May 24

Son, Learn from Your Father

2006 at 11:29 am   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Motherhood | Parenting Teenagers

Encouraging Chad to learn from his father is number one on my “Show Yourself a Man” plan. And for good reason. What better way is there for Chad to cultivate masculine characteristics than to be taught and trained by the most important man in his life: his father? And who better to highlight his father’s innumerable godly and manly qualities and to challenge Chad to emulate his father, than me?

That being the case, here are three strategies I’ve developed to provoke Chad to learn from CJ:

1. Point out to Chad the many strong and admirable qualities of his father.

I have started a running list of these qualities in order to be more constant and deliberate in drawing Chad’s attention to them. (This little exercise is helping me to see how many of my husband’s strengths I simply take for granted. Why am I surprised when Chad does the same?!)

2. Prompt Chad to ask lots of questions of his father.

I’ve also started a running list of questions to have Chad ask his father at dinnertime. (e.g. “What’s one challenge you faced today, and how did God help you? or “What is one manly quality you learned from your dad?”)

3. Remind Chad to aggressively pursue the counsel and correction of his father.

I’ve given Chad the following assignment: “Read chapter 10 (“Inviting and Pursuing Correction”) in your dad’s book (Humility, True Greatness), and come up with a plan to more aggressively pursue the counsel and correction of your father. You and I will discuss and tweak your plan and then I will hold you accountable for carrying it out.”

Proverbs 13:1 says: “A wise son hears his father’s instruction,” so I want to do all I can to encourage Chad to be wise!

May 23

Another Crosswalk Article

2006 at 4:21 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw

Click on over to today. They are featuring a chapter written by my mom from Girl Talk on a mother’s discipline. I have included a little paragraph here to give you a sneak peak…

“Bringing our daughters up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord is hard work. God never said it would be otherwise. But He has promised to provide help and assistance to all who call on His name. This promise gives us the faith and courage to discipline our daughters with the end in view. They may not thank us for it right now. They may not thank us for a long time. But one day they will.”

Don’t automatically dismiss this article if you are not a mommy. The truths found here will serve you as you encourage other moms, as well as prepare you if the Lord has motherhood in your future.

May 23

Chad’s “Show Yourself A Man” Plan

2006 at 10:19 am   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Motherhood | Parenting Teenagers

When David’s time to die drew near, he commanded Solomon his son, saying, “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn, that the Lord may establish his word that he spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’ 1 Kings 2:1-4

“Show yourself a man.” As mother of a teenage son, I sure do love that statement!

In fact, I’m using that little phrase as the title of my plan to support my husband in his discipleship of Chad during his teen years. As mentioned in yesterday’s post, I have compiled a list of 7 ways to help Chad cultivate masculine characteristics. This is not an exhaustive list by any means. And some may think it unnecessary. True. You certainly don’t need a list such as this to be an effective mother. I find, however, that setting down specific goals simply provides clarity, helps me to be more intentional, and gives me a criterion whereby I can evaluate progress for both Chad and myself. So here is my “Show Yourself a Man Plan” for Chad:

Daily encourage Chad to:
1. Learn, learn, learn from his dad
2. Develop a strong work ethic
3. Be a good steward of his money
4. Keep his domain in order
5. Kill a bear or a lion
6. Show honor to women
7. Lead wherever appropriate

If you read Randy Stinson’s article highlighted in Monday’s post, then you will see that I have borrowed several of his ideas and came up with a few of my own. They may not all make sense, especially number five. Chad immediately asked, “What? You’re expecting me to go out and kill a bear or a lion?” I’ll explain them in more detail over the next few days.

May 22

“Show Yourself a Man”

2006 at 3:27 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Motherhood | Parenting Teenagers

While CJ and Chad went away for their annual father-son trip two weeks ago, I was able to take a personal retreat—something I attempt to do every six months or so at the prodding of my husband. During these retreats I always set aside time to create a plan for each of our children. I think about their strengths and weaknesses, their unique temptations, and consider ways I can more effectively encourage and challenge them to grow. Since Chad is my only child still at home, he got my full attention on this retreat. (Although he wasn’t so sure if he wanted that or not!)

To help me think and strategize, I read an article by Randy Stinson (Executive Director of CBMW) entitled “Show Yourself a Man.” Chad is thirteen now, so the topic of biblical masculinity is becoming more and more important in our household. Of course, CJ is the primary one who leads and disciples Chad in all things related to growing manhood. However, as his helper, I want to make sure I am doing all I can to serve my husband in this significant task.

