http://theroadto31.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/defining-line.jpg
http://theroadto31.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/defining-line.jpg
http://theroadto31.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/defining-line.jpg
http://theroadto31.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/defining-line.jpg

Talking to Your Children about Homosexuality from a Biblical Worldview

howtotalktoyourchildrenabouthomosexualityThe Dawn of a New Era

Homosexuality is a topic that is prevalent in our culture.  You can see it regularly in adult television shows or movies as well as hear about it on the news and see it on the front of magazines.  A few weeks ago when I noticed that Honeymaid Graham Cracker commercials had very smoothly added it to their advertisement which ran on a children’s network, it officially hit me that I needed to start thinking about talking to my six year old about this so that she received proper biblical instruction in the matter and not the mixed messages of a very secular society.

I have family who has family who are homosexuals.  I have friends who struggle with family and friends who are homosexual.  How should they act around them?  What should they allow their kids to see?  How do they talk to their children about homosexuality?  What and who should they allow in their homes? 

It isn’t a struggle over whether they should disown their family.  They love their family and want to have fellowship with them, but there is this definite spiritual struggle of calling sin, sin, and protecting one’s children from mixed messages.  Some might call that judgment.  Others might call that over-protective.  I call it Christian parenting.

We all struggle with wanting to care for the minds and hearts of the children God has blessed us with.  Maybe we do go too far sometimes, and then sometimes we do not go far enough.  We only do any of it by the grace of God.

So where do we begin now that we are barreling head on into a future where sin seems constantly before us?  When our grandparents were young divorce was taboo.  When we were growing up adultery was still something that was shameful.  Now, divorce, adultery, homosexuality, and more are all just a part of our self-serving society.  “Whatever makes you feel good, is exactly what you should do!” … or so many state standardized school textbooks are telling us.

Where Do We Begin?

As Christian parents, we need to remember that children deal in black and white, so we must first consider how they might see all of this.  Take your child’s age and comprehension level into consideration before breaching this topic.  If your child is young then spare the details, but speak of Biblical relationships and marriages should look like. 

If your child is older, he or she, might have more specific questions.  Be honest with your children.  Be careful not to divulge unnecessary details or paint pictures in the minds of your children that they might obsess over.  Always remember to point them to Scripture and to Christ!

Biblical Marriage

It is so important to remember that homosexuality is only one way in a  pantheon of ways to mar the image of Christ and His Bride, the Church.  So often I hear homosexuality described as this particularly gross sin by other Christians, as though adultery and divorce are somehow not as sinful.  It might be a particular perversion of the marriage union for sure (Romans 1) but sin is sin, and it is all worthy of judgment in the eyes of a Holy God.  It is confusing to our children if we do not treat it as such.

So what is Biblical Marriage?

Genesis 2:22-24 says, “Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, ‘ for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (also Matthew 19:4-6)

God performed the very first marriage ceremony in the Garden of Eden and it was between a man and a woman.  This is a covenant (a special promise) that should not be broken.  Paul also told us in Ephesians that the union between a man and a woman in marriage was a picture of Christ and His Bride, the Church.

In the same way that Christ sacrificed Himself for the Church by dying on the cross for our sins, so should a husband put his wife’s needs before his own – he should love and protect her.  In the same way that Christ is faithful to the Church by offering a salvation that is eternal so should the marriage covenant never be broken. 

In the same way that the Church is faithful to Christ, so should a wife be faithful to her husband.  In the same way that the Church submits herself to the leadership of Christ as her Head, her Leader, her Captain, so should a wife submit to her husband’s loving and guiding leadership.  This is a Biblical worldview of the institution of marriage.

Ephesians 5:22-33 says, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church– for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

For a more thorough study on a Biblical Worldview of Men and Women and of Marriage, I highly recommend Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and This Momentary Marriage.

Here is a sermon clip from one of my favorite pastors, Paul Washer, The Glory of God in Marriage

How Does our Society View Marriage?

Sadly, our society is very rapidly abandoning the Biblical institution of marriage.  This is why children need to be taught the difference.  If they are not, in a way they will become immune to the news articles and the advertisements and not be able to practice proper discernment between right and wrong from a Biblical perspective.  This is a skill that we should desire to develop and also pray for in our children.

