Tag Archives: pregnancy

Strengthening our Position

Building Up


It is beyond any doubt now that there is widespread support for the 8th Ammendment. There are challenges to be faced ahead. Yet – we are united in VALUING the bulwark of the 8th Ammendment – which the Supreme Court ruled last week, is the only legal defense the unborn child has.
Sadly, that defense is needed against the wishes and intent of the Government of his country. It is a very good reason why we must VOTE NO and not hand over responsibility to politicials – who by their actions deny even the existence of the life of the unborn baby. They clearly cannot be trusted with the responsibility to act in the best interests of the most vulnerable of all people – the unborn children of Ireland.

Well done to all 100,000+ who attended the Rally for Life in Dublin last Saturday and for the great event that it was.

Speaking with colleagues afterwards – it was clear that the Rally was conducted in the right spirit and was widely supported across the whole spectrum of society. Thanks you for making the effort to be there.

Thank you for your great support and willingness to GET OUT THERE and make your voice heard and your views known.

Doctors for Life Ireland

I am enclosing a link to the website of Doctors for Life Ireland – whose content on their site includes a
Presentation made by Dr Deirdre Gleeson on “The 8th Amendment and Medical Care” (in Ireland).
It makes compelling reading.
These are experts who presented to the Citizens Assembly.
Their site really warrants a visit
(Click icon opposite)

The Start of Life 

Latest Research has shown that there is a ‘flash of light’ (zinc particles!) emitted when the process of new life begins
Click on the icon opposite to see a brief YouTube video describing this.

There can be no doubt that LIFE is HAPPENING, and science has been able to show that at the point of CONCEPTION, from which point DNA is formed of the new person (not the mother, nor the father, but a new person) – That new person is starting their journey, which only ends when they die.

We are on the Road again 

  • Kilkenny – Wednesday 14th
  • Celbridge – Thursday 15th
  • Dundalk – Sunday 18th
  • Inchicore – Tuesday 20th
  • Redcross – Wednesday 21st
  • Bray – Thursday 22nd – TBC
  • Ballyfermot – Friday 23rd
  • Drogheda – TBA

Please do get in touch if you would like to come to the Rally Cry Meetings being hosted locally, where Nick Park of Evangelical Alliance, one of the Pro-Life-Campaign Team and myself are speaking together on the value of the 8th Ammendment and how you can get involved

PLEASE HELP !
Get involved

Till next week – every blessing to you and your family
Stephen

Donate to Family.ie
Click here to donate to Family.ie
Donor Partnership Update: A small number of people have joined our support team! That brings us to 60 out of the 400 neededto give an average standing order donation of €25 per month. If you can help, please let us know! It may sound cliché; but a gift of any size really does help us.

Would you please consider supporting us financially on a regular basis?

The Family Project & Irreplaceable DVDs:
We’re happy to say that copies of “The Family Project” group studyare now available for purchase!

The 12 session DVD experience is perfect for couples or small groups, and we also have Participant’s Study Guides available.

Copies of The “Irreplaceable” filmDVD are also available for purchase– free shipping to ROI!

Love & Respect pic
On the air this month: We are broadcasting our series; “Surviving the First Five Years of Marraige” which will explore some of the most intersting opportunities and challenges which coules face during the First Five Years of their Marriage.

Listen in to one of the 5x Irish Radio Stations airing the programmes every week

Copyright © 2018 Family.ie, All rights reserved.
unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Twitter
Website
Website
Share
Tweet
Forward

Limited Time – Life and the Future of Society is at stake

Time is Running Out

With less than 7 weeks to go – we need all the help we can get to make the final push to
– retain the world class legal infrastructure in our Constitution  with the 8th Amendment
– retain the world class health care we have for expectant mothers and their unborn children, and avoid serious conflicts in the health care and caring professions.

We have links below – to the very best Medic’s in the country, and, to our Radio Programmes where these issues are addressed.

