Today on Mailbox Monday I’m tackling a question that I’ve never gotten before, along with a few others! Listen in, and be encouraged!
Transcribed version of podcast is below.
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Isaiah 55:6
Resources Mentioned in Podcast
- Faith That Speaks Lakeland, Florida
- Early Bird tickets end January 30th
- With the early bird ticket, you get a beautiful canvas tote bag and you get to skip the line!
- THSC Winter Summit
- Jan 31-Feb 1, Sugar Land TX
- Firmly Planted Family Bible Study For Families
- Firmly Planted Homeschool Resource Center
- Kay Arthur
All Things Heidi
- See all events here
- MomStrong International
- Sample Bible Study Week and Cursive Copywork.
- To see the Manuscript of the Copywork and the Scripture Writing schedule, sign up at MomStrong International for a FREE account to gain access!
- Bible Study kicks off the first Monday of each month.
- Scripture Writing kicks off the first day of every month.
- Speaking Requests
- Submit your questions to MailBox Monday
- Essential Oils
- Shop my Amazon Store
- My Books: Becoming MomStrong | MomStrong Bible Study | Prayers for the Battlefield | Bible Promises for Moms | Becoming MomStrong Journal
Join us at MomStrong International for our newest Bible Study and Scripture Writing!
Hey everybody, good morning. This is Heidi St. John, welcome to the podcast. Today is Monday, January 27th. This is episode number 877. It’s Mailbox Monday and we’ve got a lot of questions to get you. Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged
So I was just in Frisco, Texas with the good women of the Winter Summit. We had such a good time and we’re going to do it again. There’s still time to join me in Houston, Texas this weekend. If you’re in Houston, come on out, bring a friend and let’s take time to encourage one another. This is a great group of women. You are not going to want to miss it this weekend, January 31st through February 1st the Texas Homeschool Coalition Homeschool Mom’s Winter Summit. You guys can register at wintersummit.thsc.org. You guys are going to love it coming out. We had a great time. You’re going to leave with encouragement and you’re going to have your heart filled up and we’re going to just group hug, group hug. So coming out this weekend.
Also, the early bird registration dates for Lakeland, are you ready for this? Lakeland, Florida, February 21st to 22nd early bird registration has been extended to January 30th and the Thousand Oaks Los Angeles, California event, which is March 13th and 14th early bird registration ends February 16th. And so if you’re anywhere near Lakeland, Florida, we want to encourage you to come down and come up, come over from wherever you are. My friend Elizabeth Johnston and Kathy Barnett are joining me on the road this year for a faith that speaks and it’s going to be an awesome opportunity. And the early bird ticket the Faith That Speaks includes, wait for it, a skip the line option that’s going to allow you to get in 15 minutes earlier than the other attendees and you’ll get a chance to meet Elizabeth and Kathy and myself. You’re also going to get a tee shirt and a beautiful canvas tote bag. Now is the opportunity for you to register for that event. Faith That Speaks, Lakeland, Florida, February 21st through 22nd. You can find out information at heidistjohn.com/events.
All right you guys, this is kind of a heavier day I guess, for me at the podcast. I love to get your questions and I really appreciate you sending them in. On Mondays, I try to answer questions from listeners and we do something called Mailbox Monday. So if you’re brand new to the podcast, you may not be as familiar with Mailbox Monday, but this is probably one of my favorite things to do is to hear your heart, hear what the Lord’s doing in your life and encourage you if I can, through the word of God and hopefully with some experience that comes from just walking with the Lord for a long time and raising seven kids and being married for 30 years and homeschooling and now I feel really tired.
Today, well, I guess before I go on, I should say if you’ve got questions that you want to submit, you can submit them to me online at heidistjohn.com/mailboxmonday. And the way that you do that is just please keep your questions short and sweet and to the point. If you can just use two or three words at the very beginning to tell me what your question is about, then that helps us choose which questions we’re going to air, and we are really excited because we’re getting really great feedback from you. There are hundreds of questions in the queue, so if we pick your question, we believe that it’s going to resonate with a larger audience.
Today I’m going to answer a question from a listener that I have actually never gotten before and I was excited about that, but I just want to remind you guys again that the heart behind what we do here is always, always, always to strengthen the family. Is to strengthen the family. This is the heart behind Firmly Planted Family, it’s the heart behind the Firmly Planted Homeschool Resource Center, behind Firmly Planted Family Bible Study For Families that my husband and I wrote several years ago, which I’ll link back to you in the show notes today, and it’s also the heartbeat behind MomStrong International. If you’re not a member of MomStrong International, we do a Bible study there every month and I just want to encourage you to join what we’re doing. It’s about $8 a month, but that $8 has helped us to get a writing team together to produce what is a very wonderful, very meaty Bible study every month that goes along with the free Scripture Writing Challenge that I have been doing for the last, I don’t know, at least five years. So check it out, momstronginternational.com.