I think it is important to point out to our children that what was once taboo fifty even twenty years ago, is not considered shameful anymore.  In fact, it is praised in our society.  Sin is praised in our society.  All kinds of sin.

Our children should know that marriage is not considered sacred anymore in our culture.  Divorce rates are high.  Spouses are unfaithful to each other.  Homosexuality is promoted … but what about the seemingly smaller things?  Men and women living together and having babies outside of marriage, Women who do not submit to their husbands authority, men who put their careers before their families, parents who are harsh toward their children, these are not part of a Biblical worldview either.  It is important to not be hypocritical.  Sin is sin, and we must treat it all as such.

Why is Marriage so Important?

The Biblical institution of marriage is incredibly important because it is not primarily about us – the two who are married.  The primary purpose of marriage is about glorifying God.  It is a picture of Christ and His Bride.  That is exactly why we cannot be flippant about it and just create what we desire of it.

God gave us a clearly prescribed formula for marriage – one woman, one man in unity, under covenant.

It is important as Christians that we protect this image because it is the image of our God.  So in our marriages we pray and strive to keep from sinning.  We try to follow Christ’s example as husband and wife toward each other.

How Should We Treat Homosexuals?

Go to the Bible on this one and show your children exactly how Christ treated sinners, the Gospels are rife with these stories.  Christ did not run away from them in fear or disgust.  He met them where they were at.  He was kind, courteous, and relational.  Most importantly, He shared the Gospel.  He extended to them God’s grace and mercy as He showed them their sin in love.  He called them to repentance.

The most important thing that we can do for anyone, the greatest way that we can show our love for someone, is to share Christ with them.  We know that if it were not for Christ, we would be under the same judgment (Romans 3:23).  When we keep that in perspective it keeps us humble.  It is only by grace that any of us are saved, and it is only through Christ that we can come to salvation (Ephesians 2:8).

For further study, I found this video from Voddie Baucham and Russell Moore on the legalization of homosexual marriage particularly helpful: How Can Homosexuality Be Wrong if it Doesn’t Harm Anyone? and Desiring God’s Why Is Homosexuality Wrong?.

Practically Speaking

The most difficult moments are when you are with your young children and you see a homosexual couple on the street, or a child at school has two moms or two dads.  What about when you have a close family member who is a homosexual that is coming for dinner with his or her partner?  What do you do then?

I would love to say, “When this happens, do exactly this”, but these situations are all so different.  Let this be a springboard to begin these conversations in your home.  Pray over the individual people and situations and ask God for what He would have you to do.  Let the Holy Spirit lead you in truth and love that you might be a Gospel witness to these individuals and even to your children.

When you are questioning what to do, I would encourage you and your husband to pray over it first.  Pray that God would help you to have discernment as to what your sinful emotions are about the situation and your righteous anger towards the sin might be.  That is important because only one can be wielded in love and in Christ and the other only in anxiety, fear, and sinful anger.

If your children are of age and if you feel like it is the proper time, talk to your children about the situation.  I think it important to watch your words and tone.  You are not tearing down the person, but you are helping your children to understand right from wrong.

As your children get older you might desire to look at more in depth study on what the Bible has to say about homosexuality and point to history.  Show how it seems that Romans 1 is fulfilled in the destruction of Rome.  As Rome became more perverse in its sexual appetites and dug deep into other sinfulness God gave them over to their passions and lusts, ultimately resulting in the destruction of a great nation.  We do not want to scare our children unnecessarily, but as they grow older they will be able to process these truths with the help of the Holy Spirit all while understanding God’s faithfulness to His people and sovereignty over them.

When it comes to more real-life involvement and ministry, only you will be able to decide if it is appropriate for your family to invite a homosexual couple around your children or not.  I think either way it is important to show respect and Christ-like love and care for a person, because everyone is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) even if we are brutally marred by this sinful world.

I have heard of entire families ministering to homosexual individuals and couples.  Maybe the Lord will lead you to do this.  We ought to be open minded in all ministry related areas to what the Lord might have us do. We all sin, and we all need Jesus.

