Archive for August, 2012

Parenting Plan Can Bless your Kids and Your Marriage!

Monday, August 27th, 2012

 

So much marital stress is caused because the husband and wife are not on the same page
in the way they deal with their children. One way our marriage has been protected is through the “Learner and Leader” day we do each fall (We do this family tradition from age 4 until our children are age 20 or get engaged for marriage- whichever comes first).

Years ago,when Bill was a youth pastor and Brock was a baby, I looked around the youth group we were running and then looked at this precious baby in my arms and prayed, “Lord, there seem to be kids that soar and succeed at 18 and others that stumble and fall” What traits, what skills, what leadership character qualities do we need to
train and pass on so that our sons can soar by age 18? Then I set about creating along list of traits and skills (the list (and many other tools) are in our book: 10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make).

The list seemed so long that I was a bit overwhelmed so I showed the list to Bill and he said, “Pam, seems like there are really three main categories here. We want our kids to be:

 

  1. Learners—have a teachable attitude
  2. Leaders- be influencers in their own unique God given style instead of followers
  3. Love God—we want them to own their own faith.”

We prayed and I asked God to show a fun way to instill the values (because kids respond to fun!) So we decided to
have a Learner and Leader Day each fall and on that day we’d negotiate privileges and responsibilities for the year. (We did this for 20+ years- now we are DONE! becuse our kids are all grown and all leaders! So it works!)

We also select one trait off the list and focus on training and equipping in that area for that particular child that year. And we select a verse to pray over that child which had something to do with the trait we have selected (as the kids entered second grade we taught them how to select their own verse). Then we give a gift (because we wanted it to fee like Christmas!) The gift would be one that would build into their God given passion or calling as
the Lord was revealing their strengths year by year.

We have a set of criteria in choosing the gift:

It must be practical, something I might have to buy anyway.

It must be personal. The child should be able to tell I thought about the gift.

It must be prophetic, meaning that it speaks the truth about the uniqueness, the calling, or the strength we see God building into each child.

The Learner and Leader privileges and responsibilities chart is also in our book, along with other tools like a list of what children can be responsible for at what ages (chore ideas) , plus a teen relationship contract,
driving contract, education contract, and a set of  Freshman Foundation questions to use with college students or career age young adults. We have our children sign the contracts, and included in each are the
consequences they will receive if they do not follow through with their
commitment. As the children get older (early in elementary school),  we have them create their own consequences
ahead of time so they know exactly what their punishment will be if they drop the ball on their commitments.

By spelling everything out ahead of time, year after year, and having everyone sign off on it (both parents and the children), there is little arguing in our home and the children have never been able to “play one parent against the other” in our home, thus protecting our marital harmony as well. And because there is a built in relationship time, a fun family activity on Learner and Leader Day, the kids have always been motivated to complete the small yearly assignment (the chart), and because it also has a built in incentive plan (the Learner and Leader gift that applauds the child’s unique strengths), the child is easier to live with all year!

The less child-created stress a marriage has, the more everyone enjoys being in the family. And because we delegate work to our children as they grow, Mom and Dad actually have time to date and stay in love—which is the best gift that any set of parents can give their children. And because we are deliberately trying to help our children/ teens take on more and more responsibility year after year, by college (or for sure age 21), our children and yours have the opportunity to be leaders owning their own lives and leading others in a positive way!  Having responsible adult children is also a great blessing to your marriage! (And your future in laws will thank you too!Our daughter inlaws love us and so do their parents!)

            So this year, before you run to the store for new school clothes and pencils, pens, notebooks, backpacks and
lunchboxes, take time to hold your own Learner and Leader Day.  I you have college kids, set aside 5 nights to go over the Freshan Foundation  Dinner and Dialogue questions, and maybe this year, you might even get in a few dates to stay in love!

Parentng resources:

10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make, Got Teens? Learner and Leader Chart, Freshman Foundation are all found at www.Love-Wise.com

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Sex Before Marriage: The Landmine of Love

Friday, August 24th, 2012

According to a study on sexual activity by Relevant, a Christian magazine,

as many as 80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults have had sex. 

