What to Do When You Find Out Your Child’s Been Watching Porn

by Hal and Melanie Young | 8/31/2016 | 0 comments

What should you do? Well, besides cry? It’s devastating to realize that the child you’ve prayed for, taught the Scriptures to, and tried so hard to protect has been looking at degrading and dehumanizing filth. You’re not alone. Nearly all boys are exposed to porn before they are eighteen and the vast majority of them,…
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August 29th, 2016

Ten Danger Signs Your Son Is Watching Porn

by Hal and Melanie Young | 0 comments

We get messages all the time from parents who’ve found out their son is watching porn. In every one, the parents express shock. They had no idea, no clue that this was going on in their house, so they just aren’t prepared to deal with it. When we talk to them, though, the signs have been there, they just missed them.

Here’s some help so you don’t end up in the same place:

RRM Ten Warning Sign Your Son May be Watching Porn

We list several warning signs below, but understand, it’s not at all unusual to see one or two of these things in your kids and there’s nothing going on at all, but the question still bears asking. If you are seeing several of these things, then you’ve probably got real reason for concern.

1. Unusual or sudden interest in sexual topics. This is a pretty big warning sign in younger children, especially. It pays to ask privately, “Why, what brings that up?” and watch their eyes. If you see embarrassment, shame, fear, or guilt, keep asking questions and make sure they feel safe to answer. Oh, and answer their questions about sexuality in an age-appropriate way.

2. Using sexual language you know they haven’t heard around home. One mom was shocked when the mother of her son’s young pen-pal called up, horribly offended at the language in the last message her son had received. The sender’s mother called us, puzzled and worried. She didn’t know how her son even knew those words. Turns out, though, he’d recently been given an old phone to play with but discovered it could go online … and they didn’t have a filter. He had learned all kinds of things a kid his age shouldn’t know.

3. Seems to be touching himself a lot. Again, this is something you may notice when a younger boy has been exposed to porn. Some boys do seem to struggle with this, even if they haven’t been exposed. Note, you don’t need to worry about calling him out on this any more than you would if he were picking his nose. “Son, no. Get your hands out of your pants,” won’t put him in some kind of Freudian funk. Do pay attention, though, and see if it’s part of a larger pattern.

4. Suddenly changing online activities when you walk up. When you walk up and your son suddenly changes browser windows, puts his phone face down, or closes or turns off his computer, you may want to start asking questions. “So, what are you up to, buddy? Mind if I see?” Say it kindly, with a smile. You might be wrong or you might be right, but you need him to be straight with you.

5. Putting a password you don’t know on his phone or becoming very protective of his phone or tablet. If he doesn’t want any one to touch it or if he freaks out when they do, it’s time to check it out.

RRM Warning Signs Your Child Has Been Exposed to Porn

6. Seeing him online, but history or online time in filter is missing. There are ways to get around filters, though it takes some knowledge. If you see him online often, but you aren’t seeing similar hours online when you check your accountability software, find out why. Also, if you check the browser history and it’s clear, but he’s been online, you mostly likely have a problem. No one covers their tracks unless they’re afraid someone will follow them.

7. Change in behavior or personality. If they are suddenly irritable, touchy, or depressed, he may be just hormonal … or he may be dealing with the guilt of porn or struggling with a porn addiction.

8. Spending a lot of time behind closed doors. Although we’ve heard of a kid watching porn on her mom’s computer in the living room with everyone there, most kids struggling with porn will spend increasing amounts of time hiding away somewhere private.

9. Can’t go to sleep without phone in the bed with him. Boys (and adults) who are addicted to porn, often can’t fall asleep without watching it and masturbating.

10. Overreacts to a lack of internet access. One mom told her son she was going to take his tablet for a week as a punishment. He ran to the kitchen, grabbed a knife, and threatened to kill himself. This is not normal! Something is very badly wrong and that boy needed help. Even if it doesn’t rise to that level, if not having internet access makes your son frantic or furious, you probably ought to ask some questions.

