Tag Archives: Family

Lindsay Harold: A scientist, mother and wife making a difference with apologetics

Lindsay Harold
Lindsay Harold

Today, I am featuring a friend of mine who holds a BS and MS in Biology and who taught biology at the college level as both a full-time instructor and an adjunct instructor before becoming a full-time wife and mother..

Here is the first post from her blog, Lindsay’s Logic. It’s about the vital importance of a wife and mother in the home.

She writes:

I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my views on marriage and family and women working outside the home and whether women are supposed to support their husbands rather than having their own goals and careers. Here are my thoughts on the matter.

In general, I think women are called to be a supporter to their husband’s calling. But that does not mean that their contribution is less important. God sees a husband and wife as a team, a single unit. So a husband’s calling is the wife’s calling because the two of them are one.

We live in a culture that sees us primarily as individuals who simply make associations with each other. Marriage is generally seen as just a partnership between two separate people. The Christian view of marriage, however, is radically different. The Bible says that the two become one. Not two that have a connection, but one. God doesn’t give separate overall missions to each individual person. There is only one overall calling for that one marriage entity. A husband and wife are a family and have a calling together, but the husband bears the primary responsibility for fulfilling that mission while the wife bears the primary responsibility for supporting her husband’s work toward the family’s calling.

[…]The story comes to mind of Acts 6 and the choosing of deacons to take care of details like feeding the needy so that the apostles could concentrate on preaching and teaching. This kind of hierarchy is found throughout life, not just in marriage. It’s not about inferiority, it’s about efficiency in fulfilling a purpose. It was the deacons’ role to handle logistics so that the apostles could spend their time pursuing the main mission of preaching the word and saving souls. In the same way, it is a wife’s role to handle logistics of the home so that her husband can concentrate his energy on pursuing the family’s main mission for God.

The other thing to consider is that the responsibility for providing for the family is given primarily to the man. It simply isn’t the wife’s responsibility in the same way it is for the husband. Not only are men given the responsibility of spiritual leadership, but they also must provide for their family’s economic needs. In both cases, men will answer to God for how they do so. Providing is a heavy burden given to a man. It requires much time and effort. It is a great support to the husband when the wife takes care of the logistical details of the household so that the husband can devote his efforts to providing and the spiritual training of the children and then, if energy is left, to outside endeavors to further the Kingdom of God.

The second post is also from Lindsay’s Logic. It’s about the reasons how and why responsible parents shelter their young children.

She writes:

There’s a big difference between knowing about evil things that can happen and knowing evil by being steeped in it. It is certainly possible to shelter one’s children too much so that they are ignorant of reality and have no idea how to function in society or how to address the wrong ideas of the world. But that’s very rare. The greater danger is in putting children in the midst of evil before they are prepared (developmentally and spiritually) to handle it. That is by far the more common scenario and the one more likely to result in problems.

You don’t send a soldier into battle until he’s trained, and you don’t send a child into the world until he’s trained either. Children are very vulnerable and need protection until they are prepared to fight evil on their own.

The process of raising a child should involve progressive steps to get them used to the environment they will face as adults and prepare them to face its challenges. In much the same way as a lion cub raised by humans must be slowly acclimated to the wild by being protected while learning how to take care of himself, children must be protected while gradually giving them more information, more rigorous training, and more freedom. You don’t turn a tame lion, who spent his entire life being fed everything by humans, loose in the wild because he isn’t prepared. And you don’t turn an untrained child loose in the world because he isn’t prepared. Parenting done right is a gradual process of preparation that should culminate in an adult who is capable and informed enough to make his own way without falling into the many traps out there.

I don’t want to keep my children from knowing that evil exists or the different forms it can take. I don’t want to keep them ignorant of the wrong ideas of the world. However, I don’t want them to learn about evil things by seeing them taking place around them before they have been taught how to handle it and what the right position is. I want them prepared to handle the evils of the world – not shocked by them or caught off guard, but prepared to fight them. To do that, I have to shelter them from experiencing those evils until they can understand my teaching about how to deal with them.

