When Your Children Break Your Heart

When Your Children Break Your Heart

You will always be a parent, even when your children are grown. And sometimes the choices they make are completely inconsistent with the values you worked so hard to instill in them. Or you may see some things you wish you had done differently as a parent, and now that your children are older it seems hopeless. It hurts when children break your heart.

In our most recent survey I heard from a number of parents. Your children may be teens, young adults, or even middle aged, and the way they are living seems to be far from God. And it hurts you to see it. “That is what breaks my heart.” “And my heart breaks!!!!!” “It grieves our hearts.” Your pain is deep and real. I can hear your tears and feel your heartache.

When your children were little you could control their behavior somewhat. You could take them to church, punish them if they did wrong, and make sure they ate their vegetables. You could decide what TV shows they watched and which friends they spent time with. During their teen years (if not before) all that began to change, and you are now no longer in charge. The tearing away may have been happening right under your nose without you realizing it until a serious break in your relationship with them forced you to see it. Or it may have been gradual and relatively pleasant until they were out of your house, and then they walked steadily away from the kind of Christian lifestyle you wanted them to have.

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Women In Charge!

Women In Charge!

Mother and DaughterWomen have a difficult time in this world. We always have. It’s not that men always have it easy, but as women we seem to get an especially difficult load of “stuff.”

Yes, this post is especially for women. First of all, I am one. Second, I’m an OB-Gyn physician, so the patients I see and care for are women. Men have their issues, but this is about you and me, girlfriend!

Just think of all the things we have to worry about:

  • Periods every month for up to 40 years, with their associated inconvenience and the physical and mental symptoms than come with them.
  • Pregnancy. As one of my step-daughters said, “Growing a human is hard work!”
  • No pregnancy. Infertility is not exclusively a female concern, but we certainly carry the brunt of the physical and emotional load when this becomes a problem.
  • Preventing pregnancy. Whether fair or not, decisions and use of contraception fall mostly on our shoulders.
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7 Personal Christmas Gift Ideas for Someone You Love

7 Personal Christmas Gift Ideas for Someone You Love

Wise MenIt’s almost Christmas! Some families, like ours, plan to open gifts on Christmas Eve. Some are planning to go to church on Christmas Eve, and open presents on Christmas morning. Or you may be planning a small Christmas with your spouse or immediate family, and then a larger extended-family gathering at some other time.

Regardless of when you are celebrating, giving gifts to one another has become a standard part of Christmas. In giving gifts we echo the first Christmas, when the Wise Men gave gifts to the Christ Child. And don’t worry if your gift-giving isn’t on Christmas day. There’s controversy about the actual day on which Jesus was born, and it probably wasn’t on December 25. And even so, the Wise Men wouldn’t have presented Him with their gifts until some time later.

If you’re wrestling with how to truly show that you care, here are some Christmas gift suggestions that cost little or nothing, and it’s not too late to get any one of them ready for Christmas. See if one of these may be just what your spouse, child, parent, or best friend may enjoy this season.

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The 10 Commandments for a Strong Marriage

The 10 Commandments for a Strong Marriage

Couple Reading the BibleGod’s rules for living – the 10 Commandments – have stood the test of time. They should; they were written by God Himself. The details of what keeping those commandments might look like may change with circumstances, but the principles never do. And those same 10 Commandments can describe what it takes to develop strong marriage.

You know the 10 Commandments, right? If you’re rusty, check the bottom of this post. I’ve listed the short version there.

Just like the all-encompassing original 10 Commandments, this is a standard which none of us keeps perfectly on our own. We need the grace of God here as much – or more – than anywhere else! But knowing what works in the economy of this thing God created called marriage helps us to see where we are doing well, and where we need to seek God’s help to be more consistent.

10 Commandments for a Strong Marriage

  1. Thou shalt have no other human being more important to you than your spouse.
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Preparing for Marriage when you Carry Bad Baggage

Preparing for Marriage when you Carry Bad Baggage

None of us goes through life baggage-free. But some of us seem to accumulate more than our fair share of negative stuff in the “personal relationships” category. That type of baggage often sets a person up for misery or failure if and when they get married. Preparing for marriage can seem like preparing to be hurt, damaged, exploited, or just another “statistic” in a long list of failed and miserable life experiences.

But such misery or failure is not inevitable. I want to share with you what I learned about preparing for marriage – and doing it successfully – even while carrying bad baggage in that department. When I told my friend Evelyn Davison my story, she said “You’ve got to share this with people! There are lots of them who need to hear this.”

The messages, models, and memories I had accumulated growing up did not afford me a very positive outlook when it came to marriage. I knew intellectually that God created marriage, intimacy, and families, and that He intended it all to be “very good!” But I also had my own bad baggage that interfered with my emotional reactions to those topics.

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