How can we regain some sanity on this difficult issue? Is there a formula? Does courtship always have to work the same way for every couple? Can courtship ever be a sinful thing? Is fear a driving force in your family’s understanding of these issues? Steve and Kara discuss some of their experience as their children have started to marry.
What are some of the things that “kids” need to be able to do before they are ready to take on the responsibility of marriage? Do they need to be ready to parent? What does it take to be financially ready? What level of maturity is needed? What are appropriate expectations? How can you gauge their emotional readiness?
How do you start preparing your children for marriage? How can you cultivate a good attitude toward marriage from an early age? How does the preparation differ for sons and daughters? What kinds of practical skills do they need?
How can we maintain a gracious attitude toward those we have disagreements with about non-essential issues: breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, home birth vs. hospital birth, vaccinate vs. not-vaccinate, homeschool or Christian school, organic vs. not-organic. Families have strong opinions about these and other topics. How can we keep these things from becoming divisive? How do we keep from creating laws for each other where God allows freedom?
Kids will do what you do not what you say. When you yell at your kids to stop yelling, what are they learning? Are you telling your kids they should be saving their money while demonstrating how to get into credit card debt? Living out a good example is a powerful form of teaching.
When my first two children were two and three years old and just learning to speak, I unintentionally began asking them repeat things in stories, or from the Bible to help them stay engaged with the reading and to help remember what we were reading. I would ask them a question and have them repeat what I said in 3-4 beats/syllables. They seemed to like this and I noticed they were catching on, because they would say and mention these things in their evening prayers. To help them further, I decided to write down some of the things we had. . .
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What price do children pay when their parents are uptight, controlling, and fearful? Does being plugged in to all the social media feeds and parenting apps breed an uptight attitude in your parenting? Are you constantly comparing yourself to everyone else? What does fear have to do with it? Why do parents think they can control EVERYTHING? Join Steve and Kara for conversation on loosening up when necessary.
It’s easy to let things slide. How do you regain ground when you realize that you or your kids have backslidden on tasks or skills or habits you’ve already learned or thought you’d mastered? How can you revisit old lessons in a way that makes your family stronger and keeps you moving forward. Are there times when it’s okay to coast for a bit? How do you know when it’s time to hit the reset button?
Telling the Christmas Story Christmas is an event so wonderful and important that time and history are kept according to Jesus’ arrival. This is a story that must be told annually. American Christians are in a unique position because we simultaneously have a cultural and religious holiday mixed together, and we end up with manger scenes that have either Santa Claus flying overhead or Santa bowing down at the manger in worship of Christ. Certainly if the historical Saint Nicholas had been present at the birth of Christ, he would bowed before Christ, but Santa Claus bowing seems rather strange. . .
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How can you help your children move through different stages of life? Do you need to think about a longterm plan when your kids are still young? How do you know when your kids are ready to be released from being parented like a child? What should your relationship with your kids be like after they leave the home and get married?
How do you deal with difficult family during the holidays? Why is this more difficult than dealing with other people we have disagreements with? How can you be prepared to be a peacemaker and to speak the truth in love when your family makes unpleasant comments about your parenting or family? How can you rise above emotional reactions and learn to respond graciously to unkind words?
The Murphy family loves Christmas…no, they really LOVE Christmas! Kara talks about some things that help her get through the holiday season without getting stressed out. In the middle of the busyness are you remembering what it is all about? How can you check your attitude? How can you assess when to keep doing activities and traditions and when to let things go? How can you keep track of it all? What do you do about budgeting?
Why do we think that sickness is preventing us from living out God’s best plans for us? How do you deal with loss of control over things you used to be able to manage? The Murphys welcome special guests Mark & Andrea Robinette once again as they discuss how to deal with all the difficulties of illness when it is mom that is sick. Kara and Andrea talk about what to do when your health keeps you from doing all the things you desire to do? How do they care for their families and various responsibilities while struggling with illness?. . .
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Keeping your children in worship with you comes with challenges. How do you teach your children to pay attention and participate? What can you do to minimize the stress and disarray of getting ready Sunday morning to have your family prepared physically and mentally to join in worship on Sunday morning?
What role does music have in your home and family? How can you help your children, from your youngest to your oldest, love good music? How can you encourage your kids to learn to play and sing? How can music be a blessing in your family and to your community also? What if you aren’t a musical person, can you still teach your children these things? Join Steve and Kara as they talk about the joy of music in their home.
What do you do when you’re working really hard at something and not seeing any progress? What are some diagnostic questions you can ask yourself to discover problems with your parenting methods or education goals? Whether it is in academics or areas of discipline and maturity, how do we know if we need to just persevere or if we need to change what we’re doing. How can we help ourselves honestly see the progress we are making?
Life Altering Changes In February 2010, there were two events which changed the course of my life. The first was finding out my wife Brittany was pregnant with Reid, our first child. The second was the next day, when we moved into our first home, which we lived in for six years. Now it may seem I’m over stating the importance of these events. After all, these are normal events in the life of most. Yes, they are important and special, but not unique, and in most ways quite ordinary, to which I would respond “precisely,” because these were the. . .
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How do you know if you need to pull back from involvement in good projects or ministries for a time? Can good activities sometimes take your attention away from the best or more important things? Steve and Kara talk about their Summer break from podcasting and about being mindful of your time and energy and making sure you aren’t trading the best things for the endless good things that are out there.
We are primarily speaking about young men starting to work but the conversation is applicable to us all. Join us as we share thoughts on how we might deliberately and with wisdom move our young men out of the home and into the world of work.