And finally, here is a bonus post from her husband, which talks about the advantages of raising kids in the country. I have been to their house, and the place is just gorgeous. I have never seen a home with nicer views, and yet everything is modern inside, which is great if you are a nerd like me who likes to stay in and play on the computer all day.

New study: children of divorced parents are less likely to be religious

A family praying and reading the Bible
A family praying and reading the Bible

This is from the leftist Washington Post, of all places.

Excerpt:

Two widely recognized trends in American society might have something to do with each other.

Divorce rates climbed to the highest levels ever in the 1980s, when about half of all marriages ended in divorce.

And in the present day, Americans are rapidly becoming less religious. Since 1972, the share of Americans who say they do not adhere to any particular religion has increased from 5 percent of the population to 25 percent.

Could those two trends be related? A new study from the Public Religion Research Institute says yes. The children of divorced parents have grown up to be adults of no religion.

People whose parents divorced when they were children are significantly more likely to grow up not to be religious as adults, the study found. Thirty-five percent of the children of divorced parents told pollsters they are now nonreligious, compared with 23 percent of people whose parents were married when they were children.

[…]Cox said his team found that even children of divorced parents who are religious are less religious than their peers. Thirty-one percent of them go to services every week, compared with 43 percent of religious people whose parents were married when they were growing up.

This part about Protestant pastors wimping out of thorny issues is very interesting:

Andrew Root, a professor at Luther Seminary who has written a book about the spiritual consequences of divorce for children, was not surprised to hear about the study’s findings.

“Everything in a divorce gets divided. Literally everything. Parents’ friends get divided. Relatives get divided. Everyone takes sides,” Root said. “Even religion takes sides. The church gets divided. Dad leaves Mom’s faith, or vice versa. Negotiating those worlds becomes difficult.”

Root said churches are not doing enough to speak directly to the concerns of children in those situations, so the kids lose faith in the ability of the church to help them. He said that when the divorce rate climbed in the 1980s, many members of the clergy, especially mainline Protestant pastors, stopped speaking out against divorce so as not to alienate struggling congregants. But by going silent on the subject, they didn’t offer any comfort to the kids.

As adults, Root said, those same people do not believe the church will respond to their adult problems. “They’re now thinking, ‘I’m dealing with depression.’ Or, ‘I’m dealing with my own marital troubles.’ The church must not have anything to say to me, because when I was 8 and dealing with divorce, my Sunday-school teacher didn’t even say, ‘Man, Amanda, that must be really complicated for you’,” Root said.

I get e-mails all the time from people who are suffering from the effects of the Sexual Revolution, which was put in place by selfish adults so they could do whatever they wanted. Children suffered a lot from this. Obviously, the painful of experience of their parents divorcing hurt their view of God. But divorce also hurts a child’s ability to know what a man loving a woman in a stable commitment looks like, and what a woman loving a man in a stable commitment looks like. I mean – what does love between sexes look like when the “in love” feeling has worn off, and all that remains is the commitment to build something together? I think that a lot is riding on the stability of the relationship between the child’s mother and father.

Ontario government seizes foster kids from Christian couple over Santa Claus and Easter bunny

Canada Election 2015: Socialists in red, Communists in Orange, Conservatives in blue
Canada Election 2015: Socialists in red, Communists in Orange, Conservatives in blue

In Canada, Christian couples are qualified to pay mandatory taxes to the secular government, but they’re not qualified raise children. That’s the government’s job, apparently.

Check out this story from the Toronto Sun.

Excerpt:

‘Twas a few days before Christmas when all through a Hamilton courtroom of the hallowed Superior Court of Ontario, the lawyers were arguing about – Santa Claus.

And the Easter bunny as well.

To his credit, Justice Andrew Goodman kept a straight face throughout the hearing as the lawyer for the Hamilton CAS struggled to explain why the agency suddenly yanked two little girls from their happy foster home just because their devout Christian foster parents wouldn’t lie and tell them Santa and the Easter Bunny were real.

The children — aged four and three at the time — faced the imminent danger that the “magic” of the holidays might be destroyed if they were left with Derek and Frances Baars, argued lawyer Jim Wood.

