Weekend Preview | Ideal Family – Part 1

By Matt Dawson

I LOVE that we are tackling this topic at Journey. This week we kick off the “Ideal Family Series!”

Is there even such a thing as an “ideal” family?

The reason I ask is because it seems like EVERYONE I know that is married, starting to have kids, or single parenting are looking for the IDEAL when it comes to their families!

They are looking for the answers to questions like these:

  • How do we keep the spark alive after the “honeymoon” year in marriage?
  • When’s the “right” time to have our 2nd kid? (there’s a perfect age difference…do you know what it is?)
  • What happens when you and your spouse switch ROLES (work, parenting, etc)?
  • How do I get my EX to agree to our new family arrangement?
  • Are my kids going to be screwed up because they don’t have a mother/father in their life?

And these are just a few of the questions people struggle with on their path to having an IDEAL Family.

I spent some time studying family models over the last week from Traditional to Modern and everything in-between – and to be honest, I have no idea if any of the models I’ve looked at are the IDEAL family!

So we then look to the BIBLE for examples and answers.

However, this is hard. Not much is mentioned about people’s family and what is shared is often all the ways they did it wrong. The bible is a tough place to look for several examples of healthy loving family units.

Who do you look to in scripture as a model of the ideal family?

  • Abraham’s parenting style (rejection of one son and tried to kill the other one)?
  • Solomon’s marriage (or marriages & concubines)?
  • King David’s sons…you know the ones that tried to kill him!

There are MORE examples of screwed up families (given in detail) in the scripture than GREAT examples for marriages, parenting, and all around family values.

So we’re going to spend the next few weeks tackling these questions. Is there such a thing as an “ideal” family? How do we make it happen? What roles we husbands/dads, wives/mothers, kids/siblings play in fostering the “ideal” family?

I look forward to seeing you on Sunday – it’s a great time to invite a friend to come with you!

How To Talk With Your Students About Love

By Ryan Weber

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:18)

When I was growing up, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my Dad was head over heels in love with my Mom.  And it had absolutely nothing to do with the amount of times he told her that he loved her. Although I heard him say it over and over and over, every time he left the house, every time he hung up the phone, whenever he had opportunity, he told her that he loved her.  But those were just the words, there was a deeper reason why I knew my Dad loved her so much.

It was all the things he did.  The little kisses, the overt flirting, the hand holding, the arm around the shoulder when we were at public places, the gifts he’d buy, the trips he planned, the way he just looked at her.

Granted, when I was growing up, these things repulsed me and I threw up in my mouth a little every time I saw it happen.  But everyone knew that he was crazy about her, and it continues to this day.  I’m incredibly lucky to have a set of parents who have stuck together through thick and thin and are now looking forward to their 35th wedding anniversary this year.

My dad still does all those mushy, gooey things.

Now that I am married, I have a brand new appreciation for the way he demonstrated love for his wife. I saw my dad demonstrate love before I even knew what true love was.  And that’s so important when it comes to the life of your student because I want to get this cat out of the bag:

Your student does not want to talk to you about love.  They would rather talk to the mailman, the dentist, Siri, anyone else other than you about love, dating, sex, etc.  This is an area of their lives that they want to explore and keep private. And that’s ok.  It’s our job to guide our children into adulthood, not dictate their every move.  They will not want to open up and share their feelings with you.

But you are a parent and you should share your feelings with them.  It is your job to talk to your students and make sure they go down a path that will honor themselves, their God, you as their parents and their future spouse.  So you need to engage in a healthy and meaningful conversation with your teens.

The Path is starting a series on Valentine’s Day called, “I Kissed Dating Hello,” and The Garage is beginning a series on February 7th called “The Talk.” Both are going to provide wonderful windows of opportunity for you to engage your child in this conversation.  It will allow you to open up to discuss all of the important elements that your kids are probably already aware of, but it can help you frame their minds to a godly and biblical perspective.

What is the purpose of dating? What kind of person should I look for?  What kind of person am I? How do I ask someone out? How do I fight? How do I break up? Why should I wait until I’m married to have sex? What in the world is sex anyway? Is sex bad or good?

Do you know all the Scriptures that relate to love, dating and marriage?  Do you have a child in your home?  It’s time to start memorizing those verses, and pray through their meaning so you can share a biblical perspective.

How are you going to explain to your daughter that her body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and she is fearfully and wonderfully made; and no one should take advantage of her (1 Corinthians 6:19; Psalm 139:14)?  How are you going to explain to your son that he needs to make a covenant with his eyes to not look with lust upon a young woman (Job 31:1)?

I would imagine having these conversations with your teens is a lot like bungee jumping.  You stand there for as long as you want to buck up the courage, but eventually you just have to do it. You have to jump and allow the chips to fall where they may. I am praying that the resources that will be provided to you during our Path and Garage series will help you along this journey.

But do not forget, if you’re going to have this conversation with your student (and I pray you have the courage to make that jump), you better be prepared to practice what you preach and love your spouse, kids, coworkers, friends, etc. in the way that Jesus tells us to. That will be infinitely more effective than any awkward conversation you’ll have.

When it comes to talking to your kids about love, demonstration is your best conversation.

Love well, your kids will take notice and listen intently.


Why a Regular Date Night is a MUST!

By Don Gentry


Marriages are falling apart.

As the Family Pastor at Journey, it pains me to see how so many couples are simply just making it work. The joy of marriage has long since passed and many are just trying to hang on for the kids. What a tragic living condition.

What I am about to share is not a magic pill but rather a preventative measure to ensure the health of your marriage.

Simply put: if you want your marriage to thrive, then you need a regular date night.

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Weekend Preview | Who Changed the Rules: Who Changed the Rules of Marriage & Divorce?

By Chris Denning


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I was tempted to start with the whole The Princess Bride “Maaaawidge” thing . . . ok, I can’t help myself.

Anyway, to be honest, I’m not the best person to write a post about marriage & divorce.  I’ve only been married a lil over 2 years, and I’ve not had any personal experience with divorce.

At the same time, I tend to be an observant person.  I learn from watching, from listening, from asking questions.  Even more, when I care about being good at something, I pay even closer attention.

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The 5 People You DON’T Need to Date/Marry

By Matt Dawson


Anyone can give you tips on who you should be dating and what kind of a person you should consider marrying.  However, I wanted to have a little fun and give you an idea of some people that you SHOULD NOT date or marry.  A lot of these seem silly or like some kind of hyperbole, but know that there is truth at the core of each of these kinds of people.


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