Each of these danger signs can be totally innocent on their own, but if you are seeing several of things happening,  you may have a problem or rather, your son may. Really, you both do, and we’ll talk about what to do next in our next post.

In the meantime, one of the most important things you can do to protect your family is to get accountability software on every single internet-capable device in your home – laptops, tablets, ipods, phones. Our family uses Covenant Eyes and we love it. It allows us to set filtering and accountability separately for each member of the family and the reports are super fast and easy to check. You can support our ministry (affiliate link coming!) while you protect your family by signing up for Covenant Eyes (and you get 30 days free!). 

Your friends,Hal and Melanie at Science Museum 150

Hal & Melanie

 

August 29th, 2016

Q & A: Dealing With An Angry Son

by Hal | 2 comments

A reader asks what to do with a violently angry 11-year-old son who is fighting and hurting his siblings.  The father writes,

I’m dying here. My boy continues to be violent to his siblings…one in particular…and tells us he wants out of the family. I feel like a prisoner in my own family, needing to be here to police him. I can’t even leave for work this morning. He has completely shut us off. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

RRM My Preteen is Angry and Rough

Melanie Young Science Headshot 300px wide Close CropMelanie:

First, we are very careful to ratchet down our tempers – don’t yell, don’t scream, don’t lose it. Somebody has got to be the adult around here! Continue reading »

August 24th, 2016

Ten Practical Ways to Keep Kids Safe From Predators

by Hal and Melanie Young | 2 comments

The past couple of weeks, we’ve been talking to and praying for friends who’ve been dealing with a great grief. Their young son was molested while he was visiting with his beloved grandparents. It was a young adult, a trusted friend of the family, who victimized their child. The parents are heartbroken.

Sadly, this is happening more and more frequently. As more and more people become enslaved by porn, more of them will eventually act out their sick fantasies. Law enforcement statistics are showing this trend. It’s important that you take some basic precautions to protect your kids.

RRM Practical Ways to Protect Your Kids From Predators

 

1. Trust your gut. If you feel uneasy about someone, don’t let them be alone with your kids. Sometimes the Holy Spirit is trying to tell you something and you need to listen. Or, you might be picking up on subtle signals that you can’t easily identify, but that tell you something isn’t quite right. Or, both.

2. Tell your children that no one is allowed to see them or touch them in the area covered by their underwear or bathing suit — and they aren’t allowed to see or touch anyone else there either. The only exceptions are their parents or someone their parents have asked to help them, such as a doctor or grandparent with the parents’ permission. (Oh, and their future mate after they’re married!)

3. Let them know that if anyone asks them not to tell their parents something, that’s a huge red flag that they should tell their parents right away. You might lose the chance to be surprised by a birthday present, but it’s worth it.

4. Make sure they know that if someone threatens them, or threatens someone or something they love, then they need to get adult help right away. Let them know you can take care of them and and you can protect yourself, that they need your help. Remind them that you are supposed to be protecting them, they don’t have to protect you.

5. Ask your children occasionally if anything is bothering them or if there’s something they’ve wanted to tell you, but maybe didn’t know how. Do this especially if you see any change of behavior or personality.

6. Remember that horrible things can happen very quickly. Some predators take delight in molesting their victims when their parents are nearby or even in the room. One mom said that in the time it took the kids to go get toys from the basement, her child was shown a pornographic movie on a phone by a man who was renting the downstairs apartment. It took less than two minutes for the boy to be exposed. If you are uneasy, don’t take your eyes off them.

RRM Ten Practical Ways to Protect Your Child From Predators

7. Don’t be deceived. Most children are not molested by strangers but by people their families trusted. Watch out for grownups who seem way more focused on the kids than the adults. Don’t make your kids show physical affection to people they don’t want to.