“They’re entitled to believe that while they’re sleeping, Santa Claus is coming to put the presents under the tree,” he insisted. “The risk is there. The children needed to be removed.”

The Baars were upfront when they signed on: They don’t celebrate Halloween and, as their glowing SAFE Homestudy Report clearly states, they “do not endorse Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny as they do not wish to lie to children.”

They were approved as foster parents in December 2015 and the sisters moved into their home a week before Christmas.

The Baars bought them gifts and celebrated the holiday — but carefully avoided the Santa question. Their birth mother even sent a note thanking them for giving her girls such a nice Christmas.

[…]Their CAS worker was hopping mad by their hearsay, told them it was an essential part of Canadian culture and issued an ultimatum: Tell the girls the Easter Bunny was real or their foster home would be closed.

And so it was. They were abruptly fired as foster parents and the mystified little girls were pulled from their home the next day.

It was an emergency! The children needed to be removed from the home right away by the benevolent taxpayer-funded social workers.

More:

Despite the dire shortage of foster parents in the region, the Baars were no longer acceptable to the Hamilton CAS. They’d even offered to care only for infants or kids for whom Santa and the Easter Bunny weren’t important, but were turned down.

The children need to be removed, because the parents are obviously dangerous. It’s dangerous to tell children that Santa Claus isn’t real, because it’s better to lie to them, and then have that mistrust poison the relationship between child and parents.

My personal view on this is exactly what the Christian couple decided. Make Christmas and Easter fun days, but focus on the theological issues involved in each day: the Incarnation and the Resurrection. You don’t want to get into a situation where you poison the relationship with your children by lying to them – telling them lies that make them feel good, and then having them find out later from their same-age peers the truth. It undermines you, and elevates their peers as trustworthy truth-tellers.

I just have to point out one more fact about this province of Ontario in Canada, and their views on raising children. Remember that the Deputy Minister of Education in Ontario designed a sex-education curriculum that was mandatory for all the children in Ontario. He was later convicted of child pornography. And Ontario also passed a law allowing the state to seize children from parents who disagree with the province’s LGBT agenda. So clearly, this is not the place to get married and have children, if you expect to raise your children according to a sensible Judeo-Christian worldview.

Maybe voting in a big secular government isn’t such a great thing. I know that when I give money to private sector businesses in free exchanges of value, they would not come to my house looking for children to seize. They just take their money, and I get something useful that I wanted that matches MY values. When you grow government, you end up paying them regardless of how they perform, and then when they are big enough, they turn around and starting pushing you around. You’ll never have that problem when you keep government focused on its Constitutional responsibilities. Unfortunately, the people of Canada have apparently forgotten all about how to organize a government so that it respects liberty.

Democrats vote against tax cut for parents of homeschooled and disabled children

Ted and Heidi Cruz have a plan to simplify the tax code
Ted and Heidi Cruz have a plan to cut taxes for parents

I blogged recently about an amendment to the tax bill that Ted Cruz had put in to help parents with the costs of educating their children. It was a good amendment, and the Democrats even let some of it remain in the final version of the bill. But they voted against the tax cuts for parents who homeschool their children, or who have children with disabilities.

Here’s an article from Town Hall to explain what happened.

Excerpt:

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), one of the Senate’s most outspoken advocates for school choice, introduced an addition to the tax bill called the Student Opportunity Amendment. The amendment would expand 529 college savings plans to also include K-12 education, allowing parents and grandparents to use these tax-advantaged plans to save up to $10,000 per child per year for private schools, religious schools, or even homeschooling.

This represented a significant change in policy that would benefit more than 50 million children. The Senate voted in favor of the amendment, 50-50, with the Vice President breaking the tie.

However, Democrats weren’t about to let a beneficial piece of legislation pass without a fight. Party leaders ran to the Senate Parliamentarian to complain that the entire amendment ran afoul of the Byrd rule — another one of those arcane Senate rules that no one understands. But while the Parliamentarian disagreed with the Democrats’ argument about the majority of the provisions in the amendment, she unfortunately found their argument compelling when applied to homeschooling and struck the language from the bill.

In response, Senator Cruz rushed to the floor and pushed a Motion to Waive the Parliamentarian’s changes, which solely affected the homeschooling provision. This motion would require a 60-vote majority to succeed.

