Parents and caregivers often want to know how to begin the sex talk. We would suggest, “Don’t begin with the Talk.” This might sound like a bait and switch, or as if we are avoiding your question, but honestly, the best way to deliver “the Talk” using THE conversation’s approach is to not start with the sex talk. Instead, start with where your child came from.Read More
We will periodically post blog articles with help for navigating current challenges in parenting and mentoring children.
About five years ago, I found myself in the audience at a marriage retreat put on by our church. To be completely honest, I have never enjoyed marriage retreats- they seem to ignite in me an overwhelming sense of failure and hopelessness. However, that’s beside the point I want to make here! We entered the meeting room and the presenters sat side by side up on the platform, the wife smiling and looking adoringly at her husband. The topic was the beauty of marital sex. When the woman stood to address the crowd, she began to admonish wives to satisfy their husband’s lusts as a safeguard against their use of pornography and extramarital affairs. My eyebrows raised, my internal alarms began sounding and anger welled up inside of me. Later, after the session, a 20 Something couple approached me. The young man insightfully remarked, “I think I’ve just been called an animal by the retreat speaker! I’m offended!” In a moment, I was given words to verbalize my revulsion to this very common message to wives in Christian contexts.Read More
In our previous blogs and in our workshop, THE conversation raises some serious questions regarding popular Christian teaching surrounding marriage, sex, sexual purity and single celibacy. Our unspoken and underlying assumptions:
· Marriage and sex in the context of marriage are prerequisites for a satisfying and fulfilling life.
· Single celibacy is a sentence for a life of deprivation and loneliness.
These assumptions not only contradict Biblical teaching but are the source of pain, resentment and many destructive choices.Read More
As a socially awkward and introverted teenager, I was ecstatic when I found “belonging” in a thriving high school youth group in the San Francisco Bay Area. I grew in confidence and leadership in this Biblically centered environment and received so many good gifts from God. But as with everything in life, these good gifts came in a mixed bag. Once I established a circle of supportive and fun female relationships, I discovered that it was kind of “a thing” to start a Hope Chest: a chest full of household items that would be joyfully unpacked WHEN one got married and established her own household. It was our idea of a good time to visit department stores, making decisions about our future dish patterns and household color schemes and planning purchases for our chests!
Yearly we anticipated the upcoming sex and dating teaching series in youth group. We eagerly sat on the edge of our seats as we listened to the speaker tell us that sex is awesome beyond imagination in marriage. Our interpretation of the message was this: “Get married so you can experience life’s highest good with God’s stamp of approval!” And many of us did get married young and quickly as this seemed the best strategy for “following the rules” and at the same time satisfying what seemed to us to be our deepest longings and desires.
Interestingly enough, I don’t remember ever hearing a talk on the beauty of the single and celibate life.Read More
Does an alarm go off in your head when your child is trying to pull one over on you? One of my closest childhood friends and I were just kids when she told me that she could tell if I wasn’t being truthful because my nostrils would flare. I was so bummed that my nose(of all things)gave me away! My own kids have tells that I won’t make public, but I know them when I see them. I can actually picture it: the particular expression on each one’s face when something’s up, the way posture changes. Seriously, take a minute and visualize the signs that give it away in your kids, a child you know, or a friend. Now visualize someone close to you, so thrilled and excited or in awe that it is written all over his or her face. My husband’s face breaks into total joy with his eyes crinkling, his shoulders rising up and his mouth opening for a spontaneous laugh when he finds something really funny. I can absolutely picture him even as I type this. The body communicates in its own language!Read More
Weddings can be simple, extravagant, excruciatingly long, delightful or the best party of the year! My favorite wedding surprise was one that commenced with a procession of bridesmaids and groomsmen each playing an unusual instrument while strolling down the grassy center aisle under tall shade trees. In my day, (here comes the old lady story) we all had pretty much the same wedding: songs, slide shows, cake, sherbet and gingerale punch, nuts and mints. But I love that many weddings today are intentionally planned in a way that expresses something of “who” the bride and groom are as persons. I’m sure it’s not hard to guess some of the particular personality traits of the couple hosting the aforementioned wedding.
In an effort to showcase the individuality and unique nature of the persons entering into marital union, couples last year spent an average of $33,391 according to The Knot 2017 Real Wedding Study. Lauren Kay, who wrote an article entitled, “The Top Wedding Trends for 2018” names these among the top ten:
-asking for cash
-single stem bouquets
-open fire cooking and
-Lipstick Touchup Bars!Read More
So what is up with The Bachelor and The Bachelorette? I have to confess that I really don’t get the appeal. However, I frequently overhear excited interchanges regarding these shows. I find that I have to back away slowly in order to avoid alienating my friends and family members with an impassioned speech. And then, after some quiet reflection, realize I need to take a breath and ask, “Why have these shows drawn top ratings for the past 16 years? What can I learn as I observe friends and family who seem inextricably drawn to the stories revealed during this hour?”Read More
Growing up in the San Francisco Bay area in the 1970’s, I became keenly aware of the emerging protest, “Marriage is just a piece of paper!” That protest was not just a fleeting trend. In a 2010 Time magazine article, “Who Needs Marriage: A Changing Institution” (Nov 18, 2010), Belinda Luscombe states, “When an institution so central to human experience suddenly changes shape in the space of a generation or two, it’s worth trying to figure out why.” According to a Pew Research Center poll in 2010, “What we found is that marriage, whatever its social, spiritual or symbolic appeal, is in purely practical terms just not as necessary as it used to be. Neither men or women need to be married to have sex or companionship or professional success or respect or even children.” Results of the 2012 US Census, reveal that 2/3 of couples married in 2012 shared a home together for more than two years before getting married. And no wonder, if our previous understanding of marriage was reduced to no more than a way to get what we viewed as necessary.Read More
The human body and the person are inseparable. We are all beginning to recognize this is true with the rise of holistic medicine. But why is it important for us to understand and integrate this truth into the way we see ourselves and others? The Lindas explore the implications and suggest practical ways to help those you mentor and parent in establishing this truth and understanding its implications. The impact on our choices regarding relationships cannot be underestimated!Read More