Category Archives: parenting

Love Might Win the Wayward in Your Life [REPOST]

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This hit home for me:

If you are paired with a prodigal, you know pain. Few trials slice as deeply as the spouse who goes rogue, the child who rebels, or the sibling who spins out of control. Rejecting their role and shutting out those that love them, wayward souls thunder with reckless entitlement, myopic selfishness, and chaotic, grief-instigating choices.

It’s a world of indescribable, emotional turmoil. Here’s some reasons why.

You flog yourself with the “why-stick” — why is this happening to them? Why is this happening to us? To me? Why? Whack. Whack. Whack. “Why?” is a cross that lovers of the wayward carry.

Often, they carry an ironic shame, too. With the wayward, a subtle paradox appears: the prodigal acts shamefully and feels justified — you love them sacrificially and feel ashamed. It’s a hellish twist on the idea of justification — their shame imputed to you.

Additionally, prodigals possess a dangerous, life-sucking power. They siphon the fuel out of those who love them in a “weariness-war.” The effects of this power take you beyond mere fatigue to a mind-enfeebling, soul-sapping, confidence-wrecking, depression-inciting, bone-tiring exhaustion.

What the Wayward Want

1. Choices Without Consequences

For someone fleeing from God, freedom is typically the ability to pursue desires without the burden of responsibility for their decision. John, infatuated with another woman, left Sally and their marriage of ten years in pursuit of freedom. When this appeared unstable to a judge, and Sally was awarded custody of the kids, John was outraged. Why?

A prodigal doesn’t typically engage in moral reasoning, so consequences strike them as offensive, unjust, or excessive. They fail to see that true freedom recognizes and honors the God-installed fences that define the borders between good and bad, wisdom and folly, sowing and reaping.

2. Autonomy Without Accountability

Wayward people want autonomy without the rule of love. They want a world where their wants are met without question or accountability. For the prodigal, life is about indulging desire, not accepting responsibility. The results are often disastrous.

Charlene is rarely cooperative, often stoned, and has little tolerance for discussion about how she spends her time or money. Charlene seeks a world where she can freely indulge and never explain. When accountability comes knocking, she withdraws behind an impenetrable emotional wall of unfettered autonomy, away from meddlesome scrutiny.

Few things plant a family in the manure of dysfunction quicker than feeding the delusion that one can live autonomously, yet dependent; unaccountable, yet family-funded.

What the Wayward Need

Ask the average Joe or Jaclyn about “love,” and their answers will skim the shallow pond of sentimental feelings, magnetic attraction, or the thrill of someone who makes them feel alive. Christians reject the merely sentimental and embrace a more robust vision of love. “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us” (1 John 3: 16).

At the eternal core of biblical love, we find a rugged cross. Blood-drenched yet triumphantly empty, this cross testifies to a promise-keeping love that goes beyond trifling sentiment. Think of it as “rugged love” — a love with teeth!

Love is rugged when it is

  • strong enough to face evil;
  • tenacious enough to do good;
  • courageous enough to enforce consequences;
  • sturdy enough to be patient;
  • resilient enough to forgive;
  • trusting enough to pray boldly.

Consider just two examples.

Strong Enough to Face Evil

Pete knows Becky is a serial adulterer, but he says nothing. Claire believes her brother is on drugs, but she won’t probe. Tammy overlooks the cruel comments her husband makes about her in public. Though each situation is distinct, they are all connected by a common compromise: Pete, Claire, and Tammy are all tolerating evil. If you ask them why, they say they do it all for love.

The Bible says, “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil” (Romans 12:9). True and genuine love abhors evil. It means that we have eyes to see evil and the courage to respond to it. Sin and folly inhabit the soul of the wayward like unwelcome squatters. If these vices are ever to be expelled, they can’t be ignored or hidden, but must be honestly named and exposed.

Love goes beyond prodigal management to the deeper power of gospel application.

The gospel of God’s justification of evil people does not deny evil. In fact, the gospel shows us God’s deepest feelings about evil — he abhors it. “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Romans 1:18). God’s wrath is his settled and determined response to injustice, sin, rebellion, and evil. The gospel showcases how God met radical depravity with genuine, rugged love.

Let’s face it, loving like this is not simple or easy for us. To get here, you need to experience this love yourself, a love so sturdy that it enables you to face your biggest fears — rejection, anxiety over the unknown, failure. Giving rugged love begins by receiving the rugged love of God and holding fast to the promises of the gospel, knowing that he will never leave us or abandon us (Hebrews 13:5) and that he is truly with us until the end (Matthew 28:20).

