When Political Correctness Endangers Children

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Human trafficking

The children were beaten, raped and trafficked.

Conservative estimates put the number of underage victims at about 1,400.

A recently-released report published by an independent auditor describes what happened in Rotherham, England – and it is a difficult read.

It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered. They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated. There were examples of children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone.

How Mental Illness Impacts Families

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Depressed Woman

Many of you commented on and shared my recent blog post, “Could Robin Williams’ Faith Have Prevented His Suicide?”

That’s not surprising because mental illness directly impacts about one in four individuals… yet sadly, it sometimes seems that the Christian community doesn’t talk about the issue as often and as thoroughly we should.

Focus on the Family is hoping to help change that by helping families and churches better understand topics related to mental health – things like depression, bipolar and schizophrenia.

Guest Post: Is Spanking Child Abuse?

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Upset toddler boy

It seems like, more and more, the use of spanking as a form of child discipline is being questioned by parents. Focus on the Family recently had an opportunity to address the issue in TIME Ideas. Dr. Jared Pingleton, the director for our counseling department, wrote the piece. –JD

Spanking Can Be an Appropriate Form of Child Discipline

NFL running back Adrian Peterson’s recent arrest for allegedly abusing his 4-year-old son has once again sparked the debate over whether spanking is an appropriate form of discipline.

Tackling Midlife Transitions in Marriage

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Middle-aged couple

When you first got married, did you assume your relationship with your spouse would remain pretty much the same from year to year?

Many couples do.

That’s probably why so many wind up shocked and utterly confused when life around them changes … and their marriage along with it.

According to our guests on today’s program, relationship experts Bill and Pam Farrel, the key is to recognize that changes are coming – probably sooner than we think – and to prepare for them.

University Christian Clubs Not Allowed to Require Leaders to be Christian

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Female university grad

It’s a disturbing trend taking place on university campuses around the nation. Thanks to a 2010 Supreme Court decision, state universities are now allowed to restrict “belief organizations from requiring belief.”

The way this is playing out in real life is that Christian clubs are no longer allowed to require their members and leaders to be Christian.

Yes, you read that correctly. Pretty much defeats the purpose of having the club, doesn’t it?

And yet, in the name of inclusiveness, some state universities (like the California State University system) are choosing to impose this nonsensical restriction, and private schools like Vanderbilt University are following suit.

Guest Blog: Hollywood Gets It Right Sometimes, Like Right Now

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Two dolphins

Today’s post comes courtesy of Bob Waliszewski, director of Focus’ Plugged In department. -JD

I’ve been accused of seeing the glass half empty when it comes to today’s movie releases. For example, during a recent meeting, a colleague who helps with Pluggedin.com shared the reaction of a potential advertiser to my rating a film 4.5 out of five for family friendliness: “Really?!Bob never gives a film that high of a score!”

Although far from the truth, I laughed along with the rest of the folks in the room who enjoyed the punchline.

Ray Rice, Domestic Abuse and the Quest for a Chivalrous Society

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Crying Angel

The release and indefinite suspension earlier this week of (former) Baltimore Ravens football player Ray Rice has stirred up a robust discussion about domestic violence.

A videotape of the 27-year-old running back punching his then-fiancee, Janay, inside an Atlantic City casino hotel elevator surfaced on Monday. The incident occurred in March, and was reported to both NFL and team officials. Rice pleaded not guilty to third-degree aggravated assault and agreed to enter a rehabilitation program and get counseling.

God in the Middle of Pain and Suffering

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American flag

Few events in modern America’s collective consciousness embody pain and suffering like the terror attacks we experienced on Sept. 11, 2001. It was this generation’s Pearl Harbor, a day so unthinkable and awful that we spent months reeling from the shock of it. We ached as a nation. We grieved with moms and dads, husbands and wives, children and friends who had lost loved ones.

Where was God in the middle of all that heartache?

It’s a question many people asked themselves in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, and understandably so.

How to Overcome the Potty-Training Woes

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lightstock_81243_small_monica_.jpg - edited

It’s one of those lighthearted list-type articles that make for fun reading:

NPR’s recent “Global Parenting Habits That Haven’t Caught On In the U.S.” shows just how much culture impacts childrearing. I can only imagine that most American parents’ jaws will drop at the second item on the list – a claim that Vietnamese parents potty-train their babies by 9 months.

9 months?

Pretty hard to believe, yes? Apparently the secret lies in the Pavlov-like trick of whistling when the baby starts going to the bathroom.

Doing This Will Help Your Marriage

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Happy couple with floor plan

My wife Jean always knows when I’ve taped a broadcast with author and speaker Dr. Gary Chapman.

It’s uncanny. I’ll walk through the door and, inspired by my time with Dr. Chapman, I’ll ask her something like, “What’s one thing I could do to help you today?” And she immediately knows who I’ve spent time with.

And that’s how God uses Dr. Chapman. He’s a relationship expert, and he helps couples create and maintain an emotionally safe environment in their marriages that is conducive to positive growth.