Til the Whole World Knows: Bibles for the Nations


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8 Steps to Healing a Strained Mother-Daughter Relationship

Motherhood has been the most painful, joy-giving, confusing, frustrating, and hilarious role I’ve held. From the moment I conceived, I began fantasizing about all the special times my daughter and I would share and the memories we’d create. I expected a relationship filled with laughter and hugs and few minor conflicts.However, real life rarely plays out according to our expectations. I quickly realized, parenting in the real world is hard. I often felt ill-equipped, and honestly, frustrated with myself. There were times I hurt my daughter. I said and did things I wished I hadn’t, and she did the same. By her senior year in high school, our interactions had become tense, and while we still engaged in bonding activities, I felt as if our arguments by far outnumbered our pleasant conversations. This grieved us both. We knew we needed to actively heal the hurts between us and repair and strengthen our relational bond.Knowing we needed help, we turned to Christ in prayer, then followed His lead as He brought incredible beauty out of our mess. I pray He’ll do the same for you.If you have a strained mother-daughter relationship, here are 8 steps you can take toward healing.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/LSOphoto

11 Tips for Parenting a Rebellious Teen

Above all, remember our goal as parents isn’t to save our teenagers—that’s for God—but it is to stay true to the gospel as we love and care for our children. Take care you are loving them even amid their rebellion, and let God take care of the heart change.

How You Can Use Scripture to Help Your Child Get Over 5 Types of Heartbreak

When our children are little, we cherish their every milestone, from their first smile to their first word to their first step. During their more difficult “firsts,” such as their first cold or first tooth, we rush to the doctor and scour baby articles in search of ways to make them more comfortable. We strive to make our children feel supported and loved.As our children grow, we take a step back and watch as they continue to meet milestones, this time on their own—their first day of school, their first group of friends, their first summer job, their first romantic relationship, and, to our dismay, their first heartbreak. It’s no wonder that watching our kids spread their wings toward independence is a bittersweet endeavor, leaving parents grappling with feelings of excitement and trepidation.Although it’s normal for kids to feel sad or exhibit mood swings after a disappointment, long-term negative feelings that affect a child’s ability to function normally may be a sign of depression. While parents should contact a professional if their child is experiencing prolonged depression, they can support their child by patiently encouraging hopeful feelings after a heartbreak. One way to promote such hope in times of heartache is to look to Scripture. Just as we educate ourselves on how to treat our children’s physical bumps and scrapes when they’re little, we can comfort our children with the healing balm of Scripture when life leaves them with emotional bruises.Here are 5 types of heartbreak that children go through, along with several Scriptural passages to help uplift their spirits.Photo credit: ©Unsplash/Priscilla Du Preez

7 Things to Do If Your Teen Hates Church

Thirty years ago this fall, I fell onto my knees in my dorm room and gave my life to Christ. He used his church to turn a stubborn, confused teenager from darkness to light. As a young believer, the church was my greenhouse where I grew in faith and intimacy with God. It’s where I discovered my place in the family of God.All these years later, church still feels like home. It offers belonging as I find encouragement and community among those who know me best. In times of stress and trouble, I find comfort and rest. My days find purpose as the church enables me to serve. Godly leaders provide biblical teaching and an example to follow. My heart’s needs for friendship, wisdom, and worship are met within the church’s walls.As parents, we’re eager for our children to experience the priceless gift of church for themselves. We feel grief and frustration when our teens resist attending services as a family. The arguing, eye-rolling, and negative attitudes turn Sunday mornings into a battleground. How can we help our kids move toward the church instead of running for the door? Here are seven ways to help teens break down their barriers to the church.Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Kadirdemir

Should I Let My Teen Watch The Summer I Turned Pretty?

A lot of relationship ping-pong goes on between Season 1 and Season 2. Parents should know that relationships are not put into the perspective of healthy friendships based on mutual respect, accountability, and even responsibility. Instead, you enter into the world of true angsty relationships based primarily on physical attraction, chemistry, the dopamine rush of drama and scandal, and the unspoken but underlying question of “Who will Belly lose her virginity to.”

10 Practical Ways to Help Your Children Have Sexual Integrity

As Christian parents, we want our children to know, love, and live for the Lord. But, let’s be honest, we also want earthly pleasures for our kids. For some, this list might include good grades, accomplishments in sports, college scholarships, financial success, etc. At the end of the day what it boils down to is that parents want their children to be their version of happy.In this day and age, in the sex-craved society we live in, I would challenge you to add sexual integrity to your list of wants for your children. This, whether your children know the Lord or not, is far more important than good grades and financial success. Teaching your child to have sexual integrity is one of the best ways to ensure they have any version of happiness.When it comes to sexual integrity, the choices our children make will impact their physical, mental and emotional health, not to mention defining their character, moral compass, and future relationships.And what do I mean by sexual integrity? We shouldn’t want our children having sex or being sexual before marriage, looking at pornography, or taking part in degrading or dehumanizing the same or opposite sex. Ever. The big question is, where do we start?
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Helping Your Teen Achieve Spiritual Balance

Building a strong spiritual foundation starts with fostering an environment of open communication about spirituality within the family.Encouraging teenagers to express their thoughts, doubts, and questions about faith without fear of judgment creates a safe space for them to explore their beliefs.