Raising Up Unique Voices

Finally, I love what Jonathan Parnell says in this article, Why Homosexuality Is Not Like Other Sins:

“As Christians, we believe with deepest sincerity that the embrace of homosexual practice, along with other sins, keeps people out of the kingdom of God. And if our society celebrates it, we can’t both be caring and not say anything. Too much is at stake. This means it is an oversimplification to say that Christians — or conservative evangelicals — are simply against homosexuality. We are against any sin that restrains people from everlasting joy in God, and homosexual practice just gets all the press because, at this cultural moment, it’s the main sin that is so freshly endorsed in our context by the powers that be. Let’s hope that if there’s some new cultural agenda promoting thievery — one that says it’s now our right to take whatever we want from others by whatever means — that Christians will speak out against it. The issue is sin. That’s what we’re against. And that’s what should make our voice so unique when we speak into this debate.”

It is so important that we raise our children to not get the mixed messages that one sin is somehow less deserving of judgment from a Holy God than another.  We must train them from an early age into a Biblical worldview.  We must pray over them that the Holy Spirit would save their souls and would teach them the lessons of God’s Word we are feeding to them day in and day out. 

We must raise soldiers for Christ who would speak against the evil in the world and would shine the light of Christ’s love into it.  May they be that unique voice of hope that speaks into the darkness.

How I Plan to Feed a Family of 7 on $400 a Month

FeedingMyFamilyof7

Our Family Update

I have not announced this on the blog yet, but we are expecting to close on our very first house come September 15th!  We are so thrilled and feeling very blessed as these past few years have been tremendously difficult financially.

I explained two years ago now about our journey through unemployment.  There have been trials over these past seven years but the Lord has been faithful to us and has provided for all of our needs.  It may not have been what we expected but I can see in hindsight that it is what we needed according to the will of the Lord.

We moved across the country in June of this year to find better work and a lower cost of living.  My husband was immediately blessed with a stable job, and we soon found a house that would meet our budget.  We are now looking to honor God with the funds he has provided us by being good stewards of His earthly gifts.

This is how I plan to feed our family of 7 on only $400 a month.

A Small Budget

We have a small budget living on less than $3,000 a month for seven people, but I am dedicated to stick to it and not stress over it.  I know many people live on less. We have had nothing at times to even budget  so I get the whole pinching pennies – trust me!

I am using my budgeting tools from The Homemaker’s Companion: Financial Planning Edition which you can find this HERE.

We are paid weekly with my husband’s new job so I will take out $100 a week and put it in an envelope to carry with me for groceries only.  Once it is gone – it is GONE!   I will have to practice some serious self discipline not to pull from any other areas but I know its possible!

You can do the same whether you are paid weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Just take out your designated amount and stick to it.

Get Creative with Your Pantry

During our harder financial times I have learned that making due with what you have in the cabinets is sometimes just how things go.  Sometimes you make a meal that has no meat, or a meal that is a hodge podge of a few different random items.  If you have it in your pantry you need to use it, so try to make sense of it somewhere in some meal and work on using what you have on hand on weeks where funds are low.

We once went three weeks without going to the grocery store.  Our cabinets were cleaned out by the end of that dry spell but I truly learned a valuable lesson in using what I had.  My husband knew I had become desperate when chopped hot dogs from the back of the freezer started showing up in some of our meals (I am not a hot dog fan). 

Sometimes we collect odds and ends that we forget about or just don’t know how to use in a meal.  Get creative and Google recipes for those odds and ends or make up your own!

If you are a real foodie like me, just remember that sometimes you cannot always afford all that you want.  You still need to eat, so be thankful for what you can eat and try to fit the healthy stuff in where you can.  Surprisingly healthy food can be a lot cheaper than processed.  I try to make many things from scratch including my cream of soup mixes.  GET THE RECIPE HERE.

Keeping your own garden as well as chickens can be another source of saving money and healthy eating, this is if you live in an area where this is possible.

Menu Plan

I am planning to create a menu plan every Thursday for the following week.  This will help me stay organized and spread my money further.  I can create meals that make sense both for our family and our finances.  I am looking forward to doing more freezer meals as well to save me both time and money!

