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8 Life-Giving Reminders for Christian Parents

"I'm your follower!" announced my preschooler in a sing-song voice as she tagged along at my heels. I smiled at her candor, enjoying her company.Then, the profound truth of her words settled into my soul. My follower. My shadow. A nearly inseparable part of my being during this life season. She watches and continually learns from me (as do her older siblings).Our children are, quite literally, our followers. Like little disciples, they instinctively look to us as examples, teachers, and leaders. What a privilege! We have the opportunity to introduce them to Jesus, live out the gospel, and model faith in daily life.And yet, what a sobering responsibility. I don't know about you, but sometimes this strikes fear in my heart. What if I get it wrong? What about all the times I fall short of being the perfect parent I long to be?In moments of worry and doubt, we need God to speak truth to our souls. Here are eight reminders that can equip us to live well as Christian parents:
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4 Toxic-Mom Types to Avoid on Social Media

Ahh, the back-and-forth battle of social media. It never ceases, does it? One minute you are drawn in by that all too familiar ding that declares you have a notification, and then all bets are off, and you find yourself scrolling mindlessly for the next two hours. Grrr!Let the time warp begin!Here's the thing… Sure, social media has its advantages. After all, you get to connect with Sally Sou across the country and send those hysterical cat memes to your sister at 2 a.m. when you can’t seem to catch a wink. I mean who doesn’t love that? However, on the flip side, these platforms are meant (and designed) to pull you in, snag your attention (dang all those cute puppy reels), and keep it until you are ready to throw your phone down and say, “Enough!”So, here's where I was met with “Enough!” I am a mom of three daughters. Many days are rough around here. Not gonna lie. If you have kids maybe you can relate. Okay, that was meant to be funny, kind of. But in all honesty, the past two years have been quite bumpy between losing my mom suddenly and then raising two teenagers. Now, I'm losing my mind. That said, any post pertaining to grief or how to raise daughters, especially teens, grabs not only my attention but also my heart.Yet, after a while, I noticed between the overflowing flood of posts and endless (ruthless) comments, I was getting sucked into a type of “mom culture” that seemed, well, off. You know how social media “suggests” others for you to follow? Well, I went down that rabbit hole.Can we just be real and honest about motherhood for a hot minute? Being a mom is sometimes lonely. It is sometimes really, painfully, and brutally hard. It generally brings about more emotions than you ever thought possible. It makes you question – everything. This is why we are continually searching for answers. You know, to the important questions in life like: How long should my baby sleep at this age? Does my ten-year-old need to eat more veggies? How can I clean my house in twenty minutes? How can I get my teen to actually talk to me without all the eye rolls?Sometimes, other social media moms have those answers. They have wisdom because they have been there and done that. And it’s great! After all, we are better together.Unfortunately, there is another side to social media. A side that has given way to an unsettling trend that I truly believe is hurting us as moms. It’s a place that breeds belittling, shaming, condemning, and chastising. It’s a place that stokes fear, anger, confusion, and comparisons. This is the place where toxicity runs rampant, and we need to stay away at all costs.The bottom line is this: If a mom on social media isn’t helping you be a better form of yourself or, better yet, helping you grow closer to Christ, like the sweet friendships that are mentioned in Proverbs 27:9, then it may be time to sever ties.Beware of these four toxic-mom types you should avoid on social media:Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/grinvalds

How to Help Your Child Deal with Rejection

Rejection affects all of us. Our kids will be overlooked, left out, or even shunned. When this happens, we have the priceless opportunity of pointing them to Jesus and helping them grow stronger and more empathetic through the pain. Let’s take every opportunity to affirm our children. Let’s instruct them in true success, the beauty of faith, and the value of integrity.

How to Ensure Your Young Adult Feels Loved But Not Suffocated

"How do I continue to love them without suffocating them"? I asked my three teens this question because I don't want to be known as the smother-er! What young adult wants a mom to plant a kiss on their forehead before they walk into school or shout from across the parking lot to greet them while they duck down and run as fast as they can to evade the embarrassment? We know these things can feel suffocating, but what are the appropriate boundaries?

7 Ways to Bless Your Adult Children without Overstepping

As parents, we still want to bless our children even after they become adults. But since God has unique plans for each of our adult children to follow in their lives, it’s important to find ways to support them without overstepping boundaries. This delicate balance requires love, wisdom, and an understanding of both our role as parents and their need for independence. I’ve learned in my own journey of raising two children who are now adults that the Bible offers valuable guidance on how to bless adult children. As you aim to bless your own adult children, you may be stressed by the transition from parenting children to encouraging adults. It may feel scary to see your adult children step out into the world without the safety net you had underneath them when they were young. But just as God is always there for you, he is always there for your adult children. The more you trust God, the more you encourage your adult children to do so – helping them build faithful and successful lives as adults. Here are seven ways to bless your adult children without overstepping.Photo Credit: © Getty Images/monkeybusinessimages

5 Serious Stumbling Blocks That Damage Parent-Adult Child Relationships

Building and maintaining a strong relationship with your adult children can be both rewarding and challenging. As a parent, you naturally want to see your children thrive in life, but sometimes your actions – even with the best intentions – can inadvertently damage the bond you share with them. Let’s explore five serious stumbling blocks that damage your relationship with your adult children, along with ways to repair and strengthen your connection with them.Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Fizkes

12 Ways to Make Christ the Center of Your Home

Our home is where we spend the majority of our time, making it the central place where Christ can be at the center of our lives. It is where we eat, sleep, live, and build relationships with others. In this article, we'll explore various approaches to infusing Christ's essence into our homes, including the physical, relational, spiritual, and personal aspects. This article will hopefully serve as a call to transform our familiar dwelling into a sacred sanctuary.