The Challenges of Raising a Teenager as a Single Mom

We all know that parenting is no easy feat, but being a single mom adds an extra layer of complexity. Balancing work, household responsibilities, and parenting can be overwhelming at times, especially when faced with the ever-changing demands of a teenager.

7 Hurdles Parents of Teens Face and How to Get Over Them

Parenting in this day and age has brought forth a new set of challenges. And if you have teens, you understand the lengthy set of obstacles that encompass these years. Since my parents somehow managed to survive raising my sister and I, and actually seemed to enjoy it at times (yes, even in our feisty teen years), I like to believe that my husband and I will possibly be able to endure these years too. Who knows, maybe we'll even find some hidden nuggets of immense joy. Because to be completely honest with you, at the current moment, we are hanging by a thread. Ugh.So, what gives? Why does it seem to be more challenging than ever to raise teens in our current culture? Honestly, it's not a simple answer. It's a multi-faced answer that continues to grow with more and more layers to peel back. Between the advancements of technology, rising costs to maintain and provide for the average family, and the mass amount of confusion being thrown in front of every teenager on a daily basis, it's no wonder parents are fighting on all fronts. This is probably why most parents are feeling completely isolated, depleted, and unsure of how to navigate these strange times we are living in while raising teenagers.But…while there is no perfect solution or simple answer, we can still pinpoint the hurdles parents face today and seek God's wisdom and direction on how to not only survive these challenging years but support one another and encourage each other to continue the race!Photo credit: ©GettyImages/franckreporter

I Caught My Kid Viewing Porn. What Am I Supposed to Do Now?

A while ago, a Christian couple we know caught their 14 year old son viewing porn on the family computer. Their response: to spank him, adding humiliation to shame.Recently, a father who discovered his son viewing porn wrote a letter that has been widely circulated on the internet. This dad took the “tolerant approach”, going so far as to offer his son some “safe” porn sites.The responses above are extreme; both are damaging. The first will drive a boy into isolation and toward a secret addiction, while the other opens the door wide to sexual sin.How should parents respond when they catch their children viewing porn?Photo credit:Unsplash/Alex Jones

10 Conversations to Have with Your Teens before They Leave for College

The days before our teens leave for college can be an emotional roller coaster. All grown up and ready for the future, excitement over new beginnings mixed with fears of the unknown ahead may leave us laughing at one moment and crying the next. Life transitions can be difficult for us as parents, and for our kids too.But here’s a hopeful reminder: our children belong to Him. No matter where they go or how old they are, they are safe in God’s care. His reach is vast, and His power is limitless. As we entrust our kids straight into the care of our powerful and loving God, we can rest assured that He sees, He understands, and is right there with them.Our words of guidance, wisdom, and prayers surrounding our teens are integral to their next steps. As we strive to keep communication flowing, listen to their hearts, and support them as they grow and move forward, we can help equip them for God’s greatest purposes for their lives.Here are 10 conversation starters to have with our teens before they leave for college to remind them of God’s care. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but only the beginning of some reminders our kids may need, and conversations to keep open through the years:
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5 Ways to Help Your Daughter Navigate Mean Girls

We’ve all witnessed it. The proverbial group of girls who pinpoint that one unlucky girl as their primary target. Or that one girl who likes to make everyone around her realize how privileged they are to be in her presence. And let’s not forget the girl(s) who make picking on other girls their favorite pastime.What motivates some girls to be mean girls? Honestly, its root is often low self-esteem, a poor home life, an abusive background, or an insecurity that is strong enough where the girl needs to make their position in life valuable, superior, and greater-than as firm as possible. Because of their need to position themselves at the top of the pyramid, this, in turn, means their primary focus is putting other girls in their place.If your daughter becomes the focus of a mean girl, your life will open to a whirlwind of emotions, wrongs committed against them, and in true female form, some of the most vicious and hurtful words ever spewed against their character. The stereotype may be overused and offensive to some, but girls can be remarkably catty, snotty, and downright wicked to each other. When wronged, they are typically not quick to forgive, let alone forget; there almost always seems to be a sick enjoyment derived from creating the misery of others.So as a parent, how do you help your daughter navigate mean girls? How do you keep them from falling into depression, from beginning to despise themselves, and from questioning whether or not they are worth anything to those around them?
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/PeopleImages

