“Before Them, It Was Us”: Why You Should Put Your Wife Before Your Kids

September 27, 2021 Mike Berry

wife

It’s usually 8:30 p.m. when I give the first warning shot to my two teenage daughters.

At 9 p.m., I say, “It’s time for you two to head upstairs.” I repeat this nearly every night.

And nearly every night they argue. “But why do we have to go to bed at 9?” they lament. “We’re not children anymore.”

“You don’t have to go to bed, but you can’t stay down here in the living room past 9. That’s our time. We haven’t seen each other all day, and most of the day we’ve been focused on you and work. We need our time, too.”

The other night, I went as far as to sing the Semisonic song “Closing Time” until they threw pillows at me. I kept repeating, “Closing time, you don’t have to go home but you can’t … stay … here!”

They didn’t laugh. At all. We, however, thought it was hilarious.

To be honest, we’ve had this rule for as long as I can remember. We’ve been parents for nearly 15 years now, and there has never been a time where our children were allowed to dominate ALL of our time in the course of the day. They dominate a lot of it, mind you, but not all of it. We love our children and we consider our role in their life to be a huge investment. We committed a long time ago to be there for them and to always be hands-on and involved in their lives.

We have some big reasons why this is so important to us. Here are a few …

A healthy marriage is the cornerstone of the home.

The cornerstone of your family is not your children. They are a part of the foundation and make up a major part of the structure, but they’re not the main thing that holds this whole beautiful mess together. That’s you — you and your wife, you and your husband, you and your partner. It’s your responsibility to lead your family, and your home. Your children are looking to the two of you for direction and example (more on this in a minute).

Before them, it was us.

Before they existed it was the two of us. Me and my wife. We fell in love, skipped class to be together, stayed up too late talking on the phone (that was tied to the wall by a cord), and eventually committed to forever with one another. We were the beginning. We kicked this whole party off. Then these beautiful children came along. And we’re sure thankful they did because they fill our lives with so much joy. But, our union is sacred. Our union is holy. With all of my power, I must protect that sacredness with my wife.


Photo: Mike Berry

After them, it will be us.

Nothing lasts forever. Our darlings are going to grow up and move out of our nest at some point. I don’t know about you, but there’s no room for a 30-year-old kid in my basement. After they’re out in the world, living on their own, raising their own family, being the human beings they were meant to be, it will be just the two of us once again. And we want us to be healthy, strong, and still as committed as we were when we first began this journey. In order to make sure the future us is protected, we must put us first today. This is not easy. We’ll get to that in a second…

We need to set a future example.

As I mentioned earlier, your children and mine are looking to us for life-cues, direction, and example. As children, they’re watching our every move to determine how they should live their lives. We often say, “We are raising adults, not children.” I don’t know about you, but my wife and I want my children to grow up with a healthy view of relationships — dating, engaged or married. I want the health of my marriage to give them a healthy view of what marriage is, and what it should be. That’s why I put my wife first, and them second. A close second, but still second.

At the end of the day, this is a tension you must manage. Your children do need you, and they are important. After your spouse, they come next. Not friendships, not careers, not hobbies. Them. And you must take care of them. But take care of your marriage first and foremost. If that crumbles, the confidence that your children have now will begin to erode. When they see you loving their mother or their father, they will love them too. But most importantly, they will have a confidence in themselves, and a confidence in the world around them.

VIDEO National School Boards Association Begs Biden To Label Outraged Parents “Domestic Terrorists” and Use The Patriot Act Against Them – Do Not Interrupt My Time – Communist Takeover

By Julian Conradson October 2, 2021

Over the past year, school board meetings have become increasingly contentious events, as more and more outraged parents use their constitutionally protected rights to speak out against tyrannical covid mandates and the poisonous, anti-American critical race theory that is being taught to their children.

Instead of listening to the parents who pay their salaries, the woke school boards are responding by lobbying our dictator-in-chief to classify unruly parents who demand accountability as domestic terrorists.  

The growing backlash at these meetings has prompted the National School Boards Association to send a letter to Biden on Wednesday that begs him to use federal law enforcement agencies against parents and investigate them for “domestic terrorism and hate crime threats.” They shamelessly claim the situation is so dire that he should use the Patriot Act, among other “enforceable actions” against them.

The NSBA represents every single public school board in the US, which includes over 14,000 districts and 90,000 board members.

“Dear Mr. President: America’s public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threatThe National School Boards Association (NSBA) respectfully asks for federal law enforcement and other assistance to deal with the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation.

