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All items for December, 2013

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Parents, Stop Loving Your Children

By Jesse Jost

I’m gonna admit right up front that my title was a shameless attempt to get your attention so you would read my thoughts.

I was raised with certain treasured beliefs that have shaped me and the environment that I grew up in: The father needs to take leadership in the home and protect his lambs from destructive influences. One of the most fulfilling (but not the only) roles a woman can play is to be a mother and mold and inspire the next generation of leaders. Children are a blessing and God in his sovereign wisdom can be trusted to know the best number of children for you. Homeschooling is an amazing and effective way to tailor your child’s education to his unique strengths and interests so he can reach his full potential. The family is a unit built by God with each individual specially gifted in ways that complement the whole and empowers greater ministry. Modesty and sexual purity are keys to a great sex life.

I believe each of these ideas is firmly supported in scripture. My parents implemented these convictions in ways that led to a rich, fulfilling childhood and left me feeling inspired to take on the world and its challenges and embark on a journey to obey God’s calling on my life. I am the oldest of eleven children and the product of a home and lifestyle that is coming under attack. Families who hold these ideas are being derisively labeled “patriarchal, quiver-full, daughters-stay at-home-till-marriage, fundamentalist cultists.” Continue reading…

  • Barbara

    Dear Jesse,

    I thank God for your ability to express so clearly what many of us feel. You have hit the proverbial nail on the head. I do agree with Teresa’s comment on spiritual abuse as I have seen the damage that has come in the name of Jesus 🙁

    With much respect for you and your ministry. Continue to walk with boldness in God’s grace.

  • Christina

    Just came across this and want to say thanks for your great thoughts on this matter. I’ve been disturbed by the recent trend in former homeschoolers – some I knew personally – to bash their parents and everything they were raised on. I was raised in a homeschooling, conservative Christian home and though I never rebelled, I had some problems with the way my parents raised us. But the moment I became a parent it hit me that someday my own child whom I love with all my heart will disagree with something we choose to do in raising him. And I realized just how grateful I was to my parents for all they’ve done for me!

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The Ten Things My Parents Did For Me that I Appreciate Most

 

big josties

By Jesse Jost

As a parent, I am terrified to look around and see how many young people are walking away from their faith and the convictions they were raised with. They willfully plunge into the life of pain and heartache that their parents tried so hard to spare them from. Some families are losing more kids than others. I wonder, is this just because some parents are given children who are the “elect” and others aren’t? I’ve heard parents are not the ones to blame when their children walk away. I have no desire to heap blame upon parents who are already devastated by the choices their children have made, but while I am in the throes of raising my own kids, I desperately want to believe that there are things I can do that will make a difference in my children. I know kids are not programmable robots; they are free to choose as they will. I know there are no foolproof methods that can guarantee that my children will stay faithful in their walk with God. But at the same time, I do believe that parents somehow impact their kids’ future choices. I think it would be irresponsible to just chew my fingernails nervously on the sidelines, hoping they make the right choice.

So often, though, solutions to one problem have hidden consequences. You want to shelter your kids from the negative influence of media (clearly a good idea!) but you may find that this results in your kids being prideful and critical, two attitudes that greatly hinder our walk with God. On the flip side, parents who don’t want to raise Pharisees and so let their kids participate in whatever the crowd is doing may find that the counterfeit pleasures of a godless life have left their kids with no desire for the things of God. Sigh. What can be done? Continue reading…

  • dana

    This was an excellent read. Thank you.

  • Patience

    Great insight! Thanks.

