Page 1




songs we love GAME TIME


friendship in marriage MARRIAGE


Love soup page 17

10 storytelling LOVE IN ACTION


28 marriage









Game Time

Love and Respect


Give It Away

Songs We Love


HomeFront On the Go




Editor’s Note


Family Time Recipe


How to Use Family Time and the Family Verse


Kids in the Kitchen


Capturing the Season


Conversation Starters



20 Global France








Taking Action


God’s Word

Fall Love

God With Us, Everywhere

The Power of Naming Love in Action


Love Apples

Love Holidays

Through God's Eyes


Overflowing Love Love Soup

The Everyday Parent Blog


Tot Time Rhyme


Tough Topics


The Middle

Along the Road

Grace vs. Justice

The Greatest Commandment


Perfect Love The Story of International Princess™ Project

Do You Love Me?





Spiritual Parenting


Spiritual Grandparenting


10 Environments

Friendship in Marriage Inbox

Grandma Day


We believe that the Holy Spirit is God’s chosen teacher. It is He who causes spiritual growth and formation when and as He chooses. As such, we have articulated 10 distinct environments to create in your home. We desire to create spiritual space, which we refer to as an environment, in which God’s Spirit can move freely.

Without love, our faith becomes futile. The environment of LOVE AND RESPECT recognizes children need both love and respect in order to be free to both receive and give God’s grace. Key to this environment is the value that children are respected because they embody the image of God. We must speak to them, not at them, and we must commit to an environment where love and acceptance are never withheld due to one’s behavior.

Michelle Anthony

First Corinthians 13 says if we don’t have love, everything else we do is futile. It’s worthless. So, without love, it doesn’t matter if we have all the knowledge in the world. It doesn’t matter if we’re helping kids understand who God is and we’re modeling what that looks like. If we don’t do all of it in a loving way, then it’s simply worthless! Wow! That’s a sobering thought. When we create an environment of LOVE AND RESPECT, we’re helping identify the image of God in every person.

Family Ministry Architect David C Cook

Follow Michelle: @TruInspiration

This month, be looking for ways to take the environment of LOVE AND RESPECT beyond your family time with HomeFront. Challenge your family to find opportunities to show love and respect in your everyday interactions!

HOMEFRONT ON THE GO On New Year’s Eve of 2012 I found myself in Paris with my two kids, Carissa (age 20) and Luke (age 7). For a single mother, that’s not too shabby. Carissa had been studying abroad in Copenhagen for a college semester. When we arrived to visit her in Denmark, we learned that traveling to Paris would actually be cheaper than staying in a local hotel for a week. Carissa had been to Paris on a mission trip the year before, so we weren't completely lost in the city. However, on a very tight budget, we had to stay in a hostel (that just happened to have a view of the Eiffel Tower!) and live on fresh fruit, cheese, and baguettes from the local markets. Having picnics in Paris and having quality time together could not have been lovelier. I am the newsletter editor for the company I work for, so I always travel with a current edition in order to take a photo with the newsletter at fun destinations. This trip, Luke insisted on bringing “his newsletter” too: HomeFront Magazine.

HomeFront has become a favorite for our family. We all can find something meaningful and relevant in the pages each month. Through HomeFront, God continues to provide ways for our family to be supported, and many of the articles have spurred conversation with other parents, which have led us all to deeper connections in our church community. It’s fantastic knowing we’re not alone in our commitment to be intentional about spending time together and creating space for God to work uniquely in our unconventional family setting. I can’t tell you how many nights I cried out to God for His loving affirmation that our quirky little family was still in His care. Not that getting to be at the top of the Eiffel Tower is the only guarantee of His extravagant love, but I will tell you there was no denying that this incredible blessing was giving us a glimpse of where He could take us. by Sarah Reeve

If you have a story of HOMEFRONT ON THE GO, please email it, along with photos, to:

Design, Layout, and Photography by Brad Claypool (



EDITOR’S NOTE So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 As parents, it’s often difficult to view our children as made in the image of God. Oh, it may be easy when they’re sweet newborns, but somewhere along the way seeing them as image-bearers of our incredible heavenly Father seems next to impossible. However, this is exactly what God calls us to do. His desire is for us to see our children through His eyes and show them love and respect simply because He created them. This issue of HomeFront provides fresh new ideas on ways to create the environment of LOVE AND RESPECT in your home.

Debbie Guinn

Senior Managing Editor David C Cook

Loving HomeFront? This Spiritual Parenting resource can be sent directly to your inbox for FREE every month! Subscribe today at:

Let’s be social! HFfamily





I’m especially excited about this month’s HomeFront. October marks the one-year anniversary of HomeFront being accessible as an online digital magazine. We’re introducing several new wonderful contributors and articles. We’ve added a new section called TAKING ACTION (page 22). We hope that as we highlight people who “took action” and found a creative way to show God’s love to others, your family will be challenged and inspired to do the same. Eating a meal together as a family has always been a value for FAMILY TIME. This month, along with inviting you to make the delicious Love Soup (page 17), we’re encouraging you to show love to others by giving a batch away. THE MIDDLE (page 27) tackles the topic of loving yourself—something that’s difficult for most middle schoolers as they try to find their identity. Our TOT TIME RHYME (page 26) will soon have your entire family singing along—preschooler or not! My prayer is that as you become more familiar with the environments highlighted each month in HomeFront, you and your children begin to live life differently. I am confident that after engaging in the activities in this month’s LOVE AND RESPECT issue, you’ll be filled with God’s love and begin to find ways to share that love with others around you!




sy as a e s a It's



Memorizing Scripture can be an incredible practice to engage in as a family. But words in and of themselves will not necessarily transform us; it is God’s Spirit in these words who transforms. We come to know God more when we’re willing to open our hearts and listen to His Holy Spirit through the words we memorize. Have fun with this verse, and think of creative ways to invite your family to open up to God as they commit the verse to memory.