This is a startling statistic in light of two  very clear commands from the Bible:

                Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will
love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
(John 14:23 NIV)

                It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 

(1Thessalonians 4:3 NIV)

If one wonders what sexual immorality is, if you use Logos Bible Software, and dig into The Word, you will discover it means ALL sex outside the bounds– the context of marriage.  

So many of this generation (teens and grownups ) think they will come out ahead if they sleep with the one they are “in love” with. However studies show something entirely different. Jim Burns of Homeword radio, in his book, Teaching Your Children Healthy Sexuality, quotes a study out of the University of Wisconsin (so a secular study, so people can’t say it is slanted due to Christian bias!). 

Here are 9 Facts about Pre-Marital Sex:

Fact 1: Premarital sex tends to break up couples

Fact 2: Many men do not want to marry a woman who has had intercourse with someone else.

Fact 3: Those who have premarital sex tend to have less happy marriages

Fact 4: Those who have premarital sex are more likely to have their marriage end in divorce.

Fact 5: Persons and Couples who have had premarital sex are more likely to have an
extramarital affair as well.

Fact 6: Having pre-marital sex may fool you into marrying a person who is not right for
you.

Fact 7: Persons and couples who have had premarital sex experience sexual satisfaction
sooner after they are married. HOWEVER—

Fact 8: They are likely to be less satisfied overall with their sex life during marriage.

Fact 9: Poor premarital sexual habits can be carried over to spoil sex in marriage.

And let Bill and I add a Biblical observation we have made as Fact 10:

Fact 10:Couples who engage in premarital sex are practicing DISOBEYING God together, which is a terrible way to erode a marital foundation before you ever get to the altar. In addition, the consistent practice of premarital sex causes a callous to develop over the heart of each individual so it makes it harder for each to hear and respond to God’s guidance.

So what can we do to reverse this trend?

Parents:  Prepare your child, tween and teen by proactively educating him or her on love, sex, and relationships. Use our Teen Relationship Contract .Talk with your teen and reward your son or daughter for making wise choices.

Church leaders: Teach the whole counsel of God, offer discipleship, mentoring, and small groups with role models who are walking in integrity. Partner with parents for events and opportunities to equip tweens
teens and college students.

Teens: Read books like Guys are Waffles, Girls Are Spaghetti or The Purity Code (Jim Burns) – books aimed at teens to equip you to make your own wise choices. Have a daily quiet time so you practice listening to and responding to Jesus daily.

Reliable ministries that have helps and resources for this core vital issue: Homeword,  Focus on the
Family
, Family Life Today, Vicki Courtney -You and Your Girl, Generations of Virtue, Modern Day Princess, Dannah Gresh- Pure Freedom,  
 and
of course, Love-Wise.com.

Some of our resources that help parents and teens make wise relationship choices  are Guys are Waffles, Girls Are Spaghetti, Got Teens?, 10 Best Decisions a Teen Can Make, The Teen Relationship Contract, The Freshman Foundation Dinner and Dialogue Questions.

For singles: 10 Best Decisions a Single Can Make and Single Men Are Like Waffles, Single Women Are
Like Spaghetti.
 

 

 

The first step is likely a simple prayer.  Based on your past choices, you select the verse to pray over your life:

  1. You have had premarital sex and you desire to repent (stop), or you are already
    married but never have told God you are sorry and claimed his forgiveness:

Lord, your word says that is I confess my sins, you are faithful and just to forgive all my sins and cleanse me from
all unrighteousness
. (1
John 1:9)  Now I choose to hide your word in my heart that I might not sin against
You. (
Ps 119:9-10)

2. You are still a virgin, and you want to stay true to that commitment, or you are praying for your son or daughter, that they will stay strong:

I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.  I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.  I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands (Psalms 119:58-60)

 The best way out of the field of landmines caused by premarital sex is:

(1)  To never enter it or ( 2) ask God to lead you step by step out of it back to a safe more secure place.

Forgiveness and redemption are possible, see Pam and Bill’s book, Love, Honor and Forgive or 10 Best Decisions
a Woman Can Make
. Consult  a trusted pastor or counselor- God can repattern your heart to hear and respond to His best plan and path.  Take the first step, acknowledge you have gone of course and want to get back to the heart of God and allow Him to direct your path to healing and wholeness.

PS: Hold Oct. 17 noon to for Save Our Girls Day to Pray – join us in praying for the next generation of teens: www.saveourgirls.org

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Is Your Love Healthy or Toxic ?

