In this week’s episode of the Connected Kingdom podcast, Tim and I discuss a difficult subject. Early infant loss is a term that applies to miscarriage, stillbirth, and the death of a newborn. We asked Glenda Mathes to join us to help us understand this issue from a practical and biblical perspective. Glenda is the author of Little One Lost: Living With Early Infant Loss and we ask her about how we can minister to (and how we should not attempt to minister to) those who have suffered this kind of loss, about the guilt that is so often a part of the grieving process, about how the church has too often failed such people, and about so much more.
Glenda has been married for forty years to the nicest guy in the world, David Mathes. They are parents of four living adult children and one little one in heaven, grandparents to five grandsons on earth and one grandchild in heaven. She regularly writes for Christian Renewal and The Messenger and blogs at Ascribelog. She has also written Not My Own: Discovering God’s Comfort in the Heidelberg Catechism, the first volume in the “Life in Christ” catechism curriculum, which is being translated into seven languages; and A Month of Sundays: 31 Meditations on Resting in God, scheduled for release in November from Reformation Heritage Books. She loves watching sun rays pierce clouds, smelling line-dried laundry, and crunching through autumn leaves. Her greatest joy comes from witnessing her children and grandchildren walking in the faith.
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Balancing the books and the babies
Kim Shay: “For a woman who wants to be at home full time but wants to continue to feed her mind, I have a few suggestions that don’t involve enrolling in classes if you don’t want to or can’t.”
I’ve learned a lot about grace since being married – mainly in receiving it. But I’ve never learned so much about grace as I have in parenting teenagers – mainly in giving it.
The grace to love them when they don’t want to be loved.
The grace to love when they are not very loveable.
The grace to keep giving when it seems I can never give enough.
The grace to keep giving when there’s no giving in return.
The grace to forgive when I know the sin will be repeated again…and again.
The grace to ask forgiveness even when most of the sin was on the other side.
The grace to say “Sorry” even if I will not be forgiven.
The grace to communicate when there’s no communication in return.
The grace to offer help when help is not welcomed.
The grace to give advice, when the advice will be rejected.
The grace to say “Yes” when they deserve a “No.”
The grace to be resented for my love.
The grace to be viewed as uncool rather than über trendy.
The grace to not let the sun go down upon my anger.
The grace to explain when I could simply demand.
The grace to never be told, “Dad you were right and I was wrong.”
The grace to be thought of as an enemy for trying to be a faithful friend.
The grace to rejoice in their successes even when there are serious failings elsewhere.
The grace to pursue reconciliation when I’m the wronged party.
The grace to accept that I’ll never be the super-parent I wanted to be and others seem to be.
This is the hardest university I’ve ever been in, and I’m not sure if I’m ever going to graduate. If I do, it certainly won’t be with honors. However, I’m learning so much about God’s lifelong grace towards me (and about my parents’ grace towards me over 30 years ago), that I’d be willing to repeat the course.
What have you learned about grace in parenting teenagers?
Honorable Leadership Needed
Joel Beeke: “I stared in disbelief at my laptop last night as our Vice President interrupted Congressman Paul Ryan 96 times in about as many minutes of debate. When I observed his arrogance, his degrading laughter, his angry responses, and his dismissive attitude, I was deeply troubled.”