As Senator Cruz explained in a passionate speech on the Senate floor, one of the provisions that was to be eliminated from the amendment was particularly important — it would allow parents with a child with disabilities to use a 529 plan to pay for educational therapy, which can often be prohibitively expensive.

How could the Democrats vote against that?

“We’ve got right now a motion to waive this mean-spirited, vindictive point of order that discriminates against homeschoolers and carves out kids with disabilities,” Cruz charged. He argued that the vote “ought to be 100 to nothing.”

Nevertheless, not a single Democrat voted for Senator Cruz’s motion. Not one. The Democrats knowingly and proudly discriminated against homeschooled kids and kids with disabilities, in many cases destroying their access to quality education. Even by the Democrats’ woefully low standards, it was a shameful display.

I found the video of the 13-minute speech – the part about the schools starts at 6 minutes in:

The whole thing is worth watching, just to understand what a tax cut really is, and to accept that Democrats don’t want you to have the money you earn. They want the money you earn – they want to spend it. They want to spend it buying the votes of people who don’t agree with your values, and who don’t respect how hard you worked in order to earn that money.

Let me tell you what this means to me. When I was young, I realized that getting married and having kids would require me to work an extra twenty years. Instead of retiring at 45, I would have to work until I was 65. I thought and thought about this, and I realized that the only reason to do this extra work would be if I could have several children  and raise them to be effective and influential Christians. So, I went to work getting multiple degrees in computer science and then working to earn and save money for this plan.

And this is what I learned while learning about politics along the way. There is one political party, the party of Ted Cruz, that wants me to keep my own money, and to educate my children as I see fit. They want me to marry, and they want me to have children, and they want me to lead my family the way that I see fit. After all, these conservatives say, he is the own earning the money. He should keep what he earns, and he should spend it how he needs to to achieve his goals. He shouldn’t be forced to pay into any education system that works against his values and against his worldview. That’s what Ted Cruz was trying to help me with with his amendment.

But there is another political party which believes in big government. They want to confiscate what I earn to create a system of government-run schools. And in those government-run schools, the children will not be taught anything useful for getting a job, getting married, having children, etc. They will be taught how to have premarital sex, how to stop global warming with socialism, how to have an atheistic worldview, how to blame capitalism for the failure of socialist policies, and how to embrace gay rights and radical feminism. If I tell those Democrats that I don’t want to send my schools there, they tell me that I have to pay for those schools, and there will be no tax cuts for me to homeschool my kids. Democrats are fascists – they want the government to be everything, and the family to be nothing.

I don’t know if the Democrats really realize the message they are sending to the last good men. The men who don’t drink, don’t take drugs, who are chaste, and who do want to marry and have children. But I am watching what happens in the world of politics, and I am getting the message. They don’t want me to pass on my values to my kids, they want their public school allies to pass progressive values on to my kids. And when Ted Cruz tries to do something to stop them, they shut him down. I hope more people realize how the government sees my priorities. They want to take what I earn, but they don’t let me have the freedom to lead a family. This is why men are not interested in marriage and children like they used to be. We don’t like the idea of being robbed by the government tax collectors and then being replaced by government educators.

The downside of the soul mate / fairy tale view of relationships

 

Husband and wife doing some woodworking together

(Image: Husband and wife doing some woodworking together)

Astonishing article from the leftist Huffington Post, of all places. (links removed)

Excerpt:

As millennial women, we were groomed for a white knight fantasy. From childhood favorites such as Snow White to adult rom-com staples such as How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days or Sleepless in Seattle, the media perpetuates a romantic storyline in which compatibility and lasting romance is something effortless, built on chance, sustained by good looks, fun dates and electric sexual chemistry. These story lines shape our expectations for romantic happiness. It is not enough to find someone with whom we are mostly compatible, who would make a good parent, with whom we could learn and grow wrinkly; now, we expect a perfect fit and an easy, instantaneous “connection.” In short, we want a soul mate. But it is this desire for a soul mate that is actually the undoing of our happy ending.

