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10 Ways You're Hurting the Relationship with Your Adult Children (Without Knowing It)

When my children were in elementary school, I was busy being a mom and the future seemed distant. I was in the midst of soccer games, mounds of laundry, and meal preparation. I thought my boys would always be rough and tumble, video-game-playing, eating-all-the-groceries kids. In a blink, however, they transformed from smelly energetic boys to mature adults living on their own, holding down jobs, and taking care of themselves. It all happened so fast.As parents, we practice parenting for so many years we often neglect to consider our future relationship as parents of adult children. We never consider how “parenting” becomes “being a parent.”The two seem similar, but there is a significant difference. Parenting is caring for, nurturing, and training a child to make good choices. Scripture assures us our hard work as parents is beneficial. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). Parenting means teaching them to love God and serve others and helping them learn to reach wise decisions and master taking care of themselves.On the other hand, being a parent of adult children is more about a relationship. Being the parent is about adults relating to adults. The rules change. If we don’t make the transition from “parenting” to “being a parent,” we can hurt the new relationship with our adult children without knowing.Here are 10 ways we may be hurting our relationship and not know:Need to pray for the adult children in your life? Download our FREE Praying for Your Adult Children Guide to get started today.Photo Credit: Thinkstock

10 Sure Signs You Need to Make Time for Yourself

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test what God’s will is: his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2 NIV). In today’s culture, we’re taught that busier is better. The more that you can accomplish in a day gives you more value as a person. But remember, the things you do only count when you tell other people about them. Flood your Instagram with your accomplishments and make sure to feel bad when you don’t live up to the achievements of others. We could buy into this thought process, or we could do what Paul suggests in his letter to the Romans. We could break free from the patterns of this world and allow God to renew our minds. Maybe you’re thinking you already take a lot of time for yourself, that you’re doing fine. However, in my experience, even the people taking time for themselves aren’t taking enough. Before you assume you’re in the clear, look out for these 10 sure signs you need to make more time for yourself. Photo Credit: Pexels

The Top 7 Most Dangerous Church Cultures

Every church has its own culture.I’ve seen lots of different cultures while consulting and working with churches for over a decade.Regardless of what some believe—there are some healthy churches.And there are some who are not so healthy.It always breaks my heart to encounter a church that is ready to implode. Frankly, some churches live in that tension continually. Some cultures are dangerous—toxic even.Sadly, according to numerous statistics, more churches are in decline or have plateaued than are growing. Certainly, not all growing churches are healthy. I would never define a “healthy” church exclusively as growing church. I do believe, however, most healthy churches will eventually grow.Some of that health in a church depends on the culture of the church. How do people respond to church leadership? How do they respond to each other? How do they react to change? How are decisions made? What upsets people most? What is the atmosphere—the mood—of the church during the week and on Sunday? How does the church treat vocational staff?All those are usually relative to and indicative of church culture.So, I decided to post about some of the more dangerous church cultures I have observed. Most likely you’ll have some of your own to share.Here are 7 of the Most Dangerous Church CulturesImage Credit: ©Unsplash/isaac-ordaz

How to Recognize the Signs of the End Times

Dear Roger,Here’s what I thought of after your series on the end of times: You said that discerning Christians’ will recognize the signs that the end is near… How can I be sure I am a discerning Christian?Sincerely, SDear S,The Bible is filled with signs as to what the end times will look like. Some signs are so specific we can’t miss them. For example, in Matthew 24:15-16 Jesus pointed out one sure sign of the end times: “So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel — let the reader understand—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains…”Jesus expects His readers to understand the signs of the end. How will we know what to look for?Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/Ig0rZh

