All Articles for Essentials

Father and son sitting together smiling

5 Ways My Dad Helped Me Transition into Adul...

As I made the transition into adulthood, I knew I could always count on my dad. Here are five ways he helped me grow as I became a young adult.
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The Five E’s of Strength Identification

From Analyn and Brandon Miller's interview on FamilyLife Today® on June 1-2, 2020.
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Terrified to Be a Mom

I Was Terrified to Be a Mom

Would I prepare my heart for God to do something new, or would I let old labels and seasons paralyze me?
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How I Overcame Fear as a Mom

Our unknowns are known by God, and the very moments we think are scary are opportunities for growing our faith.
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strong woman

A Letter to my Daughter: Be This Kind of Str...

No one tells you all your dreams can’t fit in one life. You may wonder if a strong woman follows or leads. Is she in the boardroom or the kitchen?
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motherhood

How Motherhood Has Changed Me

I spent most of my 20’s trying to be someone else. Finally marriage, motherhood, depression, and my 30’s forged my self-discovery and acceptance.
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college student parents

What College Students Want Parents to Know

The college years can be a tricky transition not just for students, but for their parents as well.
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fatherhood

The Song That Haunts My Fatherhood

As a kid, I identified with the boy in the song who wanted more of his Dad’s attention. 30 years later, I was the dad leaving my son wanting more.
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make Summer memories

3 Fail Proof Ways to Make the Most of Summer

You can be intentional with your kids over the summer. Here are 3 ways (+ a printable) to help you pull off a meaningful summer.
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choosing Christianity in college

7 Ways to Know if Your Kids Will Choose Chur...

You've detected trends that are leading your kids away from church in college. But, let's be honest. Kids do what they like. Why can't that be church?
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mom helping child to ride a bike

Don’t Let Fear Control Your Motherhood

When fear and anxiety threaten to take control of how I parent my children, I remind myself of four truths.
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graduation

Is Straight-to-College the Best Path for Hig...

Changes in educational costs and in the job market should prompt teens and their parents to consider some great alternatives to college.
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raising boys

How to Train Your Boys to Be Men

I have three sons. My oldest still wets the bed. My youngest says two words. They're just boys. How do I start this whole "man-thing"?
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body image

Teaching Our Daughters Positive Self-Talk

When my 6-year-old daughter with long, lanky legs called her thighs fat, I knew something had to change. I didn't know body image issues would come so early.
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Dear Mom, Thanks for the Real Moments of Motherhood

Dear Mom, Thanks for the Real Moments of Mot...

Here’s to our mothers. Thanks for letting us see you struggle, ask for help, and never give up on the ones you love.
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Single Mom Mother's Day

To The Single Mom on Mother’s Day

I see you, single mom. I know you’re out there and  you may be struggling today on Mother's Day. You deserve this day the most.
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working mom

Viral Rant “Society to Working Moms” Tot...

While we might relate to the laundry list of women pressures, we have to be honest about why working moms and our husbands believe them.
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Good Parenting

When Parenting Isn’t Popular

Making responsible, though not always fun, parenting decisions pays dividends and yields goodness that lasts well beyond the moment.
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working mom

A Day in the Life of a Working Mom

Making memories, passing on our faith to the next generation, is what our moments are made of. I try to focus on fully living in every single one.
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College Admission Scandal

Lessons From the College Admissions Scandal

These parents wanted the best for their children. But is any college worth what those families are facing now?
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Spring Break Memories

Spring Break Is for Making Memories

Staycation or vacation? Either way spring break is a time to take advantage of for having fun and creating family memories.
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baby shower

Every Expectant Mom Deserves a Baby Shower L...

One of the greatest lessons motherhood is teaching me is that I cannot do it alone. Baby showers remind us of the help we need from family and friends.
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Mom, Kind Is the New Skinny  

What if our generation of moms decided to love the mom bods we’ve got? Motherhood puts a glow on any woman! It’s a look that’s well worth the wear.
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Birthday parties

When Everyone Gets Invited to the Birthday P...

My kid's birthday party means I include and find commonalities with nearly total strangers. And it’s a really beautiful thing.
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avoiding drama

5 Ways to Avoid Being a Drama Addict

Moms today have enough on their plates without adding unnecessary drama to the list.
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Helping your child choose a college

Questions Every Parent Should Ask Their Kids...