Additionally, NSBA requests that such review examine appropriate enforceable actions against these crimes and acts of violence under the Gun-Free School Zones Act, the PATRIOT Act in regards to domestic terrorism, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the Violent Interference with Federally Protected Rights statute, the Conspiracy Against Rights statute, an Executive Order to enforce all applicable federal laws.”

According to the letter that was signed by NSBA president Viola Garcia and CEO Chip Slaven, school boards are already being assisted by local law enforcement in many communities, but the extra security and new policies designed to keep people out of meetings have not stopped parents from just-plain showing up to voice their displeasure.

The NSBA doesn’t want their members to be held accountable for their terrible handling of the educational system; instead, they would rather crush anyone who gets in their way by any means possible. School officials have actually become so frightened of the parents who disagree with their baseless policies that they would be willing to see them tried as criminal terrorists. 

It’s sick. These people are unhinged and should have their citizenship revoked if they would be willing to put that evil misnomer on another American citizen for being concerned about their child. Absolutely disgraceful. 

In the letter, they implored Biden to take a “proactive” approach by using every Federal Agency at his disposal, specifically asking for the FBI, DOJ, DHS, and the Secret Service to crush what they call “extremist hate organizations” (concerned parents exercising their right to free speech) that have been showing up at meetings.

In other words, the tyrants are begging the dictator to send in the goons to crush the rebellion.

“As the threats grow and news of extremist hate organizations showing up at school board meetings is being reported, this is a critical time for a proactive approach to deal with this difficult issue.

NSBA specifically solicits the expertise and resources of the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Secret Service, and its National Threat Assessment Center, regarding the level of risk to public schoolchildren, educators, board members, and facilities/campuses.”

If homeschooling your kids wasn’t a priority before, it should be now.

The full letter can be found below:

‘Do Not Interrupt My Time!’: Mom Unloads on ‘Pedophilia’ in High School Library

Do Better FCPS/YouTube screenshot

Sept 24, 2021 By Tré Goins-Phillips

A mother in northern Virginia unloaded on her city’s school board Thursday after discovering what she described as books filled with “pedophilia” on the shelves.

When she left a local high school library, Stacey Langton had two books: “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison and “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe. She told the board of Fairfax County Public Schools that, in each book, she found references that “include pedophilia, sex between men and boys” with entries chronicling — in explicit detail — sexual encounters between underage boys and adult males.

“Pornography is offensive to all people,” said Langton after she was interrupted by school board members chiding her for reading highly explicit sentences from the two books. “It is offensive to common decency.”

As her time drew to a close, board members told Langton she needed to censor herself because “there are children in the audience here.”

“Do not interrupt my time!” she replied. “I will stand here until my time is restored and my time is finished. These books are in stock and available in the libraries of Robinson, Langley, and Annandale High Schools.”

Earlier in her comments, the protective mother asserted the books’ placement in the high school libraries was “not an oversight” but was intentional.

Langton explained she decided to check the library to which her child has access after hearing about a Texas mother who rebuked board members in the Lake Travis Independent School District in Austin for allowing similarly explicit books in its middle school library.

In response, the Lake Travis ISD pulled the book and plans to review it, KXAN-TV reported.

Karl Frisch, the first openly LGBTQ person elected to a local office in Fairfax, made fun of Langton, describing her comments as “exorcisms.”


Communist Takeover Of America & The World! Here’s Why I Say That…


Police Warn Parents About Dangers of Back-to-School Photo Trend

By Bri Lamm -September 9, 2021

We all know that social media can be a dangerous place. We’ve often talked on For Every Mom about how different hashtags or innocent photos of our kids can be misused by the wrong people.

Authorities are now warning parents to be mindful when it comes to a popular back-to-school photo trend, as it could make kids an easy target for predators.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office in Woodstock, Illinois, recently shared a side-by-side photo of Deputy Sherriff Tim Creighton holding up a sign that reads “My 1st Day of School.” In both snaps, Creighton is holding the same poster, which lists several details about him including his name, grade, the school’s name, the teacher’s name, several of his favorite things, his age, weight, and height.

While the first photo reveals all of that information, the second photo has the details blurred out.

In the post, the sheriff’s office urged parents to “think before you share.”

“Back to school photos are filling social media feeds everywhere, often revealing personal information about your child. This information – school name, classroom, grade, age, etc. – can all be used by predators, scammers, and other people looking to endanger your child, family, or finances.”

Ultimately, the sheriff’s office says, it doesn’t matter what your privacy settings are or who is on your friends list, it’s best to stick with the bare minimum when it comes to sharing personal information on the internet.