8. You have a right, and a responsibility, to say No. If someone wants to take your child somewhere and you don’t feel good about it, say No. If someone is interacting with your child in a way that makes you uneasy, say No. If someone wants your child to stay overnight and it makes you uncomfortable, say No. In fact, we don’t do sleepovers at all except for grandparents or whole families, which stay together. The risks have risen enormously since we were kids and there was plenty of opportunity for sin then–it happened to schoolmates of ours. You don’t have to feel bad about saying No, either. Just say, “I’m sorry. That won’t be possible,” and move on. Your child is your responsibility.

9. You need to know that some predators are other kids. We’ve heard stories recently about kids being molested by neighbor kids while they played in the yard or while they were supposed to be playing with toys in their bedroom. It’s probably best for kids to play with friends in the common areas of the house or with adult supervision around. It’s a different world than it was when we were children and you have no idea what other kids have been exposed to. Unfortunately, you need to know that sometimes predators are siblings. This is a horrific thought, but it happens. Be aware, especially in blended, adoptive, or foster families where kids aren’t biologically related. In blood siblings, sometimes porn is a motivator.

10. Protect your kids from porn. Interest in porn can be a symptom a child’s been molested. Or, porn use can make them more susceptible to molesters. Worse still, porn can tempt them to act out themselves. No one wants to find out their child has become a predator, yet we know several really good, Christian families who’ve had to deal with that devastating discovery. Protect your kids. Get some kind of accountability software on every internet capable device in your home. We use Covenant Eyes and have used it for years. We love that it allows you to set different levels of filtering or accountability for each family member. You can support our ministry (affiliate link coming!) and try it for 30 days free by clicking here.

It’s serious. Our kids need our protection more than ever. Step up to the plate, overcome your embarrassment and go to bat for them. You won’t regret it.

Your friends, Hal and Melanie at Science Museum 150

Hal & Melanie

Oh, yeah! We’ve written a new book for guys in their teens and twenties. It’s called Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality. Although it won’t be officially released for several more weeks, we do have a few advance copies, if you want to grab one! Click here to check it out!

August 21st, 2016

Sharing the Gospel with Your Kids

by Hal | 0 comments

 

MBFLP 139 - Sharing The Gospel With Your Kids - V

As Christian parents, we probably all put right at the top of our list, “Teach our children to know and love and serve the Lord Jesus.” The stakes are high, and frankly, it can be a daunting thing to realize we have the biggest influence in our kids’ daily spiritual instruction!

Our friend Dennis Gundersen is a veteran pastor and the author of a thoughtful book called Your Child’s Profession of Faith. He’s been a friend of ours for at least twenty years, and we spoke to him on our podcast about some aspects of sharing the Gospel with your children.

How early can you teach your children about Jesus, sin, and forgiveness? “I can’t remember a time that we didn’t,” Dennis told us (he and his wife Naomi have four married adult sons). If the normal, everyday conversation in the home speaks about spiritual truth frequently, he said, then our children are going to hear spiritual truth from a young age … and often.

We need to be transparent about living out our faith in front of our children. Jesus lived out the ministry He was teaching His disciples, and His teaching style to them was often more about demonstration than instruction.

But family worship is important, too, and “practically applying it to ourselves” Dennis said. It’s important not to avoid the difficult or even “scary” topics like our inborn sinfulness and desperate need for a Savior! It’s not just “Jesus is my Friend” – we are all like sheep who have gone astray!

How to you get from the comforting messages to the need for repentance and forgiveness? “We found that all truth has roads to other truth,” he said. When we study through the Bible, “there are direct pathways between the gentle truths about Jesus and the wrath He endured on the Cross.” When you read straight through the Bible, you’ll get a balanced message. Our sin and guilt lead us back to the love of God in Christ, and the love of God for poor sinners leads us to Calvary.

