Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Effects of Pornography on Adolescents

Pornography has significant effects during all stages of family life. For a child exposed to pornography within a family setting, pornography causes stress and increases the risk for developing negative attitudes about the nature and purpose of human sexuality.

For adolescents who view pornography, their attitudes toward their own and others’ sexuality change, and their sexual expectations and behavior are shaped accordingly.


Read more:  http://marripedia.org/effects_of_pornography_on_adolescents


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Stand in line at any coffee shop, and you’ll hear evidence of picky eating across all ages — from ordering “extra hot” to adding three sugars to half-decaf … or any number of combinations. Like their parents, little ones have picky tendencies, too! That’s why picky eating has become the most common food-related concern among parents.


Read more:  http://www.today.com/parents/10-ways-handle-picky-eater-save-your-sanity-t86481?cid=eml_tes_20160416

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Whose gods do you walk with?

Scripture: For all people walk each in the name of his god, But we will walk in the name of the LORD our God Forever and ever. Micah 4:5 (NKJV)

Observation: The Commentary Critical and Explanatory of the Whole Bible provides this explanation of vs. 5: For—rather, Though it be that all people walk after their several gods, yet we (the Jews in the dispersion) will walk in the name of the Lord. . . The resolution of the exile Jews is: As Jehovah gives us hope of so glorious a restoration, notwithstanding the overthrow of our temple and nation, we must in confident reliance on His promise persevere in the true worship of Him, however the nations around, our superiors now in strength and numbers, walk after their gods [Rosenmuller]. As the Jews were thoroughly weaned from idols by the Babylonian captivity, so they shall be completely cured of unbelief by their present long dispersion (Zec 10:8–12). (Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.)

Application: Today’s gods are abundant. Work, money, beauty, entertainment, possessions, power, prestige, toys, knowledge, titles, etc. Entire families compete with other families trying to keep up with them, looking for the happiness they see in others. . . without realizing that often “the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.” Many parents sacrifice quality family, or one-on-one time together by enrolling their children in every extra-curricular activity they can think of – soccer, karate, music lessons (not just one but several instruments), dance, theater, cheerleading, beauty contests, etc. Children, not to say their parents, are often exhausted at the end of each day, and as the weekend approaches, instead of rest and worship time what awaits them is another long list of activities (camping, games, parties, etc.). The frantic pace of their lives, the lack of down time, the absence of family time is driving them farther apart and leaving them depleted of energy for each other, much less for their time with God.
Parents need to set their priorities straight by establishing first a personal time and connection with God, then a couple’s time with each other and with God, and finally family time together and with God. As Eugene Petereson paraphrases this text in The Message: “Meanwhile, all the other people live however they wish, picking and choosing their gods. But we live honoring GOD, and we’re loyal to our God forever and ever. Micah 4:5 (MSG).

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, Help us to maintain a personal daily connection with You, as well as couple and family time with each other and with You. Bless us as the gods of this world call for our attention away from You.

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Learn from Others

Scripture: For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4 (NKJV)

Observation: Paul is telling us that the entire Old Testament was written to teach us and therefore has lasting, abiding value. He wants to reminds us that it is God’s word and therefore as relevant to us today as it was to His people back then. In the devotional Conflict and Courage Ellen White writes: The lives recorded in the Bible are authentic histories of actual individuals. From Adam down through successive generations to the times of the apostles we have a plain, unvarnished account of what actually occurred and the genuine experience of real characters. It is a subject of wonder to many that inspired history should narrate in the lives of good men facts that tarnish their moral characters. . . . The inspired writers did not testify to falsehoods to prevent the pages of sacred history being clouded by the record of human frailties and faults. . . .
It is one of the best evidences of the authenticity of the Scriptures that the truth is not glossed over nor the sins of its chief characters suppressed. . . . How many biographies have been written of faultless Christians, who, in their ordinary home life and church relations, shone as examples of immaculate piety. . . . Yet had the pen of inspiration written their histories, how different would they have appeared. There would have been revealed human weaknesses, struggles with selfishness, bigotry, and pride, hidden sins, perhaps, and the continual warfare between the spirit and the flesh. . . . Had our good Bible been written by uninspired persons, it would have presented quite a different appearance and would have been a discouraging study to erring mortals, who are contending with natural frailties and the temptations of a wily foe. But as it is, we have a correct record of the religious experience of marked characters in Bible history. Men whom God favored, and to whom He entrusted great responsibilities, were sometimes overcome by temptation and committed sins, even as we of the present day strive, waver, and frequently fall into error. But it is encouraging to desponding hearts to know that through God’s grace they could gain fresh vigor to again rise above their evil natures; and, remembering this, we are ready to renew the conflict ourselves. {CC 7.4}

Application: Life can be very discouraging at times. Illness, death, accidents, conflict in marriage or with children, children who leave the church or rebel against parents, etc. One of the encouraging aspects of the Bible is that in its pages we find stories of people who experience similar situations or at times even worse. The experience of others may not alleviate our own pain, but knowing others also experience similar challenges helps us know we are not alone. Adam and Even lost one son at the hands of his brother. David lost his son Absalom after he rebelled against his father, dethroned him, and even persecuted him. We read of friends betraying friends, spouses lying to each other or committing adultery, and many more examples of humanity gone wrong.
As dark as those passages are, it is somewhat encouraging to know we are not alone in our struggles or in our failures. However, we should not read in those stories an excuse to fail or permission to sin. Rather, let us find encouragement in knowing that God still loves in spite of our failures and is willing and ready to help us when we fall and fail and to give us the strength so we may fail again.