Since being posted on August 8, the post has been shared more than 69,000 times, with many parents thanking the sheriff’s office for the reminder. Others weighed in with other safety tips like not putting your child’s name on their backpack.

“I never even thought about this,” one person wrote. “I just deleted them. Thank you for the reminder.”

“All thats missing is mothers maiden name and social security number,” wrote another, emphasizing the amount of information that is so easily shared.

When it comes to online safety, less is best.

12’s in the Bible

 

November 8, 2019 hepsibahgarden

 

1. The temple that king Solomon built had 12 oxen as base for the lavers.

2. The length and breadth of the Altar was 12 cubits.

3. The Holy City New Jerusalem had 12 gates and 12 Angels at each gate.

4. The disciples of Jesus were 12 in number.

5. There were 12 tribes of Israel — the 12 sons of Jacob.

6. Moses sent 12 men to spy the land of Canaan.

7. 12 baskets full of the fragments , and of the fishes remained after Jesus fed the five thousand.

8. Ishmael had 12 sons who were princes.

9. The wall of the city of New Jerusalem had 12 foundations.

10. The 1gates of New Jerusalem City were 12 pearls. Each gate was made of a single pearl.

11. The Tree of life brought forth 12 manner of fruits every month.

12. When the Israelites moved from Marah to Elim, they found 12 wells of water.

Be blessed 💕

Original here

Including Kids In Small Groups Benefits The Whole Community

Students with arms raised in classroom

By John Gilman Ii on Mar 19, 2021

Before kids, life was simpler, but it was a lot less fun. After kids, things get crazy. Everything takes more time, and you wonder what you did before the little ones were around. Going places with your kids becomes an adventure. You pack up everything you’ll need and some things you won’t. You make sure everyone’s eaten and used the restroom, even though you know they’ll be hungry and have to go again when you get there.

Having kids and doing ministry is similar in that it is exhausting and rewarding. I had a friend who began leading a church right after he and his wife welcomed their 4th child into the world. Their worship leader also had 4 kids, the children’s pastor had 3, the creative arts leader had 3, and one of their elders had another 4. That’s 18 if you’re counting. These families were at everything, and so were their kids. They brought the party with them.

Naturally, they attracted many families with young kids, but they reached many people who didn’t have kids. They found ways to integrate the youth into their church’s small group life, had lots of fun, and grew closer to Jesus, as well as each other.

They did 4 things well.

  1. Do kid friendly things.  They knew their meetings were going to be kid central. They usually ate together and made sure to always plan something for the kids. They also planned their meetings so everyone could be home by bedtime.
  2. Meet at kid friendly places. They met outside, at fast food or casual restaurants, and in bigger homes so that the kids could play in one area and the adults could talk in another. One of the families built a massive swing set in their yard, and another bought a bounce house.
  3. Take turns watching the kids.  Sometimes, the moms would talk while the dads kept the kids in sight, and other days, they’d switch. They shared the load and didn’t anoint or appoint anyone to the office of “lead babysitter.” One season, they even hired a certified babysitter.
  4. Find a rhythm that works.  Their meeting times changed as time when on, but one small group season, they followed this schedule and found it fruitful.
    • Week One—Everyone meets and eats
    • Week Two—Dads meet, moms stay home
    • Week Three—Everyone meets and eats
    • Week Four—Moms meet, dads stay home.
    • Week 5th—Meet at a park or fast-food place with a good indoor playground

If you are planning on including kids in your small group activities, here’s a few things you have to remember.

  1. Be ok with noise. Kids make lots of noise. Don’t stress out about it. People don’t mind as much as you think they do.
  2. Empty-nesters enjoy the vibrant environment. They don’t get to hold babies often. Even if they have grand-kids of their own, they love the opportunity to love on some little ones.
  3. Young adults like to play with kids. They may not want to do it all the time, but they will in moderation.
  4. Many lessons are caught easier than they are taught. Parents learn from each other. It’s nice to have relationships with people in the same life-stage, and it’s good to have access to some people who’ve made it to the next alive.
  5. Worship together. This works well if most children are older than 3, but babies add positive note add to the atmosphere. This is a great time for new moms and dads to “let” someone in the group take a turn holding the baby. Just remember to be ok with noise.

How do you include kids and youth in your church community and worship?

https://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors-preaching-articles/john-gilman-ii-including-kids-in-small-groups-benefits-the-whole-community-2507?