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

 

This small bit of writing from 10 Best Decisions a Single Can Make seems to help people decide if the relationship they are in is healthy or toxic. We all look at 1 Cor. 13 as God’s definition of  love.

And knowing Satan is a deceiver, I thought How would the Devil distort love? So I rewrote 1 Cor 13 using words OPPOSITE of what God has said about love to give a vivid word picture of just what it means to be TOXIC!

So if the person you are dating reflects 1 Cor. 13 from the Bible, that’s a GREEN light, Healthy Love; pursue that relationship. However, if he or she if closer to the Toxic Definition of Love, that is a RED Light, STOP (immediately!) If you are not married, end it and run far away from that relationship as possible because that person is unsafe! (Even if he or she has a few of the toxic traits, break up and challenge him or her to grow with God and become healthy with out yon the picture.) Let God repair and redeem that person before you even initiate a friendship again. Let them have time to prove he or she has moved from toxic to healthy love.  (If married, seek marriage counseling).

Feel free to post this picture on your Facebook, Tweet it, PIN it, email to a friend, use it in your ministry. Together let’s help people choose to BE HEALTHY in their relationships.  For much more on the topic, see our books: 10 Best Decisions a Single Can Make and Single Men Are Like Waffles, Single Women Are Like Spaghetti available at www.Love-Wise.com

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Brave? How to Become a Brave New Woman

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

 

 

Watching the new Disney Pixar movie, Brave, I was inspired by one of the last lines of the movie, “The fate of our lives are within us; we just need to brave enough to see it.”  That reminded me of one of my favorite verses, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Eph 2:10 NASB) God created an adventure or each of us! He has called us into this adventure and to walk it, we need to become BRAVE! It takes a courageous heart of faith to walk out your God-given adventure!

In the movie, Brave, the main character is a young princess named Merida who prefers an adventurous life complete with a bow and arrow over settling down—but she and her parents see life differently. Without revealing more of the plot, she does discover the real meaning of bravery—but she first goes to the wrong kind of sources, which causes all kinds of chaos. Grown women today often look to the similar false supplies of courage: palm readers, psychics, tarot cards, horoscopes—or even a buffet of motivation speakers who say things like “Look to your inner strength”. “ You are your own God”, or “ You are master of your own destiny”.

There is a dilemma–while doing research for the writing of my book, Becoming a Brave New Woman, I discovered research like 90% of the thoughts women have about themselves are negative! And even a bad hair day can set a woman back (yes, there is scientific evidence on that!)  So women do need courage, confidence and in a world with the heart-stopping headlines like we see daily, we need to learn to become BRAVE.

In Becoming a Brave New Woman, I suggest, “Nothing is more vital, more central to your self-confidence than your confidence in God”. I like to say, “Show me the size of your God, I will show you the size of your confidence; BIG God, BIG confidence. BIG God, BIG courage. BIG God, BIG bravery!”  See, when we look to our own power to be brave we see we are limited, but when we depend on God’s power, His is limitless. That is why the Bible has bravery building verses like:

I can do all things THROUGH CHRIST who strengthens me . . . (Phil 4:13)

Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37)

Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through
Him Who loved us. (Romans 8:37 AMP)

In Becoming a Brave New Woman, I layout the STEP method of stepping into your God-given
adventure.

Speak the Adventure

Team Up for the Adventure

Energize the Adventure

Push the Adventure

It also has “winning ways” which helps a woman apply what she is learning, with activities and
discussion. I encourage women to have an adventure team (or if you will, brave buddies), so grab some girlfriends, read the book in your book club, Bible study, or with a mentor (or mentee) and become brave together! To help you, “winning words” are included in each chapter. These are personalized prayers of scripture strung together by topic to help a woman get a bigger, more accurate view of God. Finally, Becoming a Brave New Woman includes “winning wisdom”, empowering quotes to post on your mirror, desk or refrigerator.

Don’t let fear stop you from achieving God’s adventure for your life, grab hold of our big God and Become a Brave New Woman!

Becoming a Brave New Woman is available as an ebook or get an autographed copy at www.Love-Wise.com . I pray over each copy of Brave New Woman my ministry sends out—I pray with God’s help, you and I will be BRAVE!

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