Holes and Compassion

I had several  speaking engagements in June and I think I might have learned more than my audiences.  My biggest take-away was that most people in this world have holes and lots of them.  Some holes are huge and are a result of trauma. Major trauma like sexual abuse, divorce, death of a parent as a child, physical and verbal abuse, addiction to pornography, drugs, alcohol, eating disorders, accidents that result in serious physical damage, absent parents, and other dramatic trauma.  But trauma doesn’t always have to be so dramatic either.  Holes can come from major disappointment and loss.  Getting cut from a sports team or not making a drama production can cause a hole. Loss of friendship from a move across the country or a friendship ending due to bitterness and jealously can cause a hole.  Hurtful words from a parent to a child can cause a hole.  A child not meeting his parent’s expectations can cause a hole in both parents and children. The bottom line is that we are all broken people.  I don’t care how confident people appear on the outside, on the inside, they have holes.  The difference is what you FILL the hole with.  Now I am Bible-thumping and I really hope that I live my faith out-loud.  I have chosen to fill my holes with TRUTH from the Bible.  I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I know that I am God’s masterpiece created to do good things.  I know that there is no condemnation in Christ.  I know that God forgives those who ask and makes us new creations.  BUT, lots of people don’t know these truths or they have forgotten them and they fill their holes with garbage….pride, pity, financial success, impure images, impure relationships, bitterness, anger, selfishness, rage, isolation.  They settle for a substitute for love and relationships instead of God’s plan for love and relationships. Our culture offers lots of dangerous options for filling our holes.  Most of them are cheap replacements for GOD’s TRUTH.  For example, an insecure girl buys into the lie that she ought to dress provocative, act sexy and aggressive  in order to snag a boy…evening sending him nude photos on SnapChat (that was the story I heard over and over in June from lots of moms), but this was never God’s design.  So as moms, what do we do???  Teach your kids about God’s truth.  Encourage inner beauty with your daughter and character development.  Integrity starts with developing character traits such as perseverance, discretion, confidence, sincerity, modesty-both of dress and heart, poise.  Spend lots of time with your kids.  Did you know that kids who have dinner less often with their parents are more likely to be involved in many risky behaviors. (1) So this summer, make dinner a priority!

Because we all have holes, we all need compassion.  Many people haven’t filled their holes with God’s Truth and they have traded Biblical Truth for a cultural norm…in relationships…in media…in addictive behavior….in sexual promiscuity…just to name a few.  People need compassion and acceptance…that doesn’t mean that we approve of all behavior however.  You can LOVE without APPROVAL.…any parent knows that.  I love my children even though I do not approve of their behavior or choices.  As humans we tend not to like people who don’t agree with us or approve of our choices.  And that’s where LOVE breaks through….Love says, “Think twice about that decision.”  Love challenges and says, “Are you feeling pitiful or prideful in this situation?”  Love sharpens, chastises, corrects, challenges; love doesn’t always agree but it is patient, kind, it is not boastful, it is not proud, it does not self-seek.  It is not easily angered nor does it keep record of wrong.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres. (2) Love sees the holes in others and responds with compassion rather than judgement.  Loving is way harder than liking.  Love, not agreement, keeps families together, communities together.  I live in a wonderful community and I definitely don’t see eye to eye with all the members of my community…but I would help any of them in time of need because I choose love.  Teach your kids this concept:  Loving without agreement.  If your family identity is based on Scripture, then you will have to love people without agreeing with them because your convictions will be different.  But isn’t that what Jesus did?  He loved people, not their choices.  We can do the same.

TIP:  This summer, eat as many dinners together as a family as you can.  Moms, read the book Girls Uncovered by McIlhaney, Bush.  Teach your kids how to love people, not agree with them. And get off SnapChat.

(1):F.I Luntz, What Americans Really Want…Really: The Truth About Our Hopes, Dreams, and Fears (New York: Hyperion, 2009),257.

(2) I Corinthians 13: 4-7, NIV study Bible.

“Over Confidence is the Most Dangerous Form of Carelessness.”

