Discipling my four children is possibly the most challenging (and certainly the most humbling) experience that I have ever had. Because they share a house and most of the day with me, they know me and my faults better than anyone else. How many times have I questioned the wisdom of this arrangement? Did God factor in who I really was when he put these little disciples in my home? Yet there they are, day after day, with no place else to be but under my care and discipleship… watching, watching, watching me. And (gulp) imitating. (more…)
The arrival of a first-born child into a family is one of the greatest moments in all human experience. It rates with marriage as one of the big milestones in a person’s life. As such, it is particularly important that the Christian believer should understand it from a spiritual viewpoint, setting it in the context of his or her faith, and therefore relating it to God through Jesus.
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…)
You know those times when you read a Bible passage so familiar that you barely see it any more? Then a word or phrase jumps out at you, your perspective shifts, and you see it clearly. It’s like those 3D puzzles where the picture suddenly comes into focus.
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 used to find it pretty easy to find a quiet time to pray and read the Bible, back in the days when I had two children. This seemed a little unfair. Other mums told me, “It’s so hard to pray and read the Bible! Every time I try, my kids climb all over me! My baby cries! My son wants me! They won’t keep quiet long enough for me to pray!” But quiet times were still “quiet” for me.
It’s time for some free association. I’ll give you a word. Close you eyes and tell me what springs to mind. Ready?
What did you come up with? Kids? Caring? Apple pie? I’m pretty sure none of you came up with the word ‘salvation’! But in the Bible, motherhood and salvation go hand in hand.
I’ve been feeling pretty guilty recently. What have I been feeling guilty about? I’m a mum, so you shouldn’t have to ask! Like so many mothers, I feel guilty because I’m not doing enough for my family. I’ve been trying to juggle too many things, and I’m worried I’m neglecting my children. (Actually, I don’t think I am when I’m thinking logically; if anything’s neglected, it’s only the dust balls. But guilt doesn’t think logically.) (more…)
The role of motherhood can often seem like a joyless, thankless task. It’s a vocation that is losing popularity in our society. But, as Lesley Ramsay shows us, motherhood lies at the very heart of God’s rescue plan for humanity. (more…)
Australian feminist Eva Cox says any mother who isn’t back in the workforce after her child turns one is a bludger. Why this growing attack on motherhood? Andrew Lansdown thinks that the changing role of the father has something to do with it.
“Being brought up in a Christian home is hard on a child.”
I have heard variations on this comment at various times and it has set me thinking. In fact, I have begun to feel somewhat bitter towards my parents, who gave me a thoroughly Christian upbringing.