In order for your teenagers to be able to make adult-level decisions, they need guidance. You can help them by asking good questions.
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Body image

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, How Should Mama...

How do we treat ourselves well while also remembering that God cares more about our hearts? Can we keep our hearts pure but also enjoy fashion?
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How Can I Let Go of the Mom Guilt?

How Can I Let Go of the Mom Guilt?

Guilt doesn’t freshen us and give life—it suffocates us and takes more than we have to give.
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6 Tips to Reduce Stress for Working Moms

6 Tips to Reduce Stress for the Working Mom

When my youngest started preschool, I took my first job outside the home in nearly 10 years. I was frazzled, guilt-ridden, and late everywhere I went.
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wine corks

Can Mommy Have a Drink?

Pretty much everyone has an opinion on "mommy wine culture." Here's a few factors to consider if you're thinking about sipping a glass.
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What I Wish Drew Brees Had Whispered to His...

I want more for Drew Brees and his sons than just what they can earn. And Jesus offers more.
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Cancel Family Dinner

Should Your Family Cancel Dinner?

It’s not always practical to eat dinner as a family. The solution? Give yourself and your family some grace and cancel dinner tonight. 
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Saturdays are for Family

Saturdays Are for Winning

Instead of my husband abandoning us for the woods or holing up in a man cave glued to ESPN, we’ve made fall Saturdays family days.
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Momcations

Yes, Momcations are a Thing

Kid-free trips either alone or with girlfriends is an idea I can get behind.
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7 ideas for engaging with your kids this Summer.

7 Ideas for Engaging With Your Kids This Sum...

The school year is filled with other obligations, but the summer belongs to us.
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Respecting Your Son’s Desire to Provide an...

God put inside every boy something that stirs him to be brave and protective.
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Don’t Do Motherhood Alone

Having another mom who’s already been through both the calm and rough waters of your current stage in life can be a beautiful gift from God. Here are some suggestions for finding that kind of mentor.
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25-things-a-dad-should-teach-a-boy

25 Things a Dad Should Teach a Boy

Use this helpful list as a springboard for spending quality time with your sons.
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Becoming a Mom A Process of New Discovery

Facing the upcoming birth of our first baby has caused me to struggle with my change in identity … but perhaps it isn’t a “new” identity after all.
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Can a Mom Be Too Close to her Daughter?

We all want connection with our daughters, but when we become overly close, it can hinder their transition to adulthood.
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Mom playing with kids

Not Every Mom Must Be a Natural Homemaker

Sincere love and an emotional haven are worth so much more than a perfect house and a gourmet meal.
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Families in America

What Is Your Family’s ‘Brand’?

An important part of parenting is determining who you are, what things you stand for, and how you’ll pass those values on to your children.
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raising-sons-during-the-crisis-of-manhood

Raising Sons During the ‘Crisis of Man...

It's a daunting era to raise a son into a man, but here's a game plan for shaping growing boys into godly men.
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25-ways-to-spiritually-lead-your-family

25 Ways To Spiritually Lead Your Family

Ideas for men who want to leave a spiritual legacy.
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Impatient mom

My Big Flaw: I’m an Impatient Mom

When I'm in a hurry, I tend to plow over my children.
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8-ways-to-be-a-super-mom

8 Ways to Be a Super Mom (Not Supermom)

There is no such thing as a superhero mother. Here’s how to stop trying to do it all and start learning to be you.
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my-suprising-secret-to-success-as-a-mom

My Surprising Secret to Success as a Mom

Truly excelling as a mom is not about showing our kids how amazing we are, but how much we need Jesus.
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the-seasons-of-motherhood

The Seasons of Motherhood: Recognizing Chall...

Looking back on my life, I have found one of the most helpful ways to gain perspective on your current situation is to see life in terms of seasons.
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you-will-always-be-your-daughters-first-love

You Will Always Be Your Daughter’s Fir...

As a father, you need to love her not only when she is your sweet, affectionate girl, but also when she’s a real pain in the neck.
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8-creative-ways-for-dads-to-spend-time-with-their-toddlers

8 Creative Ways for Dads to Spend Time With...

Quality time speaks love to a young child.
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Are-you-a-mean-mom

Are You a “Mean Mom”?

The definition of the word mean is to be unkind or malicious. But a good mean mom defines the word quite a bit differently.
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25-summertime-ideas-to-keep-your-kids-occupied

25 Summertime Ideas to Keep Your Kids Occupi...

A compilation of creative tips for the lazy days of summer.
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All They Could Do Was Pray

Tom and Brenda Preston waited for years for a prodigal son to come to God.
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Giving Your Daughter Away

Part of raising daughters is knowing that, at some point, you probably will turn your responsibilities over to another man.
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5 Generations of Fathering

My ancestors have kept His commandments and have passed them on to the next generation. Now it’s my turn.
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Leaving a Legacy to My Children

My ancestors left me a godly heritage, and my passion is to pass that on to my own kids.
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Taking Dad to the Super Bowl

Three players from this week’s game, and the fathers who influenced them.
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Controlling Your Anger

A potentially dangerous accident with my son taught me a lesson in temper management.
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Back to school blues

September Blues

The kids are back at school, and I'm alone.
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what-does-your-child-really-need

What Does Your Child Really Need?

The importance of praying parents.
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How to Really Know Your Daughter

It was a real revelation to me that I could pursue a relationship with my daughters by dating them.
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40 Sweet Memories Mothers Long to Relive

I’ve been swept up in a wave of longing—for the old familiar, for the sweet memories of days gone by.
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Moms

5 Reasons Moms Lose Patience and 5 Ways to B...

A list of ideas for developing an ever-elusive character trait.
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Don’t Lose Your Cool as a Mom

Ten ideas to help you diffuse your anger when a child misbehaves.
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Ever Feel Like You’re Ruining Your Kid...

One of the hardest things about raising young children is that we feel we’re making no progress.
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I Said Yes to the Mess

Sometimes there are more important things than a clean house.
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Remembering My Daddy’s Prayer

I wondered how I could communicate biblical truth to my daughter during her bedtime prayer. Then I remembered one great phrase from my childhood.
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5 Things All Moms of Young Children Need to...

Here are some things I wish I could go back and tell myself when I was a brand new mom.
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Its Not Your Job to Entertain Your Children

There’s more to mothering than keeping your kids amused.
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Teaching Your Daughters to Tame Their Emotio...

A well-controlled passionate personality is a powerful thing. But a passionate personality that is unbridled can cause a world of damage.
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3 Gifts Every Dad Should Give His Kids

A father's positive presence and parental participation are huge factors in raising children who love the Lord.
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Father and son

6 Lessons From My First 8 Months as a Dad

I felt under-prepared for my new role as a father, but I’m learning quickly
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My First Daddy-Daughter Date

The idea of taking my 4-year-old daughter on a date had never crossed my mind. It didn't occur to me that I should treat her any different from her brothers.
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Give Yourself a Time Out

I can't remember the last time I've been the only one at home and really experienced silence.
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Motherhood and Loverhood

A happy love life is good for your children.
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Hey Mom, Who Says Things Have to Be Done the...

Make it a priority to teach your children to do things for themselves and others, even if it means those things aren’t done perfectly.
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Lies Moms Should Stop Believing

When it comes to motherhood, plenty of land mines exist that we risk stepping on.
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Q&A: Do I Have to Give Up Golf?

For too many years, husbands have abused their God-given role by eliminating the concept of servanthood from leadership.
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Questions Your Preteen Daughter Is Asking Ab...

Relationship secrets for girls entering adolescence.
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Are You an Approachable Dad?

Two qualities you must develop if you want your children to turn to you.
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Friend or Mom

What are you going to do with the influence you have in your daughter’s life?
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Navigating the College Maze

Editor’s Note: John Bryson and Robert Lewis are co-creators of College Ready™, an innovative video-guided experience for high school juniors and seniors. John and Robert were interviewed on FamilyLife Today by radio host Dennis Rainey, and his co-host, Bob Lepine. The following was adapted from this interview: Robert: College is one of life’s most defining moments. It […]
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Mamas Hands

Remembering special moments while walking through the mall with my mother.
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messy-house-ministry

Messy-House Ministry

By inviting a friend into my messy home, I gave her a way to connect with me on a real level. I extended her an invitation into my heart.
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Mothers of Courage

The protection of our lives and the lives of our children is best left in God’s hands.
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Introduction to Fatherhood

I've been told that the most emotionally stressful event in a man's life is the birth of his first child.
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What I Learned About God From My Children

God uses our children to help us learn to walk in the Spirit and build our character.
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When to Say NO as a Mom

You can’t do everything. Here are nine strategies to help you set some boundaries.
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Love and Leadership for the All Pro Dad

Great organizations and great families are fueled by loving leaders.
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How I Got Serious About Laughter

My second daughter reminded me that laughter should be an important ingredient in our family.
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How Did I End Up Being a Working Mom

We did not have a definite plan to transform desires into reality.
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harmless-flirting-or-sexual-foreplay

Harmless Flirting or Sexual Foreplay?

What might seem like just a sweet little encounter could be giving the guy a mixed message. And it could lead you to more sexual intimacy than you imagined.
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Giving Your Children Roots and Wings

Providing the foundation children need.
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Grocery Stores, Little Bandits, and Toy Cart...

A mother reflects on the days when her daughter was young.
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Honey, We’re Going to Move

I was at a crossroad. Would I stand in the Lord's way and deny my husband this opportunity because I was afraid?
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The Choices Fathers Make

Good parenting is often the difference in choosing between self-sacrifice and self.
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the intentional mom

The Intentional Mom

Being purposeful doesn’t mean taking everything super seriously, it just means thinking about things we may not otherwise think about in the busyness of life.
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The Stuff Dreams Are Broken Over

Many girlhood Cinderella dreams are being dashed by teen pregnancy
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The Noblest of Callings

Contrary to what the culture might say, being a full-time mother is not settling for second best
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What Will Matter 25 Years From Now?

I’m a Type-A person, and helping my girls make a dollhouse was not on my agenda for the day.
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Where Did the Time Go

Don’t waste the time you have with your children.
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The Treasures of a Child

One parent's trash is another child's treasure
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Wading Through the Baby Advice

Three lessons I learned on how not to be prepared for mommyhood.
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What I’ve Learned From My Kids

A collection of lessons from parents who have been through the battle.
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Fear Not Mother Fear God

Being a mother requires faith, not fear.
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Ecclesiastical Encouragement for Exhausted M...

Six lessons from Solomon's writings.
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You Can Do It Mom

Stay-at-home mothering doesn't have to be so hard, and you don't have to do it alone. There are resources all around you to help you be the kind of mom you want to be.
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Why Do Traditions Matter?

Traditions are a lot like heirlooms ... both probably have come to us through our families. Some you love; you can't imagine life without them. And some you're stuck with..
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Teaching by Grace

How was I going to instruct my daughters about the importance of purity when I was so immoral as a teenager?
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Dads Daughters and Dating

Part of our responsibility as parents is to help our daughter navigate appropriate relationships, especially dating relationships.
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Where Are the Fathers

We face an unprecedented crisis in America today—the physical and emotional absence of fathers.
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Counting My Blessings

The most important task had been missing from my to-do list.
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Diagnosis: Mom Burnout

Yes, I was overcommitted and working my tail off for good, even great things. But why in the world was I doing this?
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Q&A: Defeating Discouragement in Motherh...

We need to realize that emotions are a part of God’s image imbedded and imprinted within us.
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The Incredible Privilege of Motherhood

To invest your time and best efforts into children and to watch them grow, develop, and excel is to be part of the creative majesty of life itself.
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Families in America

10 Ideas for Non-Digital Family Fun on Road...

Whether your family is taking a short trip to Grandma's house or a cross-country vacation in the family car, these interactive activities will help the time pass more quickly.
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Family Vacations

What would happen if families went on trips together without all the electronic distractions?
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Give Your Children You

When we give ourselves without reservation to our children, we draw them to us.
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In Search of the Elusive Family Meal

Is dinnertime also family time in your home?
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On the Road Again

Early on, we realized we needed to plan our time in the car as well as we planned the activities at our destinations.
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Q&A: Making Memories With Your Children

Your family should be found guilty of having too much fun, rather than too little.
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Going Beyond God Bless Charlie

It's never too early to begin praying for your children.
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how-to-pray-big-for-your-child

How to Pray Big for Your Child

Three characteristics of prayers God answers, and three characteristics to avoid.
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Aggressive girls

Aggressive Girls and Clueless Boys

Increasingly, girls are aggressively pursuing boys—in high school, middle school, and even earlier—in numbers we never saw in the past.
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He Was Tired of Acting Like a Wimp

Sometimes the most courageous thing a man can do is to simply open a door.
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Q&A: A Fathers Presence

Being the father that our children need does not require perfection—it requires courage.
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Q&A: Brotherly Love

How can you best create a loving relationship between brothers?
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advice-to-my-graduating-senior

