Tough and Tougher (but so worth it)

I am cleaning out my closet (again), this time sending lots of homeschooling reading material to my daughters who are in the trenches. With my weakness for the written word, I am skimming through magazines as I pack them. This quote from the January-February, 1994 issue of Home Education Magazine, pops out at me:

These are difficult times in which to raise a family. In spite of all the rhetoric from various directions about saving the family, we find as little real support for helping families as we found for educating our children.

Doesn’t the quote sound a little quaint?  I think that one major change over these twenty years is that we are less concerned with saving the family and more concerned with rights of the individual. Although statistics show how much the scales are tipped against children who do not grow up in a home with a mother and father who are (have been and will be) married to each other, we don’t want to discuss that. Instead, the focus is on the individual adult. If women want to have children, a husband is an optional appendage. If men want to have children, a woman is a biological rather than emotional or social necessity. Whatever we want to do is fine – we are told that how we define family is in our hands.

Anyone who was a parent to a five-year-old child back in 1994 is this year the parent of a twenty-five year old. In my mind, that twenty-five year old, raising his or her own child, faces immense challenges, among them that a man and woman in their twenties getting married, supporting themselves, and having children is in itself becoming a rare and endangered agenda.

As I glance through my homeschooling books and magazines, I get glimpses at how much the world has changed. The incredible responsibility and privilege that lies on parents’ shoulders remains the same. Different times bring different challenges. We don’t get to choose if we would prefer our children to grow up during the polio epidemic of the 1940’s or the heroin culture of the 1960’s; in wartime or peacetime; in times of economic prosperity or stagnation. Physical threats dominate some eras, spiritual threats imperil others.

We do get to decide if we will ‘go with the flow’ or deliberately set our feet on certain paths. Those paths may end up being treacherous or faulty, but paraphrasing an author I read who needed to make myriad choices for her ill child, we can only use the information we have to make what we believe is the best choice – omniscience isn’t an option. Our daughters and their husbands’ trials are different from those my husband and I faced, but what hasn’t changed is that caring, diligent parents are among the world’s greatest treasures.

In that vein, I am immensely proud that my husband and I (aka Lifecodex Publishing) partnered with author Gila Manolson on her brand new book, Hands Off! This May Be Love. Gila and I have worked together for months to take knowledge she has accumulated through years of writing, research and international speaking and make it available to a wider audience. Her book, exploring how powerful touch is and how young people, in particular, need to understand this power, is warm and accessible while packing a strong punch. I’d love to share some pre-publication reviews we’ve received about this book.

Gila Manolson’s book, Hand’s Off! This May Be Love, is one of the best and most needed books we’ve read in a long time.

It should be required reading in High Schools! She eloquently describes the importance of not only honoring and respecting the opposite sex but also honoring and respecting yourself enough to wait before you build those powerful connections brought through touch. These truths can be utilized in every relationship including the workplace.   I highly recommend this book for Youth leaders in Churches.

Thanks for a marvelous read!

Pastors Mark and Vicki Biltz
Tacoma, WA


This book is important, bold, and to some, even controversial. The principles presented are sound and hold the potential to turn the cultural tide. They address one of the greatest needs in our time and present a worthy challenge to the current generation. The future is literally in the balance teetering between moral depravity and purity. Read this book and share it with someone who needs to hear its truth.

Pastors Mike and Kathy Hayes
Covenant Church, TX

If you are the parent, grandparent, teacher, aunt or uncle of young children, I urge you to read this book to help prepare for the years ahead. If your children are pre-teens, teens or young adults, this book has the potential to spare them years of grief. I am so excited to introduce this book to you and can’t wait to hear your comments.

Find out more

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1 thought on “Tough and Tougher (but so worth it)”

  1. Perhaps you saw this morning’s offering on Yahoo, of a before-and-after sequence, featuring about ten actresses. All were showing a midriff, yet not one of them had a figure which was a perfect ten. But the image of each had been ‘photoshopped’ after the fact, to normalize and idealize her figure, adding some inches up here and subtracting inches down there.
    Fascinated, I watched this in spite of myself. What does this mean? The ‘Barbie’ markers of this culture are so rigid and restrictive, inspiring even healthy women to lose weight in pursuit of a fool’s-golden ideal which does not in reality exist. And the icons of this culture are but phony constructs, idealized to fit some abstract image that exists only as a product of wishful thinking. Talk about the difficulties of raising a family (particularly) of young females! The intense pressure to conform in the face of screaming subliminal messages must be an insidious spiritual threat today.
    I believe that raising a family is fraught with peril at all times, in all ages. But you are right if you believe that spiritual perils, far beyond the realm of ‘beauty,’ are the deadliest. Today’s perils seem especially deadly, because they are spiritual, subliminal, hidden, insidious and pervasive. Perceiving and combating them requires developing a special awareness, as powers-that-be with an axe to grind would rewrite the historical record to advance their goals.

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