The objective of Women's Ministries is to help the women of the church experience Jesus Christ in a personal, life-changing relationship. When Jesus calls us into a relationship with Him, He also calls us to ministry -- some type of service to others. As women become actively involved, the entire church is blessed.
Please enjoy the following article from www.focusonthefamily.com
When our children go out on their own, having landed their first job and signed a lease for their first apartment, we hope that we have trained them to: respect authority, think for themselves, drive a car, hold a job, make dinner, pay bills and carry on mutually respectful and loving relationships. And that's the short list.
Parenting is a big job; serving as a child's personal ATM or behavior umpire isn't enough. We need a relationship where we can tell Johnny it's wrong to hit Susie but then find out why he struck her. We need a relationship with enough emotional strength to share hopes, dreams and convictions and be heard when we do so. We need a relationship that makes it easy for them to come to us with questions and concerns. We need a relationship where there's not just respect, but also love.
This kind of parent-child bond doesn't just happen; it takes wisdom and intentional effort. Here are some tips I hope will encourage you in one of the greatest pursuits of your lifetime — building a relationship with your child.
There are moments when I'm completely baffled by my kids, ages 15, 11 and 5. I ask God to reveal His wisdom about their behavior, their problems with friends, their spiritual lives. Then during a quiet instant between my prayers, God will disclose a question to ask or a strategy to try.
For instance, I found myself refereeing a dispute between David, my oldest, and Bethany, the middle child, over David's video game console. As the words grew heated, my frustration level shot up like a thermometer's red line in August. I was ready to click off the power button and send them their separate ways. But the Holy Spirit said, Pray. So I did — and gained insight.
I asked David why he didn't want Bethany playing his video games. It turns out she had made negative comments about his game playing, which he viewed as relaxation from schoolwork. My daughter apologized, and David forgave her. Because I prayed instead of adjudicating, my children quickly reconciled and our relationships were strengthened.
From infancy through about age 8, kids spend a lot of time on the floor. We should be down there, too — playing games, pretending with dolls, building block forts. Fight the feeling that you're acting stupid; crawl through those embarrassed feelings and meet your kids.
Be careful not to transition into buddies, however. It's good to enter their world, but you're still the parent. You may need to set time limits on this kind of play, and if whining ensues, a time-out might be necessary.
Getting into the world of older kids is different. Watch their TV shows or movies. At first your kids may wonder if you're spying on them, but explain you just want to hang out.
You may need to resist the strong impulse to get up and do something else. Even if you're not fascinated by Robot Warriors 3000 or The Princess Posse, ask questions about characters and storylines to start conversation with your kids.
As hard as it may be, recounting our missteps can help kids who are 12 and older learn from our errors. They also get to see we're not perfect.
One day I shared with David some history about my friendships. I told him about my best friend in elementary school and how we drifted apart in high school, and about my two best friends in college and how we've lost touch. The point? Friends come and go, but don't let a friendship die because of bitterness or lack of attention.
Such personal information can be embarrassing to tweens or teenagers. If your kids feel awkward, try talking in the car, where the conversation isn't face to face.
A simple way to connect with your kids is eating together as a family. This is easy to do when they're little, but as kids get older, sports and other activities compete with the family mealtime.
Our family is committed to sharing dinner together, even if it's only 15 minutes. Each of us tells a highlight and a lowlight from the day. Usually someone's highlight or lowlight is a springboard for other discussion.
The difficulty we have is keeping kids on track. David gets restless and begins to wander away from the table. Mark, our youngest, acts silly. My wife and I have to pay attention and guide the conversation.
There are other kinds of shared time, of course, such as going to a ball game. But don't assume you've connected with your kids just because you were at the same event. Shared time involves asking questions ("What did you think about that referee's call?") and exchanging ideas ("I remember coming here with Grandpa").
We all have things we want to do — alone. Even if we're not thrilled about cleaning the garage, we'd rather do it by ourselves than supervise a team of rowdy kids.
Last year, I planned to paint a room in our house by myself but realized this was an opportunity to teach and connect with all the kids. We transformed painting from a chore into a wonderful memory.
You'll need to think and pray about the right level of involvement for your children based on their ages and experience. Count on this: The project may take longer, and your children will not do things like you would. If you can accept these facts, you'll discover an endearing, enjoyable time.
This isn't just for small ones. Older kids like it when you act silly, too — even though you might hear, "Oh, Dad, stop it" or "This person is not my mother."
Embarrassing children in public is not a good idea, but having fun in private keeps things light and makes you approachable. So go ahead, do the goofy dance, make funny faces, sing silly songs, talk for the dog.
The means to build strong, durable bonds with your kids is within you. Just ask God to show you the way, and start connecting with your kids today.
Online dating is one of those subjects that Christians enjoy debating. In one camp, there are some who believe looking for love online betrays a lack of faith in God’s provision of a spouse. In their view, the seemingly endless lists of online profiles creates a superficial consumer mentality that undermines the sacrificial nature of Christ-centered love.
The other side counters that online dating is merely a tool God can use to bring two people together – users don’t place their faith in the matchmaking site, but in the Lord. They point to their neighbor/sister/uncle/friend that met his/her spouse online and is enjoying a healthy, happy marriage. What can be wrong with that?
The arguments on both sides have merit. Like many things, online dating isn’t inherently evil or good. Sometimes things are less about what we do than about the heart we do it with. More often than not, the Bible offers general principles over specifics. We can then take these big ideas and apply them to our everyday lives and the choices we make. But that process requires wisdom, discernment and guidance.
Focus’ online community for young adults, Boundless, seeks to help singles navigate these issues. Through Boundless, Focus encourages intentional living and offers resources that motivate young adults to know their worth in Christ as individuals and to be open to the opportunities God may have for them.
For some in the Boundless community, this may lead them to trust God to bring a spouse through church, work, or a blind date set up through mutual friends. For others, it may involve signing up to an online dating site and seeing if God uses that. Boundless has even joined forces with online dating service ChristianCafe.com to help connect marriage-minded Christian singles and provide them with Bible-based relationship advice.
But then what?
What if a single man or woman signs up to ChristianCafe.com and meets someone? Where do they go from there? You can’t stay online forever, so how does a potential couple make the jump from the virtual world to the “real world”?
To help answer this question, I’m going to share some tips from one of my female colleagues. She met her husband online and has good insight on making the transition from being matched in a dating service to meeting in-person. (You can read their complete story in this Boundless post.)
1. Meet in-person as soon as you can.
3. Quickly bring this person into your community and get to know theirs. This gives you much-needed context to making sure this person is who they say they are.
4. It’s OK if the initial meeting is a bit awkward at first.
5. In all things, trust God and follow His lead.
We’ve now been married for four-and-a-half years and we have two precious kids. There’s no doubt in our minds that God, not our dating site, was our ultimate matchmaker.
But let me hear from you. Have you ever tried online dating? How did it go? I'd love to hear your story.