I graduated from high school in 1989 without a cell phone.  In fact, CD’s had only been around a about 7 years.   During my collegiate years, the answering machine evolved as well as the Internet or World Wide Web.  Most of my professors were against using the Internet as a source for any research papers.  I started teaching in 1994-1995, which apparently was a banner year for technology because the  cell phone became popular, email, Yahoo ,PlayStation and DVD’s all had a market….and hand sanitizer  became popular too! Google and computer animation developed in 1998 and introduced us to Toy Story, Bug’s Life, Shrek, Monsters Inc, Shrek, and finally Frozen.  Since my children have been born in 2004, 2007, I Phones, Wii, and Xbox have evolved.  We live in a fast-paced every changing world!

It took 55 years for the telephone to have 50 million users.  It took the Internet 4 years to have 50 million users.  In 35 days, Angry Birds had 50 million users.  (techworm.net) One pornography site transfers 4,000 pages a second!  (Barna) The average American kid will view 14,000 sexual references each year….only a 165 will deal with abstinence, self-control, STD’s, pregnancy (American Academy of Pediatrics). The world is NOT the same place that your were raised in. So as the media world spins out of control around you, what conversations have you had with your kids about abstinence, self-control, STD’s, pregnancy?  If they are little, use every opportunity to teach self control, especially with boys.  I had a conversation with a mom recently and she told me that her 8 year old son likes to play with his “goodies”.  She told him it was fine as long as he did it in his room and not in public.  I think she missed the boat.  What a great opportunity to have a conversation about self control and why we don’t play with our own genitals in public or private.  Once the dopamine rush hits from the genital stimulation, we can condition our genitals to only respond to our hands. This is Not God’s design for our bodies.  We need to exercise self control with our bodies.  We exercise self control with candy, soda, junk food, and hopefully media use, just like we exercise self control with our bodies. Combine self-gratification and pornography and you have the perfect storm for addiction, erectile dysfunction, and sexual dysfunction.  Don’t be over-confident in your parenting…don’t assume that your kids are doing what they should be in the privacy of their rooms.  Keep an open door policy when they have a device in their rooms.  Then visit the room often to hold them accountable.  Most of us who are parenting today didn’t have access to the media that our kids have today.  Therefore, we better be talking to them about  what they are being exposed to, especially in the arena of sexuality.  In addition, TV’s in kids’ rooms can cause sleep issues, freedom issues, and exposure to content that their brains just are not ready to process or handle.   Wise old YODA from Star Wars says, “Over confidence is the most dangerous form of carelessness.”

TIP:  Keep your kids bedroom doors open more than closed.  Be a careful, watchful parent.  Have a conversation with your son about his goodies and not touching or playing with them and WHY.

Posted by AMY in Sex Education and Abstinence

 

“Send Me a Nude”…

original-logos-2016-Apr-6009-570bf016c0995Yup!  You read that correctly…a friend of mine saw that on her daughter’s cell phone.  A boy from school texted her and wrote, “Send me a nude.”  Let me just translate that for your stinging mama’s ears…that brazen boy wanted the girl to take a nude photo of herself and send it to him.  Seriously, what is this world coming to??  Pornography has so de-sensitized our brains that young men think nothing of asking a girl for such a picture. I have to wonder if pornography is teaching young boys about sexuality, rather than parents teaching boys about sexuality.    Unfortunately, we live in a society where sexting is  so common and a girl does whatever the guy asks to get him to stop pressuring her or she consents in order to cement the relationship, meaning she thinks that the boy will stay with her forever if she concedes to having sex or provide sexual acts.  We need to raise daughters who are confident enough to say, “NO”, even if it means no boyfriend and no date to prom.  We live in a culture where girls are supposed to provide sex acts in exchange for affection.  In a recent article I read that  (by fightthenewdrug.com) a 15 year old girl said that she didn’t enjoy sex at all, but that getting it out of the way was the only way her boyfriend would stop pressuring her and watch a movie.  WHAT??  One girl said, that her boyfriend told her, she could have a kiss if she gave him a blow job……cuz that’s an even exchange….NOT.  So how do we raise daughters in a culture like this? FAMILY IDENTITY. Help your daughter become confident in who she is without needing a boyfriend.  DADS, date your daughters…tell her she is enough and beautiful.  Spend as much time with her as you can.  Pour into her..Take her out for ice-cream every Sunday and tell her all the things you love about her.  If you are a single mom, do the same.  Pour into her so that she has confidence. Confident girls know how to say NO and confident girls walk away because they know they are worth the wait.  If you are a Jesus loving family, remind your daughter that she is a princess of the King of Kings.  I tell my daughter that boys take longer to grow up and mature than girls and that’s why high school relationships often don’t last.  Get your daughter involved in after school activities that help her become confident.  Help her find a niche like athletics, drama, or music, or even a job but remind her that her niche doesn’t define her but it does give her confidence and it keeps her too busy for a boyfriend. If possible, model an excellent marriage so that your daughter longs for marriage and not a relationship that ends in heart-break.  And finally, talk to her..all the time about everything.  Her identity needs to be in your family and not her friends or her relationships.  Whether you are a single mom, blended family, or married, spend a ton of time as a family. Play board games, watch movies, go for walks, bike rides, hikes, ski, sit and talk at coffee shops….the more time you spend with your kids while they are young, the more time they will want to spend with you as they get older.  Parenting is hard; you might not even like your daughter at times, but the more time you spend with her, the better chance she has at becoming a confident woman, so confident that a boy wouldn’t even dare to ask for a nude.