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, as we study Your Word daily, may we find help and inspiration from the stories of old, and help us to learn from the lives of Your other children that our own lives, our marriages, and our families may be victorious.

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That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, Colossians 2:2 (NKJV)

Leslie Becker-Phelps[i] gives us a few tips to survive family reunions:

Keep it light.  As she writes, “Family get-togethers are a time to enjoy each other’s company, not to hash out differences or problems.”  If you have serious concerns about one of your family members, follow Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 18, and address the issue before or after the event with the individual.

Accept your limits with influencing family.  Even if you may find someone’s behaviors disturbing, offensive, or self-destructive, you need to realize you do not have the power to change them. You can express concern and even offer guidance, if it is solicited, but that’s the extent of it.  And even if they request it, a family event may not be the time to have that conversation.

Ask for help.  Recruit someone in the family to help you, or for the two of you to help each other.  As Phelps-Becker explains, “For instance, to help you out, your sister might change the subject if your aunt starts critiquing your parenting. Or, you might need to support each other when you feel powerless to help a family member on a self-destructive path.”  At the same time, you need to be careful to remain generally positive rather than appearing to gang up on them.

Invite non-family. Including outside friends to family gatherings can encourage family members to behave nicely, at least in public.  You just need to make sure others are aware of who you are bringing and that you prepare your friend for any possible uncomfortable comments or actions during the reunion.  Don’t put the non-family member on the spot unawares.

Don’t forget that family reunions can be a time to strengthen your bonds and simply enjoy spending the time with your family.  It could be one of the last opportunities you have to be together.

Father God, may our time together as a family be pleasant and full of the love that only we as a family can enjoy.

[i] http://blogs.webmd.com/art-of-relationships/2015/06/how-to-survive-your-family-reunion.html?ecd=wnl_men_061915&ctr=wnl-men-061915_nsl-promo_5&mb=K2VcbkxhrhREAZ5zC2UpheHnVev1imbCHYS8QQY8uqo%3d

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Family reunions may be bad – 1

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. Isaiah 11:6 (NKJV)

Sometimes family reunions can give rise to tensions and emotions which can turn quickly from happy, light-hearted banter to stinging squabbles or fights about long held resentments.  That’s why instead of looking forward to a day of togetherness, you may find yourself dreading the possibility of a major family catastrophe.  You may not be able to prevent all problems from arising, but you can reduce the chances of triggering them.  Leslie Becker-Phelps[i] gives us a few tips to survive family reunions:

Keep your expectations realistic. There’s a difference between the family that you’d like to have and the one that you really do have.  When we have an idealistic view of the family, or how the family reunion will go, you may be disappointed, frustrated, or even angry if things don’t turn out like the image you had develop.  Becker-Phelps suggests you “be honest with yourself and set realistic expectations for a good day with the family that you have.”  If you don’t, you are just setting yourself up for disappointment.

Attend to your basic needs.  Before the event, do all you can to take care of yourself by sleeping well and by eating enough so you don’t show up as a hungry, cranky version of yourself.  And when you need a break from the family, be sure to take one.  For instance, if things are getting a bit tense, or you feel your frustration rising, excuse yourself and take a walk around the block, get some fresh air, take the time to pray, or do what helps you to calm down.

Feel the love. As Becker-Phelps says, “Remember that your concerns, frustrations, and even anger exist largely because you care.”  Consciously thinking about how you love your family can help fill you with compassion for them, and keep you from being sucked into a vortex of anger and frustration.  Consider the option of not having a family to love or be loved by, and do what you can to enjoy the time you have together.

Father God, remind me that my family is as imperfect as I am, and help me to show them and experience their love.

[i] http://blogs.webmd.com/art-of-relationships/2015/06/how-to-survive-your-family-reunion.html?ecd=wnl_men_061915&ctr=wnl-men-061915_nsl-promo_5&mb=K2VcbkxhrhREAZ5zC2UpheHnVev1imbCHYS8QQY8uqo%3d

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Family traditions

One law and one custom shall be for you and for the stranger who dwells with you.’ ” Numbers 15:16 (NKJV)

As the school year begins, with all its homework, sports, and other extracurricular activities, it often becomes harder than ever for families to spend time together.  With all the busyness, it can be easy to neglect family traditions; and yet, it still feels important to foster family time.  You don’t have to think of family traditions as something big or complex; often the best and most memorable traditions had very small, simple beginnings.

Meghan Holohan compiled for TODAY[i] several tips from two experts who encourage us to “Think big, but start small.

Turn the mundane into a habit. Maybe the whole family walks the dog on the weekends. Or, every Sabbath you have a special meal, desert, or music you play.  These might seem insignificant, but doing the same task together every weekend fosters togetherness.

Set a meeting. Make brunch every Sunday for everyone in the family, or perhaps host a corn roast on Sabbath evening when all family members attend. Be sure to make the time the same each week so that everyone knows what time to gather.

Connect with family.  Make it a practice during the weekend to FaceTime or Skype with grandma and grandpa or aunts and uncles who don’t live close by. Those weekend conversations strengthen the bond between immediate and extended family.

Read out loud together. Pick a book that the entire family can read together, and make it age-appropriate. Besides the bible, there are many biography or history books, or stories from missionaries that can keep everyone’s interest.

Go with the flow. Set aside a block of time each weekend reserved for family time, and a different family member takes a turn picking the activity for the week.  If you have different age children, encouraging them to be in charge of the activity for the week helps them to be invested in it.  Remember to foster those traditions that bring your family together and set aside those that seem to have lost meaning.

Father God, helps us to develop and nurture those traditions that will bring and keep our family together.

[i] http://www.today.com/parents/family-time-5-easy-ways-create-family-traditions-t39746

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