A “soul mate” is defined as one who is ideally suited to us, perfectly completes us, one with whom the relationship feels easy and natural. With them, a relationship is just “meant to be”… A survey of young adults conducted by the National Marriage Project found that while 84% of young adults report finding a marriage partner “very important,” a full 94% of young adults say they would like to marry a soul mate, and 73% of people ages 18 – 29 believe that there is a soul mate out there for them.

Wow. That doesn’t sound like a good approach to me. My approach has always been to pick the girl who was most willing to learn new things. And then to explain to her my vision for marriage and see if I could get her to work independently on that plan before I married her. I don’t favor this soul mate approach at all.

Does the “soul mate” approach work?

We heard that those who get married later and possess a college degree have fewer divorces and more stable marriages. So we spend our twenties trying to find ourselves through travel, accumulating degrees and building a career. Marriage will be the capstone of our achievements, and nothing less than tying the knot with a soul mate will suffice. But the tragic irony is that soul mate thinking makes us increasingly likely to divorce. A study of 1,400 married men and women shows that people who hold soul mate orientations are 150% more likely to end up divorced than those who do not.

The widespread cultural belief in “soul mate ideology” undermines our chances at happiness because it makes us passive receivers of idyllic romantic expectations. Further, it fosters self-centeredness; one rarely longs to be a soul mate for someone else, which would require effort. For this reason, believing in soul mates is one of the most dis-empowering belief systems we can adopt. As millennials, we pride ourselves on actively pursuing the life we want to live, rather than simply accepting whatever hand we are dealt. We are innovative, passionate, proactive and not afraid to take risks. Yet, there is a disconnect when it comes to our desire for lasting love. Though there are prospects around us, we forgo taking the concrete steps needed to build happy compatible relationships because we do not “feel a spark.” We are passively waiting on the sidelines for love to “happen,” and then wonder why it is so difficult.

I’ve always felt that the soul mate approach was like the evil villain in opposition to my noble plan-based approach. My approach is to pick a woman who wants to learn and work hard. Explain your marriage plan to her, and how your marriage plan serves God. My marriage plan accomplishes four goals, for example. 1) Influence the university with apologetics, 2) influence the church with apologetics, 3) provide a model of a good marriage to people in the community, including co-workers, college students and neighbors, and 4) raise effective, influential children who will have an impact for God. Now if you are a Christian woman raised in a church that affirms the soul mate / fairy tale view of marriage with this “God has a wonderful plan for your life” stuff, then a specific, non-emotional plan from a man is the last thing you want to hear about.

Their solution is for people to work at compatibility:

Compatibility is something co-created through intentionality and conscious choice. It involves mutual sacrifice, effort and commitment for the sake of the other’s benefit. A recent study found that of the couples who demonstrate above average daily generosity, 50% of them report being “very happy” in marriage; among the low generosity scores, only 14% can say the same. As studies indicate, selflessness is required to create mutual compatibility. It is not instantaneous, nor does it usually begin with true love’s kiss.

We both know from experience that there are some you naturally connect with and others you do not. This is not a call towards forced attraction or companionship. But, our romantic futures should not be placed in the hands of blind chance. It is time we roll up our sleeves and shift our expectations from unattainable perfection to realistic romance, one that accounts for imperfection. We must understand that work in a relationship is a necessary key to success, rather than an indication of imminent failure. We will be letting go of a tired plot line that sets us up for disappointment and embracing an active role in our own unique story.

How refreshing to know that we do not have to be perfect to be lovable, and that our romantic success is not solely dependent on finding the “right” fit, but instead built through cultivating daily moments of generosity, sacrifice and conscious coupling.

So in my case, I am looking for a woman who listens to the plan, develops the skills for the plan and then independently engages in activities to achieve the goals of the plan. In the past, I have had women listen to the plan carefully, including my motivations and experiences that caused me to choose this plan. And they have been willing to read books, listen to lectures, watch debates, to gain the skills needed to make a difference. And they have even engaged independently with activities like public speaking, teaching classes, and so forth. But none of the women who had done that accepted the soul mate / fairy tale view of marriage. They all wanted to hear a good plan, learn useful skills and then get to work. Big difference.