Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Friday Link Highlight 11.30.12 – Sex before marriage makes commitment harder

Here is the link that drew the most attention from Monday’s post:

Sex before marriage makes commitment harder.

A few comments:

1. There is a reason we shouldn’t awaken love’s desires too early.

The Bible commands against awakening the desires of love before their time. This is because the information in this article about what sex does is accurate. It should be saved until there is a legal and spiritual commitment.

2. The other person has NO OBLIGATION.

Even if you are living together, there is no obligation from either partner to stay. It may feel right, but either party may bolt at any time. There is no reason that someone has to stay with you if you’re having sex before marriage. NONE!

3. The best commitment is marriage.

It is the best reflection of the love God has for us. God’s love is totally secure, and forever. Marriage is a picture of that (although not totally the same as God’s love through Christ) which makes the security of the sexual relationship in marriage the fullest commitment possible.

Have a great weekend everyone!

On My Mind #47 – Do Children Obey The First Time?

This has been on my mind for a while. It’s been helpful for me to think about, and I hope it challenges you. First off, reading this article will help you get a glimpse at answering the title question:

Do your children obey the first time?

Read this and be challenged. Let me clarify what I am thinking:

1. My kids aren’t perfect and neither are yours.

I’m not suggesting we start a club where we get all arrogant and happy because our children are just better than everyone else’s. What I am asking is this: “Do our children generally respect our God given authority as their parents or do they test us most of the time while pushing the boundaries?

Also, let me state the obvious. Parents need to understand each child’s needs and some children have special needs and need special approaches to discipline. IN SUM: I am challenging with a concept, NOT giving an absolute manual for how to handle children. As the article states, there is no such thing.

2. Kids need structure, not freedom. This is more true the younger they are.

Let me give some examples:

-I heard a speaker give a similar example once. Younger children generally should be told: here’s your outfit, it’s time to get dressed. If given a choice, picking out one or two items to choose from overwhelms them much less than showing them the whole closet. A three year old’s brain is not designed to pick from the whole closet and responds much better to structure.

-The younger the child, the less questions should be asked. “We’ll be leaving in 10 minutes, it’s time to clean up” is an adequate statement. Asking a four year old if they’re ready to leave their friend’s house opens the door for conflict. If you build an atmosphere of the child expecting you to follow through on what you’re saying, they’ll know you mean what you say. And more often than not, they’ll be ready to leave in 10 minutes.

-For teens, I’m all in favor of general guidelines for chores. As they are responsible, give them more freedom. If they are told “take out the trash”, and they’re dependable to do it by a certain time, I say let it fly! The job’s getting done, isn’t it? If it’s their night to do the dishes, it seems to make sense that they could make an important phone call as long as the dishes were done by an agreed upon time. Certainly you’ll have times when you need more help, but giving older children an idea of what to expect helps them know what to expect as they plan their day.

3. Balance grace with consequence.

Early on, children need to know you say what you mean. If you say they’re going to time out if they do that one more time, then send them to time out if they do it one more time! If you say it’s going to be shut off if they keep fighting and they keep fighting, then shut it off! Empty threats KILL the parent’s authority. Consistent consequence is the best way to build trust. The child will know you mean what you say. Does this take more effort? YES! Parenting is hard work, and children who listen to what they’re told don’t magically appear.

But, also be willing to show grace. God’s love is ultimately kind and leads us to repentance, and our children need that from us. Some suggestions:

-Give them time and be sure they understand what you’re saying.
-If they respond well to discipline, lessen the punishment.
-Here’s an idea: if they mess up, give them a free pass every once in a while as a picture of Christ’s free gift of salvation.
-Encourage them that it’s been a while since their last punishment.

You don’t have perfect days either, so remember that with children who are learning and developing. You get the idea. Refer to my first point if you don’t.

To close . . .

Be blessed, be challenged. Pray, reflect, discuss. Love Jesus, love your children. Trust Him with the results rather than always getting on yourself if you’re not perfect. Give it your best, pray like crazy, and rest in God’s abilities with your family more than your own.

Monday Links and Bullets 11.26.12

Weekly bullet thoughts below, but not before this week’s articles for your enjoyment and challenge.

WEEKLY LINKS

LINK OF THE WEEK

–I’ve always argued that sex before marriage makes commitment more difficult. Here’s a great article explaining why.

CHRISTIAN FAITH

–With Thanksgiving past and Christmas coming, here is a really good article to think about difficulties in your family at holiday time.  Russel Moore usually tells it like it is.  This article is no exception.

