Ian Stamps – The Final Countdown: God and Satan
Dave Jenkins – Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial (John 13:31-35)
Richard Phillips – Biblical Parenting 6: Parenting Teenagers
Sexual perversion is firmly entrenched in our cultural mainstream, so it takes a lot these days to astonish me. But I am astonished today. In the span of twenty-four hours, I have come across not one but two separate unrelated articles about teenage girls who agree to be brutalized during sexual encounters with teenage boys. Both articles indicate that this is a growing trend among adolescent children who becoming sexualized at younger and younger ages.
Last week, Teen Vogue published an article instructing teenage girls how to enjoy being sodomized by their boyfriends. The article is so vile that I am not even going to link to it. But among other things, it tells these minor children that such activity is normal. It gives detailed instructions on how they can learn to enjoy it.
To continue reading Denny Burk’s article, click here.
Way back in my early twenties, I used to volunteer at CareNet Pregnancy Center. They trained some of us to give abstinence presentations to high school youth. There were many true and helpful points in these presentations and I felt good about helping teens understand spiritual, emotional, and physical consequences in their decisions. And as evangelical churches around me were also speaking out more to teens about abstinence, I was happy that the church was finally talking more about the consequences of sex. But now, almost 20 years later, I am rethinking how Christians teach abstinence as purity.
Of course, it is not pure behavior to participate in premarital and extramarital sex. But we are missing out on learning the beauty of purity by reducing it to saying no to sexual activity outside of the bounds of marriage. And by reducing our teaching this way, I think that we have reduced our brothers and sisters in Christ to threats to our purity and have also inadvertently enticed lust by hedging their behavior with more and more laws to stay pure—sealed with with the ring that advertises it.
To read the rest of Aimee Byrd’s article, click here.
“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” Exodus 20:12
Children are to show honor to their parents by a reverential esteem of their persons. They must “give them a civil veneration.” Therefore, when the Apostle speaks of fathers of our bodies, he speaks also of giving them reverence (Heb 12:9). This veneration or reverence must be shown:
(1) Inwardly, by fear mixed with love. “Ye shall fear every man his moth mixed with love. In the commandment, the father is named first; here the mother is first named, partly to put honor upon the mother because, by reason of many weaknesses incident to her sex, she is apt to be more slighted by children. And partly because the mother endures more for the child.
(2) Reverence must be shown to parents outwardly in both word and gesture. Reverence to parents in word relates to speaking directly to them or speaking about them to others. “Ask on, my mother,” said King Solomon to his mother Bathsheba (1 Kings 2:20). In speaking of parents, children must speak honorably. They ought to speak well of them, if they deserve well. “Her children arise up, and call her blessed” (Prov 31:28). And, in case a parent betrays weakness and indiscretion, the child should make the best of it and by wise apologies cover his parent’s nakedness.
Continue reading Thomas Watson’s article here
Like most mothers and fathers, we are acutely aware of our own flaws and shortcomings as parents. Compounding the problem, we are facing the fact that our small children will soon be adolescents and, before we’re ready for it, they’ll be grown and off on their own. So, in light of how precious our children are, and how short our time with them will be, we sat down to write out the things most important for us to do with our children. In other words, the things we will never regret doing with our kids. Here is our list:
1. Reading to them
When our family has “down time” at the house, we are often tempted to let them watch television. But, in retrospect, we are happiest when we resist that temptation and instead read to them. The most important thing we read is the Bible. There is absolutely no substitute for our children hearing their parents read the Bible and talk with them about it. But we read other things also, such as the Little House on the Prairie series, National Geographic magazines, children’s biographies, and children’s fiction. Reading helps us to expand our children’s horizons, expose them to other people’s lives and experiences, increase their vocabularies, and stimulate discussion.
Read the rest of Bruce Ashford’s post here
I went to a conference a few years ago and sat in a room with a hundred other women, perched on the edge of my chair with my notebook and pen in hand. A mother of six children got up to speak, looking thin and radiant with her long blonde hair and perfectly made up face. Her clothes were freshly pressed and fashionable, and she had a humble yet confident air about her. She showed us graphic after lovely graphic filled with the brilliant ways that she teaches her children scripture. With the year-long schedules of their family worship times. With gorgeous pictures of her family on mission trips in exotic faraway places, her children lined up in a stair-step row in their crisp white shirts and dresses.
I scribbled like crazy in my notebook, wanting to remember everything this super Christian mom had to say so I could go home and whip my family into spiritual shape. We had no scripture flashcards or carefully cultivated family worship curriculum. We barely had time to say bedtime prayers at night after busy school days and after-school activities. I felt like the world’s most underachieving mother when it came to my kids’ spiritual development because I didn’t have a specific twenty minute time set aside every day to teach my kids how to be a Christian.
The fear in the room was palpable. I’d just spoken to a packed room of mothers and daughters on the topic of social media. Many of the girls present were on the cusp of their teen years, and the majority of mothers were just beginning their foray into parenting teens.
After the girls went to a separate room for a follow-up discussion with youth leaders, moms’ hands darted up in the air. The urgency in each mother’s question expressed her anxiety over social media and other teen challenges. It was encouraging to see so many moms who wanted to be better equipped to navigate the teen years. Too often I see the opposite—parents resigned to the false “teens will be teens” notion that they give up trying.
But I’m not sure these moms were anxious for the right reasons.
Trusting in Rules
The moms who were so desperate to control and protect their children wanted me to give them a script to follow, a list of social media and phone do’s and don’ts with a guarantee that all would go well if they just follow the rules. I understand the desire for a script with a guarantee; every parent wants her teen to be safe, happy, and far from the path of destruction. But if we focus primarily on external solutions for raising our teens, we set our hope on something that can’t deliver.
No practice in your home will prove more beneficial to your family than daily family worship.
Just as two bankers living together doesn’t make a bank, so two or more Christians living together doesn’t make a Christian home. The exchanges that happen in a bank, or in a home, define a place.
Christians worship; that is what we do. Worship defines our churches and our personal lives, and it should mark our homes. In fact, family worship has a long history in the Protestant church. Along with corporate and private worship, it has been considered one of the regular routines of the Christian life. And the benefits are eternal.
The Central Mark of the Christian Home
Of course, all kinds of activities occur in our homes. My family loves to play games, cook together, and watch funny videos. Though I love doing each of these activities with my wife and children, I hope none of these events occupies the center of our home and life together.