How do you lead family devotions? It depends on your family, he said. If your children are all older kids and believers themselves, you might have longer and deeper devotions; but “You can cover a lot of the Bible in 10 or 15 minutes a day, if you make it a daily habit,” Dennis said. He recommends simply reading and discussing the Bible, rather than trying to find a curriculum and make it fit your family’s particular needs, interests, doctrinal background, and so on.

Some of the earliest spiritual training will probably be simple obedience. We asked him about one writer we know who says that the primary duty of children is to obey. Dennis said there is an element of truth to that; he noted that one of the most frequent statements in Proverbs is, “Son, listen to me!” And nothing opens the way for the Gospel than dealing with open sin or rebellion.

But it’s important that we parents confess our sins against our kids – and ask their forgiveness. They are very sensitive to hypocrisy and inconsistency in our actions and words. Sometimes we parents are going to react too quickly, or make unfair assumptions, or simply lose our temper with our children. It is appropriate and powerful when we admit our wrongs to our children, ask their forgiveness, and pray for God’s help overcoming these things in ourselves!

There are more great ideas on the full episode – you can get it on iTunes or listen online at the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network!


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– and if you act now, you can get two years for the price of one!

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August 11th, 2016

A Case for Grace for Grandparents

by Hal and Melanie Young | 0 comments

Several times recently, friends have told us that they are just done with their parents. They’ve had repeated disagreements and arguments over the children and their family’s lifestyle choices. They’re so annoyed with the older generation, they just want to back out of the relationship.

This is kind of a shock to us. We grew up in the South where if you didn’t take your mom’s phone calls, she’d show up at your house and stand there on your porch until you did! “Family is family,” people would say when we were growing up.

“But, you don’t know my family!”

RRM Grace for Grandparents

True. There are truly dysfunctional families and frankly, broken personalities to deal with, sometimes. We’re not talking about the horrible situations that some of you face where you just must walk away. We have seen some families in that shape, sadly.  An abuser, for example, has broken the family trust and has no right to access to anyone.

For most of our friends, though, it’s not a matter of pathology or persecution, but a series of disputes about authority, discipline, household management, and respect for one another. Many of these things could be resolved! Breaking off contact is the death penalty of relationships, and it should only happen in the most extreme circumstances.

If you find yourself exasperated and chafing in your extended family relationships, consider this:

The way you relate to your parents and in-laws now is teaching your children how to relate to you when you’re the grandparent. 

Stop and think about that a moment.

By the time your children have children, things will be different than they are now.

Dietary advice will change. When we were children, our parents were told to choose margarine over butter – it was so much healthier!  When our children were little, research was just surfacing that trans-fatty acids in many margarines were actually more dangerous than butter! Depend on it, something you confidently feed your children now will fall out of favor when your grandchildren come along.

Safety advice will change. When we were children, car seats for kids were simply boosters to let them see through the windows. Seatbelts were optional and kids routinely rode unrestrained in the back of the station wagon or the bed of Dad’s pickup truck. When our first child was born, car seats were mandatory and had multiple attachment points; by the time our youngest came along, parents were required to keep children in booster seats until they were eight years old! When your time comes to load up grandchildren, who knows what contraption will be standard equipment? Will you find it irritating or frustrating to submit to new expectations that seem unrealistic, panicky, and alarmist?

Baby care advice will change. We’ve seen this ourselves over the twenty years we had babies in our house. First, they told us to always put a baby to sleep on his stomach, because he might aspirate his spit up and die. A few years later, the experts said no, always put a baby to sleep on his side; otherwise he might aspirate spit up or have SIDS and die. A few years after than, they said babies should always be put to sleep on their backs … or they might die. The advice was always earnest and urgent and ever so certain … this time.

Dear Future Grandparent: Trust us, you’re going to think the new advice is all a bit silly. After all, your kids did fine! Your children, though, will do some things differently with their kids than you did with yours. When they do, don’t you want them to have patience with you when you don’t quite get it?