Tenacious Enough to Do Good

Naming evil is an important step, but it is only a first step. Love is made rugged by a tenacious commitment to “not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

By doing positive good — responding with godly, rugged love — we overcome the evil that has been done. But if things deteriorate, we need to be ready for the painful reality that love may require letting a prodigal go. In the heart-breaking act of letting go, our intent is not to punish the person or to retaliate for what they have done to us. We must not meet evil with evil. When we do, everyone loses, and no one gets loved.

Rather, we let go as a way to do good.

Doing good requires tenacity, because the moments when it’s most necessary are the same moments when it’s most difficult. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”

Desperate Times Need Deeper Love

Anyone embracing rugged love faces huge emotional hurdles. It feels like we are piling on, almost as if we saw a drunk stumble in the street and decided to kick him to teach him a lesson. But if we’re serious about helping people enslaved in selfishness, we will find faith to think honestly and deeply about the gracious grit of genuine love.

Don’t be afraid. Speak the truth in love, and trust Jesus. He may surprise you.

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How to Fiercely Love and Protect Someone in Difficult Times

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Remember you cannot control anyone else. Just YOURself.

1. Cry with them

2. Laugh with them

3. Listen to them

4. Keep your mouth shut.

a. Seriously. Unless they specifically ask for opinion, advice, help. Keep it zipped.

b. Be prepared to have kind, good and sane advice for them.

5. Follow this easy guide…

1 Corinthians 13  (NIV)

4 Love is patient, love is kind.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 

6. Keep in touch. Send a note, a card, encourage. Keep doing it. Especially with a death, people forget that the survivor still lives and has to go on. Fiercely loving them means being in it for the long haul.

7. Empathy: : the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this.

8. Take into consideration [empathy] what they are going through. Emotions run high and they are scared, sad, mad, depressed, sometimes in a chokingly exhausting way.

9. Offer to help [and only help them in #5 ways] Bring a meal, babysit, run errands, go to mtgs with them, sit in mourning with them, forgive the people they forgive, love the people they choose to love.

10. Keep your mouth shut. Keep your hands and feet close. Delete all distractions from your life that interfere with fiercely loving your friend/family member.

11. You can only control YOURself.

12. Last but never ever least. Pray. If you are not a praying person. Do whatever, meditate, light candles, etc. Just do it.

Please feel free to comment below if you have any other advice for fiercely loving others in difficult times.

*Dedicated to those who have suffered loss. I love you.

Musings on….. On Guard Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church

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9781939946515m

from here

This book. Is everything I wanted to say to our church but couldn’t articulate.

A bit of background. Hubby and I went to our church council to talk about putting some safeguards in place and having some more resources available for kids and parents affected by child abuse. This book deals with sexual abuse. Mostly by an adult to a child. In a church setting.

We tried to come up with plan for prevention and a plan for responding. We, as fallen humans, sucked at trying to get the importance of the message across.

This book states in plain terms what we only couldn’t formulate even in our minds.

I bought the council members each a book and I devoured the book in a night.

The book discusses the importance of stewardship of children, the types of predators, the false assumptions we make about predators and asks the question “Why the church”?

The numbers and statistics shown in the book would astound the average person.

Probably the best sentence “..We must remember our high calling as parents, pastors, and children’s ministry workers – the God five charge to love, protect, and shepherd children under our care.’ [pg 11]

Creating a child protection policy is one thing we want to see happen in our church, background checks, also. This book gives an outline on how to begin to write out a policy and guidelines for background checks.

A check in and check out policy for the youth/kids groups/nursery. Being a member first before becoming involved in church ministry. Putting windowed doors or making dutch doors on class rooms. When sunday school is over, lock up all the doors. Train all volunteers.

Preparing before it happens means pastors/leaders being humble in caring and planning. Parents who are vigilant and understand the importance. Teens and kids, and even parents, going thru a class/curriculum on child safety AND sex.

there is a whole chapter on getting to know your community and resources. God-given resources that a church should look toward to help victims and abusers. Churches aren’t usually equipped to give specialized help to individuals.

The next few chapters deal with responding to an abuse that has already happened.

I plan on going through the endnotes and look at some of the reference material he used in the book.

I would love to have my church, your church, any and all churches read this book, prayerfully consider the importance of loving, protecting and teaching our kids.

~~

a couple things I found online:

wrfnet.org

child molestation prevention 

minibook

gospel coalition article [good quick read]

When the child abuser has a bible 

clergy as Mandatory reporters

 

Musings on…. Life in my 40’s

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People say their 20’s was a life changing experiences, but this momma will have to say that my 40’s have been the craziest and life changing…to say the least.

I was into all kinds of debauchery in my 20’s. psst…everyone does it, sowing the wild oats, drinking, drugging, partying… blah,blah, blah. But my 40’s….man….crazy.