Start by deciding on a day and time that works well for your entire family. It can be an evening, afternoon, or morning. Just commit to building this time into your family’s natural rhythm. It’s usually best to build this time around a meal.

Dear children,



with SPEECH words or

Look through HomeFront and see what stands out. Choose two or three experiences you would like to incorporate into your family times each week. Don’t feel burdened to complete all the activities at once, but carefully select which ones will fit your family best. This resource provides your family with more than enough experiences to create transforming environments in your home throughout the month.

but with

actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18


Family Time ideas!

Remember to HAVE FUN! Strive to make each gathering unique to your own family as you enjoy spending time with God and each other. 5


family time

c a p t u r i n g t h e s e as o n

Romans 8:38–39: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

You feel it with that first crisp breeze: Fall is in the air. As the leaves on the trees change colors, it’s a great time to remind our families that God’s love never changes. Nothing can separate us from His love!



family time

c a p t u r i n g t h e s e as o n

Autumn Candleholders Supplies: cylinder vases c olorful dried beans or grain (barley, black beans, unpopped popcorn, red and green lentils, etc.) twine autumn-colored silk leaves candles

DIRECTIONS: Pour a small amount of beans or grain into the vase. Place the candle on top and twist it into the grain. Then have one person hold up the candle while you add more grain— either the same kind or different kinds to create colorful layers. You may also choose to wrap the candle with twine and/or attach a silk autumncolored leaf to it. As your children fill the candleholders, remind them that God fills us with His love so we can give it away to others. Ask them to tell you how they know God loves them. Then discuss different ways you can share God’s love. Once you light the candle, share with your children that God desires for us to be a light to the world, and we can do that by showing love and respect to others.



family time

p r ay e r

God With Us, Everywhere “Sing me another song, Mama,” he says to me, tucked under his covers, snuggling with his blanket, big brown eyes peering at me.

“Danny, do you know God is not only in heaven? He’s everywhere. He’s with us wherever we go!” I explain. “God never ever leaves our side. You always have Him with you, so you’re never alone!”

He’s five years old, and our bedtime ritual takes over an hour. He suffers from an anxiety disorder. Abandoned at birth in Ethiopia, he panics anytime he’s alone, worries about his next meal, and follows us around the house fearing we might one day leave his side.

This month, pray this prayer over your children:

“What song do you want me to sing?” I ask. He replies, “Can you sing the ‘Oh, Be Careful Little Eyes’” song?”

How does it feel to know God is with us everywhere we go? Does it make you feel safer? More loved? Is it hard to imagine? Where are some places God has gone with our family?

Oh, be careful little eyes what you see

Consider trying some of these fun and simple ways to remind your children that God goes with them wherever they go:

Oh, be careful little eyes what you see

“Is He right here in this bed with me?” “Yes, He’s right beside you in your bed. And when you get up in the morning, He goes with you downstairs. And when we drive in the car, He’s in the car with us. When we go to the grocery store, He’s there too!” His face lights up, and he smiles a huge grin. “That means God has been to Disneyland!” “Yes, yes it does.” I say, smiling. Something about the Lord of All riding Dumbo at the “happiest place on earth” makes me chuckle.

God, let my children know they are fearfully and wonderfully made. Remind them You are with them wherever they go—that You will not abandon them or turn Your face from them. Let them know Your deep love for them, all the time, everywhere.

After praying, ask your children:

There’s a Father up above, and He’s looking down in love

Give your child a bracelet, ring, or small toy she can wear or carry as a symbol of God’s presence. She can hold it or play with it whenever she needs to be reminded that God is with her everywhere.

Oh, be careful little eyes what you see

Buckle an empty seatbelt in the car for God “going with us.”

“Buddy, where is God? Do you know?” I ask. He responds, “God’s in heaven. He watches me.” But something doesn’t sit right with me. While it’s true God is in heaven, I want my precious, insecure son to know God is right beside him too. God isn’t some far-off Father, removed, simply watching from above. He’s with us every day— Immanuel, God with us, wherever we go.

Set a place setting at the dinner table to help illustrate that God is always with us, even at this table! Infuse the following into your nighttime prayers: “God, thank You for being with us right now, right here, in this room. We praise You that you never leave our side. Help us to remember You are with us wherever we go.” Remind your children that praying is simply talking with God, and because God is always with them, they can pray (talk to Him) all day long! by Karen E. Yates



family time


NAMING Activity Supplies: • butcher paper (cut to the size of the square or circular table at which your family can all sit) • markers


the power of naming “When we reveal to people our belief in them, their hidden beauty rises to the surface where it may be more clearly seen be all.” Jean Vanier There are many names beyond my name (Megan) that I’ve heard and held onto. I was “crazy,” so I tried to tone myself down, to be named “normal.” But when a member of my family named me “passionate,” I went from a nuisance to a Godgiven gift. What have you been named? Silly, smart, beautiful, crazy, creative, outgoing, introverted? Names have more power over us than we realize. How have they shaped you? What names have you given yourself?

A few years back my family began a tradition of naming one another. I still can recall a powerful moment when my sister and I collectively named my dad “heroic” as we remembered and celebrated his countercultural and Christ-centered selfless approach to raising us. Naming has become a powerful tradition in our family, a new way of loving and respecting one another by speaking truth and breaking open potential in others.

