The Gospel and Family Traditions

I’m thankful to Risen Motherhood for the invitation to write about how the Bible speaks to tradition. The piece is called “Gospel Thinking: How Do We Decide Our Family Traditions.” Here’s an excerpt:

Efforts to keep Christ in our traditions can bring us into conflict with the world and family. Days of travel, feasting, gifts, games, and small-talk may not feel “Christ-centered.” In my 20s, I found myself burdened with guilt around holidays and notable seasons, feeling that I wasn’t ever doing enough to honor Jesus. As a young father, I felt like a failure. I wondered if I had the best traditions to ensure my kids treasured Jesus and would follow him all their days.

Relief arrived when I considered what the Bible had to say about traditions and “holy days.”

Read the rest here. Be sure to download RM’s free equipping printable with discussion questions here.

I previously wrote a piece for Risen Motherhood on miscarriage, which you can find in my “Dads Hurt Too” series.

#DadsHurtToo (Part 6) — Miscarriage and the Gospel

Dads Hurt Too: A Father's Memoir of MiscarriageThis is the concluding post in a series on miscarriage and the Gospel — “#DadsHurtToo — A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”

It’s been almost three years since our last miscarriage. Wounds are healing. Yet, I’d be lying if I said those foxes don’t still bark and nip from time to time. They bark, but the Gospel speaks. Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 6) — Miscarriage and the Gospel”

#DadsHurtToo (Part 4) — Miscarriage and Culture

Dads Hurt Too: A Father's Memoir of MiscarriageThis post is the fourth in a series — “#DadsHurtToo — A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”

The day we returned from the hospital, I headed to store to fill a prescription for my wife. As I drove, I turned on the radio, set to my usual public radio channel. A state lawmaker and the host were discussing some bit of abortion legislation. The legislator quipped something like, “You know, it’s not a big deal. We’re only talking about fetuses up to 18-weeks.” These words hit my heart like salt in a bite wound. Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 4) — Miscarriage and Culture”

#DadsHurtToo (Part 3) — Miscarriage and Shame

Dads Hurt Too: A Father's Memoir of MiscarriageThis is the third post in a series — “#DadsHurtToo — A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”

Our daughter—Living Child #4—entered the world in December 2008 with no complications. In the spring of 2009, we learned another baby was on its way, due in February 2010. On a family vacation in July, my wife experienced strange contraction pains. We saw her doctor when we returned. Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 3) — Miscarriage and Shame”

#DadsHurtToo (Part 2) — Miscarriage and Comparison

Dads Hurt Too: A Father's Memoir of MiscarriageThis is the second post in a series — “#DadsHurtToo — A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage.”

Despite arriving pale, blue, and breathless—the umbilical cord cinching a death-grip on his throat—our first child lived, as did our second and our third.

We first experienced the death of a child in the womb in September 2007, a year after the birth of Living Child #3. We lost the baby early in the unannounced pregnancy, at only four and a half weeks. The bleeding started the day after a home pregnancy test. Had she not taken it, we might have thought her cycle had simply started late.

Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 2) — Miscarriage and Comparison”

#DadsHurtToo (Part 1): A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage

Dads Hurt Too: A Father's Memoir of MiscarriageMy wife and I have nine children, but if you meet us, we’ll only say we have five. That’s because we’ve only ever named five—the five we’ve met, the five who took breaths, the five we brought home. Four of our children died by “miscarriage.”

Medically speaking, miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy within the first 20 weeks of gestation; it is the death of a baby in the womb. As with most suffering, I did not expect to experience it personally; it happened to other people. I certainly never considered it from the father’s perspective. Miscarriage seemed to be—before it happened to us—solely a woman’s experience, a mother’s sorrow. Now I know differently. Moms hurt, and dads hurt too. Continue reading “#DadsHurtToo (Part 1): A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage”