Tag: #faith development

Real Answers – continuing our conversation about “Raising Sons” – 5/15/24

Real Answers – continuing our conversation about “Raising Sons” – 5/15/24

Raising children is a delight and a challenge. Parenting is one of the most important tasks in all of life for those who are given this privilege.

Daughters also rely on uplifting upbringings, yet today we focus on boys.  What is unique about raising sons?


On this edition of Family Life’s “Real Answers“, therapeutic counselor Christopher Anderson offers Christian areas of emphasis for parents. These apply, whatever your son’s/sons’ age, whether you are married or a single parent, and whether you are a dad or a mom or a grandparent:

  •  The urgency of giving your children, especially sons, a deepening understanding of Jesus and of grace
  •  How vital it is for male and female parents to visibly live out your faith, and explain why the Lord improves your own life
  •  Connect your son with other men who are faithful adult role models
  •  The story of a valuable $50 bill



This podcast is the second of a two-part series on this important topic

Chris Anderson and Sarah Harnisch also talked about encouragement and advice for raising sons on our “Real Answers” feature earlier this month. Hear part one of that interview here.



“Real Answers” is one of our extended interviews on Wednesdays from Family Life News. Listen for it online, on our app and on the radio during the Family Life Noon Report

Podcast versions of all Family Life News Features are available for 24/7 listening, sharing, subscribing and downloading. You can find them on our website or search “Family Life News” on your favorite podcast app.

Raising Boys – Family Life’s Real Answers – 05/01/24

Raising Boys – Family Life’s Real Answers – 05/01/24

It’s “Real Answers” on Family Life

Raising boys affects sons, families and cultures.

Christian counselor Christopher Anderson offers tangible, specific areas of emphasis for parents — which also apply to other influential males in these families, churches and community groups:

  • Control the role of tech in the child’s or teen’s life
  • Connect with a congregation which sees ministry to growing boys and young men as a vibrant priority
  • Adult men lead as role models, so set a Godly example with your own life
  • “Nudge instead of judge”


First is the first of a two-part series on raising sons. Hear more about this important topic on Part Two, which aired May 15.  That is also available on our News Podcasts page.



“Real Answers” is a Wednesday news feature from Family Life News. In addition to airing during the Family Life Noon Report, a podcast version is available for 24/7 listening, sharing, subscribing and downloading.




God uses long-lasting friendships – Inside Out feature – 4/24/24

God uses long-lasting friendships – Inside Out feature – 4/24/24

God Uses Long-Lasting Friendships

“Inside Out” with Martha Manikas-Foster

We need long-lasting friendships. But political divisions, our self-reliance, and the failure to prioritize time with friends all work against sustained relationships.  

“Intimacy, trust, and vulnerability–which at least to me are all really important factors in friendships—take time. Like years,” says photographer, marriage coach, and author Dorothy Littell Greco. “And that’s not to say that you can’t go deep quickly with someone that you recently met, but I think having friends for a long time—and I’m talking about like decades—is qualitatively different.”

“I think probably most of us could recount seasons in our life where friends just really come alongside of us and give us what we need in order to make it through day to day.”

Greco discusses how we are created to need friendship, and how even when our relationships encounter rocky terrain the challenge can grow us in ways few other things can. “It teaches us how to love, it teaches us how to forgive,” she says, “so there’s something about that forging deeper into friendship that I think allows us to grow up and to grow into people who are more like Jesus. And, at least for me, that’s what it’s all about.”

Greco believes that one way we can keep friendships growing, even during divisive times, is by standing alongside our friends at pivotal moments in their lives. “Showing up is really, really important, right? Showing up for those milestone events—their babies getting christened, or they’re having an engagement party, or somebody’s father died,” Greco says. “So us being present, saying, ‘We value you more than whatever else it is that we could do in that time.’”

 Another important way to keep friendships growing is by facing issues head-on. “Those moments when differences surface, all of us, pretty much, have the tendency to just kind of withdraw. But rather than using that as an excuse to pull back, is saying, ‘Well, this could allow us to go deeper with each other,’” she says. “So not backing away from conflict.” 

 Greco also suggests taking the leap and being authentically yourself with each other. 

 “Choosing to say, ‘This person, I really like the conversations we’ve had, I’m going to take a risk with them and be a little bit more vulnerable.’” 


