MONTHLY ARCHIVES: September 2012
Posted on September 26, 2012 by Phil
You may think that you already have a good grip on this somewhat uncomfortable topic. As a youth development professional, I strongly encourage you to take a few short minutes to check out this simple article with plenty of optional additional resources. We want you to be equipped…
“The Internet, mobile devices, and other digital technologies combine to create a world in which children and teens no longer have to look for and find pornography. Now, pornography is in the mainstream and it finds them.
As parents called by God to nurture our children through childhood and into a spiritually healthy adulthood, we have the responsibility to be keenly aware of pornography’s presence, its compelling draw, and the impact it has on our kids. When it comes to pornography, what they see and experience now will not only shape them in the present, but will continue to influence them and their relationships for the rest of their lives. Consequently, we must be diligent in preparing our children to understand, process, and respond to this horribly fallen expression of God’s good gift of sexuality in ways that bring honor and glory to God.”
Assistant Director, Camp Ridgecrest for Boys
Posted on September 19, 2012 by Phil
because of God’s character, He will hear and respond to our prayers
How can you keep this conversation going at home? Try bouncing some of these questions around at the dinner table, as you’re driving your kids to school or an activity, or even while you’re shopping together:
• When you talk to God, how do you know He listens?
• Do you have any questions about God?
• What should our family pray for?
• Do you believe God hears our prayers?
• Why do you think you don’t always get everything you ask for in prayer?
• What should our family pray for?
• How often should we pray together?
• What kind of prayers do you think God listens to?
• Do you pray because you want to or because you have to? Do you think that makes a difference to God?
• How can I pray for you?
Posted on September 12, 2012 by Phil
LifeWay Research in NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The vast majority of parents hope their children grow up to live good lives, but for many, parental success does not include faith in God – even among parents who are evangelical Christians, according to a new study from LifeWay Research.
The national survey of 1,200 adults with children under 18 at home was conducted by LifeWay Research, the research arm of LifeWay Christian Resources, for the new book The Parent Adventure: Preparing your children for a lifetime with God by Rodney and Selma Wilson and Scott McConnell (B&H Publishing Group).
The study found the most common definitions of successful parenting include children having good values (25 percent), being happy adults (25 percent), finding success in life (22 percent), being a good person (19 percent), graduating from college (17 percent), and living independently (15 percent). Being godly or having faith in God is mentioned by 9 percent of respondents.
Parents who attend religious services weekly are particularly likely to emphasize faith in God, but only 24 percent of them identify that as a mark of parenting success, the research found.
“We are seeing an ever-widening gulf in American believers between the private faith and a faith that is passed on,” said McConnell, who serves as associate director of LifeWay Research. “Instead, we too often see an emphasis on guiding children to a social morality and toward an as-yet undefined ‘happy’ life.”
Influences and goals
While the vast majority (83 percent) believes parents should be most responsible for a child’s spiritual development, only 35 percent say their religious faith is one of the most important influences on their parenting, according to the study. This leaves nearly half (48 percent) who acknowledge their role in their child’s spiritual development, but fail to consider their own religious faith among the most important influences on their parenting.
Pushing out to either end of the religious spectrum, the study found that almost a third of all parents either have no religious faith or say religious faith has little or no influence on their parenting. Conversely, among born-again Christians, 29 percent say faith is not among the most important influences on their parenting. Stetzer added, “When self-identifying Christians are not able to say that faith is a priority for parenting, we should not be surprised at the prevalence of church drop outs in the younger generation.”
Asked if they have a written plan or goal for what they want to accomplish as parents, a full 33 percent say they have no plan or goal at all. Among those who attend religious services weekly and evangelicals, 76 percent say they have a plan, either written or unwritten.
Fears and regrets
In contrast to visions of success, many parents are fearful for their children’s futures and some harbor regrets about their parenting, according to the research. A full 82 percent agree they feel fearful when they think about what kind of world their children will face as adults. Asked if they feel a lot of regret about what they’ve done as parents, 28 percent of parents agree, although only 5 percent feel strongly about it.
Almost 6 in 10 parents (59 percent) indicate they want their children to experience pain and disappointment so they can learn from it, but about 3 in 4 parents (74 percent) say they try to keep their own pain hidden from their children. More than 1 in 3 parents (34 percent) say they worry when they think about their children ‘leaving the nest.’ A full 15 percent say the prospect of their children growing up and leaving home is simply too painful to think about.
Only 14 percent of all parents say they feel they are very familiar with what the Bible has to say about parenting, even though 77 percent identify themselves as Christians. Among those who attend religious services weekly, that number rises to 36 percent.
“One of parents’ ultimate responsibilities is to prepare their children for adulthood,” McConnell said. “This study may hint at why many young adults are spiritually underdeveloped – their parents have given little focus to matters of faith.”
by Mark Kelly
Posted on September 5, 2012 by Phil
Tuesday is the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Monday, September 17, marks the 225th anniversary of the signing of the US Constitution. Each night this week, pray specifically for someone or something related to American freedoms, responsibilities, or challenges.
Sunday: Pray for your local fire and police departments, and any officers or firefighters you know personally.
Monday: Pray for American military personnel who are serving overseas and their families who are here.
Tuesday: Pray for missionaries who work in primarily Muslim countries. Check out IMB’s website www.lovingmuslims.org for additional helps.
Wednesday: Pray for your District’s Congressional Representatives and your state’s senators. For a complete listing, go to www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.
Thursday: Pray for the President and Vice President.
Friday: Thank God for the freedom we have as American citizens. Ask God to help us make good decisions as a country.
Saturday: One of the freedoms the Constitution guarantees is freedom of religion. Pray for all pastors and church leaders (especially yours!) as they prepare for a full day of ministry tomorrow.