Judy and I have had a rash of 'awakening' moments lately that look like this: We will be driving somewhere -- or mostly likely back from somewhere -- with our kids and a few more, and one of us will say, "Did we really need to do that? Could we have had as much fun playing a game at home, walking by the lakes that are near our house (instead of the streams an hour away), watching a movie together at home?"
We'll be tired, the kids will be cranky, we will have just spent money we don't have (so to speak). It's starting to sink in -- we GO too much. We seek to entertain ourselves -- and that's not always bad. But does an American Christian middle-class family have to be going and doing to be happy?
Strong in my spirit -- and I believe it is from the Spirit -- is the urge to stay home more, and to learn to enjoy that with my family. We have a nice home, as most of you do, so why do we so often think we have to be somewhere else to be happy?
I'm not at all against family outings, vacations, etc., but here's the crux of the matter: Most of us can honor God more with our time usage, spending and commitment to real dialogue with our children by staying home more.
This may not seem like a crucial, hard parenting issue, but we also may all be getting fooled into a busy-ness that undercuts our goals. Think about it. Don't go crazy.
Today's blog is link-intensive, as I've seen many things I want to share over the past weeks but haven't produced a blog. After a summer of administration and re-tooling, I'll be back to consistent blog production.
As I reviewed many links I had filtered about family, I found a lot of secular stories that were of use. Here's what I'm seeing: non-Christian parents are asking some of the right questions, and non-Christian researchers are seeing some of the right data. It's just that neither are coming up with the right conclusions! (mostly). Among the following links are many secular stories, but they have value as you use the data and the questions and issues to apply the Word in your context.
I realize there is more below that you can absorb in one sitting; please return to the blog from time to time and keep exploring.
- The value of boundaries for toddlers and gradschoolers. Some good insight and info. http://blog.pigtailpals.com/2010/07/for-now-dolls-like-these/
- Touching story of intentional fathering in a tragic time: http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/06/14/dads.daughters.feiler/index.html?hpt=C1
- "Few things are more infectious than a godly lifestyle. The people you rub shoulders with everyday need that kind ofchallenge. Not prudish. Not preachy. Just cracker jack clean living. Just honest to goodness, bone-deep, non-hypocritical integrity." Charles Swindoll
- Looks like the culture is producing self-absorbed children. Any surprise? http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/13-culture/366-teenagers-want-successful-careers-and-global-travel-expect-to-delay-marriage-a-parenting-
- This is of value as it affirms what many think of as the 'controlling' parent. We must be vigalent! http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/family-and-relationships/give-helicopter-parents-a-break/article1651532/
- A must read to know how NOT to think. This article unknowingly juxtaposes a Biblical world view versus secular psychology. Yet, because it is soft and gentle in approach, it will be well received by most who call themselves Christian. http://www.todaysparent.com/lifeasparent/parenting/article.jsp?content=20100525_130806_8788&page=1
- Another secular study helping to prove what I and many Christian leaders have long taught: that dad's influence greatly their daughter's sexuality. Though some of the quotes as to WHY are wrong because of the lack of understanding of spirituality and the Bible. //www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31086977/
- Please read this information piece about sexting, then ask yourself, 'Why should I believe that my teen could not be exposed to this?" http://www.internetsafety101.org/sexting.htm
- Signs of a spoiled child: observe yours and see what you see. http://gomestic.com/family/why-kids-grow-up-spoiled/