Why “Nice” Parenting Isn’t Nice at All

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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.

Why You Should Vote This Election Day

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Buckle up, everyone, the final stretch of election season is just around the corner.

I’ve talked to a lot of people recently who are feeling apathetic about our nation’s political situation. Enthusiasm for either presidential candidate is virtually non-existent, and the battle for morality has been waging in our country for decades. A lot of people are just plain tired.

Some of us may even be tempted to stay home instead of voting this fall. While I can understand the growing sense of “political fatigue” gripping so many, I want to challenge you not to do that.

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.

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

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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.

Learn about a Serious Risk to Religious Liberty in California… and the Nation

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Breaking News: After the radio broadcast mentioned below was aired, the news media has reported  that the sponsor of California SB 1146 has decided to – for now – drop the controversial language that threatened Christian colleges in California. The following are Jim’s thoughts on the California situation before the latest news, which are still important for understanding the ongoing threat to Christian education that such laws present.

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If you’re not already aware, I want you to know about something taking place in California right now.

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.

From Bullied to Olympic Champion: Tamika Catchings-Smith

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Did you know that Colorado Springs, where Focus on the Family is located, is an Olympic city? Our mile-high location and thin air make it the ideal place for more than 10,000 Olympians, Paralympians and Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls to train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center located here in town.

That connection helps explain why here at Focus we’re pretty excited about the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In my post yesterday I introduced you to two divers, both Christians, who will be competing in the Rio Games.