Yet, we hear folks threatening to cut their parents off for just that kind of thing:

  • “My mom took our children to the bank instead of taking them right home. I know I shouldn’t have let them ride with her! How do I even know she kept an eye on them?”
  • “His mom just fed them junk food at her house. She gave them popsicles with artificial colors. I can’t believe she’d give them that kind of poison!”
  • “Their grandma let them watch cartoons and then took them to a movie we hadn’t approved in advance. I’m done with this!”

We get it. We really do. DISCLOSURE: We’ve said some of those things ourselves! We’re a little (well, a lot!) older now and our perspective has changed. Now we realize there are some very good reasons for choosing to overlook these things.

 

RRM Getting Along with Grandparents

We want our kids to know that relationships are worth fighting for. Every relationship between two sinners is going to involve conflict and compromise. We want our children to understand that by the time they’re adults. We don’t want them to be quick to walk away – not from us and not from their mate.

We want our kids to understand that there is more to life than the body and that relationships are more important than food. The Word tells us that

Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.

When we put what we have chosen to eat or not eat above our relationships with our family, above kindness and courtesy, we’re teaching our children the opposite of this verse.

It’s true that some circumstances are so serious, like a life-threatening allergy, that you have to handle them as medical issues and draw strict boundaries. And to be fair, it seems that some of these allergies are more common now than when we were kids … that’s real.

Much of what causes disagreement doesn’t rise to that level, though. Is it good for kids to have a diet rich in artificial colors or flavors? No. Will they be seriously hurt if they encounter them occasionally at Grandma’s house? No, again.

We want our children to learn tools for dealing with difficult people and uncomfortable situations. We travel a lot and we’ve enjoyed hospitality from people of all sorts. Sometimes, we’ve looked at our plates and had to decide – are we going to be picky and embarrass these kind hosts, or will we be gracious guests and ignore our usual preferences for an hour? When a conversation steers into controversies over politics, religious distinctives, or other areas of disagreement, have our children seen us answer softly and steer clear of arguments and offenses for the sake of relationships?

When our children see us behave like a Christian — with self-control, gentleness, and thankfulness — and when they watch us control our tempers and mouths when we’re provoked, we’re teaching them how to behave when they have challenges with other people. One day, no doubt, we’ll be that “other” person!

We want our children to learn to set loving boundaries. When we navigate awkward relationships in our family well, our children learn how to do the same. They learn how to refuse to be baited, how to change the subject, how to say no to a problematic invitation, how to tell someone to stop being a bully. and they see how to do those things like a Christian.

We want our children to respect their elders. Although it’s tempting to feel like our generation is the first to really be on top of it all, the Word of God tells us to honor our fathers and our mothers, to submit to the elders of the church, and to be subject to those in authority over us. When our kids see us honor our parents even when we disagree with them, they learn to respect the position and experience of their elders.

Ultimately, we want to show our children how we want to be treated when we’re the grandparents and they are the parents. We want a relationship with our children and grandchildren. We want to be a part of their lives. We don’t want to be cut off because we’re cranky or hard to deal with and especially not because we’ve made some kind of mistake.

If we want our children to treat us with mercy and grace that day, then we ought to be an example of mercy and grace for them now.

Give your mom a call. Invite your mother-in-law to come over. Family is family!

Your friends,Hal and Melanie at Science Museum 150

Hal & Melanie

 

 

August 3rd, 2016

Q&A: My 11yo Has Horrible Manners!

by Hal and Melanie Young | 0 comments

A reader asks, “I have been struggling with something that I’m not sure how to fix it our 11 year old boy is very very stubborn.

I almost feel like he does it for the attention or he just doesn’t care. At the dinner table he will eat with his hands burp without saying excuse me eat really messy where stuff getting all over the place not caring to clean it up and chewing with his mouth open not saying please or thank you with out being reminded too, just has bad table manners, manners period. We will remind him to close his mouth etc things like that and he’ll say I know I know but a second later he’s doing it again when he was younger he had amazing table manners.

