Why “Nice” Parenting Isn’t Nice at All

Happy Family

You may call me crazy for saying this, but hang with me.

I think moms and dads should be mean.

Now, let me clarify right from the start that when I say “mean,” I’m absolutely not saying that parents should be abusive or hurtful in any way.

That said, I think a lot of parents are just too nice. They don’t expect anything from their children or allow them to feel discomfort in any way. There are no chores to do, no bedtimes to worry about, and no difficulties to learn how to overcome.

How to Handle Disappointment

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We run from suffering … but God invites us to join Him in it.

Financial hardship. The death of a spouse … a child. The breakup of a marriage. The list could go on, but in every case, God says to us, “Let me redeem this and use it for your good. I’ll teach you through your suffering. Just rest and trust Me.”

He’s saying we have a choice even when we don’t have a choice.

Trusting God in a Difficult Pregnancy

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“We’re not gonna have a baby, we’re gonna have a funeral instead.”

There are few events in life that bring more excitement to a couple than the anticipation of a new baby. The height of that joy is rivaled only by the depth of heartache that comes with a troubled pregnancy.

Josh and Laura had three children under five and were pregnant with their fourth. Each of the first three pregnancies had progressed without complication.

But the fourth…

Call it a mother’s intuition – that mysterious and beautiful bond between a mother and her baby that not only connects them physically, but at a heart level.

Five Ways to Improve Bedtime with Your Spouse

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If you’re married, chances are you’ve encountered some challenges when it comes to sleeping together – and I don’t mean that kind of “sleeping together.” I mean getting some actual shut-eye.

Who can sleep through loud snoring, after all?

Or perhaps you’re married to someone who can’t stay still – there’s tossing, turning, and even “stealing” the blanket.

What about those couples who have mismatched sleep patterns or preferences – the night-owl who marries the early-bird?

The Unique Role God Has for Strong-Willed Christian Women

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Men are usually held in high esteem for their strong will. “What a leader!” people say. “He’s bold and lives with conviction.”

But a woman with a strong will is often characterized quite differently. “She’s bossy, controlling, and too self-assured.” It’s as if a woman can only be virtuous if she’s quiet and meek.

I think women and men are identical in this sense – God doesn’t want to rid us of our personalities, He wants to direct it and use it for His purposes.

Helping Your Teen Daughter Develop a Positive Body Image

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Do you know the difference between raising a “body-conscious” daughter and a “body-confident” daughter?

Recently, I had the privilege of talking with author and speaker Dannah Gresh on how mothers can help their daughters develop a positive body image.

Most moms of teenage girls know what it’s like to watch their daughter break down into tears in the middle of a department store because none of the jeans fit right. Dannah explains that at the core of every girl’s battle with body image are these questions: “Am I beautiful?” “Am I worthy?” “Am I noticeable?”

The trouble is, it’s easy to focus on outward modesty – the length of shorts, the depth of a neckline, and the thickness of eyeliner.

Lysa TerKeurst on Overcoming Self-Rejection

A woman looking into a mirror and asking "who am I?"

Henri Nouwen once said, “The greatest trap in life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from … self-rejection.”

Henri is right. Self-rejection is dangerous.

It usually begins as a message communicated to us by others. But over time it becomes a lie that weaves itself into our lives and infects every relationship we’re in, including our relationship with God.

Church v. Family: Which Should You Choose?

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Christianity Today recently ran a piece with an attention-grabbing headline: “Our Priorities Are Off When Family Is More Important Than Church.”

The basic premise of the article is this: while God loves family, we also see some statements in the Bible that the author says are “anti-family,” such as Jesus’ words in the book of Luke: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple” (14:26).

The Danger of Over-Protecting Boys

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Moms, the Lord is depending on your boys to be wolves.

In the first six weeks of a baby cub’s life, a wolf never leaves the den or his mother. She nurtures him and teaches him to take care of himself.

At six weeks of age, the cub leaves the den for the first time. Waiting for him outside is his dad who, day after day, takes the young wolf farther and farther away from the den.

How to Discover Your Child’s Unique Gifts

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Man, summer just blows by, doesn’t it? Can you believe another school year is right around the corner? My boys, Trent and Troy, start in just a couple of weeks, and they’re not too excited for summer to end. I’m not sure I’m ready, either.

Your family is probably like ours in that it’s not just the kids who have to start gearing up for the rigors of study and homework. We parents have to get ourselves psyched up for the year ahead, too.