Brad Ruggles

The Art Of Living

7 Keys To Raising A Good Christian Family

Today’s highly sarcastic post is my first collaborative effort. I had some ideas and turned to my amazingly witty and creative buddy Curtis Honeycutt to help me out. Keep in mind, he helped write this before he got those cool new glasses. Imagine how much more creative he is now! Rumor has it he went up 10 IQ points the day he got them.

Don’t Spare The Rod

We all know that the “rod of correction” will drive the devil out our kids. If the rod works and keeps the naughties away, why be stingy with it? Give em a good whack on the behind before they go to bed. Who knows what evil thoughts they were thinking during the day that you didn’t know about?

Oh Be Careful Little Eye What You See…

Start them young on a steady diet of Veggie Tales. As they get older you’ll be able to start weaning them off that into pre-teen Christian classics like Bible Man (what’s cooler than a superhero that prays?).  Just make sure they don’t start watching The Simpsons. Before you know it, they’ll be dancing, which leads directly to listening to hip-hop music.

Find Christian Versions of Popular Cultural Trends

Culture is bad. We’re in the world but not of it which means that we need to clean up all the things our kids watch, see or do before they’re destroyed by their corrupting forces. Here are some examples:

  • Guitar Hero = Guitar Praise
  • Dance, Dance Revolution = Dance Praise
  • Simon Says = Solomon Says
  • Halloween = Harvest Party
  • YouTube = GodTube
  • Altoids=TestaMints
  • GI Joe = Bible Action Figures (like Sampson & Moses)
  • Goldfish Crackers=Icthus Crackers (I’m pretty sure this one hasn’t happened yet and Goldfish crackers are a staple of children’s ministry…this gold mine is up for grabs)

There’s no end to the things in culture that can be made better by making it “Christian.” Even popular board games like Monopoly, Outburst and Scattegories have their Christian counterparts – Bibleopoly, Outburst Bible Edition and Scattergories Bible Edition.

Buy Them a Dog Named Goliath

Probably the best Christian claymation cartoon of all time was Davey and Goliath. Goliath could roller skate. Who doesn’t want a dog who not only talks, but also roller skates? It’s the best of both worlds, if you ask me.

Remind Them of the Danger of Jeans

Boys=Forbid Them to Wear Jeans to Church
Girls=Forbid Them to Wear Pants of Any Kind to Church

Everyone knows that Charles Darwin, not Levi Strauss during the California gold rush, was the inventor of jeans. Darwin thought that denim slacks was the natural evolution of pants. Since we boycott most of Darwin’s ideas, ipso facto, we boycott jeans at church. When it comes to girls wearing anything but modest skirts and dresses to God’s House, that’s also a big no-no. If boys find out that girls have legs, that might lead to dancing (see above for why that’s bad).

Make Sure They See You Reading the Bible.

The Bible’s pretty awesome. Pretty much everyone knows that. But that doesn’t mean your kids read it. You need your kids to see you reading the Bible so they’ll want to. Simple as that. My suggestion is that you hang out right outside their bedroom to do your daily Bible reading, and occasionally say things like “AHA!” or “THAT’S INCREDIBLE!” or even “YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!” Before you know it, they’ll be highlighting verses faster than you can say premillennial dispensationalism.

Don’t Pay Them an Allowance

…but make them do lots of chores. When they complain, remind them that they’re storing up treasures in heaven. That’s how my dad got me to mow the lawn for free growing up.

If you do all these things, your kids should turn out pretty normal…anything we left out?…

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The New Porn Addicts

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Crystal Renaud, a blogger friend of mine, is working on a new book that addresses the relatively un-talked about subject of women addicted to pornography. Her book site, TheNewPornAddicts.com launches today.

According to some surveys (which are always hard to verify on this subject) as many as 17% of women struggle with porn addiction. Here are some more statistics from Brigham Young University:

  • 13% of Women admit to accessing pornography at work.
  • 70% of women keep their cyber activities secret.
  • Women are far more likely than men to act out their behaviors in real life (such as having multiple partners, casual sex, or affairs)
  • Women favor chat rooms 2X more than men.
  • An estimated 9.4 million women access adult web sites each month.

So if this is such a big problem why aren’t more people talking about it? I’m sure this is due in part to the social stigma associated with women and pornography. For whatever reason, our culture has commonly accepted the behavior with men but label women who struggle with the same issue as freaks, sex-addicts or worse.

Thankfully there are more women like Crystal stepping up and talking honestly about their struggles. Here’s part of Crystal’s story from her site:

crystalAs a young girl (age 11 to about 17), I struggled deeply with a pornography and sexual addiction. One that I battled in silence and very much in shame.

My addiction started out as nothing more than the curiosity of a young girl when I found a porno magazine in my older brother’s bathroom. What started out as curiosity quickly escalated to something dark and out of my control. Sin had taken over and took me down a path of what seemed like no return.

I had no friends. No passions. I had one mission and purpose in my life: pornography and adhering to my addiction. Any way I could find it, I would. And it didn’t matter where I was or what I was doing. Home, school, my friend’s houses, summer camp and yes, even church: my addiction came too.

Porn. Masturbation. Cyber Sex. Webcam Sex. Phone Sex. Anything you could think up, I watched, experienced and enjoyed. Even to the point of questioning my own sexual orientation. No matter how many times I said I would stop – I would just keep doing it.

But why? Why did I enjoy something so much and hate myself so much for doing it all at the same time?

You can read the rest of her story at TheNewPornAddicts.com.

In the meantime Crystal is looking for some help in establishing how best to communicate the far-reaching damage of this growing problem for her book. Here’s how you can help. She currently has 3 surveys on her site for women only who either are currently addicted to porn, used to struggle with an addiction or knows someone who is.

If you’re a woman who fits into any of these 3 categories would you please consider taking a few minutes to click the link and take a brief survey?

The results of the survey will be compiled and used in Crystal’s upcoming book. I have a feeling that this is a much wider-reaching issue than many of us realize. Thanks in advance for helping spread the word about these surveys via Twitter, email and on your blog.…

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