RRM my 11yo has horrible manners

My husband’s getting frustrated because we took him to my in-laws for dinner yesterday we had a discussion with him before we went in about his table manners and he says I know I know ,we go in there and have issues again. It embarrasses us because my in-laws make comments of how that’s not allowed at their house but we don’t allow it either he’s just doing it. Its so frustrating and I’m trying to handle this the right way any advice on this would be great.”

There’s nothing like kids to keep you humble, is there?

We see three issues here and they each need a little different focus.

First, the grandparents. We’ve found ourselves in the same uncomfortable situation. In fact, it happened this morning! A child who definitely knows better will act like they’ve had no training at all in front of his or her very proper, Southern lady grandmother. Arrggghhh! That is so embarrassing! At this point, humility is probably the best course, saying something like, “No, we don’t allow it, either, and we’re working on it. Today is not a good day, though, is it? How did you handle things like this when we were growing up? What about when we were in public?” Getting them thinking back is likely to remind them that all children do this kind of thing at some time or another and even if it doesn’t, it shows you know what is expected and you’re trying — and allows them to be the experts! 

RRM My 11yo Has Bad Manners
You’ve also got to keep working on the manners, even though sometimes it feels fruitless. When our guys were ill-mannered and a quiet reminder didn’t help, we’d ask them to stand behind their chairs for a time. They had to stand there, quiet, until we told them to sit down. It is *very* hard for a boy that age to watch other people eat when they’re hungry, so that was very motivational! I would also make sure he cleaned up his mess after every single meal until it got better. When kids are responsible for cleaning up, making a mess isn’t as much fun.
 
The third issue is one you may not realize because we didn’t when our oldest was that age. When we hear about an eleven year old that can’t focus on what he’s doing and acts like he didn’t hear you, we know what’s going on — the first stages of puberty!
When the hormones start flowing, the brain starts changing. During the time it’s remodeling, kids are distracted, addled, forgetful, and just downright exasperating, sometimes! They genuinely can’t help it, though, and it will get better! Hard as it is, we parents have to be patient and merciful with them during this stage. It’s easy to break your relationship with them by losing your temper and getting harsh when they really don’t have much control over it at all. 

You can learn more about how to handle this age in a godly way that protects your relationship without ignoring sin in our online class for parents of preteens: Boot Camp 9-12. It’s one of the most popular things we do!

This is a frustating age, situation, and even topic. Teaching manners to boys isn’t easy! That’s why we spent a whole chapter on it in our book, Raising Real Men, and why we called the second half of the book, Civilization for the Rough!

Your friends,Hal and Melanie at Science Museum 150

Hal & Melanie

July 7th, 2016

What A Depressed Christian Can Do

by Dennis Gundersen | 4 comments

Guest Post by Dennis Gundersen 

I’ve often heard it asserted that there’s no way a Christian should ever be depressed, and that if you are, it’s a sinful state of mind and you need to repent. Is this true? Or is it just one of many conditions of life we experience, and in which we can live and walk to the glory of God?

Blog - Depression - Gundersen V

Funny, I never hear anyone ask, “How can you be a happy Christian in this world, and not be in sin? In a wicked, troubled world like this – I mean, how could you be right to be content and happy?” Of course we don’t ask that. So why do we ask it – or worse, just assert it to be so – about depression?

It seems to me we haven’t taken seriously the many conditions the Scriptures show godly men and women going through. They are described as everything from “cast down” to “crushed”; distressed, grieved, lowly, broken-hearted, mourning and sorrowful, undone and “Woe is me!” – it sounds like an experience of some sort of depression is pretty common among people who know the Lord.

Depression’s causes are likewise numerous: deferred hopes and ambitions; situations that never get better; heart-crushing problems that turn into lengthy trials that just won’t ever go away; severe mental or physical strains that tax our humanity and health, robbing us of sleep and sapping our strength. But sometimes, we can just get depressed because God is at work in our lives, humbling us and sanctifying us.