The key to naming someone is finding a name that’s both true and strong. My brother-in-law is introverted. While there’s truth to that name, it’s not the strongest. He’s far more complex than “introvert,” but he took up the name and even started using it himself to get out of certain social events. A name can either box us in to what we have been or break open our potential by recognizing how God has moved in us and how He may desire to move through us because of how He made us. A name can break down a wall or build it up, show us who we’re meant to be or blind us to it. God knew this—He renamed Abram (“exalted father”) to Abraham (“father of many nations”), pointing to his offspring Israel. He renamed Simon (“he has heard”) to Petros (“the rock”), giving Peter a picture of what God would change him into—solid, reliable, faithful. After the resurrection, Peter was indeed that “rock.” In Isaiah 62:2, 4 (ESV), God gives His people new names: The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give … You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you. 9

1. Write your name on the paper in front of you. Then spend a minute or two writing down names that have described you. (Parents, you may need to help your younger children or encourage them to draw a picture rather than write a name.) 2. Once each person writes her name and some names she’s come to believe apply to her, rotate the paper counterclockwise so the name of the person to your left is in front of you. Take three minutes to think of a word or picture to name that person, the truest and strongest you can think of, and write or draw it. 3. After three minutes, rotate the paper again. 4. Repeat step four until you find your own name in front of you. 5. One at a time, have everyone share why they wrote down the names they did. Consider making this a tradition in your family by choosing a time or special event (birthday, holiday, Sunday dinner, etc.) to show love and respect by encouraging each other with the gift of a new name. By Megan Fate Marshman

A tradition is the handing down of statements, beliefs, or customs from generation to generation.


family time

sto ry t e l l i n g

Parents, take time this month to read this story to your children.

love IN action Let me tell you a story—a true story about love. There once was a Papa who had two children and three grandchildren whom he loved very much. One night he was talking with his daughter about love. Love is an action, Papa told her. Love isn’t a word you say, or four letters you write; it’s something you do. If you love someone, you show them. You show them by speaking kind words, even if they’re being mean. You show them by respecting their opinions and asking questions about what they think. You show


them by hugging them when they’re sad and sitting with them when they need a friend. Genuinely loving and respecting someone is an action. The daughter thought about her father’s words and then remembered what her heavenly Father says in 1 Corinthians 13:1: “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” She realized she could do these actions on her own, but she needed the Holy Spirit to transform her heart so she could do them out of love.


family time

sto ry t e l l i n g

There is a reason God talks about love so much in the Bible. He is love. He created love. I’m sure God knows we need a lot of reminders about love because we’re not perfect. We all mess up and need forgiveness and unconditional love— regardless of the choices we make. How amazing that we have a God who loves us the same whether we make obedient or disobedient choices! Our significance doesn’t come because of our behavior. God loves us simply because He is our heavenly Father. And because of His love, we have the opportunity to show love and respect to others.

Five days after Papa and his daughter spoke, he got very sick and went to heaven. His family was very sad, but they found joy in knowing he would spend forever with Jesus. Today, when they tell Papa’s story, as I’m telling it to you, his family shares his legacy: “Love is an action.” The daughter passes it on to her sons. The sons pass it on to their family members and tell their friends. They explain to everyone that with God’s help, you can show love, even to those who are especially hard to love. What an amazing gift Papa left behind! His final words were focused on God’s greatest commandment: to love God and love others. How do you love? Does your life show that love is an action? Are you Jesus’ hands and feet to your family? Classmates? Strangers? Do you help and listen and speak love to them? Many times we know so much about love but don’t understand what it looks like to live it out. My child, may today be the day you begin living Papa’s legacy: “Love is an action.” With God’s help, it’s the most beautiful gift you can give. Just like Papa gave it to his children and grandchildren. by Bekah Pogue

In loving memory of Dean Harris June 25, 1950—April 2, 2013



family time

g o d ’ s wo r d

DO YOU LOVE ME? Most of my favorite memories have happened around a meal of some sort. Whether they were family gatherings at Thanksgiving, celebrating with friends at wedding receptions, quiet date nights overlooking the ocean with my wife, even hunting out the best ice cream parlors with my children on family vacation, great memories and food go hand in hand. In addition, as a pastor, some of my favorite times with our congregation have been our church potlucks. Though food was a common denominator in many of my best memories, the real common denominator was relationship. While visiting a bedouin tent a few years ago, a kindly old sheik told us that to people of the Middle East, eating a meal together symbolizes of the peace that exists between those participating. It’s a sign that they have relationship. Otherwise there would be no meal. Relationship is what Jesus offers in Revelation 3:20: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” Jesus offers to come in and eat—offering peace and a restored relationship to those who open the door. A meal led to healing for one of Jesus’ disciples. In John 18:15–27 we see Peter deny Jesus on the night of his arrest—not once, not twice, but three times! Later, from the way Jesus took Peter aside to speak to him privately, it seems Jesus saw Peter’s anguish and came to meet him in his pain. While the disciples were fishing on the sea, Jesus quietly appeared on the beach. He prepared breakfast on a fire and then called the disciples to eat, to fellowship together around a morning fire like they had done so many times the last three years. They had a great meal together. The fish breakfast was normal, but the fellowship was great. Not everyone was enjoying the celebration however, and Jesus knew why so He turned His attention to Peter and his pain.



family time

g o d ’ s wo r d

HEAR IT … Gather your family for dinner or maybe even a Saturday afternoon picnic and read John 21:1–17. After reading, reflect on and discuss the following questions:

• Jesus could have scolded Peter for denying Him, but He didn’t. Why do you think He didn’t?