Our Kids Are Watching

By Jonathan McKee -July 20, 2021

Our Kids Are Watching

If you have kids under 18, then the last few weeks–scratch that–months have probably invoked more fear and unrest than they have ever experienced looking at the world around them. First Covid-19, then the tragic killing of George Floyd, then the outbreak of violence in the streets… all of these issues dividing people instead of united them. Millions of American homes have news channels on right now that aren’t reporting news as much as “casting blame.” I’ve been alive 50 years, and I’ve never seen our country so divided. I don’t think many adults are stopping to consider: our kids are watching.

A black man is killed by a policeman on national TV. Our kids are watching.

Looters throw garbage cans through store windows and carry out televisions. Our kids are watching.

Politicians point their fingers. Our kids are watching.

The world pauses to remember George Floyd, even on kids’ channels. Our kids are watching.

Parents turn on that news station they love so much and watch editorialists shake their heads and point their fingers for hours upon hours. Our kids are watching.

Brands speak out and voice their protests in unique ways. Our kids are watching.

Grampa gets mad at the TV screen and starts casting more blame. Our kids are watching.

What are our kids gleaning from all of this pain, violence, bitterness, and unrest? More importantly, how can we talk with them about all they are observing?

Here is yet another situation where being proactive is always better than being reactive. Right now the entire world is reacting, many acting without thinking. What our kids need is a solid foundation in an otherwise shaky world.

So: how can we anchor our kids to this solid foundation?

This article originally appeared hereSUBSCRIBE to our free PARENTING HELP articles at TheSource4Parents.com to receive this entire article.

Family Duty by John Bunyan a Free PDF and Review

May 27, 2021 by SLIMJIM

Family Duty by John Bunyan

John Bunyan. Family Duty.  Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, July 12th 2016. 35 pp.

4 out of 5

Free: Chapel Library

Want a booklet on a biblical view of family?  Specifically would you want to have something to read concerning the roles of a husband, wife, father, mother, and children?  This is one that I would recommend.  I read this in one sitting and pulled nearly an all-night reading since it was spiritually edifying.  This booklet is by the famous preacher and Christian author John Bunyan.  It is amazing to think that he died in 1688 but his work is relevant for the 21st Century; that is a testimony of how when writers focus on being biblical it always is timely.

The booklet is divided into four parts.  Part one is on the duty of fathers, the next part is duty of wives, then duty of parents to children and finally duty of children to parents.  Each of these four sections have further subsections in typical Puritan fashion.  For instance under duty of fathers there is “Duty to the Family’s spiritual needs” and “Duty to the Family’s Outward needs.”  The section for duty of parents to children have three points: Instruction, Correction and Cautions.

I thought this booklet was biblical and practical.  For instance in the exhortation towards fathers the author said we must distinguished between offenses a family member has against you versus directly against God.  It is important as Bunyan note that if it is towards us primarily we should forgive.  I would also add to Bunyan’s observation that if it is directly towards God the offense as the primary motivation of a family members’ transgression we shouldn’t take it so personally; though we should care and pray about it and respond properly.  I also thought the advice to both husbands and wives of those married to unbelieving spouse were also quite pastoral of Bunyan and also practical.  For something written in the seventeenth century readers might assume it is unhealthily patriarchal but there is a respect of wives Bunyan has that’s driven by the Word of God.  My favorite quote from the booklet is “The wife is master next after her husband, and is to rule all in his absence” (15).  It stood out to me as a good reminder that my wife is a leader of my family specifically with my kids.  So it’s important I guide and lead her to also cultivate her as a spiritual leader of my children.

An edifying read.  Even if you think you are well versed with a biblical view of marriage I think this is still worthwhile as it’s something to refocus our duty whether we are children or a parent.

https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2021/05/27/free-pdf-and-review-family-duty-by-john-bunyan/#more-28484

“Cycle of Abuse”

By Mary Mattison

“Children sleeping in Mulberry Street” by 19th Century reformer Jacob Reis (1890) (PD)

The history of child abuse in all its forms would astonish many.  It leaves little hope to be vanquished, considering in many countries it is deemed “culture”.  Although we can not stop child abuse in its entirety, we do have the power to help save one child at a time in America, and hope for humanitarian efforts to continue their fight for children around the world.

The life of Mary Ellen Wilson started an increased awareness for the need to protect children.  She was born in 1864.  When her Mother became  widowed, she sent Mary to boarding school, but could not continue the payments.  By the age of two Mary Ellen was placed in foster care, suffering the abuse for eight years.  Although neighbors heard the cries, and saw the condition she lived in, they did not come to her aid, but thankfully one concerned woman could not forget her.

In 1874 a Methodist missionary, Etta Angell Wheeler, was asked to check on Mary Ellen, since she made frequent visits to the poor tenements.  After seeing the badly bruised and neglected child, she set out to take legal recourse and remove her from the home.