As I head into my 50’s decade, I’m gonna try to look back on this past decade and see what the hell I have done. I wish I had a big calendar that I wrote all the stuff I did so I could look back.

But maybe its good there isn’t any paper trail. turned 40 in 2004.

Joined Facebook in 2008. Started blog in 2007. Became a vegetarian/vegan in 2008. Lost 30 lbs doing body for Life in 2007. Weight has yo-yo’ed ever since.

Only had 2 tattoos, now I have upwards of 15 which includes a half-sleeve.

We only had one dog and 3 cats, now we have 3 dogs and a pig. gone through lots of animals, lost my heart to each and every one of them. I had two things I wanted to accomplish before I died. Knitting and ride a motorcycle. Did both in my 40’s. Own a pretty little Rebel right now and more yarn than I know what to do with.

Had a son late in life, at 28. Got married late in life, 32. Son has gone thru so much and so have we. My 40’s have been full of heartache for/with this kid.

I homeschooled my child for a year. Never EVER thought I could do it, but do it we did.

At 44 I was left to become something other than a stay-at-home mom. So I started a critter care business. kristinascrittercare.com It’s been amazing to say the least. So many wonderful animals and human clients.

Haha, never been high in my life, so i thought i would try that. It’s legal where I live. I hate to smoke and never have, so i ate it. Trippy. different from drinking, but the same. Just want my thoughts to stop and relax, altho the pot does let me relax, my brain still goes and I have the weirdest dreams.

Started this blog in my 40’s. It’s been one, if not the best way to do therapy.

Put my big girl panties on and went to IOWA to meet strangers, all by myself, in my 40’s. Best thing I ever did. I love Doug and Micaela so much.

Went on my first mission trip in my 40’s. To the Yakama Indian Reservation. Made many new friends that I will treasure forever. Had many craft fails, I get a little OCD and try many different crafts, much to the chagrin of my hubbys pocketbook.

Did a trial test thingy for the drug Abilify for about a year. It was pretty interesting and I still don’t know if I was taking the Abilify or a placebo.

I had dreads for about 3 years, off and on, always got to a point where I couldn’t wash them every day and they wouldn’t dry fast enough. I also got my first case of lice!!

Had nose surgery this past year. It was the most horrifying thing to not be able to breathe for two weeks. I have had all my woman parts yanked out and a ruptured disc fixed.

Thinking of going to school for vet tech, so I can transition into a desk job someday when I am unable to walk. lol.

 

And many many other things I cannot recall right now.

Hopefully my 50’s will be a bit more mellow and I can rest in the Lord more and more, knowing He holds my life in His hands.

Every Day, Every Day, I Write the Book

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well, God wrote the book, every day I live it out.

at the house I’m dog sitting at, I see all these books and things  and wonder what she  is looking for, is she looking for the answer to life?

Trying  to find happyness, I guess. book on divination, the video Happy, mans eternal quest, the yoga of lies, etc.

But then I look at my pile of books and see the same thing… books on homosexuality, sexual sin, ‘when I relax, I feel guilty’ book, resisting gossip and finding contentment books.

Are we really that different? Nope.

I’m trying to find my contentment, to come to a place of ‘acceptance’ of my lot in life, to find the joy that comes from focusing on something greater than me; than my circumstances.

the one thing I SHOULD not do is start the day with Facebook. i’m on a page of christian mothers of gay kids and its so depressing. Reading articles, seeing everyone fight over rights, sin, etc. blah, blah, blah.

I used to talk to God all the time, all thru the day, just blabbing on and on. now I hardly pray. This is what I just said to a friend of mine..

 

Your secret is safe with me and my sad little prayer life will include XXXXX.

I have all but given up talking with God.

I kinda feel like He is just gonna do what whatever the hell He wants… I’m like the little fish in the big pond swimming against the tide.

So just my random thoughts today. Blessings. the Home engineer

 

Musings on……Every Day

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Every Day

Everyday I struggle with my faith, my God and my son [not with my son, but about him being gay] .
Every day I read about the pros and cons of equal rights, with ‘being born this way’ or ‘it’s a sin’.
Every day I see people fighting each other to get them to agree with their side.
Every day I see I’m not allowed to feel, think or talk about my ‘issues’ because someone will get offended.
Every day, I’m not allowed to affirm my son for who he is [my son, my love, child of God] and still think homosexuality is a sin.
Every day I struggle to learn more about God, about rights, about LGBT people.
Every day I want to just walk in love and righteousness.
Every day I want to cry angry tears over my confusion and distress/unrest.
Every day I pray God gives me the insight on what to do, what to think, how to feel, how to love.
Every day I fail to love others how I should love others.
Everyday’s a new day.