None of us wants to stay depressed. How do you pull out? The longer a time of depression goes on, the more earnest we become to find a way out, and sometimes that earnestness turns into a desperation that goes looking in the wrong places. Some turn to isolation; some turn to bed; some turn to alcohol or drugs; some turn to people instead of isolation (too many people); some turn to sex; some turn away from God. Some turn to God.

How will you, in a time of depression, make the correct turn? Here are a few proposals that I know have helped others. Not a comprehensive to-do list, because I know that the last thing you feel capable of when depressed is something to do. You yearn more to be delivered or rescued! I’ve found that, on the track of these ideas, the Lord has rescued many.

  1. Resist the Temptation to be Annoyed or Angry at God

Because the key is Him – turning to Him. If you’re embittered at Him, letting anger get a foothold in your heart because you’re depressed, you’re not going to turn to Him. So you won’t find the powerful Deliverer you need. Calm yourself with the realization, “My anger at Him does not solve anything; it alienates me from Him and keeps me from trusting the One who can help me.” If you do get angry with Him, you always take it back in repentance later anyway, right? So what’s the point? Know that, while I don’t understand at all now what He is doing, a big step one is to not turn bitterly away from the God that I must cling to for help at this time.

2. Believe That God’s Plan of Suffering to Make You Christ-like is a Good Thing

When suffering stuns us, pause and face that biblically evident fact again: God’s plan is to make me like Christ, and that will include suffering, just as it did in His life. You and I have no conception of how much suffering it takes to transform us to only be even a little like Christ.

3. Don’t Settle for Any Single Answer

Depression begs and screams for an answer. The depressed heart yearns for something to solve the problem. And that makes you susceptible to hastily grasp an answer and settle too easily, thinking “That’s it! This is why I’m down.” Be patient. Go ahead and grab it – but keep looking. Take each idea that seems to be The Answer prayerfully before the Lord and ask for wisdom, to see if it’s really as helpful as it sounds. For instance, a change of diet or exercise may make a difference – but you also may need to address that strained relationship you haven’t made efforts to reconcile. Or, maybe you have taken those steps, but ignored some sin in your life that you know in your heart is to blame. The point is, our quest to find one specific cause might not help; it may be several features of life simultaneously.

4. If You Need Household Help, Humble Yourself and Call Out for It

Too many homeschool moms simply bear too much of the load themselves at home while other family members aren’t taking part in the work. Make sure your child training includes having your children learn to serve others, taking on a fair share of the work load. Identify chores or tasks that would take a load off you and get children to do them; even graciously ask your husband if there are areas he would take on for you, if that’s a possibility.

5. Find New Ways to Serve

This may sound like the contradiction of the previous point, but the remedies to depression can be both remarkable and unexpected. Being overwhelmed with too much to do can be part of the cause (draining you) but likewise, being too wrapped up in your own world and not serving others can also be part of the cause (leaving us dissatisfied with life that seems empty). One of the best benefits of being freed up from some household tasks (by having others do more of a part) is, it can free you up to minister to others in fresh and satisfying ways. Maybe delivering meals to that elderly family; making time to be mentored by that older woman (or being a mentor); or participating in some church ministry team.

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6. Wallow in the Word — Nourish, Don’t Just Read or Study

We sometimes find ourselves in a spiritually weak or low condition because we have tended to limit our diet of the Word too much; and we often focus only on the points we like or prefer. We overdose on certain truths in the Word while others are totally neglected.

When you’re down, you definitely don’t just need short devotions – that is, little Bible snippets (often verses out of context). But you may not need intensive, in-depth Bible study either! You’re just not mentally up to that. Here is something you do need: every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Try soaking in long portions of Scripture. Find everything you possibly can for your faith to grasp onto; to find it, I suggest you devour the Word in great volume. Read long sections without studying them – just hose yourself down in the Word. You’ll find truths, perspectives, insights, and help you have ignored for a long time.