You can use an premade menu plan from somewhere like $5 Dinners (a budget friendly choice).

You can create your own menu plan from scratch by downloading these FREE Menu Planning Templates from The Homemaker’s Companion: DOWNLOAD NOW.

If you want a couple of hybrid menu planning options I love what Tradishen.com and BuildaMenu.com has to offer:

Tradishen.com is a real-food, clean eating online menu planning option taking into consideration those with food allergies.  Subscriptions start at FREE but honestly you get better more efficient features for the paid options starting as low as $6.50 a month if you buy a year subscription.  CLICK HERE to view the subscription options.

At BuildaMenu.com you can take from their already family approved recipes, build your own menu for the week, and print your shopping lists. 

My favorite feature at Build A Menu is if you choose to shop at certain stores Build A Menu will tell you how much it should cost you for that meal when you shop at that store (like Wal-Mart)!  Talk about a significant help for sticking to a budget!

Grab Your Subscription HERE for as Low as $6.30 a month!

Simple Couponing

Have you ever watched one of those extreme couponing shows on television?  Yeah I did that at one point.  I had a whole closet dedicated to my growing FREE stash and I found that it took too much of my time and also was a source of ungodly pride for me.  Our diet also has changed quite a bit since I did the extreme couponing two years ago and so many coupons are for food with not so great ingredients. 

I plan on couponing, but with a twist …

Many extreme couponers just try to collect whenever and whatever they can with their savings methods.  I plan on only buying what I need and what we will use.

I will stick to only a couple of stores to help me be more efficient with my time.

I will not print every coupon I come across *in case* I might use it.  I will only print what I know I would use or need.

Some of these might sound a bit common sense, but trust me if you have ever done extreme couponing these are some very necessary tenants to not become carried away.

Tips for Couponing from a Recovering Extreme Couponer
  • Begin with only one store to start your couponing at.  Master that store and then expand if you feel you can.
  • Don’t expect to get everything for free.  This will only serve to frustrate you if you do not.
  • Expect that learning the process of proper couponing is a bit of a marathon, not a sprint.  It might take you a couple of months to see any big savings rolling in.
  • Set a shopping budget!  If you do not, you might just overspend, and couponing is just not worth breaking the budget (yes! that can happen!)
  • Make shopping lists that correspond with your coupons!  If you do not, it will take you FOREVER to get through a store.
  • Set a shopping day and stick to it!  Otherwise you will find yourself shopping every day to get every single deal that comes across online.  Remember that gas money might cancel out your savings!
  • Get familiar with your local stores.  I live in a more rural area and just do not have any grocery stores listed on the big websites.  Find out your stores coupon policies and get their weekly flyers.
  • Make a coupon binder. I bought a zipper binder and added baseball card holder sleeves.  These make handy pockets to organize coupons by type.
Where Do I Get My Coupons?

If you to see what deals are available at your favorite chain stores or online I highly recommend subscribing to any or all of these popular websites:

The Krazy Coupon Lady

Southern Savers

Motherhood on a Dime

The Krazy Coupon Lady does have some very helpful tutorials on how to begin couponing that I recommend reading.  CLICK HERE for beginners.

My Favorite FREE Savings Mobile Apps
  • Ibotta (JOIN MY TEAM!  My referral code: wbbttcw)
  • Checkout 51
  • Shopimium (JOIN MY TEAM!  My referral code: FGKAGHPA)
  • Savings Star

I have to admit that the savings apps are my new favorite thing!  A few friends of mine recommended them to me after they had received some big payouts.

Why do I like my savings mobile apps?

  • No couponing necessary to grab some savings.
  • Savings are on common purchases you buy like milk, bread, bananas, juice, and MORE!
  • You can use all the apps at once!  Did you purchase one gallon of milk? Well you can get the savings on both iBotta and Checkout 51 at the same time for the same purchase!
  • Super easy to use. On some you scan the barcode directly from your phone on the product you bought.  You also just take a simple picture of your receipt on your phone.  That’s it and you get anywhere from $0.25 to a few $$ back on your purchases!  Can you see why I love it?
  • Did I mention they are FREE?  Yep totally free apps for mobile.  You just need to be connected to wi-fi to use them.
  • Build your personal team of friends and earn more!  I have a couple of referral codes that I listed above.  If you feel led I would so appreciate you inserting those if you sign up and I will earn a little bit of cash.  You can do the same by inviting your own friends to join under you!