I hope you will be blessed by this content, and please do forward and share this newsletter with otherswho would like to have this content also

  • Consultant Obstetrician, and former Chairman of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists – Professor Eamon Mc Guinness speaks out on Medical Myths
  • Consultant Obstetrician and Gynacologist – Michael F. O’Hare MD FRCPI FRCOG – Chairman of the Joint Institute of Obstreticians & Gynaecologists / HSE Working Group on Maternal Mortality – gives factual information on maternal mortality in Ireland
  • Family.ie Radio Programmes – speak of the great Hope there is in Ireland, its people, and its healthcare regime

Professor Eamonn Mc Guinness

Consultant Obstetrician and former Chairman of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists – Professor Eamon Mc Guinness speaks out.

In an article in the Irish Times last Friday 6th April – Professor McGuinness speaks on the value of the 8th Amendment. 
You can read the full article by clicking here

I would like to strongly encourage you to click on the link and read the full article for yourself, as this is one of the most central arguments in this debate, and Prof Mc Guinness is best placed to make it

The Sanctity of Human Life – Radio Programmes

A core value for us is the Sanctity of Human Life. This is why in 2016 we made it priority to create compelling content which would speak to this issue clearly and sensibly.
These Programmes can be heard on air and accessed on line as podcasts and sharing with others. Click here to access and listen to these Programmes.

In the Third Programme of this six-part series, (this week) the subtitle of this programme is,”Keep Your Hopes Up: This is a Great Country!” We explore the following topics:

  • The quality of medical care available in Ireland
  • Nuala’s story of her son Yosef, who has both epilepsy and autism
  • The impact that abortion has on women; and where they can find hope and healing

187x109-1
Click on the picture above to listen to this Programme, or click here to download a podcast of the Programme

A Heart-Felt Response from the Rally-Cry Meeting’s

On the last “Rally-Cry” Meeting we had in Bray on Thursday – a gentleman raised his hand asking to make a comment. He stood up and said that he was deeply moved by the issues discussed and rather than having just a willing heart and concrete feet and legs
– HE HAD MADE A DECISION TO TAKE A WEEKS HOLIDAYS – AS SOON AS HE COULD ARRANGE – AND SPEND THAT WHOLE WEEK – CANVASSING TO SAVE LIVES.

Recognising, as we all do, that babies lives are at stake and the future well-being of the country is at stake – he was willing to make this effort in the limited time remaining.

It was an inspiring moment for us all. Let us all follow this example, of ‘leaving nothing behind’ and ‘doing all we can’

Consultant Dr Michael F. O’Hare
Maternal Mortality – Factual Information

Consultant Obstetrician and Gynacologist – Michael F. O’Hare MD FRCPI FRCOG – Chairman of the Joint Institute of Obstreticians & Gynaecologists / HSE Working Group on Maternal Mortality – writing in the Irish Independent on Monday points out that Maternal Mortality in Ireland is noticably better in Ireland than the UK (6.5 v’s 8.76 per 100,000 pregnancies) – where abortion on demand is available.

As we have repeatedly stated and Dr O’Hare confirms, Ireland is one of the safest countries in the world to be pregnant, a point emphasised by Consultant Obsterician and Gynacologist (Ret’d) – Dr Edmund Ritchie, in the first part of our Radio Programme this week


Click on the picture to hear the song on YouTube
Together Beat our Heart’s
Created by The Mustard Seeds from Co Wexford

This song – composed especially for this issue – is INSPIRATIONAL!
I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we have done

PLEASE HELP !
Get involved

Till next week – every blessing to you and your family
Stephen

Donate to Family.ie
Click here to donate to Family.ie
Donor Partnership Update: A small number of people have joined our support team, and a small number have left us. We have slightly less than 60 out of the 400 target needed to give an average standing order donation of €25 per month. If you can help, please let us know! It may sound cliché; but a gift of any size really does help us.

Would you please consider supporting us financially on a regular basis? Your help is needed NOW more than ever before.

The Family Project & Irreplaceable DVDs:
We’re happy to say that copies of “The Family Project” group studyare now available for purchase!

The 12 session DVD experience is perfect for couples or small groups, and we also have Participant’s Study Guides available.

Copies of The “Irreplaceable” filmDVD are also available for purchase– free shipping to ROI!

Love & Respect pic
On the air this month: Due to the Broadcasting Authorities Guidelines on coverage of the Referendum issues on radio and TV, it may not be possible to hear all of our Six-Program Series; “Alive and Living in Ireland” which looks at the important issue of the Sanctity of Human Life and just how precious life is.

A number of Stations have moved across to the alternate Programmes of Birth Order – The Impact upon Family Dynamics

Listen in to one of the 5x Irish Radio Stationsairing the programmes every week

Copyright © 2018 Family.ie, All rights reserved.
unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Twitter
Website
Website
Share
Tweet
Forward

Protecting Human Rights – Come out and show your support

Taking Away their Human Rights

I was reminded of the value of Human Rights when watching the film “Selma” over the weekend, about Dr Martin Luther King’s fight in 1965, a year after he was awarded the Nobel Peace Price, and a year before his assassination, where people marched for the Human Rights of black people in Selma, Alabama – seeking the right to vote.

Our Government are seeking in this Referendum – to TAKE AWAY the HUMAN RIGHTS of unborn children, as the Supreme Court ruled last month, that other than the 8th Amendment, and unborn child in Ireland has NO HUMAN RIGHTS – until they are born.

It is hard to believe that such a PROPOSAL – could ever gain traction in a civilised society

Our Last Week of – Rally-Cry-Meetings 

  • Wexford – Tuesday 3rd April @ 7.30pm – Wexford Christian Community Church
  • Bray – Thursday 5th April @ 7.30pm – Cornerstone Church

Please do get in touch if you would like to come to these Rally Cry Meetings, where Nick Park of Evangelical AllianceMiriam Beattie of the Pro-Life-Campaign Team and myself are speaking together on the value of the 8th Amendment and how you can get involved

The Sanctity of Human Life

A core value for us is the Sanctity of Human Life. This is why in 2016 we made it priority to create compelling content which would speak to this issue clearly and sensibly.
These Programmes can be heard on air and accessed on line as podcasts and sharing with others. Click here to listen.

Children in the womb are the most vulnerable of all human beings, and need us to SPEAK UP FOR THEM and PROTECT THEM

THIS IS A KEY WEEK – PLEASE – Come out and join us at the Pro-Life Rally’s – Stand-Up for Life

These are being organised by the Pro-Life-Campaign / Love-Both, in five major centers this week. They can be a powerful statement in our Regions of our support for the Pro-Life Message. You can Register for these events by clicking here. Please do come to these events and support the Pro-Life cause

PLEASE HELP !
Get involved

Till next week – every blessing to you and your family
Stephen

Donate to Family.ie
Click here to donate to Family.ie
Donor Partnership Update: A small number of people have joined our support team! That brings us to 60 out of the 400 neededto give an average standing order donation of €25 per month. If you can help, please let us know! It may sound cliché; but a gift of any size really does help us.

Would you please consider supporting us financially on a regular basis?

The Family Project & Irreplaceable DVDs:
We’re happy to say that copies of “The Family Project” group studyare now available for purchase!

The 12 session DVD experience is perfect for couples or small groups, and we also have Participant’s Study Guides available.

Copies of The “Irreplaceable” filmDVD are also available for purchase– free shipping to ROI!

Love & Respect pic
On the air this month: We are broadcasting our Six-Program Series; “Alive and Living in Ireland” which looks at the important issue of the Sanctity of Human Life and just how precious life is.

Listen in to one of the 5x Irish Radio Stationsairing the programmes every week

Copyright © 2018 Family.ie, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Twitter
Website
Website
Share
Tweet
Forward

Working to Build Momentum

Building Up

Dear <<First Name>>,

Do please join us

(click here to go the page to Register)

The march forward of time continues, and I want to commend to the Pro-Life Rallies listed here. They are just as important as the March in Dublin on March 10th, as they will be the last push forward – with the Referendum about 7 weeks after the Regional Rallies and 2 weeks from the Dublin Rally.

It will be an important moment, as we will need as many people as we can muster to come out and speak up for the UNBORN CHILD.

After May 25th – All the talking will be over, and the decision made. Your voice, and your action matters – a lot.

” … we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight ….” 

So it seemed when God had called His people to go up and spy-out the land. Yet Caleb and Joshua had Faith that God was on their side and they would succeed. Caleb and Joshua were proven right.

We are called to live by Faith (in God) not by sight (trusting in what we see and hear now). I am hoping you are doing so today and will continue to look up (to God HIMSELF) Who is on our side in this battle, and will help us against the present day giants that we are facing (our own Government and the Media and well resourced external agencies)

Keep up the good fight. It will be well worth it.  Keep yourself in prayer. Act as the Lord Guides you

I had the opportunity this week to read the informative article  from Feb 4th ’18, by Kim Bielenberg in the Irish Independent on the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone. It outlines just how important repeal of the 8th Amendment is to Dr Zappone, and how it was a condition of her involvement in Government. It is no surprise – given her deeply held beliefs outlined in her 1991 book “The Hope for Wholeness : A Spirituality for Feminists” (available right now on Amazon.co.uk), in which she makes it very clear her non-Christian views of spirituality, and is allied with those who believe that abortion is a womans right and has sacramental value to it.
(You can read the full article by clicking here)It illustrated the need for earnest prayer on this issue, as there are a lot of powerful unseen elements in play here

We are on the Road again – Update

  • Redcross – Wednesday 21st
  • Ballyfermot – Friday 23rd
  • Drogheda – Wednesday 28th
  • Wexford – Tuesday 3rd April
  • Bray – Thursday 5th April

Please do get in touch if you would like to come to the Rally Cry Meetings being hosted locally, where Nick Park of Evangelical Alliance, one of the Pro-Life-Campaign Team and myself are speaking together on the value of the 8th Ammendment and how you can get involved

PLEASE HELP !
Get involved

Till next week – every blessing to you and your family
Stephen

Donate to Family.ie
Click here to donate to Family.ie
Donor Partnership Update: A small number of people have joined our support team! That brings us to 60 out of the 400 neededto give an average standing order donation of €25 per month. If you can help, please let us know! It may sound cliché; but a gift of any size really does help us.

Would you please consider supporting us financially on a regular basis?

The Family Project & Irreplaceable DVDs:
We’re happy to say that copies of “The Family Project” group studyare now available for purchase!The 12 session DVD experience is perfect for couples or small groups, and we also have Participant’s Study Guides available.

Copies of The “Irreplaceable” filmDVD are also available for purchase– free shipping to ROI!

Love & Respect pic
On the air this month: We are broadcasting our series; “Surviving the First Five Years of Marraige” which will explore some of the most intersting opportunities and challenges which coules face during the First Five Years of their Marriage.

Listen in to one of the 5x Irish Radio Stations airing the programmes every week

Copyright © 2018 Family.ie, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Twitter
Website
Website
Share
Tweet
Forward

Preparing for the Referendum on the 8th Amendment

View this email in your browser
It's almost back to school time pic for Aug eZine

Protecting Mothers and their Unborn Child 

We are now well into one of the most important decision making periods in our Irish history, because it is now a time when a decision will be made by the Irish people, on the issue of the protections provided in the Eight Amendment to the Irish Constitution – to two very important people – effecting all our futures,
(1) the mother and
(2) the baby in the womb of his/her mother.

Both are guaranteed the Right to Life.
Take away that Right and other Rights cannot apply.

I hope you will bear with us during the next four months during which this critical issue is being debated and we clearly take the side of the Right to Life. We will endeavor as sensitively as possible – to tell the truth – each week – on this topic, so that you can be fully informed, on what is at stake and how you can make up your mind how to vote, come the day of the referendum.
As a society – we the Irish People – are making a pivotal decision about the future direction of this society and country

As a starting point, in conjunction with Evangelical Alliance Ireland and The Pro-Life CampaignFamily.ie are running a series of meetings call “All-Ireland Call to Protect and Keep the 8th” The Schedule for these is listed below. If you are interested – do please try to make it – this is an excellent point to become involved in deciding this important national question


Meetings are for 90 minutes and will be addressed as follows

  • Evangelical Alliance –       Director, Nick Park – The Human Rights Aspects                                               of the Referendum
  • Pro-Life-Campaign –         The 8th Amendment, Campaigning,                                                                      Active-Involvement. Protection for Both
  • Family.ie                 –           CEO, Stephen Cardy – Why Pro-Life?, Prayer,                                                   Resources for Leaders


The Location and Timing of the Meetings is as follows:

  • Thursday 8th Feb              7.30pm                Limerick Christian Centre,
    Mungret College, Limerick
  • Tuesday 13th Feb              7.45pm                Barrowvalley Community Church,                                                                                Unit 5A Barrowside Business                                                                                        Park, Sleaty Road,                                                                                                        Graiguecullen, Carlow
  • Wednesday 14th Feb       7.30pm                Grace Christian Church,
    53 Mac Curtain Street, Cork
  • Thursday 15th Feb            7.30pm                Galway Christian Fellowship,
    New Life Centre,                                                                                                           Monivea Road, Galway
  • Friday 16th Feb                  7.30pm              Hillside Evangelical Church,                                                                                         Hillside Road, Greystones,                                                                                           Co Wicklow
  • Saturday 17th Feb             7.00pm              Waterford  – Oasis Arena – RCN,                                                                          Unit 2a, Block 1, Knockroe, Kilbarry,                                                                            Waterford City. X91 WF7H
  • Tuesday 20th Feb              7.30pm              River of Life Church,
    Le Cheile, Grace Road, Athlone,                                                                           Co Westmeath

You are very welcome to join us for any of these meetings.

Till next time – every blessing to you and your family
Stephen

If have a specific question – remember there is a world of answers to questions life poses for us – on www.family.ie.

You can use the search button  (top right corner of our website) where you can look up any issue of interest and find some good audio and written content to help you.

If I can be of any help to you, please do get in touch

Donate to Family.ie
Click here to donate to Family.ie
Donor Partnership Update: A few more people have joined our support team! That brings us to 60 out of the 400 needed to give an average standing order donation of €25 per month. If you can help, please let us know! It may sound cliché; but a gift of any size really does help us.

Would you please consider supporting us financially on a regular basis?

The Family Project & Irreplaceable DVDs:
We’re happy to say that copies of “The Family Project” group studyare now available for purchase!

The 12 session DVD experience is perfect for couples or small groups, and we also have Participant’s Study Guides available.

Copies of The “Irreplaceable” filmDVD are also available for purchase– free shipping to ROI!

Love & Respect pic
On the air this month: We are broadcasting our 5-part Have a New Kid by Friday” series;
based upon the book by Best Selling author Dr Kevin Leman


Listen in to one of the 5x Irish Radio Stations airing the programmes every week

Copyright © 2018 Family.ie, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Twitter
Website
Website
Share
Tweet
Forward

Ep.2 of 6 – Alive and Living in Ireland

187x109-5Today’s programme is called, “Safe Ireland: A Land of Hope.”

We explore:

  • How safe is Ireland when it comes to receiving good care and having a baby?
  • The impact that abortion has one women,
  • And we’ll hear from three mums who’ve raised children with special needs.

So You Are Going to Be a Daddy!

PIC_So You're Going to Be a Daddy

Written by Joseph Schneller

You’re just about to find out your wife’s pregnant with your first child. Your friend, Nate (father of two), has said that having a child represents more life change than getting married. Your wife’s about to find out that babies aren’t the only ones who lie in the fetal position sucking their thumb. But let’s take this one step at a time.

For some reason, the idea of how your wife has to use the pregnancy test stick thing is enormously funny to you. The kind of funny where tears run down your face and laughing fits hit you in waves. At one point, between hysterics, you tell her that if it’d make her feel better, you’ll take a pregnancy test, too. This also strikes you as the pinnacle of funnyhood.

She, on the other hand, has been reading books such as Taking Charge of Your Fertility and realises that her husband is “attempting to cope with his anxiety.” She understands that your uncontrollable laughter is Step 1 of your coping process, soon to be followed by:

Step 2: bed-wetting

Step 3: the desire to purchase a fast, red automobile.

After waiting three minutes in which the world stops spinning, you and your wife mutter a quick prayer, look one another in the eye and count two pink lines on the stick. Thus follows the most basic and unpresuming conversation the two of you will ever have:

Wife: Is that two lines?

You: I count “two.”

Wife: Are you sure that’s two lines?

You: Well, there’s the one line there, then there’s another line by the first. So, taken together, that makes two.

Your wife looks at you and screams like a 13-year-old girl who’s just seen her best friend for the first time since yesterday. You look at your wife and scream like a camper who’s just spilled a jar of honey on himself in grizzly bear country.

After dancing around awhile, counting the lines again, crying, then recounting the lines, your wife gets on the phone to notify first-tier family and friends. Second-tier friends will have to wait until the second trimester, which apparently begins on March 28. Your wife knows this without even looking at a calendar. She then counts the pink lines again.

While she’s on the phone, you realise that the baby’s growth and development are really the secondary purpose of the nine-month gestation. The primary purpose is so that you can get used to the idea of being a father. Right now, the most profound things you’re saying are, “Wow!” and “Oh, man!” and “That’s just, I mean . . . wow!”

You see, your wife’s been meditating on motherhood since she was four years old. You, on the contrary, have been considering fatherhood for about, hmm, five minutes (if you round up). So, in an effort to control your breathing, you head downstairs and flip on “The Show Before the Show That Precedes the Pre-Game Show.” That’s when you find several items on the coffee table that weren’t there last night:

  1. What to Expect When You’re Expecting
  2. a magazine on pregnancy
  3. a baby name book the size of a cereal box

These have appeared so quickly that you realise your wife had them stashed away at the bottom of her wardrobe.

Flipping though the pregnancy magazine, you think about asking your wife if she went to the bookstore while you were, uh, blowing your nose this morning. But then you glance at a page that says your baby’s heart will begin to form during the second month.

“Really?” you say out loud. “That early?” Sitting down, you mute the TV and turn the page.

So you’re gonna be a daddy.

Joseph Schneller became a dad for the first time in July of 2007.

* * *

Why Dad is important

A husband’s involvement during pregnancy can make a significant difference in a wife’s prenatal and postpartum experiences. Research shows that the presence of an emotionally supportive husband can help a woman more quickly adapt to pregnancy changes and lead to a more positive labour and delivery; it’s even been proven to influence a mother’s sense of competence in infant feeding. A study published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal concluded, ”Father involvement is an important, but understudied, predictor of maternal behaviours during the prenatal period, and improving father involvement may have important consequences for the health of his partner, her pregnancy and their child.” Whether analysing emotional, physical or relational benefits, all evidence suggests that women and children fare best when husbands and fathers are involved.

Pamela Woody

© 2009 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

How Far is Too Far?

PIC_How Far is Too Far

Written by Dr. Julianna Slattery

What do I say if my teen asks, “What is outercourse? Is it sex?

The first thing for any parent to do in this situation is take a deep breath.

Push away those images of your once six-year-old playing with LEGOS® or Sylvanian Families,® and welcome the challenge of raising the teen standing before you. Like it or not, you’re in the trenches.

Outercourse is sex.

It entails any form of sexual play that does not involve anal or vaginal penetration. Common forms of outercourse include mutual masturbation, oral sex, body-to-body rubbing, erotic massage, explicit sexual conversation and sex toys.

Many sex education curricula promote outercourse to teens as a form of “safer sex” because it eliminates the possibility of pregnancy and minimizes the risk of contracting many sexually transmitted infections.

Outercourse is encouraged as a healthy activity for teens by those organizations because it teaches teens about their bodies and helps them derive pleasure from sexual activity.