After reading Randy’s article I was inspired with ideas of how I can daily encourage Chad to cultivate masculine characteristics. I came up with 7. I will list them for you in tomorrow’s post. But in the meantime, if you are the mother of a son, may I encourage you to read Randy’s article for yourself? I think you will be inspired too.

May 22

Our Poor Neglected Sidebar

2006 at 11:41 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre

If you’ve been reading this blog for more than a couple months, you’ve probably wondered why it’s taken us so long to read the books listed on our sidebar.

No, we’re not really slow readers. We’re just really busy moms. Which means that when I have to choose between reading Make Way for Ducklings to Jack or updating our reading list on the sidebar, Mr. and Mrs. Mallard win the day.

But I’ve finally coaxed Mom, Kristin, and Janelle into giving me an updated reading list. We’ll try to keep more current in the future. The operative word here, being “try.”

10763826 Kristin is just beginning our Uncle Gary and Aunt Betsy’s new book, Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace. Do you want more of the grace of God in your marriage? Then what are you waiting for? Buy this book!

6795949 Janelle is reading one of her favorite authors, Jerry Bridges. In, The Gospel for Real Life, “Mr. Bridges explains the gospel in simple and comprehensive terms,” she tells me. “He takes complex truth and makes it accessible to the average reader. Perfect for me. My love for and understanding of the gospel is growing through the reading of each page.”

8957232 Mom is currently rereading the best-selling organizing book, Getting Things Done by David Allen and The Peacemaker by Ken Sande. And she continues to extract relevant truth from Paul David Tripp’s Lost in the Middle.


Finally, as I mentioned earlier, I am currently on my tenth reading of Make Way for Ducklings. I can almost name them all as quickly and accurately as Mom: “Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack Oack, Pack and Quack!”

7530895 Seriously, I’m thoroughly enjoying The Message of Salvation by Philip Ryken. It is an in-depth examination of the themes of salvation, but like Bridges, he is easy to understand. Today’s take away quote: “Although there is nothing a sinner can do to get right with God, God makes sinners right with himself through his own perfect sacrifice.”

Oh, and we’ve added two long-overdue links to our sidebar now: Together for the Gospel and the five15 blog.

May 19

Friday Funnies

2006 at 8:08 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Fun & Encouragement | Friday Funnies

We’ll close out this week on the food theme, but switch from ice cream to another summer favorite: the barbecue. This Friday Funny exposes the truth about what actually happens when a man takes charge of the grill. I can hear them now: the knowing laughs from women everywhere (including mine!).

Ta Ta for now…

for Carolyn, Kristin, and Janelle

“After the long months of cold and winter, we will soon be coming up to summer and BBQ season. Therefore it is important to refresh your memory on the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking as it’s the only type of cooking a real man will do, probably because there is an element of danger involved.

When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into motion:

1) The woman buys the food.

2) The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert.

3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill.

Here comes the important part:

More routine….
5) The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.

6) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning. He thanks her and asks if she will bring him something to drink while he deals with the situation.

Important again:

More routine…
8) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces and brings them to the table.

9) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

And most important of all:
10) Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.

11) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed “her night off.” And, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there’s just no pleasing women…”

May 19

Ice Cream Pie

2006 at 12:32 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw

Our “sisterly differences” are on full display in the arena of food. For as long as I can remember Kristin and I have requested the same dessert for every birthday: Mint Chocolate Ice Cream Pie. Let’s just say that this dessert is not among Nicole’s top favorites. Too boring. She opts for desserts that the rest of the family has never even heard of. But I’m sure that you will love this easy and delicious recipe as much as Kristin and I. So here it is, and as we discussed yesterday, it’s imperitive that you use the green mint chip ice cream.

1 cup chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups rice krispies
1 quart (green) mint chip ice cream
Chocolate syrup

Melt chocolate chips and butter in microwave. Mix in rice krispies. Press into 9-inch pie pan and cool in regrigerator. Soften ice cream then add to chocolate crust. Top with chocolate syrup. Then freeze. To serve, thaw for 10-15 minutes. Yummy!

Just to prove how far back this pie goes, I’m allowing you (against my better judgment) to see this picture of me and my beloved pie on my 11th birthday.


May 18

Green vs. White

2006 at 4:39 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw

Yesterday, Nicole considered the inspiring topic of “The Realm of Domesticity” and the extent of our influence as wives and mothers. Reading her post gave me fresh faith for my role in the home (not to mention my potential influence on the next presidential race). I have to say that Nicole’s post did something else for me as well. It reminded me of how different my sisters and I are. When Nicole is considering the topic of her next post, look where she ends up—presidents and legacies. We all read and leave with fresh excitement for our role as women. I on the other hand, consider the topic of my next post and end up at ice cream. Yes, ice cream.

