Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Q & A - Answers, Part I

Karen R. said...

YES! ok...Thoughts on courting vs. dating and what you want for your children? -and- What age and how to tell the kids about the birds and the bees. (Anything biblical on this? I am already having cold sweats over this one!)

The whole "courtship" vs. "dating" debate is one of my pet peeves. In short, I believe that the purpose of dating is to find a spouse. Therefore, anyone too young to be thinking about marriage, or "disqualified" from marriage by a previous divorce, need not date.

I also believe that dating people should not be physically engaged other than normal, everyday gestures that they would be comfortable doing around anyone. My husband's advice is always: if you would not feel comfortable doing it with someone of the same gender, don't do it with the pposite gender. Physical intimacies are to be reserved for marriage only. Furthermore, I think young people would do well to only date either with other people present, or in a public place (i.e. meet at a restaurant for dinner, at a park, etc.)

As far as "courtship", to some people it means the same things as what I just called dating. Our job as parents is to function as a gatekeeper - we can control who is allowed within our boundaries, but obviously the child gets to pick whom they want to marry.

But as far as arranging marriages for our children - I am 100% against that. Any prudent child will seek the advice of their parents if they are godly Christians, but the decision and responsibility is theirs, not ours. Hopefully, if we as parents have done our job right, our children will know how to make important decisions on their own as adults. Parents should not control the lives of their adult children. I am also 100% against this new thing of "not falling in love until marriage". True, young people should guard their hearts, but they would do well to be in love with the person that they are wanting to get married to. To say otherwise is insanity, and will only lead to marital problems later on.

Birds and bees: I don't think we'll have some big, isolated "talk". Our kids ask questions here and there, and I answer them honestly and on their age-appropriate levels, using terms that I would feel comfortable about them repeating. It is not a shameful subject, only a delicate one, so I am not afraid of answering their questions appropriately.


Anonymous said... Favorite scripture verse and favorite "Bible story," please.

My favorite verse is John 12:24: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." That one verse, for me, really sums up what life as a Christian mother is all about: dying to self for our children. I have thought long and hard about my favorite Bible story, but I really don't have one. I like both the books of Ruth and Esther a lot, and of course Psalms and Proverbs which I try to read daily. I like reading about all the things that Jesus said and did, and his miracles. How about my favorite hymn instead? It is "Be Still My Soul".


Sarah said...

Brilliant I love Q&A posts! I would like to know how else you encourage your children in their faith. I would be particularly interested in any materials you use (I think I asked this in the 'One Year Bible' post) Thank you...looking forward to your post!

Hm, not really sure. I just try to be real with the kids. They know both of us parents have faults and are far from perfect, but they know God is real, and that we love Him and them and try our best. I just have faith that God will make up for our shortcomings and "fill the gaps". Our children love listening to sermons, holding their own preaching services, acting out Bible stories, making related crafts, and playing with their Bible felt set. They also earn prizes for memorizing Bible verses. For penmanship, Solomon is copying the book of Proverbs right now, and although he initially was not always excited about writing in cursive, he did enjoy getting the deeper understanding that copying the Bible gave him. He tells me stuff he learned from it all the time. I will have Isaac start copying a book of the Bible of his choosing next school year.


Anonymous said..

Do you have any brothers or sisters? What did you think of college life for the short period of time you attended? How do you choose your children's names? Do you go on biblical significance or simply the ones you like the sound of?

I have two older brothers that have the same parents as I do. One is one year older than me, the other two and a half years older. I love and miss both of them, as I go for years without seeing them (or any of my relatives, for that matter, since they all live in Europe). Sadly, my parents divorced, and both remarried, so I also have a (half) sister and brother on my mother's side, and a stepbrother and two (half) brothers and one sister on my dad's side. Confusing, huh? My family tree is like a tumbleweed... 

College was interesting. I took cultural anthropology as my major, and political science and journalism as my minors. I did some things I regret doing or would not condone any more today, so "fun" didn't always equal "right", but overall I was one of the "good" kids and just enjoyed being a young adult and living in one of Europe's most beautiful cities (Munich), traveling, and living a carefree life. Being a mom is so much harder, but so much more wonderful!

We pick our children's names based on what we like, and think sounds nice and fitting. We usually toss around a few ideas while I am pregnant, and don't "name" the child until we settle on a name after birth. A couple of times, once the child was born, we picked something entirely different from what we had been considering (John, Anna).


Deana said...

I have a question about polygamy, how would you tell someone it's wrong, from the Bible. I think it is wrong and disgusting, but just wouldn't know what Bible verses to refer to. If you could explain it please. 