With this advice coming from adult “experts,” it’s no wonder that teens are catching on to the idea. And Christian teens are no exception. In fact, I have spoken with more than one teen who has confided that some youth pastors promote outercourse as a viable way to stay pure through the temptations of teen dating.

As a result, Christian teens are getting the message that they can preserve their virginity while enjoying everything but intercourse, and they experience the thrill and intimacy of sex without compromising their purity.

This concept is referred to as “technical virginity.” To eliminate the confusion around this term, parents must proactively address the issue with teens. Your teens are desperate for you to help them set boundaries. Questions such as “What is sex?” and “How far is too far?” need to be addressed by you, not a sex-ed teacher, peers or even a youth worker.

Begin by clearly stating that outercourse is sex. Look up sex in the dictionary, and you will find a wordy biological definition that won’t mean much to a teen getting ready to go on a date.

Here’s a definition that should stick: Sex is any behaviour between two people that involves stimulating the genitals (this can include touching or explicit talk about sexual arousal). Help your teens understand that there is a clear difference between platonic and romantic expressions of affection.

People naturally express love to parents, children and friends through hugging, a kiss on the face, holding hands or putting an arm around the shoulder. Expressions beyond those, as benign as they may appear, involve stepping down the road toward sexual intimacy.

By nature, romantic physical affection is designed to build toward the process of arousal with the intended end of sexual release. Outercourse is intended to provide stimulation and release without crossing the line of intercourse. Even so, it often leads to intercourse because it is so stimulating. Outercourse is obviously sexual in nature and intended for marriage.

Teaching your children about God’s purpose for sexuality is the most important part of this discussion. Make sure you clearly define and answer questions; also talk about God’s amazing creation. Equip your teens offensively in the battle of purity by emphasising that they are set apart for marriage and, more profoundly, for God’s purpose.

Answering questions concerning outercourse or any sexual matter should always lead to teaching about the incredible gifts of being chaste and reserving sex for marriage.

Sexuality is far more precious than most people – especially your children – generally understand. God created sexual behaviour as an intimate bond between husband and wife. Expressing sexuality within a covenant relationship cements a couple’s commitment to one another.

Scripture says that it makes two people so close that they become one flesh. This involves not only physical intimacy, but also emotional, mental and spiritual closeness. God tells people not to engage in sexual behaviour outside of marriage because He wants to protect His people.

Having sex or sexual contact with someone before marriage creates an emotional closeness. After a breakup, that closeness intensifies the hurt.

Sexuality expressed outside of marriage has a devastating effect, chipping away at the emotional wholeness of a person.

From Focus on Your Child’s Teen Phases, August 2008. Published by Focus on the Family.© Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

The Pain of Infertility

PIC_The Pain of Infertility

 

As we entered the one-room country church, my dad reached to steady my mum. The explosion of colour, the thick scent of lilies and the face of my grandfather in a bronze casket had knocked her off balance.

At 9 years of age, I was too young to fully understand what was happening, but I could feel my mum’s anguish. The closer we got to the casket, the more violently she wept. Her legs faltered under the weight of her grief. There was nothing I could do to ease the pain.

Nearly 20 years passed before I again encountered such physically intense grief from a loved one. This time, the deep pain came as my wife, Kerrie, explained through tortured sobs over the phone that a medical lab had confirmed that we were unable to have children. Once again, I could do nothing. I remember thinking, It feels like someone died.

Grief is a real part of infertility. It may be heightened in miscarriages or stillbirths, but it is just as real when a couple cannot conceive. The sorrow Kerrie and myself experienced the day we received our lab results was as deep as the grief we would have felt if she had called to tell me her parents had passed away.

Scripture confirms the close connection between the two losses. Proverbs 30:15-16 tells us the grave and the barren woman are two things that are never satisfied. The sense of loss from infertility will frequently resurface whenever life situations — such as a menstrual cycle or the birth of a child to another couple — trigger painful feelings of the opportunities lost.

Journey Through Pain

We must not be afraid to grieve and allow these responses to run their course. We should, however, guard against allowing our heartache to slide into despair.