Lately, I found myself considering the difference between the green mint chocolate chip and the white mint chocolate chip ice creams. These ice creams each have a specific purpose. You see, the green should not be eaten alone. It should go into an ice cream pie or sit on top of a cone. Milkshakes are okay too. The white kind should only be eaten alone. It doesn’t need cones or syrup; it stands by itself in both taste and consistency. Have you ever tried sticking Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip (the white kind) into an ice cream pie? Disaster. It simply doesn’t work. On the other hand, try making yourself a bowl of the green kind with no accompaniment and your dessert experience will be less than satisfactory.

Back to my earlier point- Nicole, Kristin, and I are different, but that is one of the many reasons we enjoy each other so much. We love to laugh with (and at) one another. Nicole keeps me learning and I keep her laughing, and Kristin keeps us both in line. Sisters make wonderful friends!


May 18

John Adams on Female Influence

2006 at 12:50 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre

The following witty exchange between John and Abigail Adams is a fitting addendum to my previous post. I know I’ve mentioned her before, but Abigail typifies the potential effect of this “realm of domesticity.” Through her husband John and her son, John Quincy, she shaped the lives of two American presidents, all from her Braintree farmhouse. It is the opinion of John Adams’s biographer David McCullough, that “Abigail Adams was one of the most remarkable, admirable, wise Americans of all time.”

In one of her many letters to her husband, Abigail makes a request:

Abigail: And by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors have been. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could.

John: We know better than to repeal our masculine systems. Although they are in full force, you know they are little more than theory. We are obliged to go softly. And in practice you know we are the subjects. We only have the names of masters.

Though certainly written tongue-in-cheek, John Adams’s reply is an extraordinary acknowledgement of female influence! How can you humbly exert your influence for the good of your family and the glory of Christ today?

May 17

“The Realm of Domesticity”

2006 at 5:31 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre

Yesterday’s dual-applause for domesticity reminded me of a fascinating email we received several months ago from one of our readers, Alisha. She wrote to tell us about “the realm of domesticity,” an early-American idea she learned about in college:

“It stated that men are responsible for all that is decided in the world at large (politics, business, voting for leaders, preaching etc.) but that women are responsible for things that occur in the home (training the children, furnishing, meals, clothing etc). The philosophy argued that woman did not need the right to vote because they were considered to have the ability to influence their family so that they would eventually vote along the political lines of the mother. The woman of the house was also assumed to vote similarly to her husband due to this influence, and therefore only one vote was needed. This essentially means that we, as woman, shape, influence and hence rule the world right from our home. We raise the next generation. My children will probably think as I do about the world. My son will go on to lead using those ideas. My daughter will pass those ideas onto the next generation. My influence will spread! What an awesome responsibility we have as women. What power we have in our hands! I only pray that God would help me to use that power and influence to His glory.”

Author Cokie Roberts concurs with Alisha’s understanding of history:

“There was [in 18th century America] an elaborate view of ‘spheres.’ The men were in the world, while a woman’s place was the house, the ‘domestic sphere’….The men handled relations with England—deciding whether to declare independence and what kind of government should be formed; the women handled pretty much everything else. That’s not to say that these women were unaware of the sphere outside their homes, quite the contrary. Their letters and diaries are filled with political observations.” Cokie Roberts, Founding Mothers (New York, NY: William Morrow, 2004), 14).

Now, we here at the girltalk blog are not advocating for Congress to repeal the 19th amendment. I for one am grateful for the privilege to vote. And of course I don’t condone the oppression of women.

The question I want to ask is this: In all the campaigns for “rights” for women, have we lost sight of the fundamental principle of a woman’s influence in the home? Have we forfeited our God-given calling to shape destinies for a seat at the conference table and a corner office?

Taken alone, the effect of a wife’s gifts and counsel upon her husband’s life-course is remarkable. But as Alisha rightly points out in her email, when we exercise our influence for the good of our children, our legacy will extend through many generations. Our influence will also be as wide as it is long. It will touch the life of every person our husbands and children and eventually grandchildren come in contact with. And so the effect of our domestic efforts multiplies. What mind-numbing power is resident in this realm of domesticity!

How should we respond to this weighty influence with which we’ve been entrusted? Alisha shows us how when she concludes: “I only pray that God would help me to use that power and influence to His glory.” Amen, Alisha. May God help us all!