Brittany Salmon – More Than a Political Stance: Adoption and the Pro-Life Cause

Our family stands out.

We can’t go to a grocery store without someone stopping and asking us questions about each of our children. For starters, we have identical twin daughters with bright blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. Like typical four year olds, they are feisty and sweet with a touch of sass. The amount of commentary we receive on them alone is enough to write a whole other blogpost, but to add to the excitement we also have a son who doesn’t look anything like us at all.

You see, our son joined our family through the blessing of adoption. He is a beautiful, strong black boy. He is smart and kind and loves to laugh loudly at his sisters. Put that combo together in a grocery store and we’re magnets for conversation starters. Some people stare. Some people are kind. But our diverse family draws attention in a homogenous world in which we tend to surround ourselves with people who think, look and act like us.

One day while standing in the checkout line, a well-intended fellow believer approached our family and commended us on the pro-life stance we took by adopting. I smiled and said, “Yes, we are pro-life, but our son’s birth mom is the true hero; she’s the one who should be commended for her pro-life choice. We really are the lucky beneficiaries of her brave love.”

To continue reading Brittany Salmon’s article, click here.

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Kristen Hatton – How Parenting Out of Weakness Strengthened My Relationship With My Teen

“Can I talk to Dad now?”

Right in mid-sentence, my college daughter interrupted me and asked for the phone to be handed over to my husband. She had called me – upset and stressed out – needing someone to talk to, but then abruptly decided my husband was actually the one she preferred. While not easily offended, I would be lying if I said this didn’t bother me at all. I’m thankful she likes to talk to her dad, but what about me? Couldn’t we just all be on speaker?

I desperately wanted to know what she was thinking, experiencing, and doing, but every time we talked it felt like I was walking a fine line, not knowing what question or comment would push her too far and cause her to retreat. Even before that night I had sensed her shutting me out, and I couldn’t figure out why.

So as you can imagine after my husband hung up with her from my phone, I was anxious to hear her side of the conversation. But before he told me anything about her, he told me something about myself.

To continue reading Kristen Hatton’s article, click here.

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Joel Littlefield – Three Adoption Misconceptions

I’m not an adoption expert by any means. I’m just a man who loves Jesus. I’m married to a woman who loves Jesus. Both of us have been deeply affected by God and His Fatherly heart for the orphan. For us, that specifically meant pursuing a domestic adoption, a process that is just now coming to a close after a year of paperwork, lawyers, background checks and a ton of hurry up and wait.

But this blog is not about our journey as much as it’s about you and what God may be calling you to do. It’s for those who need some encouragement and a nudge in the right direction. It’s for the one who has been lied to or is lying to themselves. It’s to remind you of a few key things that may help you sort out what your involvement in the world of adoption should be. Again, I’m no expert. I’m just sharing what I’ve learned with those who sense a call towards adoption.

To continue reading Joel Littlefield’s article, click here.

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John Angell James – Youth Warned Against Sin

Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.” Ecclesiastes 11:9

Without pretending to say that the youth of this generation are more corrupt than those of former times were, I will assert that their moral interests are now exposed from various causes to imminent peril. The improvement and diffusion of modern education have produced a bold and independent mode of thinking, which, though it be in itself a benefit, requires a proportionate degree of Christian restraint to prevent it from degenerating into lawless licentiousness. It is also probable that of late years, parents have relaxed the salutary rigor of domestic discipline in compliment to the improved understanding of their children. Trade and commerce are now so widely extended that our youth are more from beneath their parents’ inspection than formerly and consequently more exposed to the contaminating influence of evil company. The habits of society in general are becoming more expensive and luxurious. In addition to all this, the secret but zealous efforts of infidelity to circulate works, which by attempting to undermine revealed religion aim to subvert the whole fabric of morals, have most alarmingly increased irreligion and immorality. But whatever be the causes, the fact to me is indubitable that multitudes of the young people of the present day are exceedingly corrupt and profane. Such a state of things rouses and interests all my feelings as a father, a minister, and a patriot. I am anxious for my own children, as well as for the youth of my flock, my town, and my country.

To continue reading John Angell James’ article, click here.

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Scott Slayton – Five Parenting Myths I Used to Believe

Most of my weekdays follow a similar pattern. I take the scenic route home from work and turn the radio off when I cross the highway five minutes from my house. In the silence, I ask God to help me stay fully invested in my family when I get home. Some days, the front door flies open as I pull into the driveway and some combination of my four children greet me before I can get out of the car. Other days, I walk to the front door, pause for a moment, and open it, having no idea what may greet me on the other side.

The few hours between arriving home from work and putting the kids to bed will be the most challenging, and often the most rewarding, of my day. Raising children frequently brings me face to face with my own ignorance, foolishness, and inadequacies. My children presented me with problems I never anticipated, disobey in ways I never imagined, and bless me in ways I only dared to dream.

Prior to the birth of the first of my three daughters, I assumed that I would struggle early as a Dad, but eventually figure out what I was doing. Instead, what I’ve found is that the moment I think I know what I’m doing will be followed by a reminder that I have a long way to go. Like every difficult thing in the world, the rewards of parenting help me weather the challenges. The hugs, the laughs, the smiles, and the blessing of seeing my kids grow dwarf the sometimes-heartbreaking realities that accompany raising children. To experience the good times, I first had to abandon some ridiculous preconceived notions and myths I believed about parenting.