Grief is complex and usually accompanied by a myriad of other emotions. Because of its intricacy, grief can take considerable time to work through. The “normal” length of mourning, however, is difficult to define.

During our grief journey, Kerrie and I found two crucial actions that allowed us to mourn our loss without slipping into despair.

  1. We recognised grief as a process and identified where we were in it.  C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Sorrow . . . turns out to be not a state but a process.” The key is to keep moving forward. When stymied by sorrow, we risked slipping into despair.We see evidence of this in the life of Hannah (1 Samuel 1:7-11). Because of her infertility, Hannah plunged into a state of hopelessness that lasted for years. Finally, she cried out to the Lord and found new hope. It is critical to make choices that keep us from getting permanently bogged down in mourning.
  2. We focused on the right things.Growing up, I was a track sprinter. I learned to focus on what was in front of me and ignore the runners in the lanes next to me and behind me. To win, I needed to fix my eyes on the finish line. Grief can also be navigated more successfully by keeping focused on the right things: Jesus and the race He has for us to run.

A Full Life

Physical barrenness is beyond our control, but Kerrie and I can take steps to ensure we don’t suffer spiritual barrenness. By focusing on God, we can enjoy a life that is neither “barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:8, KJV).

Even though we’ve been blessed with two wonderful adopted children, Kerrie and I still experience feelings of loss and the sense that we’re missing out on something. But ultimately, we realize God is on the throne, and we have decided to focus on Him rather than our grief.

Copyright © 2007, Brad Nelson. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

Grandparents Can Provide a Dose of Wonder

Grandparents Can Provide a Dose of Wonder!

Roughly 60,000 babies are born in Ireland each year–and those newborns can bless several generations!

by Dr. Paul C. Reisser

During the months leading up to the birth of our first grandchild, my wife, Teri, and I received a lot of knowing winks and smiles from friends who were already grandparents.

You’re gonna love it,” they insisted without exception. We were indeed awed and curious as we felt this new family member gently rolling within her mother’s expanding belly. When the moment of birth arrived, all four grandparents leaned against the door of the delivery room, listening intently for the first cry. When it came, we couldn’t contain our joy and tears.

Mesmerised

Neither Teri nor I recalled this much awe and wonder with our own two kids. Most of my memories of our firstborn’s arrival involve feeling sleep-deprived, reluctant about the 24/7 responsibilities, worried about Teri’s recovery and more annoyed than I care to admit whenever that vaguely accusatory newborn cry wouldn’t subside right away. My mum, however, bestowed generous doses of awe and wonder on her grandchildren and helped us reorient our attitudes on a regular basis.

When we first learned we would become grandparents, we wasted no time setting up a nursery in our home. But during her first several visits with us, our granddaughter spent little time there because all we wanted to do was hold her. We would gaze at her tiny features, play with her toes, let her fingers grasp one of ours, marvel at the miniature nails, cradle her head, grin at her unruly storm of dark hair and wait for one of those smiles that would illuminate the room.

Room to reflect

I know it doesn’t always work this way, but I believe God intends grandparents to be the agents of an important message to young parents who may be feeling more than a little overwhelmed: This little person you have brought into the world is precious beyond measure. By the way, you don’t have to be a grandma or grandpa to do this. Interested relatives and friends can also embrace the role of providing awe and wonder, especially where and when it may be in short supply.

Without the relentless duties of early parenthood, relatives can put errands and chores on hold while they spend time with new children, knowing their home will return to quiet once again.

Grandparents may reflect on their parenting years and wonder whether they might have put a little more emphasis on enjoying the early years instead of worrying so much about messy rooms or crayon marks on the walls. With grandchildren they have that opportunity, the chance to observe and savor moments that will pass quickly.

It is an incredible gift for grown children to see their offspring through the eyes of a love-struck grandparent or relative. When Grandma’s face lights up the instant Ella toddles through the front door, it helps Mummy remember why she became a mother in the first place. When Grandpa values playing with Joshua more than watching a football game, it helps Dad renew his commitment to be a good father. When grandparents regard little ones with awe and wonder, they bless two generations at once.