5 Great Ways Wives Can Serve Their Husbands

Let's be honest; it feels nice to be served and waited upon. While tying the knot, we fancy the idea of having our spouses bend over backward to meet our needs. And while it is okay to expect our spouses to serve us, Scripture shows us a more excellent way - serving them."Yet it shall not be so among you, but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave, just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Mathew 20: 26-28).In our quest to find fulfillment in our marriages, God gives us a secret tool - serving our spouses. Serving means attending to someone's needs above your own. As a wife, the best way to serve your husband is by meeting his needs. But before rolling up your sleeves to help him, it's important to know what really floats his boat. Because you can be knocking yourself out thinking that you are enthusing him while all the while you are irritating him.The best way to know how to serve your husband is by acquainting yourself with his needs which are most likely starkly different from yours. You may not even understand why he fancies the things he does. Serving him may require you to go against your grain. Paul encouraged the Church to esteem others above themselves."Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests but also for the interests of others." (Philippians 2:3-4).As you serve your husband, you are heeding God's command of putting his interests above yours. You are also sowing good deeds into your marriage, and you will ultimately reap a harvest of a great marriage. Here are five ways in which you can serve your husband.
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5 Ways to Serve Your Wife

Perhaps the title of this article is a tad prickly to you because you are aware that the husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head of the Church (Ephesians 5:23). How can the husband then be expected to serve his wife? Shouldn't it be the other way around? After all, it is common practice in almost all world cultures for leaders to be served and have people at their beck and call.But this is not the case in the kingdom we belong to. Paul asks husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her (Ephesians 5: 25). Christ's headship saw Him hanging on the cross to salvage His bride, the Church. He also declared that He did not come to be served but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10: 45).If husbands are to emulate Christ as the head of their wives, they must serve their wives. Serving your wife means prioritizing her and attending to her needs above yours. Serving her doesn't diminish your status as the head of your family. On the contrary, it elevates you. Jesus told His disciples that whoever desired to become great should become a servant (Mark 10:43). The biblical way of being lifted is by first crawling down. Here are X ways in which husbands can serve their wives.
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10 Bible Verses to Read at a Wedding

There are many building blocks to a Christ-centered marriage. Here are some verses that can remind newlyweds of the many components needed in a healthy marriage:

10 Powerful Ways Dads Can Forge a Strong Relationship with Their Daughter

Without words, my dad faithfully repaired the doorframe every time my teenage angst slammed it off its alignment. No one ever asked him to check on me after an outburst that ended in tears behind that slammed door, but he always did. My dad loved me despite the massive cloud that took over from time to time during those hard, teen years. When I was wrong. When I overreacted. When my heart was broken by some boy. My dad always checked in to make sure I was OK. He reminded me who I was and that he loved me.I realize not everyone is blessed with the same story, but from the outpouring of mine, I share ways that fathers can forge lasting and real relationships with their daughters. It’s not rocket science. Rather, it’s simply putting the door back on the hinges, wiping the tears away, and lending hugs to let them know they are loved more than they could possibly understand.Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Jonathan Borba

10 Verses for When You Can't Sleep

Many of us have been there. Middle of the night. Darkness surrounds. Stars shining brightly. All is quiet. All should be at peace. Except for one problem.We can’t sleep.Thoughts are swirling, anxieties pressing hard. Peace feels far away. Fear seems to be bigger in the dark. It’s hard to see or think with clarity. Too many things can keep us awake. Wide awake. If you’ve lived long enough, you may have found yourself there.Maybe the kids woke you up, or the new pet. Maybe it’s just a bad dream. Or something you ate. Yet often it goes much deeper than that. Worry or stress, money problems, deep loss or grief can steal away precious hours of sleep. Illness, disease, or pain that we or our loved ones might be facing, can cause true rest to be a constant battle. Sometimes even the pain of broken relationships brings great heaviness to the soul. Unforgiveness, resentment, and anger, make it difficult to turn off our thoughts and rehearsed scripts, to find rest again.If you find yourself there right now, or have just walked through a difficult hardship and still struggle with fear-filled thoughts or overwhelming feelings in the night, here are some verses that might help to bring life, healing, and peace once again:
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4 Ways to Help Calm Your Anxious Child