Well, for starters, God gave Adam only one wife: 

Mat 19:4-5 (4) And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, (5) And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 

I think that the only reason why some condone polygamy is because the Bible talks about people who had multiple wives. However, it is important to distinguish between the clear teachings of the Bible, and the stories. Just because the Bible records people doing certain things, does not mean that they were right in doing so.

I should add that today's wife-swapping (i.e. divorce and remarriage) is no better than polygamy. It means having multiple wives one after the other, as opposed to concurrently, but it is still against God's plan of one man, one woman, until death separates them.


Liv said...

I'm wondering how much, if any, computer teaching you do with the children. Personally, I think it is highly unnecessary for children below high school age. Even then, I question the necessity. When you do introduce computing, what skills will you teach first? Typing, using a specific program, educational games....? 

I agree with you that young children should not spend much time on the computer, if any. That is one of the many reasons why we do not enroll our children in free public school online/distance learning classes, which are often wrongly considered home education. Kids, even in preschool, are required to spend hours a day in front of a computer screen.

So far, only our two oldest (who are 9 and 8) are allowed to use the computer, but it is rare. I don't even think that either one of them has even spent an hour total on the computer in the last month. Solomon learned how to type using a teaching software for kids. He likes writing stories on the computer, so I thought knowing how to type would help him. Isaac is just starting to learn typing. Other than that, I detest most "educational" games - they are just too loud and zany. We have "Rollercoaster Tycoon" and "Zoo Tycoon" for the kids to play on very rarely - they usually go months without playing at all, and then have a week of building on a certain project every day.

I will admit that the kids like to sneak off and play games on my phone, but that is a different story...


Mikayla said...

I believe in God being in control of my family size, but something I have always wondered about is your stance on birth control, when you use co-sleeping to prevent your cycle so you can't get pregnant for around a year. It seems like that is still taking steps to prevent children. People who don't use this method have more children. Co-sleeping makes it so you have children when its more convenient for you, not just God giving you them when he sees fit. To me it doesn't seem much different than natural family planning method. Co- sleeping is purposely doing stuff just right, so your cycle doesn't return. I'm not tring to be rude or disagree. I really just would like to hear what you have to say about it, and if you have any Bible refences to back it up. 

Well, I wouldn't say that I use co-sleeping to prevent my cycles. That's almost like saying that I use breastfeeding to prevent my cycles. Obviously, if I wanted to, I could just feed the babies formula and have a baby every 9 months instead of every 2 years (give or take), but God designed breastfeeding as a natural way to space pregnancies at healthy, safe intervals. Allowing God to be in charge of how many children we have does not mean that I need to crank out babies like an assembly line, as long as I stay within the means He designed for naturally spacing pregnancies.

Anna right now only nurses once or twice a night, and usually snuggles up against my husband the rest of the time and only sticks her feet into my rib cage. My delicate milk supply would probably if I did not have her in bed, not to mention all the sleep I would lose. Many mothers would benefit similarly from having their baby in bed with them, and I think feeding our children enough, and having energy to care for the rest of the family, should be high priorities for moms.

As far as a Bible reference: I do not believe it is a Biblical mandate to have children sleeping in their parents' bed. That is just what works best for us. The Bible story that comes to mind is when a man goes to borrow bread from his friend at midnight, and his friend answers: "Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee." (Luke 11:7) Since the "friend" represents God in the story, I think God must be okay with cosleeping if that is how he portrays himself in this parable. 

All that aside, sleeping with my babies is one of the greatest joys of motherhood. I look forward each day to getting to snuggle up with my husband and baby every night after a long day of work.

To be continued...


  1. That's so funny that people think co-sleeping can be used to prevent children! How exactly would that happen I wonder? I mean for me, it has made no difference at all! I have exclusively breastfed all my children and co-slept with them. I have gotten my cycle back within 6 weeks of birth and have gotten pregnant within 6 mos with a couple. So obviously neither are reliable forms of controlling family size! Only God does!

  2. Thanks for taking the time to answer! :)

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  4. Thanks Zsuzsanna for taking the time to do these Q & A's. I can imagine how much work they are.

  5. Great answers! Looking forward to reading the coming installments. :)

  6. Where in the Bible does it say God designed the co sleeping method as a way to space children? Breast feeding is not the same thing. Co sleeping is more than just the baby sleeping in bed with you. You did a long post on how to do it just right. Also you stated in another answer just because people in the Bible do something doesn't mean its ok to do. Then why do you use verses where David is stating he hates people as proof that the Bible says its ok to hate? David had many wives!

  7. Be Still My Soul is one of my favourites too. Good choice.

  8. What in the world is the hubbub regarding cosleeping about??!? Of all the things to attack me for to choose this... come on!