We’re right in the middle of a study right now called Recalibrate and it’s a chance for you to take a step back. We’re going to examine the life of Ruth and we’re going to look at a few other examples from the Bible of men and women who followed God in circumstances that seemed difficult, but their lives were marked by obedience. And that’s what we want as believers, isn’t it? To have our lives marked by obedience. And so I hope that you will join me at MomStrong International and really just commit with me to follow the Lord.
All right, I’m going to try to get as many questions in as I can today. So I’m just going to jump right in. Heidi, there’s going to be a drag queen story hour at our local library. Do you know some good ways to go about standing against it? Okay, I get this question all the time and a couple of things I want to let you guys know as I have been saying over and over and over again, the American Library Association is not your friend. The American Library Association is very anti-family, it is very pro-sexual indoctrination. I just received word a couple of weeks ago about a book that’s in the library and I literally gasped when I saw it. A graphic novel that they are marketing to children. The images in this novel was nothing short of pornography. I still haven’t determined the best way to attack this particular scenario, but I want to let you know that drag queens have no place in our library.
And I just saw a footage of teenagers in Sydney, Australia because they got— guess what? Drag queens in their libraries too. They’re not holding back anymore, you guys, because their agenda has been uncovered. So now they’re just going full steam ahead. And these are people with mental illness, these are people with sexual perversions, these are pedophiles, and they have no place anywhere near our children. And so what we have done here is I just straight up quit using the library and that’s an option for you, but I would say more than that, I would go into your library, talk to the librarian and say, “We will no longer be patronizing this library and this is why. And we will tell everyone we know this library is not safe for children.” Drag queens are not for kids. That’s what they were chanting in Sydney, Australia last week. Drag queens are not for kids. Drag queens are not for kids. And guess what? The drag queen that was there to indoctrinate and confuse the kids had the leave.
We need to stand up for our children. And believe me when I say standing up in the culture right now is going to get you bullied and picked on, but we have to do it. And we’ve got to stop being afraid. And so I would say the first place to start is to send a letter to the head librarian and if your head librarian is anything like mine here in Clark County, she won’t care, but send it to her anyway and then join the local protests that are happening. Make sure you get the word out to local city officials and say, “This is wrong that our tax dollars are going to fund these things and stand in the gap for our kids.” We’re hurting our kids. And that’s the fact.
All right, next question comes from Ashley. She said, “Heidi, I find several female Bible teachers online. Some of you write popular blogs or books and some also have podcasts that I really enjoy learning from, but I’ve also seen criticism of them online from other Christian so-called experts. While what I hear from several of these teachers sounds correct to me, that criticism has planted a seed of doubt. I know you have offered ways to identify false teachers, but going a step further, are there any Bible teaching women out there whose writings and teachings you would highly recommend?”
So that is a great question Ashley. Thank you for sending that in. Absolutely, at the top of my list still, the incomparable Kay Arthur, anything that she has written I absolutely 100% stand behind. And there are a couple of other studies as well and I will link back to those in the show notes today, but Kay comes to mind because she is a staunch defender of the word of God as it was written. She’s not trying to change anything. I don’t see her backpedaling. You could say that she’s been around long enough to know that backpedaling is not going to get us anywhere anyway except for farther down the cultural ladder.
So definitely check out Precept International. When I was a young mother, these are the Bible studies that I learned under. I was a student at Multnomah School of the Bible when I first started studying precepts. It’s basically an inductive way of looking at the Bible. And I’m going to have Kay on my show, Lord willing, here pretty soon and she can talk to you a little bit about her ministry, but she has an important voice.
They also have Precepts for Children and so I would check that out. Also, I rarely talk about it on the show because, well, frankly, because I forget, but we wrote, the St. John’s wrote a Bible study for families called Firmly Planted and it is a Bible study that you can do everyday with your children from toddlers all the way up to teenagers. Check it out. It’s a great way to get your kids into the word and make it a habit with your family. Part of the liturgy, the rhythm of your family. So that was a great question Ashley. Thanks for sending that in and I will link back to several more women Bible teachers who I think are worthy of paying attention to.