• Why do you think Jesus repeated the question “Do you love me?” three times?

• What would you feel like if someone asked you the

same question three times in a row after you’d already answered—especially if the questions reminded you of a mistake you’d made?

• What does it say about Jesus’ love for Peter that He

took the time to take Peter aside to address his pain?

Jesus Reinstates Peter


When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter,

Not only did Jesus forgive Peter and welcome him back in relationship, but Jesus also let Peter know that He trusted him by charging Peter with a ministry assignment of feeding His sheep (His people).

“Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

It’s not easy to confront someone who’s hurt you. However, unsettled anger or bitterness in our lives can be destructive. The most loving and respectful thing we can do for someone who’s hurt us is to talk to him and let him know we’ve forgiven him.

Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”


The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you

• Have you ever made a mistake you didn’t want to

love me?”

talk about? Do you need to clear anything up with someone?

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you

• Have you ever been so mad at someone you didn’t

know that I love you.”

want to talk to him? What would be the most loving and respectful way to handle the situation?

Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

• Sometimes, even though the person we hurt isn’t mad

John 21:15-17

at us, we still feel guilty. Is there anything you’ve done that might be keeping you from full fellowship with Jesus?

• How do you think Jesus would speak to you if you could see Him now?

by Ric Olsen



family time

c r e at e

GIVE IT AWAY What you'll need: • water • 2 large buckets or tubs (galvanized or plastic) • 1 small bucket • drill • disposable cups • index cards • scissors • permanent marker • tape

Prepare: 1. Fill one of the large buckets or tubs with water. Set a stack of plastic cups nearby.

2. Drill several holes in the bottom of the small bucket and place it inside the other large bucket. (Leave those buckets empty.)

3. Choose a few categories of people your family often interacts with, such as “family,” “friends,” “classmates,” “faith community,” etc. Write each category on an index card, and tape the cards around the inside edge of the second large bucket. (You may want to cut the cards in smaller pieces so they all fit.) Because we recognize that we can’t give away what we don't have, we know we must depend on God's overflowing love to fill us up.

What you'll do: 1. Have each family member take a plastic cup and fill it from the large bucket. (Keep this bucket full of water as it represents God's never-ending, overflowing love.)

2. Take turns pouring your cups of water into the small bucket sitting within the larger bucket. (The small bucket represents you.)

3. As you pour, watch how the water is dispersed out to family, friends, and others God has placed in your life.

Create is a time to engage your family in a collaborative response to hearing God’s Word.

Only when we accept God’s overflowing love can we show love and respect to others. by Emily Ganzfried



family time

game time


Parents, divide your family into two teams with one adult on each team. Feel free to get creative with how you split up. Smaller families of two or three may want to play together as one team. Now warm up those vocal cords— this game is full of singing!

Time to play! Team one will have one minute to name a song that contains the words love or respect. The song can contain one or both words. Once the team names a song, its members will try to sing the song together. After the first team finishes its song, or once time runs out, team two gets a turn. Go back and forth as long as you’d like, naming and singing songs.

Let’s add a twist! For the younger children, or once your family masters the basic version of this game, add an additional round. Go back through the list of songs your team came up with and have the older members sing the song while the smaller kids act out the words. Get creative, and have fun!

Helpful Hints! You may want to keep a smartphone or computer nearby to help look up songs if needed. Depending on the ages of your children, this could be available for the entire game, or you could limit it to two “helps” per round. by Heather Kasparian



family time

wo r s h i p

overflowing love Without love, our faith becomes futile. As an act of worship this month, spend some time focusing on the love that God pours into us, and how as a response to that love we can pour that love out onto those around us. Begin this worship activity by calling your family together. Find somewhere comfortable to sit—this might be around the table, on your sofa, or even on the floor. Each family member will take turns verbally sharing one or more things they love about another family member. Explain to your children that in doing this, they’re both receiving and giving love.

We often think of worship as singing, but we can worship God in many different ways.

Remind your family that as followers of Christ, we’re called to love others out of the overflow of the love God has given to us. Then read 1 John 4:19–20. After reading, take turns sharing again, but this time have family members recognize one or more ways God has shown His love to them. Then, as a response to God’s love, encourage your family to brainstorm and choose one or more people upon whom God might be calling you to pour out His love. As an act of worship, find at least one tangible way for your family to show God’s love to this person. This might be taking a meal to a sick or elderly neighbor, offering babysitting for a couple in need of a date night, writing a note of appreciation for a teacher, or any number of other acts of love. Pray together as a family, thanking God for His overflowing, neverending love. by Alyson Crockett



family time

fa m i ly t i m e r e c i p e

God has given us so much. Let’s give that love away!


Telling someone you love her or that God loves her is wonderful. However, sometimes actions can speak even louder than words. God wants to use us to show His love to others. What a privilege and honor!

Making Love Soup is a fun activity for you to do as a family. As you shop for and assemble this gift, ask God who should receive it—a new mom, a neighbor who doesn’t know Jesus, a single dad, or a family going through a rough season. Allowing your family to think about and pray for someone to bless will give an opportunity for kids to focus on others and see the needs of people around them. After you deliver the Love Soup mix, pray for the recipients and ask God to continue to use you to show His love for them.

This recipe makes one jar of mix, but buying these ingredients in bulk can allow you to make more jars to bless many people. Be sure to purchase enough for your family too! by Carrie Rowe


SOUP" MIX Ingredients 1/3 c. beef bouillon granules 1/4 c. dried onion flakes 1/2 c. dried split peas

Love Soup

1/4 c. barley 1/2 c. dry red lentils


1/2 c. uncooked long grain white rice

• 1 jar Love Soup mix

2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning

• 1 lb. ground beef (seasoned, browned, and drained)

1 c. tri-colored spiral pasta or enough to fill jar


for an easy metric conversion chart, search the internet for “metric kitchen.”

