Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 63 – Should You Die on That Hill?

While our children will always disagree with us and push the boundaries, we have an underlying fear that they will one day reject all we hold dear and true about life. This episode discusses some of the tensions we must navigate as we deal with those kind of disagreements.

Here’s a few of the good questions we talked about asking when those moments occur:

  • “Why does this bother me?” Remember we are trying to grow them in God’s image; not our own.
  • “Why are they bringing up this issue?” Is it progress or a pitfall?
  • “Why do you believe that?” Talk them through their thinking, particularly asking them what they disagree and agree with you about this issue.

We also talk about how to help them establish the standard by which they make life decisions. Here’s some things to think about as you do that:

  • Remember the goal. Fighting with someone means I am trying to win. Fighting for someone means I am trying to help them win.
  • Help them set boundaries.
  • Teach them where and how to find answers. Be a resource, but also point them to other resources including other adults.

It’s okay to disagree with your children. It’s okay to be honest about what you believe and why. They need to see God’s truth and standard as they navigate life decisions, but also show them that you are willing to stay relationally connected as they go through this journey.

And last thought, seek God’s wisdom, strength and comfort. This is hard. Don’t do it alone or on your own strength. Another great resource for guidance and comfort in these types of issues is Robert Morgan’s book Moments for Families with Prodigals.

Until next time, Be Abnormal!

It’s Good to Ask Questions

One of the overarching principles in fostering a continuing faith in the lives of teenagers and young adults is to ask good questions…and then listen. One of the biggest fears in this principle is the concern about how to answer some of the questions that young people ask us back!

Good news: You don’t have to have all the answers, but you should be committed to finding those answers together!

Last week’s podcast was a highlight of several podcasts we like to listen to. Just last week, I listened to an episode of the Bible Project Podcast with my son that was a Q&A about a series they did on the Family of God. It was fascinating, informative, and sparked a great discussion full of more questions!

The Bible Project podcast and subsequent material is a great resource for helping young people and adults dig deeper into the truths of the Bible. Check it out. Listen to some episodes with the young people in your life. Ask good questions. Have great conversations. Be Abnormal!

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 62 – Podcasts We Love!

As we continue moving from the Information Age to a Culture of Recommendation, we wanted to share some of the podcasts that we love and that have influenced us. Particularly, we want to share with you the ones that will help you in your faith, your parenting, and your connection with young people!

Here’s a few we highly recommend:




Until next time, enjoy some other great podcasts and Be Abnormal!

The Nuclear Catalyst

Last week’s podcast episode had us discussing the changing family structures in modern culture. Particularly we pointed out how the loss of the nuclear family model is not necessarily all bad. In case you missed it, check out Episode 61 – What To Do When Your Family is at DEFCON 2!

We were greatly inspired by an article written by David Brooks for The Atlantic called “The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake”. If you want to dig deeper into the concepts from our podcast, take the time to read Brooks’ compelling piece.

Until next time, Be Abnormal!

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 61 – What To Do When Your Family is at DEFCON 2

We all have an idealized picture of the perfect family in our mind. For a lot of us it’s the nuclear family. Not the one hiding in a bunker to avoid radiation poisoning, but the one that consists of dad, mom, and 2.5 children living in a detached suburban home that was popularized in the 1950s. Today, however, few families truly look like that. In this episode we take a look at why that might not be all bad.

A lot of our inspiration came from a detailed article by researcher and author David Brooks. If you have time you should read it. However, here are some of the points we gleaned as we applied it to our Christian families:

  • The nuclear family created independence; we are called to create interdependence. The Bible often examples and encourages an interconnected group of corporate families over an isolated family unit.
  • The nuclear family created insulation; we are called to be inclusive. We are not to just take care of our own needs but to look to the needs of others.
  • The nuclear family prioritized immediate economy; we want to prioritize investment. Our great challenge is to look to the future to provide hope, faith and health for our children and beyond.

Lots of good questions come out of this episode. Have those discussions this week evaluating who you need to include, where you need to plug in, and what hope looks like for the next generation. Until next time, Be Abnormal!

Finding Relevance

When I was in my twenties and seeking to own my faith, I found an incredibly helpful resource. Relevant Magazine was a Christian publication claiming to navigate the tension between faith and culture, but to do that they talked about things I hadn’t seen anyone else try to tackle. They acknowledged the difficulty of reconciling faith and science. They dialogued with people who were struggling in their faith. They brought together people on different sides of doctrinal issues to find common ground. It was so refreshing because it echoed my inner questions as a young person finding my path towards living out my faith in Christ. These are still the issues young adults are facing and Relevant Magazine is still addressing them.

In that pursuit, it is no surprise that Relevant has a whole section dedicated to “Justice”. As we shared in Episode 60 – With Just Cause, young people are looking for their place and purpose in life. Finding an injustice in the world and looking for a solution is a common practice for them as they too try to figure out how to be the people God calls us to be. Relevant does a great job of talking deeply and honestly about not only the injustices but the tensions present in our engagement with those causes. I’d encourage you to check out some of their articles. Here’s a few recent ones that deal directly with evaluating causes:

And after you’ve read them, share them with the young people in your life. Discuss them. Wrestle with them. Apply them. Let them stretch your faith. And as we do that, I think it will help us…Be Abnormal!

Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 60 – With Just Cause

In today’s culture, everyone is getting behind a cause. In this episode, Mark and Randell give some ideas on how to help the young people in your life evaluate causes they are interested in:

  1. Is it biblical. To be a worthwhile cause, it must line up with the truths of Scripture.
  2. Is it sustainable. Is this a cause that can make a longterm impact for them and the people they are trying to help.
  3. Does it fit with other callings in your community? Not that this has to be the case, but one way God leads us is by the people and community He puts around us. We need to see if there is another option already available that’s making a similar impact.
  4. Does it flow from the source cause? Ultimately everyone is created to worship God and make Him known to others. This cause should be the foundation and fuel for all other causes we would consider getting involved with.

To help the youth at our particular church, we are currently using Dare 2 Share’s Full Circle curriculum to help understand and engage in that source cause of sharing our hope in Christ. If you are a parent at our church, we’d challenge you to ask your teenager about what they are learning. If you aren’t we’d encourage you to check out Dare 2 Share and the resources they have for young people. Until next time, Be Abnormal!

Parenting Trend #4: Gender Issues will continue to rise

This excerpt from Episode 59 – Top Eight Trends Parents Need to Know for 2021 talks about one of the most prominent and challenging topics facing parents of teens and young adults – those of gender and sexuality.

Here are a couple of short articles with great ideas from the Gospel Coalition on having those difficult conversations:

How to Talk to Your Kids About Gender

John wants to be Jane: 3 Ways to Counsel a Gender-Confused Child

Until next week – have those hard conversations and Be Abnormal!