The next question says, “Heidi, I have been a longtime follower of yours. It was five years ago in Greenville that I attended one of your workshops and was empowered and encouraged to start homeschooling that soon after we pulled our kids out of public school and taught them at home.” Right on, I love this. “We currently live in California in military housing and that housing allows same sex couples who are recognized as married to live in the family homes. For the last two years, the issue was fairly avoidable, but now it’s on our doorstep literally. We have a lesbian couple that moved in across the street with their child and they have a pride flag hanging out their front window. They are very active outdoors, so we see them often. There’s no question that they are a couple. I welcomed them to the neighborhood after they moved in like I do with all the new families and just as I do with the others, I invited them to our church home. They are very kind to me, welcoming, and not what I would consider to be militant. My children are not strangers to this topic as we started talking to them in age appropriate ways about sex, sexuality, and culture when they were young and we still continue to do so. My question to you is this, my husband and I feel our kids are firm in the knowledge of God and how he created us to be gender, sexually and all of that, but how am I supposed to model love for the sinner and hate the sin without confusing my kids? I want to be kind and show Christ’s love to our new neighbors and interact with them in true tolerance, but I don’t want it to seem to my kids that I’m accepting of their lifestyle.
I feel like the rubber is hitting the road and it’s time to walk the talk, but I want to make sure it’s done with purpose and intent so my kids don’t walk away more confused than ever. We also live in an area where the “hate speech ordinance” has been passed. This is so frustrating. “And CPS has been known to visit homes where kids in the local public schools have expressed traditional Christian views on marriage and gender. It recently happened to a family in our neighborhood after their child expressed a view contrary to what was being taught in the Pre-K Program at our local elementary school, they are now homeschooling.” Good for them.
All right, so a couple things that come to my mind right away. First of all, this is a fantastic question and your heart for your neighbor really comes across here and honestly you guys, that is the heart of Jesus. We are to be kind. You’re talking about people who don’t know the Lord. My greatest frustration with so-called gay marriage proponents are the ones that are in the church. And Christians, you say, “Oh, God’s totally down with that. God doesn’t care.” This is absolutely not the case. The Bible is very clear on the issue of homosexuality just like it is on many other kinds of sin. And so we don’t want to elevate the sin of homosexuality above another sin and thereby singling people out. It’s just like any other sin and we have to talk about it that way and address it that way.
I would encourage you though to keep doing what you’re already doing. It sounds to me like you’ve done the wise thing, which is to talk to your children about what is true and what is right, and you have taught them what the Bible says about human sexuality and about how we are to behave sexually and what honors God. Now, with that said, you know that the people who live across the street from you are not believers my policy has always been—be kind. I think you’ve got nothing to lose by being ridiculously kind. Would I be inviting them into my home and pretending like this is normal life with my children? Probably not. We historically, Jay and I have had interactions with lots of gay couples throughout our years of ministry, many, many years of ministry. I think the policy always has to be kind.
The Bible says it’s your kindness that brings us to repentance. And you can be kind to someone without normalizing what God calls sin for your children. And we want to teach our children to be kind. My friend Jane said to me years ago that she was downtown in a big city with one of her daughters and I believe her daughter saw a prostitute down somewhere in downtown or whatever, and her daughter began to look rather quizzingly at this woman and rather judgmentally, and her mom said to her, “You know what honey? That girl does not know how much Jesus loves her.” And I thought that was such a beautiful grace filled way to steer her daughter away from being cruel in her judgment and still wise to see this isn’t right. We can see that it’s not right, but we want to pray for and love our neighbors and the people in our communities who desperately need to hear that they are loved, that God loves them.
So I would say, put these people at the top of your prayer list, love them like crazy, bring them an apple pie when the time is right, and you can do that without inviting them into your home to flaunt a lifestyle in front of your children and possibly confuse them. So I hope that helps. I know that these are difficult questions, but I want to encourage Christians to be kind. And we don’t have to sacrifice the integrity of our faith on the altar of kindness and we don’t sacrifice truth on the altar of a misguided mercy, but we need to engage the world the way that God would have us.
And like I said at the beginning of answering your question, to me, the main difference here, especially when we talk about homosexuality, my biggest beef is with the church that has lost its way and says, “Oh, it’s not a big deal. God doesn’t care.” God absolutely cares and he does not want us living in open, unrepentant sin, especially those of us who know the Lord Jesus, all right? So I think you’re talking about people who don’t know Jesus and I say be Jesus, all right?
Next question comes from a mom who says, “Hello, Heidi, I was recently recommended an episode of your podcast about sex and it helped me gain some understanding of what sex with my future husband could be like. I can’t stop listening to your podcast even though I’m only engaged with no kids.” So thank you so much for that encouragement. By the way, I am not afraid to talk about sex. I think that we should be… I think Christians have the corner on the market on this conversation because God is the creator and he created it. And so I love that you’re writing and asking this question.