1. Remove the pasta from the Love Soup mix and set aside.


2. Place the rest of the mix in a large soup pot. 3. Add 12 cups of water and bring to a boil.

1. Layer the ingredients into a 1-quart canning jar.

4. Lower heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

2. Pack each layer in place before adding the next ingredient.

5. Add pasta and ground beef and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Place the pasta in a small plastic bag, and place the bag on the top of previous ingredients.

Enjoy with your favorite salad and bread and know that you are loved!

4. Seal the jar and attach a tag to the jar with the cooking directions (this can be as simple or creative as you’d like). 17


family time

k i d s i n t h e k i tc h e n

LOVE APPLES Ingredients: • 6 large apples (e.g., Granny Smith, Gala, or Honey Crisp) • 1/2 c. packed brown sugar • 1/3 c. cinnamon red hot candies • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 Degrees Celsius). Lightly grease baking pan and set aside. 2. Remove and reserve tops of apples. Then core apples, leaving approximately half an inch at the bottom. Arrange in baking dish. 3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon red hot candies, and cinnamon. Fill each apple with the mixture and replace apple tops. Sprinkle any remaining mixture over the apples. 4. Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until apples are tender. 5. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream!

This month, let the kids begin to show love by helping select an apple at the grocery store for each member of your family. Then prepare the Love Apples together. Parents may need to help younger children with cutting off the tops of the apples and coring them. Allow the children to be in charge of mixing the ingredients for the filling. As each person fills his or her apple with the mixture, have her say, “God fills me with His love so I can give it away!” Give each person a chance to share what he loves most about every member of the family. Then enjoy the fruits of your labor of love.

Kids in the Kitchen features simple, kid-friendly recipes that encourage families to spend time together while creating yummy treats.



family time

co n v e r sat i o n sta r t e r s

LOVE HOLIDAYS When Jesus walked among us, He had a special heart for the poor, the sick, and the needy. We’re called to follow His example. Jesus’ ministry was a tangible demonstration of God’s love. Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:34–40 that when we love God, we will love our neighbors. When we truly love our neighbors, it expresses our love for God.

Get your children talking … If you could create your own holiday during which everyone loved and respected each other for an entire day, what would you name your holiday and how would you celebrate it?



family time

g lo b a l

Where in the World Is ...


Awakening a compassionate heart and a global mindset in children for people beyond the boundaries of their own neighborhoods.










POPULATION: 65,430,000




 rance encompasses 246,000 square miles, F making it the largest country in western Europe. It lies between the Mediterranean Sea on the southeast and the Bay of Biscay and English Channel to the north and west. France shares borders with Andorra, Monaco, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Spain.



54% Christian 31% No religion 3% Islam

DID YOU KNOW? • The famous Eiffel Tower in Paris was built as the entrance point for the 1889 World Fair. It is one of the most visited monuments in the world.

NOW THAT WE KNOW THE LOCATION OF FRANCE, LET’S MEET ITS PEOPLE. More than 65 million people call France home.

If you lived in France, you might eat something called ratatouille, a vegetable stew made with olive oil, aubergine (eggplant), courgette (zucchini), bell pepper, tomato, onion, and garlic. France is also famous for its bread and cheese, which are eaten at most meals. Favorite desserts include cream puffs, crème brulee, and eclairs.

• French fries and French toast were not invented in France.

Paris, the capital of France, is known as The City of Love. It’s a favorite destination for honeymooning couples. Many people consider Paris to be most beautiful at night, giving the city its nickname The City of Light.



(pronounced bohn-ZHOOR) To talk with your friends in France, you would speak French.

If you went to church in France, you would most likely attend a Roman Catholic church.



family time


PERFECT LOVE God is our perfect Father. His love is complete and never fails. In fact, Scripture says God is love (1 John 4:8). Pray the following blessing over your children as a reminder of God’s perfect love. It’s based on 1 Corinthians 13:4–8 but replaces the word love with God.

As your children are blessed, tell them that they have the opportunity to also be a blessing to others. Encourage them to freely give away to others the joy and love they have received from God.

by Erika Abdelatif

BLESS [God] is patient, [God] is kind. [God] does not envy, [God] does not boast, [God] is not proud. [God] does not dishonor others, [God] is not self-seeking, [God] is not easily angered, [God] keeps no record of wrongs. [God] does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. [God] always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. [God] never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4–8)

PRAY (Child’s name), may you know the height, depth, and width of God’s love for you. May you know His kindness fully, remembering that nothing can separate you from His love.



family time

ta k i n g ac t i o n

The Story of International Princess™ Project In India, more than two million women and children are held as modern-day slaves. Of the girls and women who enter slavery, 80 percent of them enter against their will, and 35 percent are younger than 18. The women and children trapped in the slave trade are caught in a vicious cycle of poverty, illiteracy, and disease that is seemingly inescapable.

International Princess™ Project to advocate for these women, to give them opportunities to restore their broken lives, and to empower them to live in freedom. The traditional Indian sari, worn in even the darkest places in India, became the inspiration for International Princess™ Project. The sari’s bright color and beautiful designs are fit for princesses.

In February of 2005, International Princess™ Project founder Shannon Keith went on a trip to India that opened her eyes to the devastation of lives happening on the streets and in the brothels. After visiting a red light district, she couldn’t forget what she saw—young girls sold by their families, orphans picked up off the street by human traffickers, even young mothers just trying to feed their children. Many were held against their will. Others were trapped by economics. Those who escaped often returned just to survive. 