Posted by AMY in Pornography and Abstinence

The article that I read was called Sex Before Kissing: How 15-year-old Girls are Dealing with Porn-Addicted Boys.   Published April 1, 2016  by Melinda Tankard Reist. Go to fightthenewdrug.org for more information or to read the article.

TIP: Limit media use in your family.  Wait as long as possible to get your kids a phone and when you do, get the simplest one possible.  Teach your daughter confidence.  Model confidence.

Gardasil-9 Let’s Talk About It..

original-logos-2016-Apr-6009-570bf016c0995“Our findings suggest that a higher-quality relationship between adolescents and their parents, especially between mothers and daughters, may protect against early sexual initiation.  Pediatricians and other health care professionals should be able to explain to parents that early sexual intercourse can be associated with negative health outcomes, but that parents can play an important role in promoting healthy sexual behaviors.” (Pediatrics, Volume 38, number 6, December, 2016)  Of course parents play a role in the lives of their children!!! Do we seriously need a medical magazine to remind us that strong parenting leads to strong kids?  But you know what?  That’s still good news and encouraging–Moms, we need to be TALKING to our girls..about lots of stuff, including HPV.  Human Papillomavirus is the number one STD in the nation right now according to the CDC.  The scary part is that you can contract it by sexual contact, not just vaginal sex.  In fact, according to the CDC handout that I obtained from my pediatrician, most people will become infected at some point in their life.  About 14 million Americans become infected each year..including teens.  Thousands of men and women get cancers and diseases from HPV.  The good news is that most infections will go away and not cause serious problems.  However, HPV can cause cervical cancer, vaginal, vulvar cancer in females, penile cancer in males, and throat and anal cancer in males and females.  Approximately 12,000 women get cervical cancer each year and about 4,000 die from it.  Gardasil-9 can prevent many of these cases.  Routinely given at 11 or 12 years old up to 26 years, the vaccination requires 2-3 doses after the initial dose one to two months later. Some docs recommend to start at age 9.  Now this may sound alarming but don’t tune out just yet.  Many of us hope that our kids will choose sexual purity until marriage…I know I do, but I also know about human nature and moments of weakness.  Since HPV can be spread so easily, it’s important to know all the facts.  My conservative doctor, nurse and PA friends recommend it as does my PA sister.  HPV causes genital warts and from what I understand, it doesn’t completely go away once you have it, it just goes dormant.  So really think about this one.  You can’t control the  current actions of your child’s future mate either so while your child, may abstain from all forms of sexual contact, your child’s future spouse may not.  It’s worth thinking about.  Once your daughter starts her period, it’s time talk sex, pregnancy, STD’s and abstinence.  So start thinking about future conversations with your girl.  Your conversations matter and they will influence her…FOR LIFE.

