I’m a mum with three children (7, 6, and 3) and, like most mums I know, I’m bogged down with the minutiae of life and suffering from constant tiredness. Since having children, my prayer life and quiet times have been whittled down to a minimum, so the thought of evangelism hasn’t been high on my agenda. Getting through each day without a trip to the doctor or to Accident and Emergency has taken priority! (more…)
One of the more contentious topics tied up with the ongoing “gay marriage” debate in our western society is the question of adoption—that is, the adoption and fostering of children by homosexual couples. At one level, the concern is a very pragmatic one: why, the argument goes, should we be denying children loving homes? (more…)
Last time I wrote something for this column, I wrote about a book that deals with problems and questions I face in my own life (God’s Good Design). This time I’m writing about a book that’s not really for me. In Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: Ethics and the beginning of human life, Dr Megan Best writes about the stuff that married (or about-to-get married) people need to know—things like contraception, pregnancy, infertility and IVF. She wrote the book “in response to many requests from Christians who are struggling to find the information they need to think clearly about the morality of reproductive technology” (p. 9). I’m not married and I have no children. I’m hardly the target audience for this book, yet it fascinated me. (more…)
Teaching the children to pray and praying for the children
Christian parents have a vital ministry in the church. The Christian nurture of children is primarily the responsibility of the parents, not the day school (even if it is a Christian school) nor the Sunday school. Unfortunately, in our modern society, mothers who stay at home to care for their children are often considered to be unemployed and to have sold out on the right of women to pursue a career. There can be no nobler career than nurturing Christian children to be well-adjusted citizens of our society and to be faithful citizens of the kingdom of God.1
Last year, when I published my article on same-sex marriage, commenters asserted that the academic literature suggested children with gay or lesbian parenting situations did just as well as those with heterosexual parents. As I looked into it, even as a non-specialist, I could note that many such studies displayed methodological weaknesses such as the lack of control groups, or self-selection and self-reporting by participants. This should have cautioned against such dogmatic conclusions. (more…)
Did you see last week’s link to Christine Jensen’s Growing faith: Ten tips for going to church with your family? It’s such an excellent little post, it sparked a few reflections of my own. (I’d also like to second her point about letting kids see you enjoying church.)
Here they are,
five six more tips for going to church with your family.
The political pressure to redefine the meaning of marriage has recently become more intense and obvious in certain English-speaking countries. But you might have noticed that the vast majority of people in our society aren’t particularly concerned by these developments. Why is that? Here’s one possible reason: in the hearts and minds of the vast majority of modern Westerners, marriage has already been redefined. We just didn’t notice. (more…)
I woke up this morning with a headache. There’s nothing remarkable about that; but as I stood at the bench and gulped down a couple of pain killers, I was reminded of how unpleasant a headache can be, and how easy it is for me to get rid of it.
It’s not so easy for my son. (more…)
I’ve been reflecting on how horrible teenagers can be. Here’s a quick pen portrait.
Teenagers find it very difficult to believe that the world does not revolve around them. They live in a self-regarding bubble, and cannot for the life of them see why things shouldn’t be organized for their convenience. They are quite happy to take, but reluctant to give. And although they do a lot of taking (and others do a lot of giving) words of thanksgiving are rarely on their lips. (more…)
A few years ago, our family of six left a congregation full of parents with young children, and joined a church made up mostly of university students.1 This wasn’t an ideological statement on our part: it was simply because my husband works in university ministry, and that’s where we needed to be at the time. But it’s made me aware of some of the benefits and costs of going to church with people from a different age and stage from your own.
There was an interesting comment on my post Reading the Bible with kids – even the hard bits.
A mum who’s thinking about how to read the Bible with her family said, “I’d love to see a follow up article about tackling the other types of difficult passages of the Bible – the particularly gory or sexual bits.”
The first chapter of Ezekiel (let’s be honest) is some kind of weird. A wind drives an immense storm cloud from the north; four glowing creatures emerge from the cloud, each with four different faces, with two wings covering their bodies and two spread out, darting to and fro with a sound like roaring waters; wheels within wheels, one for each creature, their rims covered in eyes, move in a straight line wherever the four creatures go; and above the creatures’ wings is an expanse like crystal, surmounted by a sapphire throne on which sits a human figure, glowing like metal in a furnace. (more…)
There’s nothing like parenting to reveal your true values.
My 12-year-old daughter started secondary school this year. It’s an anxious time for any parent. Your mind fills with questions: will she settle well into her new school? How will she cope with the extra homework? Will she make good friends? Will she make any friends?