Women who leave this modern-day slavery need occupational training and job opportunities to help them find dignity, self-worth, and hope for a future outside the red light districts. When women become a part of an International Princess™ Project sewing center, they take the first step toward supporting themselves in a dignified way. 

Compelled by the magnitude of this reality, Shannon and her team of volunteers founded

trade wages and provide money for living expenses, holistic support and restoration, and their children’s schooling. International Princess™ Project is committed to creating self-sustaining enterprises in India that provide opportunities for formerly enslaved women to heal from the past and to find hope for the future. To find out more, visit:

PUNJAMMIES™, pajamas made from the beautiful Indian fabrics by women employed at sewing centers in India, are exported to the United States and sold as a premium brand of sleepwear. Proceeds from these sales help pay the ladies fair 22

Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God. Bob Pierce

founder of World Vision international


INSPIRE Parenting stories and devotions to spur you on and motivate you as you spiritually parent your children.

EQUIP Resources to prepare you as you navigate through tough ages and tough topics.

SUPPORT Walking alongside you to promote healthy marriages and answer your spiritual parenting and spiritual grandparenting questions.




t h e e v e ry day pa r e n t b lo g




Through God's Eyes by Julie Carson ( | October 2013 Before my children were born, I had very specific plans and dreams for them. I also thought I knew quite a bit about parenting, you know, because I had a dog, and was a nanny in college. That, however, is a story for another time. I was certain that my future children would learn to swim very early, perhaps even before they took their first steps. They would love the ocean as much as I did, and no matter what, they would be surfing before they turned four. Oh, and they would all be boys, and there would be two of them. Exactly two years apart. Turns out I had baby girl after baby girl after baby girl. Each one taking her first steps well before her first swim across the pool without floaties. One by one they turned four without ever touching a surfboard. They might love the beach, but their feelings about the ocean are another thing altogether. They worry about the relentless waves. Lurking sand crabs. Swishing kelp. A myriad of mysterious things just waiting to touch or bite them. One loves to zip down to the shoreline, fill up her bucket with water, and scamper back to her sandcastle creations. Another loves running and jumping through the waves, careful to never let the water get above her belly button. A third is blissfully content sitting crisscross on a beach towel completely lost in the pages of a book. Surfboards are not even a thought as we pack for our weekly beach trips.

The thing is, the more time I spend parenting, the more I realize that it’s nothing like I imagined it would be back in the Labrador-owning, babysitting days. It’s a constant balance of learning, growing, seeking, praying, asking, and watching God reveal who He made them to be. Part of loving them is respecting their uniqueness. Giving them the room and grace to be somewhat scared of the ocean, yet passionate about so many other things. Things that I never anticipated. Things that may even be scary to me.





t h e e v e ry day pa r e n t b lo g




The other day I got one of the surfboards off of the rack in the garage. After dusting it off, I hauled it to the backyard and threw it in the pool. Then I proceeded to tell my girls that they needed to get their bathing suits on because it was time for surf lessons. There were questions, a few tears, and much trepidation, until I calmed their fears and told them that surf school will be in the waveless, kelp- and sand crab-free, backyard. Before I knew it they were outside, popping up and hanging ten one after another. It might be the only water those boards will see for a few years, but it was one of my favorite days in recent memory.

God is helping me love my children through His eyes and respect their dreams and talents, even though they’re different from mine. He made them wonderful and complicated, and I am so glad He has given me the extraordinary gift of raising them. Besides, they are so much better than the pretend kids I dreamt up years ago.




tot t i m e r h y m e ( ag e s 3 & u n d e r )

Repetition is fundamental to almost any learning style, so when you’re attempting to teach your children, use repetition! lie down

These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

g the roa lon


at home sit


get up

(Deuteronomy 6:6–7)

along the road

Sing this rhyme with your children to the tune of “London Bridge.” Listen here when viewing on!




to u g h to p i c s

Grace vs. Justice

Forgiveness always costs someone something. For example, if a friend owes me 50 dollars, and I forgive him of that debt, I then absolve him of the debt and take the financial burden upon myself. My forgiveness of the debt does not make the debt go away, but rather changes the recipient of that debt. Our God is a God of justice as well as a God of grace. Since God is a God of justice, He cannot allow our debt of sin to go unpunished. Since He is a God of grace, however, He sent His own Son to take the punishment for our sins. He took that debt upon Himself, rather than requiring that we pay the debt ourselves. Keeping this thought in mind makes calls for justice a very tough topic. On one hand, God created right and wrong, and He calls us to try to do the right thing in His power. But at the same time, most of us see our own mistakes so clearly that it’s nearly impossible to confront others about theirs. So when our children ask about confronting justice, what do we do? Consider taking these steps with your kids:

•C  onsult Scripture: What does Scripture say about the topic? •C  heck motivations: Why does this offend me? Make sure that there are no selfish motivations or agendas in your heart. If there are, deal with those before addressing the injustice. Following these two steps allows us to:

•S  peak the truth in love: Once we have confirmed what Scripture says, and checked our own motivations and agendas, we are able to speak the truth in love in any situation. Speaking the truth in love is crucial, because the truth addresses the issue, while love addresses the person—just as Jesus does with us. Remember that most injustice does not merely address a social issue, but a person or people group who need Christ’s love and forgiveness just as much as we all do.