Think Outside the Box to Generate More Income

We are doing quite a few things to help us generate new income.  My husband works a normal job but is able to get overtime hours which he takes advantage of.  He also donates plasma weekly which we receive an extra $200 a month for.  You might be able to do this in your area too.  It is not for everyone but my husband is a champ at it!

I run an online business doing website design and of course my blogging generates income (thanks to you!).  I dabble in sewing to sell and my husband is considering using his woodworking skills to make and sell furniture locally.

I have also started taking advantage of local garage sale groups on Facebook.   This has given us a few extra bucks here and there when we needed it, as well as keeping my home de-cluttered.

Think about what you have to offer in order to generate a little bit of income.  Could you babysit?  Do you sew?  Could you make food to sell?

There are a lot of ways to generate income that we just don’t think about.  This is a great way as a wife to aid the family income in a small (or big!) way. 

Get creative.  Get organized. Get to Saving.

The Homemaker’s Companion: Homeschool Edition

HomeschoolAd

Have you began your homeschooling year just yet?  Some have and some haven’t.  We just started this past Monday!  My six year old is in first grade and we are having fun exploring our new curriculum, Alpha Omega Horizons!

I have created a few FREE printables for you to get you started in organizing your homeschool this year.

What will you receive?

  • Lesson Plans for every month of the year
  • Report Cards – choose your style options
  • Detailed Attendance Record
  • K through 12 Attendance/ Grades Record
  • 100 Days of School Printable to keep track of that special goal – plan a party to celebrate!
  • Field Trip Planner
  • Craft Planner

If you are already a subscriber check your next newsletter for your FREE download!

Here are a few sample pictures from it:

PrintableAd1

   Are You New to The Homemaker’s Companion?

The Homemaker’s Companion debuted in February of this year and is NEW every month and is COMPLETELY FREE for subscribers.  Have you ever heard of a Homemaking Binder?  This is kind of like a homemaking binder but on steroids.

Each month has a different theme and they cover everything from financial planning in April to Back to School in August.  This is a year long event with FREE Printables for YOU every month that come straight to your inbox.  Do you want to get in on it?  You can sign up HERE. Once you confirm your subscription you will be taken straight to your FREE Homemaker’s Companion.  If you are already a subscriber, then no worries! Check your next newsletter for the direct download!

Want to read more details?  You can watch the video clip HERE.

 

How to Save on Arts and Crafts for Little Hands

GrouponandMichaels

Can you really get through life with Littles without having arts and crafts thrown in somewhere?  Sure it is messy and sometimes even a headache for mom, but we all know it is a really great opportunity to both spend time with our children and to encourage their individual creativity and imagination.

 Whenever I am planning an art project I go to Michael’s to get my art supplies.  One of my favorite projects that we have completed is the Father’s Day canvas we painted with all of the kids.

601099_10151839774325246_1577255936_n

I got the idea from Pinterest.  I painted the grass the tree and of course the words, but then I painted each of the kids hands to place directly on the canvas to make the impression of Fall leaves.

I found these canvases for a great deal at Michaels and I always keep a set of Crayola’s washable paint for children.  Grab a multi pack of paint brushes and you have at least a full hour of fun planned.

538632_10151828890505246_1663304790_n

I seem to always be able to find a discount in the newspaper or online for Michaels. If you are a homeschool mom, don’t forget to ask for a teacher’s discount card before checking out. All you must do is present proof of homeschooling and you will get a special discount on all your craft supplies!

Right now Groupon.com has a whole list of special Michaels Coupons that you just cannot get anywhere else.  Stock up for this school year and for those rainy days by shopping for all of your craft materials at Michaels.

CHECK OUT GROUPON + MICHAELS SAVINGS

 

I was paid by Groupon.com to review this product.  My opinions are honest and my experiences were reality.  Thank you for your support of TheRoadto31.com

The blog