3 Ways to Keep Your Kids Off Their Screens

It’s no secret that trying to compete with our kid’s screens is like trying to win an Olympic gold medal. We are outperformed, outnumbered, and without some fierce training and experience, we won’t become more interesting to our kids than their streaming videos and games.That being said, we have to admit that including screen time into daily life isn’t all bad. Some kids have now grown into adulthood and are making whole careers out of just that! So putting the kibosh on screens isn’t necessarily the healthiest reaction if your child shows an affinity for game development, app development, graphic arts, social media, journalism, etc. Most of our world is now based on that tiny little thing that has infiltrated our homes: the screen. It has become necessary not just for entertainment and communication purposes but actually to function in life.It’s important to categorize their screen time usage. These days, even school is on screens, so it’s hardly fair to tell your child no more screen time when what’s been used throughout the day is almost 100% schoolwork. Nor is it necessarily healthy for the child to have more screen time when they’ve already been on the computer for hours at a time doing virtual learning.So how do we keep a balance for our kids and for ourselves? How do we encourage other forms of entertainment and interests without discouraging our children to the point of daily battles and frustrations? How do we protect our kids from that inevitable addiction that comes from the unfettered use of Wi-Fi?The reality is, you’ll need to identify what is the best balance for your home and child. Each child will be different, each scenario is different, and so on. So what are some ways we can refocus our kids on something other than their screens when their screens are simply becoming too dominant for the sake of entertainment?Here are a few ideas to get you started:Photo credit: © GettyImages/МихаилРуденко

7 Ways to Give Your Kids Life to the Fullest

There is so much we want to give to our children. Affirmation. Protection. Values. A good work ethic. And a whole lot of what will make them happy and successful in life.I believe Jesus’ promise in John 10:10 to give us “life to the full” was meant to address our wants and needs that will never be fully satisfied apart from Him. He knew when we find our satisfaction in our Savior, there’s little else we want and need.What if you and I could give our kids that kind of life to the full? We can’t give them salvation, of course, but we can teach them the fulfillment and satisfaction that comes from knowing who God is, why they’re here, and what life is all about.One way to convey this to your children is to remind them that life is meaningful, life is short, and life must be grasped in all its fullness and lived in enjoyment with the Lord. In other words, teach them to seize the day.Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” That’s another way of saying “Help us realize how short our lives are here on earth so we live wisely and make it count.” And when our children live that way, they can’t help but enjoy life and seize it for all its worth, too.As you being to experience life to the full by incorporating these seven steps, you are setting the stage for your children to adopt these practices and mindsets, too. Here are seven ways to give your kids life to the full:
Photo credit: ©Pexels/August de Richelieu

How to Keep the Romance Alive While Raising Teens

The truth of the matter is that keeping romance alive while raising teens isn’t easy. It can be some of the most challenging years of a marriage! Learning how to be lovers again and rekindle the romance without losing your mind during these years may seem downright impossible. But it can be done. And, yes, it is totally possible!

9 Effective Ways to Stop Babying Your Teens

“Mom I’m doomed! Totally ruined. I forgot my navy cheer skirt!” My daughter’s text was laced with panic. Her middle school pep rally started in two hours. Her cheer coach had a ferocious temper and I couldn’t let her cheer in a mismatching skirt, so I left my grocery cart in the middle of the isle and sprinted to my car. I found the navy skirt at home and then sped to the school.“Thanks Mama,” she said as she hugged me. “You completely saved me!”As I returned to my stranded cart at the grocery store, one of my sons called. “Mom, I forgot my math homework! Can you bring it to me? Please? I’ll get a zero if I don’t turn it in.”I’m embarrassed to admit this, but for the second time that day, I left the store without groceries. As I sprinted by a car window, I glimpsed my harried reflection and stopped cold. What was I doing? I felt like a crazy woman.How many trips had I made to school just that week? Too many.Have you ever felt a frazzled “mom-on-call,” too? You try to love and serve your family, and to be the wonderful parent God wants you to be, but somehow you wind up in tears in a parking lot, feeling like a failure.Or at least that’s what happened to me.After that frustrating day, I knew I had to stop babying my teenagers. All my pampering and kid-pleasing needed to go, not only for my sake—but for the sake of my children. But how could I alter the way I parent, after so many years?I began by seeking the wise counsel of other moms. I found a few key Scriptures to cling to, such as Prov. 29:15 (MSG): “Wise discipline imparts wisdom; spoiled adolescents embarrass their parents,” (that one pretty much nailed it). For several days, my husband and I discussed it and prayed about it. Then we made a game plan. Here’s what we did.Photo credit: ©Getty Images/monkeybusinessimages

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