    The simple act of sleeping next to a baby does NOT prevent pregnancy. Is is exclusive BREASTFEEDING without the use of artificial junk like bottles and formula that most often holds off a woman's menses. If a woman does not breastfeed, it doesn't matter whether or not the baby sleeps next to her, her cycles will return shortly after pregnancy.

    Many women, such as myself, can only have an adequate milk supply if they sleep next to their baby, which will lead to more frequent nursing during the night, and better hormone balance in mom. Some of these commenters here sound like they could stand to find some hormonal equilibrium... just saying...

    If my baby were NOT in bed with me, I would not be able to get enough rest, or produce enough milk for her.

    Then there are others who NEVER sleep next to their baby, yet as long as they even breastfeed AT ALL (not exclusively), they will not have a period. I know someone like that.

    If God describes himself as a father who has SEVERAL of his children in his bed, I doubt it is a sin. Would someone please quote a Bible verse that says it is wrong to sleep with a babe in arms??!?

    Marital relations are not confined to just one spot in the house, in case you thought that is why having baby in bed prevents pregnancy.

    And where did the question of hating come into this discussion??!? I think it is not wrong to hate not because David did it, but because God hates, and tells us to hate.

    2Ch 19:2 And Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him, and said to king Jehoshaphat, Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the LORD? therefore is wrath upon thee from before the LORD.

  9. No one is "attacking" you, they simply wanted you to explain it better. You stated God designed the co sleeping method as a way to space children. I wasn't saying he didn't, but wanted to know a verse that said that. The verse you gave doesn't prove anything, it is not about co sleeping lol! I guess you should rewrite you post on co sleeping you did before, because you really make it sound a lot different than simply sleeping with a baby in your arms. Just because you don't used co sleeping doesn't mean you have a baby every 9 moenths. The only reason I brought up hating, is because you used verses where David was speaking before to try and prove your point, and I just didn't know why it wouldn't count now?

  10. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question (and everyone elses!) Zsuzsanna, I imagine it took up quite a bit of time!

    Hope you are having a great week!

  11. I would hardly call two comments "all the hubbub" lol!!

  12. Would love to see a post on the May 21st rapture prediction that is going on and your thoughts on it - scripturally based, of course.

  13. I prefer the word "courting" and not "dating". A young girl told me recently that her grandmother would be mad if she didn't raise her children Catholic. I asked her why she was "dating" a non-Catholic. All the girls I've met who are "dating" are on the birth-control pill and they call their ex-boyfriend their "ex"( they believe there is nothing wrong with divorce and remarriage). When I hear someone is "courting"(in a courtship) it means they are not on the "pill" and there is an intent of marriage-not living together beFORe marriage(FORnication-I Cor.6 KJ). I don't see the two words as synonyms.

  14. Great post. It must be hard to answer all these questions with being as busy as you have been.

    Anon? She NEVER said God designed cosleeping as a way to space children. She said breastfeeding was.

  15. I'm totally late to comment on this, but want to agree with what you said about the breastfeeding/co-sleeping. I don't co-sleep (though I probably should - maybe for the next one...), but as long as I breastfeed at all - even once a day - I don't get my period. It's awesome!!! In fact, I have to stop breastfeeding and wait a few months before my cycle regulates and I can even get pregnant with the next one, which, thank God, has always happened quickly. It's quite convenient for family spacing :-)(Well, to be fair, I stop breastfeeding at around 12/13 months, so I assume if I continued beyond that, I would eventually get my period anyway.)

  16. Nekem van egy kérdésem, csak kíváncsiságból Tudsz még magyarul? Említetted a blogodon, hogy beszélsz németül is. A gyermekeid tanulnak magyarul vagy németül vagy csak angolul beszélsz velük? A párommal elhatároztunk, hogy ő beszél angolul majd velük és én magyarul, hogy kétnyelvűek legyenek.

    I have a question, just a curiosity. Do you still speak Hungarian? You mentioned on your blog that you also speak German. Are your children learning Hungarian or German or do you only speak to them in English? My partner and I have decided that she will speak English to our children and I'll speak Hungarian so that they will be bilingual.


  17. Sanjos csak egy kicsit beszélek magyarul, de megértem, amit írtál. Sokkal jobban beszélek németül. A gyerekek tanulnak németül és angolul. Ha jobban tudnam magyarul, én azt is tanítja őket. Köszönöm a kérdést, és elnézést kérem én hibák.

    Unfortunately, I only speak a little bit of Hungarian, but I did understand what you wrote. My German is much better. Our children are learning German and English. If I knew Hungarian better, I would teach them that, too. Thank you for your question, and please excuse my mistakes.


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