Archive | November, 2011

The Family: Some great links

29 Nov

I’ve got more on marriage, coming soon, but for now just a few links that have been so helpful and encouraging to me over the past few years. I check out these blogs regularly and am so blessed to see the faithful ministries of these two families (the Mahaney’s & the Wilson’s). Really, the gospel fruitfulness that can come from a home that is dedicated to honouring and enjoying God blows my mind. The home is a place where so much important stuff can happen for the kingdom. It’s a training ground for little minds, a place of warmth and unconditional love, a haven for the weary and tired, and a source of wonderful God-given relationships. I hope that you will check these out regularly and peruse the many different categories that these women have written about in order to glean wisdom, insight and hopefulness about what the Christian home can become, by God’s grace.

Take a peak!

www.girltalkhome.com

www.feminagirls.com

And, just for some added encouragement, read what the wonderful Charles Spurgeon wrote in the November 10th entry from his devotional series, Morning & Evening:

“The eternal God is thy refuge”– Deuteronomy 33:27

The word refuge may be translated ‘mansion’, or ‘abiding-pace’, which gives the thought that God is our abode, our home. There is a fulness and sweetness in the metaphor, for dear to our hearts is our home, although it be the humblest cottage, or the scantiest garret; and dearer far is our blessed God, in whom we live, and move, and have our being. It is at home that we feel safe; we shut the world out and dwell in quiet security. So when we are with our God we ‘fear no evil’. He is our shelter and retreat, our abiding refuge. At home,  we take our rest; it is there we find repose after the fatigue and toil of the day. And so our hearts find rest in God, when , wearied with life’s conflict, we turn to him, and our soul dwells at ease. At home, also, we let our hearts loos; we are not afraid of being misunderstood, nor of our words being misconstrued. So when we are with God we can commune freely with Him, laying open all our hidden desires; for the ‘secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him;, the secrets of them that fear Him ought to be, and must be, with their Lord. Home, too, is the place of our truest and purest happiness: and it is in God that our hearts find their deepest delight. We have joy in Him which far surpasses all outer joy.  It is also for home that we work and labour. The thought of it gives strength to bear the daily burden, and quickens the finders to perform the task; and in this sense we may also say that God is our home. Love to Him strengthens us. We think of Him in the person of His dear Son; and a glimpse of the suffering face of the Redeemer constrains us to labour in His cause. We feel that we must work, for we have brethren yet to be saved, and we have our Father’s heart to make glad by bringing home His wandering sons; we would fill with holy mirth the sacred family among whom we dwell. Happy are those who have thus the God of Jacob for their refuge!

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The Family: Marriage

16 Nov

Here are two short little videos with John Piper, D.A. Carson & Tim Keller for Together for the Gospel & The Gospel Coalition on “Sustaining the Covenant of Marriage”, “The Power of the Gospel & Marital Love”.

In thinking about the family, and beginning with marriage as the starting point for family life, it’s important to ask yourself what marriage is all about or in other words, what is the purpose of marriage? Is it just another type of romantic relationship that may or may not last? Does it really matter if your marriage fails? What makes a marriage last? Just some questions to get the thoughts flowing, and hopefully I can add a few more relevant links that will give helpful insight as well as point towards some passages in scripture to help us to think through this topic.

Sustaining the Covenant of Marital Love

The Power of the Gospel in Marriage

The Family

3 Nov

Friends! Happy fall to you all. I’m now a bit late on that salutation seeing as Canadian Thanksgiving and Halloween have already passed and Starbucks has made it clear that CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE!!! For my American friends, are you also experiencing the same influx of red and green into your stores?

Time just keeps on passing not giving anyone a moment to catch their breath. Or maybe it’s just me feeling like I have a million things I want to do and I don’t ever get them all done. One of those million being wanting to keep up with this blog and not being able to. No more apologies, I’ll just keep pressing on. Even though I haven’t been posting as often as I’d like, I have been reading. And studying. And searching for useful and relevant info on things that I need to learn about. And right now, the things that I seem to need to know all pertain to being a mama and wife. So that’s why I’ve decided that this next little roll of posts will be about what I’m learning in the hope that others out there, not just moms or wives, will benefit from me trying to bring together a range of pieces of info that I’ve come across or plan to spend time in.

Why the family? To be honest, I’ve wanted to post on this topic for a long time, not just because it’s something relevant to my current life situation. Family means a lot of different things to a lot of people. To some, the idea conjures up painful memories and experiences that one wishes were forgotten. Maybe a broken home, a difficult childhood with a single parent, abuse at the hands of a relative, the list could go on. To others, family might not have that same exact meaning but it might be one of more superficial interactions and detached relationships. And for some, it can mean everything wonderful and comforting about life. I would guess that for many of us it means a combination of theses things. We all have had painful experiences, we all have imperfect relationships with our families, and we all have longings and hopes for what we wish or hope things could or should be.

Regardless of your personal experience, good or bad, there are probably many questions we have about what families are supposed to be. Are they important? Can we do without them? How should families function if they are to function well and who’s to say what that should even look like? Are traditions and rituals and blood what makes a family? The list of questions could stretch miles! I won’t attempt to position myself as some sort of family “expert”, but as a person with a family, who loves her family (not just my little girl and my husband- but each and every relative and extended member), I care about finding answers to those questions and don’t want to just “see how things turn out”. I want to understand what it takes to repair broken relationships and build new strong ones. I want to find answers to questions I have about what the wrong and right ways are to go about living as a member of a family. I do believe that there are real concrete choices we make every day that have a lasting impact, for better or worse. We may not be able to see 20 years into the future as to where we’ll be with our family relationships, but looking back, there is evidence strewn along the road of time that points to the triumphs and many failures of our families. We can see how divorce deeply hurt our cousins or friends. We can see how marital strife caused deep pain for us as children (and adults). And, if we’re honest, we can see ways that we’ve acted that have alienated, hurt, and damaged our relationships with people we love. In looking to find answers as to what the family is supposed to be, and how we can make ours better as individuals and corporately, I’m starting with the presupposition that there are the right ones out there. And not just out there anywhere, but first and foremost in God’s word. And then, coming from that as the basis, there are many helpful resources in the form of helpful words from others who write/talk about this most important topic in order that people would think rightly about the family, and that right thinking would then lead to right living, for our good, and for God’s glory.

For starters I’m going to link you to a fantastic sermon series by John MacArthur called “The Fulfilled Family“. The series is fairly long but is packed with solid Biblical teaching from Ephesians on the roles of husbands, wives, children, and parents. I’ve listened to all and really learned a lot about many things, namely the great importance that God places on families. I encourage you to head on over there and download a message, or 10. Yes, yes, that’s some clicking and downloading and waiting, but it’ll be worth it, I promise! The truth of God’s word never changes, and therefore even though this was preached a while back, everything that’s said is just as relevant and needed today, even more so in a world where the family is under deadly assault. We don’t live in a society that encourages the and supports the nuclear family. In fact, the fact that we have to call it a “nuclear family” implies something in and of itself. Short-lived marriages and children born out of wedlock are no longer taboo but the norm. This to say that there are going to continue to be many forms of evidence that will begin and have already begun to display how these trends have impacted children, to their detriment and to the fracturing of society as a whole. Anyways, listen on and feel free to comment, and if possible, I’ll try to answer and relevant questions or thoughts.