Family Friday Links 7.10.15

Here's what we've been reading online lately.

Russell Moore wrote a post on the hot topic of the moment, talking to your kids about same-sex marriage. He ended to post this way, "Marriage isn’t ultimately about living arrangements or political structures, but about the gospel. When your children ask about the Supreme Court, be loving and winsome and honest and convictional and kind." Parents, we have to be ready for the questions that will come; and we have to be ready to start those hard conversations. This post will help.

Brian Dollar had a post about kids and listening. He says, "So many parents feel like they have more success talking to a brick wall than to their child (especially their teenager).  Part of the reason for that is the tendency for parents to “talk down” to their kids." Parents, we (and by that I'm especially including myself) can learn from this.

Joe Rigney had a post on when to baptize believing children. He makes a distinction between a credible profession of faith and a mature profession of faith. He defines them this way, "A credible profession means simply a believable profession ... A mature profession is one made by a responsible adult." The difference is critical because the responsibility is real. This is a hard issue for both parents and churches, but this post helps.

Mike Breen had a post on youth ministry, asking the question, "Is it working?" This post is an interview with Rich Atkinson about his book Target. Rich says, "The enemy that I really wanted to take on with this book is the enemy of hopelessness that means people simply give up." Hopelessness is huge, especially among those of younger generations. If you are involved in youth ministry or have teens yourself, this is a helpful read and resource.

What are you reading (or writing) online and finding helpful or encouraging? Leave us a link in the comment section and we will check it out.

Family Friday Links 6.5.15

Joshua Becker at Becoming Minimalist wrote a blog called How to Slow Down your Families Schedule. Joshua writes, "Overscheduled kids miss out on opportunity for extended free play. Free play allows kids to burn off energy and learn social skills in an unstructured environment. It provides opportunity for kids to exercise their imagination, create games, and refine rules. It forces children to learn awareness, police themselves, and develop empathy." 

Jonathan Leeman at 9 marks laid out 6 principles for Youth Ministry. Leeman writes, "Make sure the structures or groups you have in place don’t work against your young people’s involvement in the life of the congregation, or blur the line between church and world. You want them being discipled by older members, not just peers." 

Empowered Living posted an article entitled 3 Steps To Overcome Frustration As A Parent "As parents we have our fair share of emotionally dysregulated moments. When those times come how do we respond? Do we react in an unhealthy way and blurt out whatever we are thinking at the time? Do we stuff it and maintain an “appropriate” outward demeanor so we give others the appearance we are handling the frustration well?"

Focus on the Family had a post on talking to your kids about transgender issues. The post asks the questions, "So when our children encounter these gender-confusing messages, what do we say? Most importantly, how do we help them develop a biblical, Christian perspective on this issue?" The post then goes on to give practical advice.

On difficult issues like these, it's helpful to hear from multiple believing voices. Here's what Amy Julia Becker had to say over on Christianity Today on the issue to transgender identity, "On the one hand, I want to be careful not to assume traditional gender norms simply because they are traditional (i.e., men can't be nurses or women can't be in the army). On the other, I want to understand for myself and for my daughters what it means to be a woman—and for my son, to be a man—before God." These is a tough issue that parents need to be prepared for.