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My Life as a Sweetie Pie

By Jesse Jost

This morning when I woke up I made the highly inadvisable decision to be a sweetie pie husband. I romantically envisioned a morning where I make my wife breakfast in bed and tell her not to  get up until I have cleaned the house. Unfortunately she has left the bedroom by the time I get out of the bathroom. She is already making oatmeal for the kids and planning our menu for the week. A diet inspired by the “Trim Healthy Mama” craze. I am cool with the diet principles but have a hard time telling the guys at work that I am on a “trim healthy mama” diet. So I am rechristening  this diet “Trim Healthy Beast.” Regardless of the name, my wife and I are stuck with “s-meal” foods for breakfast. And before you censors get your knickers in a knot, “s” stands for satisfying and means no digestible carbs allowed. I know, go figure! My breakfast is easy – scrambled eggs and flax bread. My wife, due to her egg allergy can have neither. So while I am commanding her to go back to bed, she is delaying by adding cinnamon and honey into the kids’ oatmeal and making some kind of coconut oil protein smoothie. I command her again to go to bed. Again delay. After 7.5 years of marriage, she is still getting used to this patriarchal home thing. She obeys and takes her food into the bedroom. She reappears again and, despite my protests, comes back for her meal planning calendar. I urge her to rest. She says this will make the rest of the week more restful. She finally submits and retires into the cozy warmth.

Now onto my tasks of breakfast and cleaning. I prepare my eggs and toast and help the kids with their oatmeal. John-Michael (6)loves this breakfast and has three bowls. Sophia (4) is in her never-ending creative phase and is too busy cutting paper into tiny triangles to be interested breakfast. Continue reading…

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The Most Important Thing You Can Teach Your Children

 

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-mountain-top-image26061842By Jesse Jost

As the father of three children so far, I have spent a lot of time pondering the impact I want to have on my kids. We are choosing to homeschool our children to maximize our control of the factors that we believe will lead them to the most fulfilling life. It is our sobering responsibility to train them and mold them. As a parent I never want to play god in my children’s life. It is not my job to make sure they conform to my dreams and goals for their life. At the same time, I believe that God has put these children in our care for a reason. And we have a duty to our Creator to instill in our kids the ideas and goals that He wants us to. I will stand before God some day and give an account of what I taught my kids. I don’t know about you, but I want to get this right! Continue reading…

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Are you “Damaged Goods?”

By Jesse Jost

I just read a blog post this morning where a Christian woman was decrying elements of the purity movement that make those who had a sexual past feel like they were damaged goods and worthless. She mentioned the shame she felt when a speaker demonstrated the pollution that promiscuity brings by having a row of boys spit in a cup and then asking a girl at the end if she wanted to drink the vile mixture. The preacher concluded that those who sleep around are like that cup of spit, and who would ever want to drink from that? The blogger went on to bemoan all the “baggage from this whole purity movement (that is)heading out into the world.” Her rant raises some pressing questions. Are women and men who engage in extramarital sex whole and undamaged? Is the only reason they feel damaged because our warnings create needless guilt?

I feel very strongly about the “purity movement.” I have spoken to many groups and camps about purity and spilled much ink on the subject. I take her concerns and accusations seriously. My passion for the subject of purity comes not from wanting to heap guilt on people, or simply shame them for choosing a different path than Heidi and I did. Our desire is for people to find wholeness and the deep pleasure that comes from holy, sanctified sex. Here are some thoughts I had in response to this young woman’s concerns. Continue reading…

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How movies influence us (and how to take advantage of it)

movie article

By Jesse Jost

Movies are a wonderful gift. They can cause you to laugh together, releasing stress and family tension. They can arouse a new awareness of the grandeur and beauty of God. Movies can have a tremendous effect on us, and because of this, there is a lot of fear and concern about the impact movies have on our lives, both morally and spiritually. Even though movies have been with us for over 100 years, there still seems to be a lot of confusion about how exactly they influence us. Many people are quick to assume that movies impact us negatively and they see little potential for positive impact. It seems to me that if movies really do have the power to change us, then isn’t it possible for them to change us for the better as well? I certainly am not going to be able to answer all the questions about the impact movies have on our lives, but I would like to give you some things to think about that will hopefully help guide your movie making decisions. Continue reading…

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