A court case ensued, and the judge placed Mary Ellen with a loving family.  She went on to lead a productive life, and some have deemed her a “dandelion” child, which are children who seem to thrive and do rather well, despite living through horrific experiences.  Sadly not all cases have such a happy ending.

There have been many changes in child welfare since 1874, yet the circumstances that left Mary Ellen in an abusive home for years are still much the same.

With all the recent effort to decide who will fund woman’s reproductive health, four children die every day from abuse.  This is only an estimation, and fatalities are rising.  Each state has a data base, and the numbers are heart wrenching.  See, for example, https://dcs.az.gov/news/child-fatalities-near-fatalities-information-releases .

Child Protective Services stood to receive 3.3 Billion dollars in 2016 to fund their programs.  The bleak reality is, there is not enough money, or man power to stop the abuse and neglect of children.  Valuable time is wasted investigating false claims, while serious cases of abuse and neglect go unreported.  In some cases children are placed in poorly screened foster homes where the abuse continues.

Would it not be more economical to address the social issues?  The lack of moral values, compassion for human life, and self-seeking behaviors that are behind the suffering of innocent children?

“And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3: 14).

Like Etta Angell  Wheeler, Mary Mattison is a woman with a loving heart.  She blogs at Anchor Thy Soul https://anchorthysoul.wordpress.com and Pennies for Dreams https://penniesfordreams.com.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: https://alawyersprayers.com

https://avoicereclaimed.com/2017/12/03/cycle-of-abuse-by-mary-mattison/


Family unity: A Christian alternative to orphanages

By Nermien Riad, Op-ed Contributor

Earlier this week I read Elli Oswald’s insightful piece on the prevalence of sexual abuse in orphanages. Her writing was spurred by the horrific news that an American missionary had been convicted of sexually abusing children at an orphanage in Kenya. As Ms. Oswald wrote, it’s a disturbing truth that even Christian institutions that we would hope to be safe can be perverted into havens for abusers, particularly when strong oversight is missing.

Courtesy of Coptic Orphans

What are we, as people of faith, called upon to do in the face of this kind of abuse? I would argue that the most crucial thing each of us can do is lift up better alternatives. It’s not enough to just criticize the orphanage system in general, from the stressed-out, underpaid social workers, to many Christians’ noble and honest attempts to care for kids in a group setting. Something more must be done. An alternative must exist. Let’s call it family-based care. The core idea is to keep families together whenever possible.

I am a first-generation Coptic Christian immigrant, and I first volunteered at an orphanage in my parents’ homeland of Egypt in 1988. Many aspects of life in the orphanage were shocking to me, but the most surprising thing I discovered was that many of the children there still had living adult family members who were simply too poor to care for them. 

I went on the found the Christian nonprofit Coptic Orphans on the belief that orphanages should be used only as a last resort. If the loss of a father traps a family in extreme poverty, as is too often the case, the next step should be a search for all available resources that could keep the child with his or her mother and close relatives. What do the mother and child need? Food, medical care, housing, education? We must provide those with the goal of keeping the family together, so that the children can thrive in the right environment. Independent research has shown that most of their needs can be better met within the family.

How do I know this works? I’ve seen it. By the grace of God, Coptic Orphans is blessed to work with over 550 loving church servants who regularly visit the homes of each of the nearly 11,000 orphans in our program. They cultivate a personal relationship with each child, treating them with respect and dignity. These servants assess each child’s needs — including how they can be more connected to their family and their Christian faith — and strive to provide for them, relying on the generous support of the Egyptian Christian diaspora. Education, including individual tutoring and accelerated literacy courses, is the key tool used to help orphans break the cycle of poverty.

Naturally, this model isn’t going to work every single time. But most of the time, it’s the best way to preserve the child’s emotional stability and ability to succeed in life.

I’m grateful for Elli Oswald’s effort to shed light on abuse at orphanages, and I pray that alternative models of care become available to children all over the world. Scaling up the family-based model to serve the enormous number of orphans around the globe would be a challenge. But it’s important that alternatives exist. For that to happen, the conversation has to begin somewhere. I’m glad that it’s happening on these pages.

Nermien Riad is the founder and executive director of Coptic Orphans, an award-winning international Christian development organization founded in 1988. Coptic Orphans unlocks the God-given potential of the most vulnerable children in Egypt, empowering them to break the cycle of poverty and become change-makers in their communities through the power of education. 

https://www.christianpost.com/voices/family-unity-a-christian-alternative-to-orphanages.html