“For various reasons, I have lived at home my whole life and I’ve recently become engaged. I am a 24 year old virgin and my fiance is a 31 year old virgin. I know that God has led me to him and I cannot wait to be married, but I often find myself anxious and overwhelmed with the sudden change of marriage. I will go from single to married, virgin to having sex, moving out of a lifelong home and to a new city. I often feel even more discouraged as most women will tell me how hard their first year of marriage was and they were often miserable.” Okay, I would love any advice you or your listeners can provide in this drastic but exciting change of life. “I’m dying to talk to my mother and grandmother, but they have both passed away. Most of my friends have not had the same experience as most of my friends are not virgins and are unmarried. I am also nervous to raise my insecurities to other women because I am often met with questioning about whether I really should get married.”
And so first of all, this is a very nuanced question and I’m going to answer just a couple of things right off the bat. As a mother of daughters who are your age, I feel like you could be a daughter of mine. And so I love the honesty in your question and I just want to encourage you. I know that some people have a hard time in their first year of marriage. I loved my first year of marriage. Did we have problems? Yes, we did. Were there issues sexually that we needed to adjust to because I was also a virgin when I got married and so was my husband? Yes, there were. But you know what? I would not trade those years for anything in the world.
So don’t let people… It’s one thing if you’re marrying a jerk, but I’m going to assume that you’re marrying a really neat, godly man and it sounds like he’s waiting. If he’s 31 years old and he’s been waiting for his wife, praise the Lord. He is giving you a precious gift and you are giving him a precious gift. And I think this is nothing but something to rejoice over. So is it going to be challenging? Absolutely. Are you going to have moments when you’re going to want to go home? Absolutely.
I remember being a young married woman and getting into a fight with my husband and I went home and remember my parents were in the middle of a divorce at this point, and I went home and my mom opened the door and said, “Come on in and what’s going on?” And I told her how mad I was at Jay and how unfair and how uncouth and whatever. It’s been 30 years, I can’t even remember the whole thing. But I remember this very clearly. My mother very wisely said to me, “Heidi, you are to leave and cleave.” This was not an abuse situation. This was just normal trying to figure it out. And she said, “Here’s a couple of Oreos and a cup of milk to go. See you later. Bye.” And she sent me back to my husband. And guess what I had to do. Work it out.
And so I’m just going to encourage you to leave and cleave. Leave and cleave. You guys are going to look back over these years of your lives and they are going to be a precious, precious memory that you have. And so I just want to encourage you, I think marriage is wonderful. Even when it’s hard, it’s wonderful. And you are at the start of a brand new adventure. And I love that you’re listening to the podcast and hopefully this’ll be an encouragement to you. I feel like there are lots of young women listening to this today whose parents have not been parenting them. Who have not had a shepherding and not had parents to come alongside and really give them godly counsel. And so I really appreciate that you wrote in.
Also I would say how about lower your expectations for how amazing honeymoon sex will be? Just lower the bar. I feel like when I got married I had an idea of what sex was going to be like because of what I’d seen in the movies or what Hollywood portrays or whatever, and I don’t know. I also don’t think that’s actually true. So I think give yourself some space. Also, I teach an essential oils and intimacy class. I do it about twice a year and when we get ready to do that again, I will talk about it here on the podcast. That might be a wonderful thing for you to get involved in and listen to. I wish I had known about that when I got married. That would have been good. I just think I wouldn’t let the enemy steal your joy.
Listen, nothing that’s worth doing in this life will be easy. Nothing. Not parenting, not marriage. Nothing that’s worth doing is going to be easy. And if it’s worth doing, some of it’s going to be hard, but hang in there. I’m telling you why you’re coming up for the ride of your life and I am excited for you. Marriage is a wonderful adventure and I just want to wish you all the best. So keep those questions coming and be encouraged because you’ve got a wonderful thing to look forward to.
All right, that’s all I have time for at the podcast today. I want to thank you guys for listening and thank you for sending your questions to me. If you’d like me to address your question, you can send it to me at heidistjohn.com/mailboxmonday. And as always, I want to leave the podcast by reminding you that my women’s conference Faith That Speaks is coming up and I hope you guys will come. I guarantee you it’s a weekend that will change your life. It’s absolutely worth it. And for Lakeland, Florida, the preregistration special, which is a skip the line pass and a beautiful canvas tote bag, those are in effect right now through the 30th of January. So hope you guys will come out. It’s going to be a wonderful weekend. We cannot wait to see what God will do.
You guys stay faithful. We serve the living God and he is making a difference in the world that we live in because his word is active and alive and he’s living in his people today. So I hope you guys are encouraged. Stay in the word you guys. Join me over at momstronginternational.com and get on the Scripture Writing Challenge train and I know you guys are going to be encouraged. Thanks for listening today. I’ll see you back here on Wednesday.
Write to Heidi:
Heidi St. John
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
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