As an adult, I've struggled with anxiety, all the while hoping and praying my kids would be spared the same struggle. Unfortunately, it seems anxiety is something my kids have begun to experience. Thankfully, my personal battle has given me eyes to see the difficulty they are facing. When I think back to my childhood, I had similar struggles that I observe in my own children, but no one was able to identify this as anxiety. Research has shown that children of a parent with an anxiety disorder have a 33 percent higher chance of having it themselves.Anxiety can feel like a beast that is daunting to defeat, but the good news is it is possible to overcome the sensations that flood our minds and bodies when anxiety hits. We can help our children by teaching them strategies that lead to a more peaceful mind and body. It's our job to walk alongside them as they learn to understand how their minds and bodies work.Here are a few tips to help you calm your anxious child:
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10 Powerful Quotes That Will Change the Way You Live

Have you ever looked at a familiar verse in an unfamiliar Bible translation? Most of us have a preferred version, but reading it in a different translation often sheds new light on its meaning. It may reveal nuances, clarify details, or otherwise point us towards a deeper understanding.As Christians, we view the Bible as the ultimate authority on life—but sometimes, a fresh way of wording it is like having a new translation, providing additional revelation. As you ponder these 10 powerful quotes (and related Bible references), let them change the way you live your faith.Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Vichien Petchmai

10 Great Ways to Show Support for Military Families

If you live in a community with active duty military families but have never been a part of the military yourself it can be difficult to know how to support them. You may want to meet their unique needs but don’t know where to begin. The military family makes unique sacrifices to defend the freedoms that we all enjoy and a little bit of effort to encourage and support them goes further than you may ever know. So what can you do? Here are ten ways, among many, to show your support to military families: Jeremy Stalnecker is the Director of Mighty Oaks Warrior Programs. He served as a USMC Infantry Officer in Operation Iraqi Freedom and then became a pastor when he returned to civilian life. Through Mighty Oaks, Jeremy has brought together his ministry experience and military background to serve and minister to many hurting veterans, service members and their families. Jeremy, his wife Susanne and their four children live in Central California.

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8 Things That Bond Families Together Forever

Strong family bonds make a lifelong difference. Members lean on one another, enjoy time together, and continue to build memories. According to a 50-year review in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Family Psychology, routines and rituals are associated with stronger family relationships. Family members’ connections last when they meet the individual’s needs of acceptance and belonging.The relationships are reinforced through shared memories that reflect time invested in one another, both the happy experiences and the struggles they overcame together. Investing in family is done by supporting one another, showing approval of the individuals, and making the home a safe haven.Evaluate your family bonds. List what you do together and what shared experiences and interests are part of the family conversations. Ask your children what they enjoy doing as a family and what activities they’d like to do again. Ask what new activities they want to try.When children can add their ideas, they feel more invested. Ask for their help in planning activities and carrying them out so they will be more involved and feel like an important part of the team. Communication is a key component of creating lasting bonds, so be sure to converse about activities and include everyone’s input. Listening to each individual helps each person feel valued and affirmed, especially when they see their ideas become realities.As you check out these 8 ways to develop lasting bonds note how your family is doing in each area and where you might work on strengthening bonds.Photo Credit: ©Pexels/August de Richelieu

4 Ways Pornography Damages a Marriage

Marriage is a sacred covenant created by God. He created men and women to be committed in their marriage until death do they part. This is not something to be taken lightly. We must be intentional daily to create a thriving marriage that glorifies God.Being a committed spouse means that we don't allow our hearts, minds, or bodies to venture outside of the covenant that we have made.The Bible says in Hebrews 13:4 that marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.Unfortunately, these laws are disregarded at every turn in our current culture. The world wants us to believe we can create our truth about marriage. But God created marriage laws to protect us. He desires for us to have thriving, committed marriages that reflect Him, which means fidelity and solid commitment to each other.Being in a committed marriage is becoming more and more difficult with the amount of pornography that is on display in multiple aspects. Billboards, movies, TV shows, magazines, and of course, the internet. The enemy is having a hay day with the number of inappropriate images infiltrating our minds.This can make it especially difficult to avoid the draw of pornography addiction. It is presented as normal and innocent when in reality, it is destroying lives and destroying families.Pornography addiction is an epidemic in our country. The damaging effects on marriages are devastating and harmful.Here are 4 ways that pornography damages a marriage:
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10 Behaviors That Can Lead to Domestic Violence