7. Get Outside!

This won’t be for everybody (there are people who don’t enjoy the great outdoors much … Ok, I don’t understand those people). You may like it more than you think, if you get out into it. You don’t need to walk a trail, explore a cave or get on a surfboard – just find a pretty nearby park, maybe even a spot on your own property, to sit outside and rest. Enjoy God’s gifts. Charles Spurgeon said “Next to our need for the Word of God is a need to feel a blast of cold air in your face off the lake.”

This is so different than the shallowness of “I need a vacation!” No – you don’t need a long break. You need regular breaks.

There’s a lot more to be said on this subject than this brief post can provide. Seek help from the body of Christ – your church. There are sure to be others there who have been through depression, and God comforts each of us in our afflictions, 2 Corinthians 1 says, “so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”


Dennis G

Dennis Gundersen is president & owner of Grace & Truth Books, a publisher of 75 Christian titles including many reprints of children’s books from past centuries. He is author of two books: Your Child’s Profession of Faith and Courtship & Dating: So What’s the Difference?, and served as pastor of two Tulsa churches from 1984-2009. Dennis is a frequently sought-after speaker for church conferences, men’s retreats, and homeschool conventions. He and his wife Naomi have been married for 40 years and have four adult sons.

July 4th, 2016

Celebrate Independence Day!

by Hal and Melanie Young | 0 comments

Are you worried about our country? Lots of us are. Last year on our podcast, Making Family Life Practical we gave an answer to our friends posting on social media that they are so worried about our country that they don’t really feel like celebrating the Fourth of July.

Scroll down for our Independence Day gift for you!

MBFLP - Celebrating the Fourth When You are Worried

Is it even okay for a Christian to celebrate Independence Day? We’ve heard Christians arguing that we should not because the American Revolution was a rebellion. Is that true? That’s certainly the way King George saw it, but that’s not what the Christians of the day thought. They argued that since the signing of the Magna Charta, Britain had been a nation ruled by laws, not a man. King George had violated those laws that even he was subject to, that he had broken his side of the governing covenant and the Colonies were free to leave. They believed they were loyal to a higher authority than King George.

We would love to share our Independence Day Celebration Guide with you! It has the documents, songs, verses, and recipes you need to celebrate with your family in a way that you can feel good about! Sign up for our encouraging newsletter below and we’ll take you right there!

June 20th, 2016

101 Great Answers for “I’m Bored” This Summer

by Hal and Melanie Young | 3 comments

Kids these days are so over-programmed it’s ridiculous. They go to this camp and that one, moms run them to classes and clubs. When we were kids we made our own fun and it really was fun! Here are some of the things we used to do that you can suggest to your children when they say, “I’m bored!”

101 Inexpensive Ways to Beat Summer Boredom

1. Go outside. Turn off the devices and get moving. You’ll feel better, have more fun and be more imaginative, children of mine!

2. Somersaults. The secret to somersaults is to tuck your chin. Tell them, “Tuck your chin right down on your chest. Now, close your mouth. Roll, baby, roll!” It’s easy and fun and hard to hurt yourself if you just tuck your head down.

3. Sprinkler fun. Put on old clothes or swimsuits, set up a sprinkler and run over and through it!

4. Popsicles. If you must, make them yourself, but every child ought to try those old-fashioned straight-line cheapo ones. They’re just fun.

5. Play Pretend. We used to climb in the old bass boat under my grandfather’s carport and pretend we were customs agents, explorers, fishermen, ferry operators, wildlife agents, and more.

6. Bike-riding. If you can’t afford bikes, check out yard sales, craigslist, and thrift stores.

7. Build forts in the hedges. Keep some old sheets on hand for this kind of thing. I remember how much fun it was to find a tree or hedge that had a secret open place on the inside. Take some treats in there and have a picnic or rubberband guns and have a war! Continue reading »


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