchildren.

When I stood up to speak, the woman who loved, nurtured, disciplined, and trained me spoke through me. She instilled faith in me that became my own. She taught me to love God over all else and to serve those with whom I come in contact.

If your child was asked to speak before others, could they speak based on what they had learned from you?

“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)


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AUTHOR: Donna Faughn

Children’s Devo Idea: The Image of God

Last Sunday evening, we were blessed to have the 9th Avenue K-6 kids over to our house for a devotional. I got a couple of ideas for a devotional and took what I hope was the best of them to put together the lesson for the kids. I’d like to share it with you for a devotional idea, or something you may want to do in your family Bible time.

For this devotional, you will need:

2 mirrors (one large and one handheld)

A picture of a famous person

A sheet of thick paper

The basic idea behind this devotional is that you are trying to help the children see that they can “reflect” the image of God wherever they are. Here’s what you do:

STEP 1: Hold up a picture of a very famous person. For our devotional, I chose a picture of George Washington. Ask who the person is. You may even want to play this up a little (for example, if you pick a famous athlete, you may want to ask what the kids know about that athlete).

STEP 2: Ask this question: “Is this actually George Washington?” (or whoever the picture is of). Of course, it is not. It is just a picture of that person. Build into the children the concept that what they are seeing is not actually the person, but an image of that person.

STEP 3: Read or quote Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Talk about what it means to be created in the image of God. In our devotional, we talked about how that means we have a soul, but also how that gives us the responsibility to be as much like God as possible. We need to have the same love, kindness, and so forth as God would have, since we bear His image.

STEP 4: Have a child sit or stand facing the large mirror and put another child behind him/her facing the other way (so the kids are basically back-to-back). Talk about how the one who is not facing the large mirror cannot see the other child, just like people will not see God without our help.

STEP 5: Hold up the handheld mirror for the child facing away from the large mirror (in the same way you might use two mirrors to check the back of your hair), but do so in THREE ways:

First, hold the handheld mirror backward, where there is no way they could see the other mirror. Ask, “Can you see him/her?” Of course, they can’t! Talk about how that is what it is like when we live sinful lives. People will never see God through us if we don’t hold up our mirror toward God.

Second, hold up the mirror the right way, but with a piece of paper over it. Ask again, “Can you see him/her now?” Again, of course, they can’t. We used this to talk about how we put things that are good (like sports or video games) above God, and it blocks our ability to shine for God as the major focus of our lives.

Finally, of course, hold up the mirror the right way and get the angle right where the child can see the other. Talk about how others need to see God through us.

STEP 6: Simply review the two major things you have talked about: (1) Each person is made in the image of God, and (2) we should not let anything get in the way of letting others see God through our lives.

I hope this helps you with an idea, and I hope your kids never see a mirror the same way again!


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

Episode 87: Polishing the Pulpit Preview, “Is Satan Stealing Our Families?” and More! [Podcast]

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On this week’s podcast, Adam and Leah talk about the beginning of the homeschool year. Then, they preview Polishing the Pulpit, both in general and some of the lessons they are presenting. Finally, they discuss a great article about how things that are not sinful can begin to eat away at our families and become idols. Resources below.

Links

Polishing the Pulpit [Homepage]

Polishing the Pulpit Schedule [pdf]

Is Satan Stealing Our Families?” [Brie Gowen]

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Episode 86: A Powerful Phrase for Moms, Phases in Parenting, and More! [Podcast]

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On this week’s podcast, Adam and Leah share an article with a great phrase for mothers to connect with other mothers, a post about the phrases of parenting, a good Bible reading resource, and some fun banter.

(But no music, due to a wild internet week.)

Enjoy it all–except the music–and find the resources below.

Resources

The Most Powerful Thing You Can Say to Another Mom” (PopSugar)

There’s More to Life Than This Temporary Phase” (Your Mom Has a Blog)

Bible Reading “Time” Chart (Facebook)

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Is the Line “Teen Vogue” Crossed Enough to Wake Parents Up?

In case you missed it, “Teen Vogue” released an article in recent days that many parents found shocking. [Warning: If your kids are around, you might not want them to read any further!]

The article’s main title is “Anal Sex: What You Need to Know.”

Remember, this was in “Teen Vogue.” Target age? 12-18. Meaning? They are teaching children to do things that are not only immoral but, in many cases, illegal.

Not to mention, depraved.

The article, subtitled, “How to Do It the RIGHT Way” (all caps in original), teaches your teenagers that this is a perfectly normal way to explore sex, and that they just need to know what to expect, both good and bad. It does not matter if they are straight, homosexual, male, female, whatever. This is just another way of having sex. That’s what, do I need to say it again, “Teen Vogue” is sharing these days.

Complete with charts and quotes, the article explains what used to be commonly called “sodomy” in detail, all while being playful enough to make sure teens don’t feel bad for experimenting with this “other way” of having sex.

Shocked yet?

I’ve seen a few reactions to the article. “Your Mom Has a Blog” wrote an excellent one, which was how I first came to know about the article in the first place.

I want to take a little different angle than just to blast “Teen Vogue” for their article, though.

I want to ask if this is enough to finally wake parents up.

For years, preachers, teachers, youth workers, elders, and others have been trying to inform parents about how our culture is continuing a downward slide in sexual morals, and it is targeting our young people.

Many have taught for years about skimpy clothing, only to be told that it’s just not that big of a deal, and kids should be allowed to be in fashion so no one makes fun of them.

Classes and sermons have been presented about immoral television shows and movies and music, only to have parents say that “it’s just entertainment” and “I can’t understand it anyway,” or “it’s just a phase.”

Some are still bold enough to show that viewing internet pornography or other sexually-explicit material is growing more and more common, only to have parents act like they don’t want to know what their kids are doing because they are afraid of finding out.

And some even hear parents–Christian parents–excuse and cover up and ignore when their kids are engaged in sexual activity. They figure their kids are “going to do it anyway,” so they just look the other way and act like it’s no big deal.

So, may I ask: is this article from “Teen Vogue” enough to wake us up? Is this enough to let us know that the culture really is that sexually deviant? Is this enough to show parents that it doesn’t start with articles like the one “Teen Vogue” published, but that this is just another step downward in our moral regression?

If not, what will it take?

Parents, the culture at large is feeding on our children. It wants them to think that “my way” is all that really matters, and that personal autonomy is the god of the age.

If you think that starts–or that it ends–with one article for teens about anal sex, then it’s time you woke up.

And it’s time we all started actually parenting our kids, and quit letting the culture do our job for us.


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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn