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What Is God’s Purpose for Our Family?

Family is an important concept in the Bible. God instituted family when He created Eve as a helpmeet for Adam. The rest of the Bible speaks of family in its various roles, and most important is the church as God’s family.

5 Fun Family Activities to Enjoy This Winter

The holiday season is always a great time for families to gather and spend quality time together. But once the holidays are over and the cold, dreary winter days become shorter, it is easy to waste days away staring at a TV or computer screen. Winter doesn't have to be a series of boring, non-eventful days, do they? Any day can be a family fun day if parents are creative enough. Fun is what we make it. Here are some fun activities families can do to enjoy the winter:
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Vera Livchak

10 Creative Advent Calendar Ideas for a Joyful Family Countdown

Advent is an opportunity to focus our homes on Jesus as we countdown to the joyous Christmas day. It's a four-week invitation to pause, reflect, celebrate, and enjoy this season while remembering its glorious meaning. All ages can enjoy the Advent tradition. Let your creativity guide your home as you enjoy the holidays.Each week of Advent has a theme. In the first week, we light a purple candle for hope (or promise); in week two, we light a purple candle for preparation (or waiting or prophecy); in week three, we light a pink or purple candle for joy (or peace), and week four we light a purple or pink candle is for love (or adoration).We can take this tradition and modify it to work in our homes. Our prayers, crafts, discussions, and planned activities can be catered to meet the needs of our homes. Let the themes of each week guide you as you explore what God's Word tells us about who Jesus is and what his life and death accomplished for us all!Here are some creative Advent calendar ideas for your family's Christmas countdown:
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/dikushin

Will Kids Question Jesus if They Believe in Santa?

If a child walks away from the faith, it will not be because they believed in a man who wore a red suit and lived at the North Pole. It will be because they believe their sin is too great to forgive or because they're too rebellious in their ways. Both Jesus and Santa give us the gift of freedom. But Jesus had to give his life up for it.

How to Counteract Mom Guilt

Whether it’s Proverbs 31 or the next-door neighbor-mom, somewhere in our arsenal of mom tools, we’ve placed this measuring stick by which we judge our success. Stop it!

3 Family Prayers to Bring You Closer This Christmas

No matter how hard we try, families become more focused on dinners, tree decorating, card sending, and gift giving during the Christmas season. There's nothing wrong with these things, but keeping our minds and hearts focused on Christ during this season is important. Each weekend, church families light the Advent candles. This brings us one week closer to Christmas. While this is very exciting, especially for kids, prayer can sometimes get forgotten in all the hustle and bustle.What if we made prayer the focus instead of all the Christmas items on our lists? As a family, you can keep prayer as a priority. While many families enjoy ticking off the days from an Advent calendar until Christmas, you can create an Advent prayer calendar for each day. On the corresponding day, a family member can lead the prayer that day. You can choose to make prayer the focus for your family. Here are three prayers you can pray during prayer time to keep your family closer this Christmas season:
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/jacoblund

3 Things Parents Can Do to Feel More Rested

Rest. It’s not a word that we find synonymous with parenting. Parenting brings with it a laundry list of non-restful words. Let’s see if we relate to any of these adjectives: work, labor, exertion, pressure, toil, stress, tension, strain, tenseness...if you relate to any of these words, odds are you’re a parent.Let’s all agree that we love our children. That they are some of the biggest joys in our lives. But let’s also be real. We are tired. We get worn out. We lose our patience, and stress causes us to snap. This, in turn, backfires and hurts our relationship with our kids or any calm atmosphere we’ve hoped to foster in our homes.Lack of rest equals a lack of joy. Period. Exhaustion starts in the body and travels to the mind, but then it comes to lodge itself within the soul. Once there, it can be a long and arduous place to climb out of. This means a good night’s sleep isn’t enough anymore. Our spirit is tired. We need reviving.A crucial part of parenting—which a lot of parenting advice doesn’t cover—is permitting yourself to rest. One could argue that it is a vital part of parenting. Incorporating safeguards into your life so you can feel and be rested means you can also give more to your family, cultivate a more peaceful home, and invest more deeply into your children.But as with all goals, these things take sacrifice. We live in a culture of go, go, go! Committing to everything and anything. The world has deemed it essential for our children to be invested in many extracurricular activities, to have high grades, and to excel and achieve. So, while we expect these levels of success for ourselves, it’s also being passed on to our children. Guess what happens? We sacrifice play, we sacrifice laughter, we sacrifice togetherness, and we sacrifice rest. And what does lack of rest equal? A lack of joy. As we run the hamster wheel to accomplishments and successes, we drain the joy from our lives. True joy. The lasting kind that leaves us refreshed and bonded to our children in ways that extracurricular activities never will.So what can we do to feel more rested as parents and to provide examples of peace and joy for our children? Here are a few ideas, some of which may be hard to swallow:
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Mladen Zivkovic

6 Sure-Fire Ways to Get Rid of Holiday Stress

It’s proven that people are more stressed out at Christmas time than at any other time of the year. But not only is December supposed to be the happiest time of the year, it can also be your healthiest time of the year if you get rid of the stress that tends to overtake you.

5 Ways to Celebrate Advent at Home as a Family

One way to celebrate Advent at home as a family is by going through an Advent calendar. Advent calendars come in a wide variety of options. You can choose a basic Advent calendar, a toy Advent calendar, a puzzle Advent calendar, or a chocolate candy Advent calendar.

3 Things Parents Should Know about Trolls Band Together

Branch is a troll with a secret past -- at least, it's a secret to many of his friends.The secret: Branch and his brothers were once in a popular boy band, "BroZone." The craziest part? Branch's girlfriend, Poppy, is a fan of the classic band and didn't even know he was a member. Don't blame Poppy, though. Back then, Branch was virtually a baby in diapers. He was the youngest member of BroZone -- until it broke up. "They stopped being my brothers the day they walked out on me and never came back," he says.A tragedy, though, has forced Branch and his long-lost brothers to reunite. It seems one of their own -- a brother, Floyd -- has been kidnapped.Will the former members of BroZone find enough family harmony to rescue him?The new animated movie Trolls Band Together(PG) follows the comical story of Branch, Poppy, and the rest of the crew.Here are three things parents should know about it:Photo credit: ©DreamWorks; used with permission.

20 Magical Christmas Books to Read to Your Children

You don't always have to read the entire book at once. Having those special times during your day will help you and your children slow down and take a breath. They will enjoy a beautifully illustrated book and the bonding time they get with you, and you will feel like an even more awesome parent. Take some time to pick out some books today and get ready for a more relaxing holiday.

Tips to Show Christlike Love to Even the Most Difficult Family Members

Challenges with families are nothing new. They can lead to awkward holiday dinners, spats over juvenile things, and maybe even being completely estranged from one another. But God didn’t bring family members together for them to only fight with each other, but to grow with one another; and sometimes it is to grow through the pain caused by a family member.


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