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How Not To Raise a Daughter in Purity Culture (According to Sarah's Parents)

How Not To Raise a Daughter in Purity Culture (According to Sarah’s Parents)

One night in high school, my very Baptist boyfriend and I had plans to attend Black Light Night with the Baptist youth group at the local bowling alley. If you are unfamiliar with this ritual of youth, it involved a dark bowling alley, the neon glow of black lights, and loads of N’Sync. We decided […]

It’s Not Up to You

It’s Not Up to You

You have to believe me when I say that it’s not my intent to carry on eviscerating children’s television. I’m only in my late-twenties but I fear my online persona at times comes across too curmudgeonly. Nevertheless, the vocals from my 2-year-old’s favorite Disney Junior show recently assaulted my eardrums…and my theology. I’m no stranger […]

You Can't Come to My Wedding Unless You're Just Like Me

You Can’t Come to My Wedding Unless You’re Just Like Me

I’ve been married for fifteen years and I don’t have any younger sisters, and so it’s been a while since I’ve been exposed to the bridal industrial complex except in a very peripheral way. But I do follow several advice columnists on social media for the high entertainment value of Other People’s Problems, and I […]

The Quiet Misery of Children's Birthday Parties

The Quiet Misery of Children’s Birthday Parties

You get past the person at the front door. There’s throbbing music. You walk into a sea of black lights and unfamiliar faces. While this may feel like a bad choice you made in your 20s, this is not in fact a dance club in the meatpacking district. This is a children’s birthday party. It […]

Accommodating Parents and Their Anxious Kids (or, What I Really Want For Dinner Is Not To Make a Decision)

Accommodating Parents and Their Anxious Kids (or, What I Really Want For Dinner Is Not To Make a Decision)

This is what’s for breakfast, that’s what you’re wearing, and here’s how we’re getting to school. Nothing about the next hour is up for grabs, boys. Get to it! …I wish that’s how the morning routine in our house went. Alas, like a lot of modern parents, my reflex is to give my kids options […]

A Place Called Family

A Place Called Family

This morning’s post was written by Andreas Thiel. The session began as it usually does: a group of residents in a long-term care facility had gathered in the chapel, for the weekly one-hour session, “Coffee with the Chaplain.” The room was comfortably full (which doesn’t take much, given the numbers of walkers and wheelchairs in […]

Raised by Narcissists and the Law of Reconciliation

Raised by Narcissists and the Law of Reconciliation

“God is telling me to tell you to forgive your parents.” AS EMBARRASSING as it is to admit, those words came from my mouth at age 20. The girl I was dating at the time was desperate to move out of her house, away from her physically and emotionally abusive parents. We were in a […]

All Are One in Thee for All Are Thine

All Are One in Thee for All Are Thine

For reasons that were not clear to me at the time, and are still a little fuzzy, my family of origin hosted a stream of long-term houseguests when I was a child. If someone needed a guest room because of a poor choice in his marriage, or because she didn’t have a job that could […]

Vulnerable: Rethinking Human Trafficking

Vulnerable: Rethinking Human Trafficking

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Tolstoy’s opening lines from Anna Karenina could easily be co-opted as the introduction to countless biblical stories. We barely get our feet wet in Genesis before the pool of family history becomes toxic. Adam blames both God and Eve for the […]

God Loves Dark Comedies

God Loves Dark Comedies

I’ve recently decided that God has a unique affinity for dark comedies. His sense of humor seems sadistic at times. Perhaps you find that an unscrupulous statement bred in the waters of sacrilege. But I assure you, God is smiling in the storm. At least, that’s how I’ve looked up and seen him lately. You […]

A God of Seeing

A God of Seeing

This sweet reflection comes to us from Becky Carlozzi. So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, ‘You are a God of seeing,’ for she said, ‘Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.’ (Genesis 16:13) As I spoke the words to him, I didn’t believe them to be true […]

Giving Thanks at Holidays, with Family and Death

Giving Thanks at Holidays, with Family and Death

“You brought us out of nothing into being, and when we had fallen away, You raised us up again.” My dad’s family gathered in his parents’ kitchen, all 27 of us, for the Thanksgiving thanksgiving. Before my dad’s dad prayed, as he always does at these meals, my grandma spoke up. Papa would be having […]