Tip:  As your daughter nears 100 pounds, she will be nearing the beginning of her menstrual cycle. Start prepping her for that.  After it happens, your next conversations will be about STDs, pregnancy, and abstinence. Think ahead.

posted by AMY in Sex Education and Abstinence

The Importance of Consistency

cropped-tulips.jpgThe average kids eats 21 meals a week plus snacks, but how much are we nourishing our children’s spirits?  Don’t you think we need a few spiritual meals a week too?  We are going to have some hard conversations with our kids in life.  We need to be making deposits into their “love tanks” so that when we need to make a few hard withdrawls, there is something in the tank.  How do we fill our kids tanks?  We fill their spiritual tanks by taking them church regularly.  Having devotional time with them.  Listening to quality music with lyrics that nurture the spirit. Our kids need to be involved in church too, whether it be youth group, volunteering in a Sunday school class, or going to Sunday school or just sitting with you in a service. Talk to your kids about the Lord regularly.  Pray with them and over them so they can hear you pray too.  Teach them to pray even if it means starting off with memorized prayers.  Make church and family time a priority.  Since we are beings that are more than just a body, we need to nourish our other components too.  We are made up of a spirit (that is the part that can commune with God),  but also a soul, which is our mind, our will, and our emotions.  Other posts have touched on the body and soul, but this post is designed to remind you of your child’s spirit.  I don’t remember every sermon or Bible study that I have completed, nor do I remember all the meals I have eaten.  Tragically, I can’t remember what I ate yesterday but I know my body received sustenance.  The same is for our kids.  Their spirits need filled and it doesn’t matter if they remember everything they learned, their spirits will have received nourishment.    It is never to late to start going to church, never too late to start reading to them from the Bible.  Consistency is modeled and taught.  Lay a foundation so that when you need to have a hard conversation on purity, or lying, or pornography, you have something in the tank.

TIP:  It’s time for some spiritual nourishment for your children.  Make time for it.

Posted by AMY in Abstinence and Sex Education

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes a Baby in a Baby Carriage…

1159777-Cartoon-Of-A-Mother-Walking-With-A-Baby-Stroller-Royalty-Free-Vector-ClipartThis post is for those of you with teens.  We live in a culture where the sexual message is all of the following:  Sex is Everything, Sex is Nothing, and Love = Sex.  All of these messages are deception and unless you have captured the heart of your child, the education they receive concerning sex is from their immature friends whose minds are full of mush ( I was a high school teacher for more than a decade), or their education is from the world via the media.  Both are toxic in my book.  The cultural pressure is that sex is everything meaning that your relationship is pretty much a friendship unless you are having sex; that sex is the defining piece of your relationship.  Girls are told that if you get involved sexually, you are sure to snag your man.  On the other hand, sex is nothing meaning that everyone is doing it so what’s the big deal? I had a conversation with a millennial age friend recently and she was telling me about a guy  that  she had just met that evening who wanted to hook up with her just for the night and he was gutsy enough to ask! In college, my roomies and I called it NCMO (non committed make out)…now it’s non committed sex.  She even said there is a new trend called polyamory where people  essentially have multiple sexual relationships…(including making babies together, but with no commitment) no more exclusive dating.   No need to marry and have a mistress anymore….

I have been married 20 years.  I love it and I would marry my hubbs again, and if I die, I hope my man re-marries.  Marriage is hard, but it’s the best adventure I have been on.  I think sex is awesome too, but it isn’t love.  God is love.  Sex is an expression of love or lust.  Lust is desire gone bad.  Really bad.  It’s important that you tell your kids about sex from more than just a physical side.  Especially for girls, sex involves their body, mind, will, emotions. When the world sends the message that sex is nothing, down plays it to just our bodies, the intimacy of sex  is lost and it’s just about body parts and satisfaction.  When you have multiple partners, your identity becomes rooted in your relationships or how men feel about you.  In a culture of sexual addiction, people jump from partner to partner because the fear of being alone is absolutely terrifying and unbearable.  Because, everyone imprints on their first sexual experience, and if “it’s nothing”, then sex becomes nothing.  I don’t know about you but standing alone in a bathroom waiting nervously and hoping the pregnancy test is negative or sitting alone in a doctor’s office waiting for the STD diagnosis isn’t my idea of great sex. ( By the way, the average woman/girl gets an STD after only two partners.)   The old addage still rings true…“First Comes Love...Trust with our hearts and then allow feelings of attraction to follow. When you love your spouse through the love that you receive out of your relationship with God, you love without strings attached and you learn to love selflessly.   Then Comes marriage….a committed relationship where the good, the bad and the ugly is nurtured through grace, mercy, forgiveness, loyalty, trust, honor and respect. Then Comes the Baby in the Baby Carriage…a marriage with sex as the foundation doesn’t stand under the pressure that comes when you raise kids; anyone with kids knows that. But a marriage with a Biblical Foundation can stand.