To continue reading Scott Slayton’s article, click here.

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Courtney Reissig – Mothering a Rebellious Heart

“I feel like I am talking to a brick wall”. It’s a statement I make nearly every week. I have four children, ages four and under (there is a set of twins in the mix). I ask them to pick up their toys, yet they keep playing. I ask them to share, instead they scream at each other. I tell them it’s time to read the Bible or do our catechism questions, instead I’m met with cries of protest or disdain. My words, commands, and correctives often fall on deaf ears. And I feel defeated.

But I’m not the only one who has ever had to lead people who rejected authority. In fact, motherhood has a lot of correlation to the prophets in the Old Testament. They were commanded to go to people who often wouldn’t listen. They were given the task of speaking to people who did the exact opposite of what they were asking of them. Sound like motherhood? Let’s consider one of them together.

The prophet Jeremiah was no stranger to adversity in leadership. Did you ever think you would find kinship in your mothering challenges with the prophet Jeremiah? I didn’t. But I think you will find him a faithful friend for your journey of motherhood.

To continue reading Courtney Reissig’s article, click here.

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Carolyn Lankford – Disciplining Teenagers

My earliest discipline attempt as a parent came when my son was about two years old. He was in my lap and we were playing peekaboo. It was a blissful moment until he slapped me extremely hard across my face. I remember the sting brought tears to my eyes and I was stunned. In an instant I had my “serious mommy” face on and I took his offending little hand into my own. I had learned a trick that you can “spank” without hurting, but still make a loud pop noise. So I did just that, while these very words came out of my mouth: “Don’t hit!!”

Congratulations to me. I had just spanked my two year old’s hand while telling him not to hit.

Thus is my capability as the human disciplinarian to three children. I think this parental responsibility is one of the most challenging for a Christian parent. How do we model and execute forgiveness while correcting and punishing our children’s behavior? I listened to a speaker at our church one time tell the story of his inebriated teenaged son who got behind the wheel of his car and totaled it. The speaker immediately bought his son a new car. He believed that this response would imitate the radical grace of our Heavenly Father, not unlike the response of the Prodigal Son’s father. I left that class even more confused about my role as a parent who is also a believer.

To continue reading Carolyn Lankford’s article, click here.

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Tim Challies – Sexual Consent in a Confused, Confusing World

Over the past few years, there has been a crescendo of talk about sexual consent aimed especially at our teens and young adults. Freshman orientation at the local college is now less likely to orient students in the ins and the outs of campus and curriculum and more likely to teach the ins and outs of sex and consent. Students are taught that consent must be given before the commencement of any sexual encounter and again explicitly through each and every progression of that encounter. Any withholding, denial, or inability to give consent are clear indications that all sexual acts must cease immediately.

It is good and wise, of course, to teach the importance of sexual consent and the terrible harm that comes by ignoring or violating it. Please hear me: non-consensual sexual activity of any kind is immoral, abhorrent, and inexcusable. It falls to parents to teach our children its importance. But, as we will see, the problem with so much of today’s talk of consent is that it studiously avoids grounding it in the only appropriate context for sexual activity. If we, as Christian parents, ground our children in that context, we will have come a long way toward instructing them in the matter of consent in a confused and confusing world.

To continue reading Tim Challies’ article, click here.

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Michael Kelley – Remember, Parents, You Cultivate What You Celebrate

Celebrations are more than fun; they’re powerful. That’s because you cultivate what you celebrate.

Think about this scenario: You have become a leader in an unhealthy organization. Maybe you’re the coach of a losing sports team. Or an executive in a business that is losing money. Or maybe you are trying to lead a team of volunteers in a ministry in the church. But the organization you are in charge of isn’t functioning well, the people aren’t happy, and the culture of that organization is broken. You know it needs to change, and so you think through all kinds of different strategic moves. But along with that, you change the nature of celebrations.

You know how you want the organization to look, and so that future vision drives what you celebrate now. You lift up people on the team who embody the right characteristics. You point out examples of the right attitude. You rejoice over the small victories that come in the right places. This is one way you can actually influence the culture of an organization. People see what is celebrated, and they come to understand that these characteristics, attitudes, and actions are the most important thing.

You cultivate what you celebrate. It’s true in larger organizations, and it’s also true in our own homes. As parents, we also cultivate what we celebrate.

To continue reading Michael Kelley’s article, click here.

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Scott Slayton – Five Obstacles that Dads Face

From time to time I hear men refer to spending time with their children while their wife is out of the house as “babysitting.” Remember, we are not talking about them watching someone else’s children. They keep their kids by themselves for a few hours and call it “babysitting.” While it is easy to criticize men who say such foolish things, it serves to remind us how often men struggle to know the right thing to do in parenting. We know we should lead our families and care for our kids, but we often don’t know what to do.

We could blame our parenting difficulties on the complexities of raising kids in the digital age. We can point out how much the world has changed and the ubiquitous presence of devices and social media, but this would be placing the blame in the wrong place. Men must face the brutal truth that our greatest parenting obstacle stares back at us in the mirror every morning. Our sin, obliviousness, and foolishness stand in the way of parenting our children in a way that brings glory to God and joy to us.

In this post, I want to deal with five common obstacles that dads face in their parenting.

To continue reading Scott Slayton’s article, click here.

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