the middle (6 t h

THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT In Matthew 22, Jesus tells us that the greatest commandment is to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves. I have heard this verse over and over again, but lately it has caused me to ask, “Do I really know how to love myself?” This makes me remember my middle school days as being one of the most uncomfortable (to put it nicely) times of my life. I tried so hard to figure out who I was supposed to hang out with. Was it the skaters, band kids, gamers, or just the “cool crowd” (hipsters didn’t exist yet)? While there was nothing wrong with finding a group of friends I clicked with, I realize


8 t h GRADE)

that I was trying desperately to fit into every one of these groups because I wanted to be accepted. I changed my appearance, attitude, and even the way I talked in order to feel a sense of love and respect from the people around me. As followers of Christ, we are loved and respected first and foremost by God. As parents of middle school students, it’s obviously important to remind our kids how much we love them. But we must remember to tell our sons and daughters how much their heavenly Father loves them too! Learning to love your own self isn’t about being selfish. Rather, it’s about having a deeprooted sense that your heavenly Father not only created you but delights in you. When we “love ourselves” we’re simply looking into the 27

mirror and seeing what God already sees and loves. One of the greatest things we can do as parents is to remind our children of this truth. As an exercise this month, encourage your middle schoolers to simply pray once a week in front of a mirror. Have them look into the mirror and say, “God, help me to see and love myself today as you already do.” As uncomfortable as this may feel, encourage them to try to look at themselves longer and longer each time. Challenge your child to ask God to remind her of why He loves her. Then remind them that God fills her with His love so she can give that love away to others. by Jeff Fernandez



m a r r i ag e

Friendship IN Marriage When God’s heart flows through us, we can pour that love onto our spouses.

Several years ago I recognized that a growing and healthy marriage must start with me. Let me share one of my early lessons on becoming a vessel of love and respect. I was worn out from being home with our two preschoolers. My husband, Guy, came home from work and plopped down on the recliner. When he yanked that lever on the side to bring his footrest up, I felt a seed of resentment start to sprout. Why does my husband get to stop working after eight hours? My hours go on and on! It didn’t seem fair. It’s true I was blessed to stay home with our children and didn’t leave the house for employment, but, believe me, I had been working: changing diapers, doing laundry, and reading books inside tents made of sheets and kitchen chairs. I was a preschooler foodie cuisine specialist. I cleared a toy room in 60 seconds—putting everything in alphabetized tubs, no less! I didn’t feel the love when that footrest was raised. Don’t get me wrong, I respected my husband for being a great provider, but respect without love can feel like duty. And love without respect is short-lived. God’s Holy Spirit prompted me. He asked me to look at my husband like a brother in Christ. If a friend came to my house after a long day of work, wouldn’t I most likely show them hospitality? I would never be rude or resentful. I would offer her something refreshing and ask about her day.

A deeper question surfaced; why didn’t I see the need for a pause for my husband after eight hours of work? After all, wasn’t he too my brother in Christ—my lifelong friend? The Holy Spirit began teaching me how to treat Guy like a brother in Christ—a friend. The more I permitted Him to change me, the more sensitive Guy became! As God filled me up with His love and respect, I began to respect my husband’s need for a pause— and respect my own need for rest as well. Feelings of love appeared again.

As I began to put away resentment long enough to show hospitality, Guy began to treat me like a friend and see that I was tired as well. I don’t remember there being a defining moment of conversation, just a shift in disposition. God enlarged our hearts to understand a sweeter, more enduring love. A love that produced friendship in our marriage. by Roxanna Grimes

I began preparing light hors d’oeuvres for Guy’s arrival home. Some days were as simple as string cheese and apple slices, but we came to enjoy a pause at the end of both our working days—much like a coffee date with a friend. He would share the highlights and tragedies of his day, and I would usually have an interesting conversation to describe. 28



s p i r i t ua l pa r e n t i n g

Inbox with Michelle Anthony Q: A:

Q: A:

I believe that once we truly understand discipline, we see that discipline is, in fact, love. Hebrews 12:6 reminds us that God disciplines those He loves. Without discipline, children ultimately feel unloved and are ill-prepared for life in this world. The issue is not so much discipline but how we discipline. If discipline is done in anger, then our children feel the hostility and do not reap the benefit of course correction. We further know from God's Word that "human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires" (James 1:20). One of the best ways to show love to your child is to be consistent in discipline and to seek God for a heart of calmness and love when doing so.

W  hat does it mean to speak "to" my child instead of "at" him? What are some practical examples of both of these ways of speaking to our kids?

In my book Spiritual Parenting, I contrast speaking "to" my child with speaking "at" my child. I do this because early on in parenting, I recognized my tendency to "bark out orders" or even just announce things that ultimately set up order but not necessarily relationship. In any relationship, it's important to be "with" someone, not just get things done. Speaking "to" my child means that I’m going to have to:

• slow down

• eliminate distractions

• make eye contact

• share my thoughts

• listen

Taking these steps toward a new habit will breed security and respect in our relationships.


How do I discipline my child and still show love and respect?

Q: A:

I financially, physically, and emotionally sacrifice for my children every day. Is that enough for them to know they are loved?