No one gets married to see it dissolve. Two people are drawn to each other and make the decision to start a life together that they want to last forever; and yet, about 50% of those who walk down an aisle end up either divorced, separated, or having one mate gone forever. And sometimes domestic violence rears its ugly head.Domestic violence doesn't just appear one day; there are certain signs that a relationship is unhealthy. Here are 10 behaviors that may lead to domestic violence.Photo credit: ©Getty/Serghei-Turcanu

10 Questions You Always Wanted to Ask about Heaven

Dear Roger,I am so excited about going to heaven. I am ready for the rapture. I hope it comes right now! But I don’t know enough about heaven. Can you fill in some of the details for me?Sincerely,JulieDear Julie,There are ten common questions I hear all the time from people who are seeking to know more about heaven. I’ve collected them here, along with some biblical answers and practical application. I hope they’re helpful for you!Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/grakozy

4 Excellent Bible Study Resources That Are Biblically-Sound

I consider myself somewhat of a Bible resource nerd. I am always excited to dig into a new study or resource that will help propel me to a closer relationship with Jesus. I do need to be careful not to focus on resources and content above and beyond spending time reading God’s Word, but I strive to find biblically sound resources.I am the Women’s Ministry Leader at my church and am constantly trying new resources and searching for solid content to share with my ladies. There are many biblical resources for studying God’s word and talented people that God uses powerfully to bring His message of salvation to the lives of believers and those seeking God for the first time.One thing that I make sure of is that all the teachings line up with the truth of the Bible. It can be so easy for a writer or leader to get caught up in their opinions and accidentally share them as truth. No matter what we are studying or reading, we must set it up against the Bible. If it doesn’t line up, then we don’t want it.Before starting a new study or teaching, praying and asking God for discernment in all you are reading and learning is a good habit. God can speak to us through so many different avenues. I believe He uses people, their creativity, experiences, and talents to share truths with us.Here are some of my favorite Bible study resources:
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10 Things Today’s Teens Need to Hear from Their Parents

Having teens is like having a built-in audience for our would-haves and should-haves. It’s like talking to our younger selves, except it seems as though they listen with half an ear and a couple of eye rolls.But even though it seems like our teens disregard our experience and wisdom, we still need to do our best to coach them into adulthood.Our teens need as much encouragement as we can give them. The microscopic world of social media isolates, the cancel culture rejects, and ghosting devastates.Living lives so connected to digital media means that the school room drama follows them home. In an instant a life can come under scrutiny and become the primary target for attack. Our teens juggle academics, extracurriculars, relationships, and social media. We need to help them remember that God is for them and able to help them with everything they face.The following are 10 wisdom nuggets that our teens need to hear from us.Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/Kerkez

20 Secular Movies with Christian Themes

As Crosswalk contributor Mike Foust pointed out, dividing movies into either “faith-based” or “secular” can be useful but creates a problem: “It can prevent us from seeing the truth—and perhaps even the gospel – in secular films.”Because all truth is God’s truth, even movies made by mainstream studios can provide powerful glimpses of truth. They might even help us see biblical ideas in new ways. Here are 20 movies worth looking at for that purpose. They include everything from classic dramas to modern action movies.Foust’s list of 10 secular movies with Christian values contains many family-friendly films. This list includes some movies for kids and some movies where characters make messy choices as they reach for redemption. Like’s recent article “10 Great Easter Movies about the Life of Jesus,” each entry includes where to find a parental guide.Photo Credit: Erik Witsoe/Unsplash

10 Bad Habits That Christians Should Kick

Whether we like it or not, all Christians have the potential to be hypocrites. Thanks to original sin, we will never be perfect. Ironically, We proclaim the Gospel, preached by a man without sin. Then we strive to be everything that he was, while still finding that we sometimes fall short. When falling short, we have (maybe even unknowingly) learned bad habits and practiced them. We have intended to profess the Truth, but have not always given our Savior the credit that He’s deserved through less-than-holy words and actions. Sure, we know we won’t be perfect in this lifetime, but there are some habits that, if tackled, could make a big impact on our faith and the faith of others. What bad habits do you need help kicking? Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/fotyma

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