A few rays of hope


The Natural Family Where It Belongs: New Agrarian Essays
by Allan C. Carlson

This is a good sampling of Dr. Carlson’s work. It includes brief biographies, sociological research on the family, and historical overviews. It (as is normal for Dr. Carlson) is short on application, but does give hope for the future of the family.

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She’s here!

Bless the Lord of Heaven and Earth! Amanda and I received the gift of another baby on July 31. She was born at 8:25. We praise the Lord for His goodness to our family.

 

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Living pro-life

Rachel Jankovic is quickly catching up to her dad (Doug Wilson) as a fantastic writer of practical theology.  She has several books out, one of which Amanda and I have read and learned much from (Loving the Little Years).  In this article at Desiring God, she exhorts mothers to daily choose life.

“Far from having done our part when we carry a baby to term, we can continue to choose life every day. Every day we choose the life of another over our own life. Every day we can lay down our desires, our selfish ambition, our self-importance, and choose life. And of course this is not unique to mothers — every Christian has the means of fighting for life by laying theirs down for those around them.

Right now, in our culture, in our time, there is something uniquely potent about mothers sacrificing for their children. As we lay down our lives for them, presenting ourselves to God as a living sacrifice, that sacrifice makes an aroma. That sacrifice directly contradicts and blasphemes everything the world is fighting for. As you care for your children, on the long days and tired moments, disciplining yourself, sacrificing yourself for them, you are reaching out to the world. When you present yourself as a living sacrifice, the aroma of that sacrifice cannot be contained.”

I can’t think of any better way to say it. She concludes:

“Motherhood is the big-leagues of self-sacrifice. Millions of women kill to avoid it. In our culture of self-gratification, to embrace selfless motherhood is a revolutionary act. To see the sacrifice and rejoice in it. To recognize that the cost is your own life, and to willingly lay yourself down. The world hates the smell of that sacrifice, because it is the smell of grace. They hate it because it is the smell of something living and burning at the same time — something that is impossible without a risen Savior.

There are times to stand on sidewalks and hold signs, but holding a sign isn’t what makes a mother pro-life. Being pro-life means putting the life of another ahead of your own. It means being daily grace to the small souls nearest to you. It is not just an opinion or a position or a lobbyist group. It is the glory of maternal self-sacrifice that begins at conception and runs through labor and midnight feedings and diapers and sandwiches and crayons and homework and flu seasons and graduations and on into grandkids. It is an avalanche of small and large sacrifices. It burns bright in kitchens and bedrooms and backyards. It is the real life of the pro-life movement, and it will change the world.”

She’s on to something.  Changing the world is not about everyone giving up all their money, or moving to the inner-city, although some are called to do those things.  Changing the world is cleaning up one dirty diaper at a time, washing one dish, making one pie, taking one fishing trip at a time, all as unto the Lord.

What are they waiting for?

There’s a nice article up at Slate about marriage.  Julia Shaw tells about her life marrying her husband at 23, which is young by today’s standards.  She says the same thing I’ve said for a long time:  there’s no reason for people to wait late into their twenties or even thirties for marriage.  The opportunities for falling into sin are too great to ignore the call to marriage.

Of course some can’t marry early for various reasons, like they’ve not found anyone who would marry them.  And this is not a call to lower your standards to less than what the Scripture calls for.  But it is important to not put off marriage for selfish reasons, and most of the reasons I hear from young people in the world today just happen to fall in the selfish category.

Family Economics

I’ve been meaning to add Kevin Swanson to the list of preachers you need to hear.  He applies all of God’s Word in his preaching and his radio show.  I was excited when I heard about the conference his group (Generations with Vision) held recently in Colorado.  The topic was “family economics” and it looked super.  It combines two areas which the public has long believed divorced from each other, despite the fact that the Greek work from which we derive the term economics (oikonomia)  meant the “management of a household”.  If you want to know how your family can bring economics under captivity to the Lordship of Christ, order the entire conference here.