The Pressures of Parenting, Part 1 (John MacArthur) ... Remember when you were newlyweds, fast approaching your one year anniversary? Life was good-your relationship with your beloved spouse, fresh and romantic; your ministry within the church, exciting and rewarding. Marriage was everything you thought it would be-and the future looked bright.

But then you have that talk-you know, the one about having kids. Your heart skipped a beat. Suddenly your shiny optimism became overshadowed with clouds of doubt and fear.

If that sounds familiar, you're not alone. Many Christian couples have feared the prospect of raising children. If you surveyed them, you'd probably hear something like this: "Parenting is expensive, time consuming, and complex. Having kids means I've got to get a bigger house, trade my SUV for a lame mini-van, set aside my personal goals, and say goodbye to time with my spouse." Whether or not those fears are legitimate, they pale in comparison to the real pressure of parenting. John MacArthur explains . . .

Listen to John's sermon excerpt, then join the conversation in the comment thread ( Here are a few questions to discuss:

Seasoned parents, what advice would you offer younger couples about to enter the realm of parenting? What lessons did God teach you that you'd like to pass along concerning the social, cultural pressures of parenting?

New or soon-to-be parents, what concerns you the most when considering the future you face as a new parent?

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