Advice to My Graduating Senior

The greatest commandments are to love God and love others, but what does this look like for a college student?
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Sweet 16

A creative way to celebrate this milestone.
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Can You Afford to Become a Stay-at-Home Mom

Some financial advice to help you re-orient your values and save money.
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Carpool Queens and Sleepover Divas

Becoming involved in your child’s friendships can mean taking on some interesting roles.
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Balancing Work and Family

Somewhere between the deadlines and the to-do list, I'd forgotten the most important ministry God had entrusted to me: my family.
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Becoming-a-real-father

Becoming a Real Father

Are you making memories with your children? Those moments may be the best times of their lives.
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10-Ideas-for-Building-Strong-Bodies-1040x326

10 Ideas for Building Strong Bodies and Home...

Exercise can help you feel better, and also provide a great way to connect with your kids and loved ones. I well remember some childhood games of touch football with Dad and my siblings—right in front of two big magnolia trees. And who could forget the family obstacle course that Jim and my sons once […]
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10 Ideas Remembering Everyday Moments

Practical suggestions to help you remember what shapes your family’s life and legacy.
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10 Ideas Summertime Picnics

Enjoy a break from the hectic pace of life.
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‘You Are Not My Coach’

Sometimes we learn great things about life from our kids. In this case, I learned the hard way about not exasperating my son.
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A Full Drawer of Imagination

Suggestions for fostering creativity in your children.
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A Tired Angry Mom

Just because God promises us that all things work together for our good doesn’t mean all things are easy.
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Parenting tweens

10 Ideas: Connecting With Your Kids

In today’s activity-packed society, it’s more important than ever to intentionally connect with your kids.
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10 Ideas: Creating Quality Time With Your Ki...

These ideas will help you develop deeper relationships with your children despite a hectic schedule.
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10 Ideas: Enjoy Spring With Your Kids

Connect with your children by getting outside for these fun activities.
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Capturing Your Family Stories

In today's transient society, when family ties are weakening, children need to know their heritage.
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memories-that-bind-a-family

Memories That Bind a Family

Your most valuable family possessions are the shared experiences and memories that link your hearts together.
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Precious Moments

A creative idea for remembering all the cute things your kids say.
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What Makes an Incredible Mom?

No mom is perfect, but if you're looking for a standard, I would encourage any mother to grow in these five areas.
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Praying parents

A Parent’s Daily Prayer Guide

The greatest shield of protection we can provide for our children is prayer.
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the-power-of-praying-for-your-children

The Power of Praying for Your Children

What we learned about prayer for our children as they prepared for and entered adolescence.
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Training Sons to Overcome Sexual Temptation

We should be working hard to save the hearts and futures of our sons from the pervasive decadence of a generation that is spinning aimlessly out of control.
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10 Ideas: How to Be Your Daughter’s Da...

The only quality time that you will enjoy with your daughter is what flows from the quantity of time you invest with her.
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7 Ideas for Raising a Daughter With Brothers

It’s not easy for a girl surrounded by testosterone.
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How to be a Princess

As the bride of Christ, young women must learn to present themselves as valuable, priceless princesses.
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Crafting God’s Arrows

A biblical battle plan for parenting.
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Cutting the Apron Strings

When our children get married, we must let them grow independently of us, no matter how much it hurts.
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Releasing Your Arrows

At some point, all parents need to release their children and trust in God's plan for their lives, no matter where that plan takes them.
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Dad University

A quick course on being a godly father.
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Did You Do Something of Value Today?

Just one day can make the difference in a life wasted and one that leaves a legacy that will outlive us all.
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Real Men Are Warriors Who Protect

As a husband and father, you are the warrior who has been charged with the duty of pushing back against the evil that seeks to prey on your wife, daughters, and sons. If you don’t step up, who will?
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Stepping Up as a Dad

I realized I needed to be intentional in raising my children. Fortunately, I had a good model: my own father, Hook Rainey.
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A Mother’s Legacy

The constant love of a mother becomes a bedrock of security for her children.
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Avoiding Mama Burnout

Ten ideas to help keep you sane during the exhausting, overwhelming years with young children.
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Fighting the Supermom Syndrome

How to keep from being burned-out by your full-time, stay-at-home-mom job.
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Grandmothers

If I Could Be a Young Mom Again

Grandmothers share what they would do differently as young moms.
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The Family Album

Recalling memories from the past can be a family-bonding experience.
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