Monday, November 25, 2013

Asking Questions

 Wow! This school year seems to be flying by. I can't believe it is November already. I keep realizing just how fleeting the time is when you have children. I will one day look up and they will be flying from my nest!

(Picture taken Fall 2009)

The longer I parent, the more I realize just how easy those first years were. Establishing your family is one thing. It is exhausting physically and mentally, but there is so much that you are in control over. Once your children start getting into their tween and teen years, it is truly a whole different ballgame.

I beginning to understand the importance of building close relationships with my kids. When I get after a teenager, I can really hurt them. It lasts longer and I realize that bridges need to be repaired. I have to take responsibility for my snotty attitude, sarcasm or just out-of-control anger. Gee, I sound like a teenager! Maybe I still have some more growing up to do?

I tend to complain to my children a lot. I know this discourages them, but it doesn't help me either. They are kids! Works in progress. If I am constantly focused on the negative things, I am not seeing the special, kind and RIGHT things that they do.

When my kids load up in the van after school, I start asking them lots of open-ended questions. It creates communication other than "How was your day?". It makes them think and open up, but more importantly it makes me listen. I can learn so much just by listening.

If you are discouraged with your kids today, lift them up to God and ask that God to take away that negative, grumbling spirit that creeps in your heart.

There is much to be thankful for! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and remember to actually take time and thank your Creator for the great things He is doing in your life and in the life of others around you.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Protect Your Marriage and the Church

Pornography has turned the Christian church into the white-washed tombs that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 23:27-28 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like white-washed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

The statistics say half of Christian men  are actively viewing pornography and about 20% of Christian women, yes, Christian women, are either joining them or doing it on their own. It starts with us, the parents. If we want to protect our children from being enslaved to pornography, then we better be doing the work ourselves. If you are viewing porn in anyway, then Satan has an “in” in your home and in your children’s lives. You may be telling yourself that it isn’t affecting anyone and that it’s just “spicing up” your marriage, but it’s literally letting Satan into the front door of your home. He will wreak havoc on you and your children. Do we want churches that are “full of dead men’s bones?” Or do we want a church that is “alive, clean, not full of hypocrisy, but of the Holy Spirit”? Do we want to “appear to be righteous”, or do we want to actually be “righteous”?

Many women have come to me and asked me “What should I do if my husband wants me to watch porn with him?” The answer is NO! You are letting another person into your marriage bed. It is impure, stained with sin and the Lord will not bless your marriage. It is also extremely hurtful to the woman who is having issues with her body image after having children to be compared with a stoked up, enhanced, flat-tummied, fake  woman.  Husbands are not loving their wives when they are asking her to be someone she is not. They are letting their wives know that they aren't enough and they need more than what their wives can give them.

* 42 percent of surveyed adults indicated that their partner’s use of pornography made them feel insecure. Marriage Related Research,Mark A. Yarhouse, Psy.D. Christian Counseling Today, 2004 Vol. 12 No. 1.

* 41 percent of surveyed adults admitted they felt less attractive due to their partner’s pornography use. Marriage Related Research,Mark A. Yarhouse, Psy.D. Christian Counseling Today, 2004 Vol. 12 No. 1.

I also know of men who have tried to turn their wives into their own personal porn star. They ask them to do very uncomfortable things that are against nature. It is selfish s*x, and it is out of what they have seen in pornography. They justify asking their wives to do these things because they are keeping it within the confines of the marriage bed.

 Be a godly husband and love your wife as she is, the gift that the Lord gave to you. Sanctify your eyes and your marriage bed. If you have done these things or are engaged in this kind of activity, I pray that for the sake of yourself, your wife and your children that you will repent so that God can raise up and rebuild your family on the foundation of purity, love and righteousness.
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