4 Ways to Trust God as a New Parent

Becoming a parent for the first time is both exciting and terrifying. But you have a heavenly Father who is good and trustworthy. Trust Him with the unknown, cling to His promises, know that He always makes a way for His will to be done

7 Pieces of Bad Parenting Advice You Should Ignore

Inner rambling thoughts of nearly every mom or dad at some point or another when any piece of parenting advice is given:She may mean well, but it's a different generation that doesn't work today.Those words didn't just come out of his mouth, did they?But my life is different than hers, and I can't do that? Can I?He has got to be kidding. Oh, wait. He's absolutely serious!Oh, the many times I have heard advice from a "well-meaning" family member, friend, acquaintance, and yes, even a simple stranger (the grocery store is the worst), only to tell myself to let it go in one ear and out the other. Yep, it's a lot. I bet you can probably relate.While some advice is welcomed and helpful, like when my mom told me to put another diaper below the one I was changing (good call!) or the time a mentor couple at our church told my husband (in front of me) the best thing you can do for your children, is to really love their mother. That one made me smile. Other times, you get those words of advice that may leave you grinding your teeth, biting your lip, rolling your eyes, or just awkwardly smiling, awaiting the chance to slither away. Then there are those off-the-wall statements that just make you go, hmm.We've all been there. Getting advice, especially as a new parent, is like a rite of passage. The reality is that you are going to receive advice many times throughout this journey; it is unavoidable. The good news is that as parents, we can learn from one another and share our own stories, allowing us to shift the good advice from the not-so-good advice.So, with that, here is a collection of bad parenting advice, mostly for new parents, but could be applied for other seasons as well, that may spur on a few laughs, cause an "aha" moment, or give you a big virtual hug as realize you aren't alone.
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5 Surprising Ways You May Be Destroying Your Relationship with Your Adult Children

As parents, it's easy to discipline and guide kids when they're little. As young children grow and form their own values and ideas, it's easy to simply follow what Mom or Dad says to do. They learn boundaries, and they learn to be comfortable within those boundaries. However, when they become adults, they want to be treated as adults. It's difficult for parents to let go of past child-rearing techniques and instead continue to treat their children like children rather than the adults they are. Overbearing or controlling parents may be difficult for children to be able to relate to as they get older. This, among other things, may strain an otherwise enriching relationship between parent and adult. Here are some surprising ways you may be destroying your relationship with your adult children:
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5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before Becoming a Mom

You prepare your body for the baby for roughly ten months (40 weeks) or an adoption process that can span even longer as you assimilate a child into your home. But how much do we prepare our minds for the rest of our lives in how we see ourselves as a mom? No one really talks about preparing for the mental acknowledgment of being a parent, not just in the moment but in the years ahead.

7 Prayers for the Brand-New Momma

You are amazing! Just thought you might need to hear that right about now. You made it. You did it! Your love made that precious little bundle you have tucked so close to your heart, gifting you a title you never knew could come with so many emotional strings attached.Yet, here you are! You are a mom. A mom!You anticipated, waited, and earnestly prayed for this day, this new chapter. So, welcome to the club, sweet sister!It wasn’t easy, I know. Your body is weary, and your heart is still tender. It’s been quite a lot to endure lately. After all, you just carried a life inside of you for nine months and grew another tiny human. You did that! You dealt with mood swings and food aversions, watched your body morph in ways that brought forth both joy and frustration. You battled sleepless nights and wrestled a body pillow that practically kicked your hubby out of bed. You walked around even though you couldn’t see your feet, all while bracing yourself for lots and lots of (un)wanted advice. You prepped like never before, cleaning like a mad woman all while eating cereal like it was going out of style. You fought fatigue like a champ and read all the parenting books.You did all that, and now you are here! Holding this little human with shaky arms, unsure of how in the world you are going to do this. But, this is indeed motherhood.Sweet new momma, it’s okay to have all the feels and to be real and raw in the moment. You just underwent the most incredible yet physically, mentally, and emotionally draining procedure that a woman could ever go through. Sure, it was exhaustive, demanding, and intense, but oh, so beautiful.Yet, as surreal as that moment in time was, the journey has just begun! The healing will come, I promise. The emotions will eventually even out, I assure you. The fog will lift, and you will settle into this new role. Those motherly instincts will kick in and you will be okay. Trust that you are not only capable but so much stronger than you may think because God created you for this. And, He’s got you!In the meantime, as you snuggle that precious gift and settle into this new season of your life, take some time to get quiet before the Lord and let Him wrap you in His unfailing love. Below are some verses and pocket prayers to whisper up at any time. Let them bring peace and comfort to your new momma heart:Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Rawpixel

5 Things Christian Parents Need to Know about Gentle Parenting

Growing up, my dad used to tell me, "Children should be seen and not heard." This was a common mantra he heard in his home growing up. Members of the Boomer generation had parents who simply wanted their children to go play and leave them alone. Children had no say in decision-making, and little value was placed on a child's role in their parents' lives. Parents of this generation rarely said they were sorry to their children as parenting meant being the authority figure and always being right. However, as generations have passed, a new equality in parenting has been reached.Fathers are just as involved with their kids as mothers are. Parents are more apt to apologize for their mistakes. Yet children of a future generation may still adopt the model they saw in their house growing up. Some generations often used control and punishment as ways to curb bad behavior and reward good behavior—yelling and other forms of corporal punishment that may not be appropriate today were appropriate back then. Therefore, kids of younger generations have trouble understanding what it means to parent their child in a gentle way that allows them their own autonomy but still helps them become selfless, well-adjusted individuals. Here are five things Christian parents need to know about gentle parenting:
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