–Biblical womanhood really gets a bad name sometimes.  Here’s what it really teaches.

MYSTERY LINK

–It’s been a while since I’ve had a mystery link, but you won’t regret clicking to see: What would you do if you found THIS on your toilet?

MISCELLANEOUS

Would you take this attitude with a robber?

–Ever wonder what fair trade really does for world farmers?  This article gives some good answers.

BULLET THOUGHTS

  • I posted quick last night on FB about not wanting another warm winter.  For me it is part of the reason I currently like living in Ohio.  I like to brave the difficult elements (in all seasons) and I really enjoy the changing seasons.  But when it feels like spring all winter, I don’t enjoy spring as much.  I definitely want at least one 6-12″ snowfall this year.
  • Thanksgiving.  We had a wonderful few days of rest and simply enjoying some time off.  As I reflect, I am truly grateful for so many things.  May I NEVER take anything for granted. God has blessed immensely.
  • So the Browns won.  And they beat the Steelers. Here’s my observation:  the Browns really do have a good defense.  No doubt about that. The offense is getting there and Trent Richardson is really good.  They are cut from the type of cloth that the Ravens have been – rely on the D and have a steady offense with a stud or two.
  • Anyone else think the beginning of Romans 5 is really tough? It’s so challenging – I’d rather just have the easy way, but that’s never the way to growth!
  • Do you ever get in a season where unexpected bills just keep coming?  Ahhhh!  Seems like about six months between cars and appliances.  This can stop ANYTIME!
  • I would trade some specific wisdom for anything I own right now. Ever feel that way?  It is frustrating not being able to see some things.
  • December this weekend.  Long time between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.
  • CHALLENGE: Are you more attracted to public and private prayer, Bible study, fellowship, and witnessing?

Have a great week everyone!

Friday Link Highlight 11.23.12 – Five Questions Wives Should Not Ask Their Husbands

Here is the link most clicked from Monday’s post:

5 questions wives shouldn’t ask their husbands. And, it’s written by a woman!

Have a quick read, then read a couple responses of mine for BOTH HUSBANDS AND WIVES:

Am I fat?

Wives: In thirteen plus years of marriage, I don’t remember once hearing this question. And I agree, it puts the husband in a no win situation. Why ask it?

Husbands: If your wife is asking this question, how can you reassure her she is beautiful?

Is so and so pretty to you?

Wives: Are you confident in your husband’s love to the point where you could hear him describe another woman as good looking? Would you ask this question because you’re jealous of another woman’s looks?

Husbands: It is up to you to make your wives feel romantically loved and appreciated. The more you do that, the less you will hear this type of question.

Look at the five questions wives SHOULD ask their husbands.

Wives: Ask them and formulate a plan to act on the answers.

Husbands: Do the same — the questions work well for you to ask your wives too!

On My Mind #46: Three Ways I HAVEN’T Been Thankful

Everyone is making a lot about Thanksgiving. I’m glad. I’m not a big fan of emphasizing things once then moving on. Some are making posts every day about what they’re thankful for. In that spirit, I want to challenge you with something that’s been on my mind: how easy it is to be un-thankful. Here are three specific ways from over the past couple days.

1.The water dispenser on my mom’s fridge was on ice instead of water.

I thought I was going to get water. It wasn’t set on water. It was set on ice, and because I failed to set it for water, it gave me ice. As a result, I was frustrated and didn’t appreciate the technology that allowed me to get ice out of a device sitting in a kitchen. How much I was taking for granted!

2. Internet in Bryan just doesn’t seem to be as fast as in Akron.

Information beyond my belief is at my fingertips at speeds which should boggle my mind. But, when it’s not as fast as it is in Akron, I am frustrated. The Internet people in Bryan have not considered how they can best make my life smooth. How selfish I am!

3. My wife was feeling ill this morning.

For the second time this week, Julie had a morning stomach bug. She’s feeling much better by the end of the day, but why did she not consider how much of an inconvenience it would be for our family if she was sick? Why didn’t she consult me before falling ill and needing extra rat most of the morning? Like 13+ years of marriage shouldn’t be enough to make my heart rejoice that I’ve been blessed beyond belief by having this amazing woman in my life? Let alone that I pledged to love her in sickness and in health?

How shortsighted my thanksgiving can be. Anyone else have a disease of Thanksgiving as long as it’s convenient?