Imperfect Parenting

photo by Barbara ReyesNobody is a perfect parent. And who decides what perfect parenting is, anyway?

Good parenting, on the other hand, we do know a thing or two about; and it ain’t always pretty.

“Does that bookshelf really have to be perfect?” is a good reminder to take advantage of opportunities for relationship building with your kids.

Consider this story of a dad dealing with letting his teenage sons see him fail. Or, this mom’s confession about the hard times when one kid’s crying, another’s pouting, the third spilled the pancake batter and the patience is a bit hard to come by.

How about an ‘everyday theology’ for parenting? Check out this short review of the book Hopes and Fears: Everyday Theology for New Parents and Other Tired, Anxious People.

 

 

This post is for parents of children and teens and it addresses issues of failure, modeling/teaching, patience, love, and relationship building.

Photo by Barbara Reyes, hosted by Marion Doss. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.

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You can’t avoid the ‘birds and the bees’ forever

Nor is talking about sex something you should want to avoid with your children and teenagers.

Erica Schemper shares her thoughts about parenting, sexuality and Christianity in this muddied world. She writes,

recent events remind me that I can’t just teach my kids a list of dos and don’ts. If I leave it at that, it’s quite possible that they miss the point that sex is a good thing, and that there’s an enormous distinction between healthy sexuality and sexual abuse and violence.

Read more here.

Corey Allan encourages parents to use the opportunities to talk about sex with their children when they naturally arise in “How to talk to your children about sex.”

Fuller Youth Institute offers an audio seminar on talking to teens about sex, hosted by Kara Powell.

The Christian Reformed Church has this resource for parents, teens and youth groups as well: “Driver’s Training for Dating: Sex and Intimacy for Healthy Relationships.”

 

This post shares resources and a challenge for parents to engage their children and teens in meaningful conversation about sex, dating, healthy sexuality and relationships.

Sunday Follow-up: What is your only comfort?

Q. What is your only comfort in life and in death?

A. That I am not my own, but belong– body and soul, in life and in death, to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ….

Yesterday at CCC, Rev. Darren Colyn preached from Mark 10 and the healing of Bartimaeus. You can hear the message, “Matter Matters” here. In it, he talks a lot about the Christian response to Platonism found in the gospel and how our bodies, along with our souls, matter.

Towards the end of the sermon, Darren mentioned the Heidelberg Catechism, another writing from our faith tradition that shapes and transforms our worldview. You can find the Catechism on the CRCNA’s webpage- including downloading it as a .PDF and a number of study resources.

You’ll notice that it is set up into 52 “Lord’s Days” and there are 52 weeks in a year. That’s not a coincidence. 😉

This post is a follow-up to the Sunday sermon at Christ Community Church. It provides a resource to continue learning and growing spiritually.

Unplug all the things getting in the way.


Children born after 2000 have been dubbed the Wired Generation. But you don’t have to be 12 or younger to know (or experience) how being connected has transformed our lives. This week, all of our stories and resources have to do with unplugging from technology so that you can actually be with people and God.

Begin with this article written by a teen for her high school paper, then picked up by a national newspaper. Shane talks about her relationship with her iPhone, and what it was like to no longer be a slave to it.

Then, check out Hannah’s confession about turning to social media instead of God in “First be a follower”. How many different avenues of social media do you use? How do they guide your actions, thought patterns, conversation pieces, self-image, etc.?

If you’re finding yourself getting a little lost in the world of technological connectivity, then be inspired by Sundi Jo’s friend Sandy. Read about their relationship on Jeff Goins’ site in a piece called “The Power of Being Present”.

And for good measure, here’s two more pieces you might find encouraging and helpful:
An interview with Jodi Cole Meyer after her FOUR MONTH media fast, and a resource to help you deal with the distractions that threaten to derail you.

This post is for adults and teens, deals with technology, social media, lifestyle habits, and the spiritual discipline of unplugging.

Photo by James Vaughan. Used with permission. Sourced by Flickr.

School isn’t just Prep Work

It’s easy to fall into the trap of preparing for the next stage of life. But, as Maureen Herrig challenges us, there’s much to learn and to enjoy in the moment. As parents, you can ask different kinds of questions at the dinner table.

Instead of just asking about where to go to college, ask what do you love to do?
Instead of just asking what grade they got on a test, ask did you learn something that amazed you today?
Read the post and the rest of the questions on ThinkChristian.

 

This post is intended for parents of teenagers and children in school. It is meant to encourage a different kind of attitude about school and learning.

Empathy: stepping into another’s shoes

We’re doing something a little different this week.

This week, there’s only one post, but there are multiple sites to check out. The first two are invitations to practice empathy– to listen to (or in this case, read) someone else’s story and try to imagine what life is like for them. Empathy opens up the doors of compassion, understanding, true fellowship, and community. Empathy resists the urge to jump to conclusions, to turn to fear, and to segregate. Empathy takes a lot of work, but it’s our calling as Christ followers.

First, Erin Thomas shares her experience as a Church goer with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Second, Keri Anguiano reflects on what it feels like to do everything “right” and “responsible” in life and still end up in line for social assistance.
If you want to read more stories, check out the site People of the Second Chance.

How, besides trying, can you get better at empathy? Try reading more. Justin Zoradi explains in his post, “Want to Do Meaningful Work? Keep Reading. Literally.”

 

This post was created for adults and teens and encourages the cultivation of empathy in relationships, community, and attitudes.

Photo by practicalowl. Used with permission. Sourced through Flickr.

Will you let others stand at your shoulders?

In this video, Jo Saxton inspires us to remember and live the truth that to know who you are, you have to know who’s you are. And when you know who you are, you know how to be.

When you let someone stand at your shoulders, you allow them access to your life so that they can see what it means to belong to Jesus.

 

This post is intended to inspire adults, teens, and leaders in mentoring, relationships, evangelism, parenting, and witnessing to the faith in the everyday.