By Steve Repak, the On Family Money Matters Column
Galatians 6:9-10(NLT) “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessings if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone-especially to those in the family of faith.”
Happy National Neighborhood Day
You are most likely thinking “what is National Neighborhood Day and how can it transform your finances?” First, I do not have any affiliation with National Neighborhood Day. I found out about it while researching this article. National Neighborhood Day is celebrated in neighborhoods across the country and takes place on the third Sunday in September. It is a day where people come together to make a difference in the lives of other individuals in their neighborhood. I really like the idea of welcoming new neighbors, being involved in other families’ lives, fellowshipping and helping with the needs of others.… continue reading
A topic that may cause more eye-rolling, back-sassing, and parental frustration than any other would be figuring out an appropriate curfew for teens. Becoming a parent causes a perspective shift: the things that caused excitement for us when we were teens are now frightening dangers. There are many factors to consider when determining what time your child should be home, especially when your teen is out with a significant other.
The Company They Keep
Get to know your teen’s friends, especially the person they are dating. Work and life schedules permitting, make inviting their friends on outings with you a priority. While you may trust your teen explicitly, you should also trust that their friends would make similar choices to your family’s values.
The more often your teen’s boyfriend or girlfriend spends time with you and your family, the more obvious any problems become.… continue reading
By Lyn Parker, On Mentoring Teens Column
For the past two weeks, I have been helping my sister and brother-in-law pack up their house of eight years to move locally. My three younger teens never missed a beat when it came to helping, but my two older teens weren’t as eager. I would awaken all of them and ask, “Who wants to go help pack at Aunt Lori’s with me?” Without fail, my 18-year-old would ask, “Do we have to?” And here is where I was faced with a decision. Since the younger teens are not adults, I could still “make” them help. My 17-year-old son was often working, so he did indeed have a viable excuse for not helping. But my daughter was another story. Since she was 18, I decided to let her make the decision herself.
My daughter did not help. And as much as I wanted to be able to tell her she had to, I needed to let her test these waters and make the choice herself.… continue reading
By Sherri Wilson Johnson, On Inspiring Purity column
This month marks the 21st anniversary of my mom’s death. I was a young mom when she passed away and had only been married five years. There was a lot I still needed to learn from her about parenting and marriage, but unfortunately, I no longer had that opportunity available to me. Although her loss devastated me, fortunately, I was blessed to have a great relationship with her. But it wasn’t always that way. During my teenage years, we had quite a few tumultuous times. But in the end, there were no regrets.
When my mother was trying to have children, she lost four babies. She lost two before my sister and two before me. And I almost wasn’t born. So as a result, she was very protective and proactive in her mothering. She rarely let us out of her sight in the early days.… continue reading
Nate Stevens, Preparing Teens for Marriage column
In the quest to solve the mystery of relationships, children and teenagers turn to many sources. But the most impactful source of all is the modeled behavior they see from their parents.
My parents gave me little to no relational advice. Mostly, it was the usual, “Keep your hands to yourself,” “If we ever catch or hear of you touching a girl, you’ll be severely punished and grounded for life,” and, “Act like a Christian.”
Sadly, my pastor and youth pastor offered little more with, “Girls, don’t let guys touch you because all they have on their minds is one thing.” Needless to say, relationships became the fearful unknown, sex was degraded to something nasty and sinful, and curiosity was increased.
What I learned about relationships and “the birds and the bees” while growing up was what I heard from my older brothers, the school locker room, whatever worldly sources I could find, and trial and error.… continue reading
By Shannon Deitz, The On Hope Column
The air in the room is thick with unspoken questions.
“What’s going on that you’re not telling me?”
“What are you thinking?”
“Why does it seem like you are thousands of miles away when you are here before me, smiling and telling me what I need to hear?”
“There’s nothing wrong.”
But there is you just can’t put your finger on it. You, more than anyone, know your child’s temperament but when our children become teenagers it is difficult to decipher between normal teen angst and the slippery slope into depression.
Back in the day (I’ll admit…the late 80’s/90’s) when I slipped and slid downhill through depression my parents took every masked cry for help as typical teenage behavior. It wasn’t until I was deep into a pit and no longer masking anything but screaming, literally screaming, in anger that my mother realized I was hanging by a thread.… continue reading
By Wendy Fitzgerald, the On Cause and Effect Column
“Jesus answered, “I AM the Way – and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
My kids love “would you rather…” questions. With all of the superhero titles at the box office, my eighteen year old son’s favorite question of this sort is “Mom, if you were a superhero, would you rather…,” and then he names two different superhero powers. As a mom of five, I’m drawn to the super-power of being able to be in more than one place at a time!
In response to these discussions, I found myself processing John 14:6 differently than ever before. As I thought about the words in the verse, I realized that Jesus is really the only person that has ever lived that could be considered a true “Superhero”! He IS God! Therefore, every possible superpower that we can imagine lies within His capabilities.… continue reading