Dorothy Littell Greco has written on the importance of friendship and how marriages can flourish. She is the author of Marriage in the Middle, Making Marriage Beautiful, and Start Strong.

Inside Out” is one of our Wednesday News Features on Family Life’s Noon Report and in your Family Life News podcast feed.

Hometown Heroes – Samuel Girod (2) – Family Life – 4/02/24

Hometown Heroes – Samuel Girod (2) – Family Life – 4/02/24

A group called MAP — Mission to Amish People — seeks to provide encouragement and discipleship resources to anyone who leaves an Amish lifestyle and seeks to live out their faith differently than they were raised. Many of those who turn away from the faith of their early lives find that they need practical assistance too — education, housing, lifeskills training and more — and MAP provides those as well.

This “Hometown Heroes” podcast is the second of our two conversations with Samuel Girod, a missionary with MAP. He previews an upcoming workshop in Friendship, New York, on April 19-20 (2024). Mission to Amish People hope to train potential new missionaries that conference at Bible Baptist Church.


This webpage [ www.mapministry.org] tells the first-person story of Samuel and his wife Polly. From that site, you can further explore MAP’s efforts, upcoming conferences, and recording of previous presentations by numerous speakers.

Parenting: Taking the Long View – Inside Out – 2/28/24

Parenting: Taking the Long View – Inside Out – 2/28/24

Parenting: Taking the Long View

We want to raise our children well. Because of that, we look for instructions. That was true for parent and educational consultant Laura Spaulding.

 “It seemed to be that there was always just a right way presented to you, and some of it came from the Christian culture, and some of it came from the neighborhood, and some of it came from TV,” she says.

 Spaulding is the author of a January 2024 Gospel Coalition article titled Taking the Long View Revolutionized My Parenting.

Christian parents hold on to Proverbs 22:6, where we’re instructed to “train up a child in the way he should go,” so that, “when he is old, he will not depart from it. Taking that verse apart and recognizing what it really is saying: it is saying, ‘Start them this way, and it finishes this way.’ Like all the middle is so unique to each person,” she says.

 Two decades into her parenting journey, Spaulding believes she’s developed some perspective.

 “The chief end of parenting is not getting kids into perfect colleges so that they can find the perfect job and marry the perfect spouse, so that they could turn around and have perfect kids of their own,” she says. “The chief end of parenting, just like the chief end of life, is perfection for all eternity.”

Gospel Coalition

 That’s the kind of perfection that doesn’t come from formulas. It comes from Christ. “The ‘perfection for all eternity’ comes at the end of the race. At the end of the journey. And so our job as parents is to prepare our kids for a journey. It is to get them started.”

Get to know your children well, she says, and parent them accordingly. “Put the parenting books away and instead study the child in your arms,” she says, “really paying attention to what are their unique gifts and limitations. What motivates them. What stresses them out. What lights them up.”

 Proverbs 22:6, Spaulding says, is a gracious invitation for taking a long view on the development of our children. “Use what you learn about them to help them know themselves, to help them know and relate to their Creator, to help prepare them for the good works that God has prepared in advance for them to do.

Join us for our 18-minute conversation by listening to the podcast.


Read the article that inspired this conversation here.

Read Laura Spaulding’s other writing here.



Campus Ministry – Positive Impact for Today’s Young Adults – 2/22/24

Campus Ministry – Positive Impact for Today’s Young Adults – 2/22/24

Christian outreach and support for today’s young adults has transformed — yet again.

The unique needs and perspectives of this generation of college students has shaped how campus ministries are doing their work. Today on Family Life, we hear from Mike Andrews, Impact Ministry’s campus pastor at Penn State Altoona.

Andrews tells us about how the most significant impact which meets students where their lives are is primarily in small groups and Bible studies. Even for young people who have never had experiences in a church — or who have wandered away from an earlier faith — he says a hallmark of this generation is an openness to talk about deep core values and to explore spiritual issues.

Greg Gillispie also asks Andrews to give guidance to local church leaders on effective ways to shape youth ministries and to encourage the children of the church to plug into campus ministries if they go away to school.

For more information:

  • The ImpacttheU website
  • A promotional video to show high school and college students





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