So…capture the heart of your kids so that you are the influence on their sexual decisions, not the warped world or their immature friends.  Explain to them the three deceptions of sex that I listed.  Use your own story even if you have a sexual past. (The age of your kids does matter in that conversation so use discretion and prayer before you begin, but know that your past does not dictate the future of your children.)  Muscician Matthew West has a great song called Mended.  It may be your story….”When you see broken beyond repair, I see healing beyond belief.  When you see too far gone, I see one step away from home. When you see nothing but damaged goods, I see something good in the making.  I’m not finished yet. When you see wounded, I see mended.” Use your story to talk to your teen, you can leave out graphic details and still get the picture across.  Let’s revolutionize sex and put it back in marriage.

TIP: Need help capturing the heart of your kids? My church, Faith Bible Chapel is starting some free parenting classes on Wednesday nights facilitated by Dr. Bob and Gayle Bucknam called Reaching the Heart of Your Child.  Topics include changing the tone of your home/first-time obedience/teaching personal responsibility and avoiding entitlement attitudes/instilling values and respect/how to handle screen time and technology/whining, temper tantrums, sibling rivalry, and more. Sign up at http://www.fbci.org/parenting    I will be there too!

Posted by Amy in Abstinence, Sex Education

The Abstinence Olympics

ringsMy family is LOVING watching the Olympics!  In fact, we are staying up way to too late to watch it which is not great  back to school sleep prep.  We noticed that no matter what sport we are watching, all athletes have three characteristics in common: training, perseverance, goal setting. Whether it be a  maniac table tennis  (should be called ping pong!) player or the British golf star who got a hole in one, or the most decorated Olympian of all times, they all have worked endless hours training for their sport.  In an interview with Simone Biles, she talked about having to abstain from proms, home-coming, parties, activities in order to train.   But her perseverance paid off and she attained her goal of being the all-around gymnastic champion.  She has no regrets of her social abstinence.

In a recent conversation with a young mom, we discussed whether abstinence is a realistic goal for our kids in a world with such sexual promiscuity. We both agreed that as parents, we absolutely promote and teach abstinence and purity, but teaching it is a lot like training for an Olympic sport…it requires training…endless conversations with your kids at teachable moments even if those teachable moments are at 11 pm at night.  It requires perseverance on your part and your child’s….teaching discipline,self control, and limiting media  from the high chair and beyond.  Most importantly, it requires goal setting…..I want kids with a heart for the Lord and a Biblical world view; therefore my standard by which we measure everything is the Bible.  One of the best ways, you can train yourself as a parent is to find a mentor, some one who is ahead of you in the parenting Olympics and use them as a resource and counselor.  Find a like-minded mom who can remind you of the training your kids need to have for stages in life.  Some one who can encourage you to keep persevering even when you want to give up and let your kids play video games till their heads fall off.  Even though I am an educated sex education teacher, my mentor has helped me prepare how to talk to my daughter about periods, swim suits, modesty, and dating.  While I have the knowledge, she has the experience of raising a daughter to adulthood so together we can dialogue.

So do we set a goal of sexual abstinence for our kids based on the Scriptures?  Absolutely.  Could we train them toward that? Sure…but what if they fail?? And they just might.  Your kids and mine may have a moment of weakness and loose their purity, but that doesn’t mean we don’t train, persevere, or set a goal.  The Olympics is a great example of both:  those who succeed and those to fail.  But those who fail and still rise up are champions in my book too.  There is something so satisfying with winning, but loosing has some huge benefits too….you learn grace, mercy, and compassion.  So here is my conclusion:  Train your kids to win the abstinence Olympics, but if they fail, look at the failure as opportunity because after all….”Grace wins every time.”

