Jani Ortlund: Children naturally have questions about marriage, real questions that deserve honest answers. In our culture, children are surrounded by confusing messages and experiences about gender, romance, and marriage. I found it hard to find resources to help the little ones in my life begin to understand these glorious, but complex issues. I wanted their earliest understanding of marriage to begin with confidence that marriage between one man and one woman for all of life is God’s very good idea and He can be trusted.
My 8-year-old daughter has the job of reading prayer requests during family worship. The requests come from a monthly calendar sent by International Christian Response, a group that offers spiritual and material assistance to the persecuted church. Every evening, her small voice announces the trials and victories of God’s people around the world. Continue at Christianity Today.
"A truly pro-life church understands that brokenness is not just someone else’s undesired pregnancy. It understands that brokenness pervades every facet of our lives and world; that everyone is equally broken but in different ways. It obliges broken image bearers move toward other broken image bearers for the sake of mutual flourishing through all of life, to walk humbly and lovingly alongside brokenness from conception to death." - Bora Jin
Dolce Devotions is our family devotional time—it is our effort to teach our children “when we lie down.” We share it with you as an encouragement and picture for one way the bedtime routine might be used for teaching Christ and the gospel to children. May it stir up your own affections for Christ as you seek to love and commend Him within the everyday routines of your life!
My two young daughters discovered glow sticks a few years ago. Bendable gleaming rods you can wear as bracelets became the craze in our home and an addition to our nighttime routine. My daughters would go to bed with a glow stick around their wrists but would wake up to find the light long gone. In many ways, Lysa TerKeurst’s What Happens When Women Walk in Faith reminds me of those glow sticks.
Happy New Year!
I’m excited to debut a new website template at Motherhood & Sanctity. The website layout has been simplified to allow for clearer navigation. In addition, updates have been made to every page of the site. Please see below for specific changes or simply explore! In either case, thank you so much for subscribing to and reading Motherhood & Sanctity. I’m excited about the new focus, new features, new series, and new videos coming in 2019. I hope that you will visit often and as always, thanks for sharing!
After being slandered, mocked, spat upon, and beaten, Jesus is led to a Roman cross. There, the soldiers strip Him of His clothes and divide His garments among themselves, casting lots for His tunic. The baby of Luke 2 is the Man hanging naked in John 19:23-24. All this, for the sake of our atonement.
This year I’m partnering with 24 other women to create a gospel centered Advent Devotional designed specifically for moms and it's available at no cost to you! The devotional is designed to come straight to your email inbox. Each morning between December 1st and Christmas Day, you'll receive a short devotion on how the coming of Christ fulfills a specific longing common to motherhood along with questions for application/reflection. You don't have to remember anything, pay for anything, or print anything. Just visit this LINK to sign up!
“The warlike nature of our time on earth has to be kept at the forefront of our minds. We’re fighting for truth and beauty with our humble talents--all of us! Knowing what’s at stake, and knowing the unearthly smell of lies (sometimes told beautifully!), we become grateful to see people fighting for our own team… maybe even especially if they’re better warriors than we are! A warrior cheers when a good stroke--a great song, a truthful painting, a masterful piece of writing--is made on the side of truth and beauty. Envy has no place in this scenario, only rejoicing.” - Tilly Dillehay
If Scripture is above all the story of God, then it reveals a God who honors and cares for women. The first poem we read in the Bible is an ode to Eve and these lyrics are the only human words recorded pre-Fall. Following the Fall, Scripture’s attention to Eve remains. Consider this: the protoevangelium—the first gospel announcement in Genesis 3:15—describes the promised Savior, not as the Son of God, but as the seed of the woman. That’s incredible—but it’s not isolated. Long before the resurrected Jesus made women His first witnesses, narratives of Old Testament women testified of Christ.
Is it biblical for a mother to work outside of the home?” The question was pitched at a small-group Bible study where I sat as the only mother working outside of the home. The women around me held strong opinions on the subject and my instinct was to defend myself. I didn’t want to be viewed as “unbiblical,” so I worked hard to justify my employment status. In the end, this question—offered as a “Bible discussion”—felt more like a test I had to pass.
Sadly, this scene is all too common. I’ve been in similar spaces before. Sometimes, I’ve played the part of the defendant, as seen above. Other times, I’ve been the plaintiff. I measure a sister by her position on some matter of secondary importance, and I’m tempted to define her by that one issue. Perhaps you’ve been there.
Journeywomen is a podcast hosted by Hunter Beless. Each week, Hunter and a guest explore how believers can "gracefully navigate the seasons and challenges we face on our journeys to glorify God." It's an honor to appear on Episode 61 of her show. I enjoyed chatting with Hunter on the topic of sanctification and hope that you are encouraged by it.
Many of us, regardless of our season of motherhood, are hard-pressed for time and energy. Our schedules are filled with homes, husbands, children, churches, jobs, friends, and the constant temptation to stay in-the-know of the hashtags, the trends, and the news. We are busy mothers with full hands. And somehow, amid the juggling of responsibilities, we are to nurture our children in the instruction of the Lord. The call to obey Ephesians 6:4 can feel like a tall order for the frazzled mom. A busy mom with full hands might “minimize” scripture for her children, teaching the Bible the way we teach our fairy tales—with a quick and simple “moral of the story” in view.
I’ve heard it said that in our culture today, it’s not a matter of if your child will encounter pornography, but a matter of when. In other words, the pervasiveness of these toxic images have made porn an almost omnipresent tempter that seeks the attention of everyone, even very small children. In a post-Genesis 3 world where sin is always crouching at the door (Genesis 4:7), God’s grace to my children can include my own prudent and diligent work in guarding and preparing them for the possibility of these “bad pictures.”
When sinful men and women seek their own glory, we call it narcissism; when they seek God’s glory, the Bible calls it right. John 7:18 states: “The one who speaks for himself seeks his own glory. But He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” God’s passion to spread His name is grace, not narcissism.
Motherhood stretches not just our bodies. It stretches our attention and time, filling them with care for others. Our hands are filled with many things. We are busy mothers with full hands and perhaps you have heard it said (or maybe you’ve asked the question yourself): “how can I find time for God's Word when most days I can't even escape to the bathroom unattended?” I hear those words and yet I insist, sister you must treasure the Word of God, even (or perhaps, especially) when our hands are full. Here’s why.
In every season, the Lord desires my active and ongoing conformity with Christ. In 2018, the Spirit will labor to bring out the fruit of God’s justification in my character and life with others (Galatians 5:22-23). Remembering John 17:17, below are a few ways I hope to cooperate with the Spirit’s work in me this year.