I believe that sacrifice is a great posture for a loving parent. Yet, what can be confusing is that we must be intentional to consider where we are sacrificing in order for it to be seen as love from our children. Take for example a parent who is "sacrificing" long hours at work in order to provide for his children to the detriment of quality time spent with them. Or, a parent who is "sacrificing" large amounts of money to buy her children all the luxuries one could hope for, only to find that those children turn out entitled, ungrateful, and without a good work ethic. Truly sacrificing for our children must be something that is motivated by God's Spirit who will guide us and give us wisdom when we ask for it.



s p i r i t ua l g r a n d pa r e n t i n g

Grandma Day A couple of years ago my niece and nephew decided they wanted to add to their family of three teenagers by adopting through the foster system. They waited and prayed until one day the call came telling them of not one child, but two—a brother and sister who were seven and nine years old. Out of respect for the children, my nephew intentionally didn’t tell us about the situation that caused these children to be removed from their biological parents. He wanted them to fit into the family and be treated the same as all the other children. He didn’t want them to be held to a different standard because of their background. My niece’s mom and my sister, Jan, was ecstatic to add these two gifts to her eight other grandchildren. They quickly began to fit in and reap the benefits of belonging to our family. Jan has a tradition called “Grandma Day” during which she takes each grandchild out for the day. They go out to lunch and then go shopping, and the grandchild gets to pick out something special. It’s a day each child looks forward to and cherishes. After two years of assimilating into the family, the time had arrived for the two new family members to go on Grandma Day. Jan started with the oldest child, the girl, and the two went to lunch at the restaurant of the girl’s choosing and then off to go shopping.

in their community. She asked her granddaughter if she would like to help her shop for school supplies. The girl was thrilled at the opportunity. She spent time making sure each item meticulously matched the backpack. Then the girl looked at her grandma and asked, “Why can’t these parents afford to buy their children school supplies?” Jan stood silent. She realized in that moment that her new granddaughter had forgotten her past—a time when she herself lived with a family in need of financial help. Out of love and respect, Jan said nothing to remind her. Jan took a few moments to explain how a family might have landed in a situation in which they wouldn’t have enough money to provide for their children. Then, about five minutes later, after a moment of awkward silence, the girl looked at Jan and said, “Grandma, that was me! I remember that was how I got my backpack and school supplies.” Jan hugged her granddaughter, and the two rejoiced in the realization that the girl’s past didn’t define her anymore. In just two short years God had filled this little girl with His love. And Grandma Day offered her the opportunity to give that love away. by Debbie Guinn

While they shopped, Jan remembered that her church was collecting backpacks and school supplies for people in need



10 ENVIRONMENTS Below you'll find a brief explanation of each environment. 1. Storytelling—The power of The Big God Story impacts our lives by giving us an accurate and awe-inspiring perspective of how God has been moving throughout history. It is the story of redemption, salvation, and hope and tells how I have been grafted into it by grace. It further compels us to see how God is using every person’s life and is creating a unique story that deserves to be told for His glory. “God has a big story, and I can be a part of it!” 2. Identity—This environment highlights who we are in Christ. According to Ephesians 1, we have been chosen, adopted, redeemed, sealed, and given an inheritance in Christ … all of which we did nothing to earn. This conviction allows children to stand firm against the destructive counter identities the world will offer. “I belong to God, and He loves me!” 3. Faith Community—God designed us to live in community and to experience Him in ways that can only happen in proximity to one another. The faith community serves to create an environment to equip and disciple parents, to celebrate God’s faithfulness, and to bring a richness of worship through tradition and rituals, which offer children an identity. Our love for each other reflects the love we have received from God. “God’s family cares for each other and worships God together.” 4. Serving—This posture of the heart asks the question, “What needs to be done?” It allows the Holy Spirit to cultivate a sensitivity to others and focuses on a cause bigger than one individual life. It helps fulfill the mandate that as Christ followers we are to view our lives as living sacrifices that we generously give away! “Asks the question, ‘What needs to be done?’” 5. Out Of The Comfort Zone—As children are challenged to step out of their comfort zones from an early age, they learn to experience a dependence on the Holy Spirit to equip and strengthen them beyond their natural abilities and desires. We believe this environment will cultivate a generation that, instead of seeking comfort, seeks a radical life of faith in Christ. “God transforms me when I step out in faith.” 6. Responsibility—This environment captures the ability to take ownership for one’s life, gifts, and resources before God. A child must be challenged to take responsibility for his or her brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as for those who are spiritually lost. Our hope is that the Holy Spirit will use this environment to allow each child to understand that God has entrusted His world to us.


“God has entrusted me with the things and people He created around me.” 7. Course Correction—This environment flows out of Hebrews 12:11–13 and is the direct opposite of punishment. Instead, biblical discipline for a child encompasses a season of pain, the building up in love, and a vision of a corrected path for the individual with the purpose of healing at its core. “When I get off track, God offers me a path of healing.”

8. Love/Respect—Without love, our faith becomes futile. This environment recognizes that children need an environment of love and respect in order to be free to both receive and give God’s grace. Key to this environment is the value that children are respected because they embody the image of God. We must speak to them, not at them, and we must commit to an environment where love and acceptance are never withheld due to one’s behavior. “God fills me with His love so I can give it away.”


An Awakening for Today’s Families


9. Knowing—Nothing could be more important than knowing and being known by God. We live in a world that denies absolute truth, but God’s Word offers just that. As we create an environment that upholds and displays God’s truth, we give children a foundation based on knowing God, believing His Word, and cultivating a relationship with Him through Christ. God is holy, mighty, and awesome, yet He has chosen to make Himself known to us! “God knows me, and I can know Him.” 10. Modeling—Biblical content needs a practical living expression in order for it to be spiritually impacting. This environment serves as a hands-on example of what it means for children to put their faith into action. Modeling puts flesh on faith and reminds us that others are watching to see if we live what we believe. “I see Christ in others, and they can see Him in me.”




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Homefront magazine October 2013  

A Spiritual Parenting Resource is a magazine that gives families ideas for creating fun, spiritually forming times in their homes—setting as...

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