TIP: Find a mentor.  Meet consistently.  Remember training, perseverance, goal setting.

Posted by Amy in Sex Education, Abstinence

Teaching Kids Their ABC’s-Abstinence, Boundaries, Courage/Confidence

dad and daughterWe teach our kids their ABC’s when we teach them to read, but are you teaching them some ABC’s of life?  Let’s start with Abstinence.  Abstinence doesn’t just include sexual abstinence.  You won’t cover that topic with your two year old, but what you can teach your kids (at any age)  is Abstinence from other things like video games, TV, computer time, media in the car, sugar, dessert, complaining, eating fast food, soda,  whining..just to name a few.  There is nothing wrong with withholding things from your kids—abstaining or refraining from certain things teaches patience and self-control—two important character traits that kids need to develop in order to be able to achieve sexual abstinence later in their teen years.  We have no screen days or weeks even.  My kids can’t play on anything with a screen for 48 hours now and then because I  want to teach them that the y won’t die from abstaining from a screen for a few days!  The process teaches discipline and self control and requires Mom is be creative in suggesting positive activities.

Boundaries.  Everyone needs them.  The pack and play is a great place to teach your toddler boundaries.  In fact, you can actually train them to play in their pack and play!  I used to gate my son in his room when he was 3.  He hated it at first, but then he got used to it and learned to play in it.  I gated him in so I could still see him in his room but he couldn’t climb the gate and get out.  When your kids learn to write, they have the boundary of the lines on the paper. When they go to school, they have the boundary of their classroom, their desk, their playground.  Give them boundaries in your home.  For example, when your bathroom door is shut, they are not aloud inside.  For heavens sake, you should be able to pee in private. Teach boundaries every chance you get.  They can learn to stay in their beds until 7am.   Boundaries are a part of life and eventually, you will have conversations about body boundaries.  You will find yourself saying things like, “No one touches you on the parts your swimsuit covers up.” We don’t touch people in personal places and spaces.” “We play with our clothes on at all times.”  You get the idea.

Courage and Confidence.  Every boy need courage in order to stand up for himself in this world…even if it means standing alone.  Every girl needs confidence so that she doesn’t fall into the trap that a boy or that a relationship is her confidence.  In addition, the more confidence and courage your kiddos have, the more likely they are to follow boundaries and have personal boundaries. Courageous and Confident people can withstand sexual pressure and can walk away when need be.  This week, teach your kids some life ABC’s.

TIP: Teach your kids the ABC’s of Life…Abstinence, Boundaries, Courage/Confidence

Posted by Amy in Sex Education, Abstinence

No Shame Parenting..

clipart-heart-clip_art_illustration_of_a_red_heart_with_a_white_swirl_0071-0904-2000-1163_SMU

You cannot be on guard 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Your children will be exposed to things that horrify you…probably not on your watch, but maybe.  They may play games in your house that are not OK and you didn’t stop them because you didn’t know.  They may try things that make your stomach hurl…things you warned them about even.  Occasionally, they may let you down. (But more likely, they will let you down often.)  This week alone, three parents contacted me feeling shame that their kids saw pornography.  I have some simple advice: Stop It!  Seriously, stop feeling shame about things that are out of your control. I know it isn’t easy and we feel guilty when we can’t protect our kids all the time.  Of course, the statistics are not in our favor. One in three girls is sexually molested before 18. YUCK! 72% of males, not practicing Christians, are checking out porn monthly ages 13-24.  Gross! 41% of males, practicing Christians are monthly checking out porn ages 13-24. This should not be!   Thankfully, 25 years and up, the statistics get better. Whew! But our teens need guidance and our littles need warning.  Did you know that 56% of kids (ages 13-24) think that people who don’t recycle are sinning while only 32% think that looking at pornography is wrong. WHAT?? The sexual exploitation of women ranks lower than trash!  No wonder our world is in trouble.  SO, rather than feel shame and guilt, armor your kids. Today we sat in a coffee shop as a family and discussed the moral foundation of our family so that WHEN our kids come up against the ugly world we live in, they have a standard of measure.  (Contact me if you are more interested in our discussion and I will send you some tips.) We are not perfect parents but we understand that in this world, the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but we know where Life comes from and we believe in teaching our kids truth.  Our ultimate source of truth comes from the Scripture not society or culture. Where does your source of truth come from? Remember, if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.

When your kid gets exposed to pornography accidentally or by someone else, your conversation may go something like this: Mom is so sorry that you had to see those pictures.  It is not your fault that you had to see them. I wish I could have protected you from them. Let’s talk about how you feel and what to do in case it happens again. (Teach your kids to walk away; bounce their eyes.)

When my daughter was a toddler she crawled up the stairs and accidentally got her leg stuck between the railings. Then she lost her balance.  She fell down the stairs, breaking her tibia and her fibula.  My husband was mortified because he turned his back for a split second and it happened.  Surprisingly, this sort of fracture is quite common, but it didn’t lessen the sting my husband felt in his heart for her.  Night after night, he slept on the floor next to her crib in case she awoke in pain.  He felt responsible.  He felt negligent.  His heart was broken. And yet, it was an accident.  When something happens to your child that is out of your control, stop attacking, criticizing or shaming yourself.  Instead, get up, dust off your boots and get back on the bull of parenting. Abraham Lincoln said it best, “It’s not the years you live, but the life in your years.”  Don’t waste time and years shaming yourself. Because when it’s all said and done, the ride will only feel like 8 seconds!

TIP:  Practice no shame parenting.  Don’t blink, because kids will be gone before you know it.

Note: Statistics are from the Barna Report, produced in partnership with Josh McDowell Ministry, a Cru ministry.

Posted by AMY in Sex Education, Pornography, Abstinence.

Powerful Dad, Powerful Daughters

dad and daughter

Make no mistake that incredible, involved, intentional dads produce confident daughters.  Today’s culture entices girls to grow up too fast and our little dollies are stumbling upon challenges for which they are totally untrained and unprepared.  Eating disorders are on the rise at alarming rates and girls as the age of 10 are dieting, some as early at five or six years old! Pop culture is warping girls on how to dress and treat boys. Brazen girls are sexting boys in junior high pictures of themselves topless or bottomless! What about television, the Internet, music, radio, advertising?? Today, if you haven’t had sex or plastic surgery by the time you are 21, you are a loser. Our society is at war with good parents who are trying desperately to protect their kids from the damaging, destructive, detrimental world around them.  Because of parents who are overworked, distracted, exhausted, and uninvolved, the lives of our future families are in the balance!  Who can fix this?? D-A-D, that’s who!  A daughter’s self worth specifically depends on a caring and affirming father.  Girls never take their dads for granted. “They hopelessly wait for dad’s attention and some wait in frustration and others in despair.”(Dr. Meeker, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters).  Fathers have the ability to change the course of their daughter’s lives and can even save them.  And get this, her future sex life and whether she can fully trust her husband in the bedroom comes from the confidence she received from a dad who played a crucial role in helping her stay pure.

The best advice I have read is simply this….”Work at building your daughter’s self-concept throughout her childhood. Tell she is pretty every chance you get. Hug her. Compliment her admirable traits. Build her confidence by giving her your time and attention. Defend her when she is struggling. And let her know that she has a place in your heart that is reserved only for her. She will never forget it.” (Dr. Dobson, Bringing Up Girls).

Because good parenting almost always requires sacrifice, a good dad will forfeit the game on TV to have a tea party with his daughter.  He might make his run 30 minutes instead of 45 just so he can help his girl learn to ride her bike.  He might even take a job that offers less money but gives him more time with his kids.  He will stop his yard work to wipe her tears and put a bandaid on her owie.  Treat your daughter like a lady with respect and honor.  Be modest around her and encourage her to be modest in her dress.  I had a wonderful dad and on my wedding day just before he walked me down the aisle, with tears in his eyes, he told me, “It’s not too late to run. My car is parked right outside.”  Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!!

Note: Some of the information in this post comes from the book Bringing Up Girls  by Dr. James Dobson

TIP:  If you have a daughter, encourage your husband to read this post.  And act on it.

Thank you to my amazing husband for loving me and our girl and to the best grandpa out there!

Posted by Amy in Abstinence and Sex Education