As the discussion on branding and platforming has unfolded, how can we help one another to heed the ton-load of wisdom in these short articles? If Christian writers shouldn’t be seeking to build up self, then what should they be doing? We ought to be exalting Jesus and building up others (Phil 2:3), but how can we tell if our writing is doing that?
. . . I had to learn something in the midst of feeling controlled by my hormones: I cannot allow my body, my emotions and my hormones to control me. I needed to be controlled only by the love of Christ, even in the depths of menopause. And God says I can be (2 Cor 5:14, 2 Tim 1:7).
Certain that true community and growth were only possible through unflinching vulnerability, I committed to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. I shared all the gory details of my past and present struggles, heaping burdens upon willing listeners while remaining a safe distance from their attempts to speak truth into my life.
I realized something was really wrong in my heart when I continued to obsess over my wedding after it had taken place. Had everything been as I wanted it to be? Maybe if I had just changed a few things here, a few things there, then it would really have been ideal.
Is it true? Can I expect God to heal me? Should we expect him to solve our dilemmas? To fix broken circumstances? To mend fractured relationships? And what does it mean for us when our hurts persist?
Dying to self is painful, but dying in miserable sin is way worse.
Why do we sometimes build expectations that the self-sacrificial mysteries of marriage must make us unhappy to make us more like Jesus? And where does that leave those to whom God has given happiness and ease in marriage—or in life for that matter? Are the happy and less afflicted believers less holy than those who suffer?
As children of God, we hurt each other constantly, thinking the pain and retribution we inflict on one another has nothing to do with him. But we are wrong, it’s never just between us.
Singleness is often written with a slant that assumes a single person’s life must be hard, but the Bible teaches that singleness can actually be a good thing.
How many children in middle school and high school do you know that can speak confidently to adults while looking them in the eye? How many children do you know who are assertive and initiate contact with others, seeking others out in meaningful conversations? If you live in the same world that I do, the answer is probably not many. That is because conversation is a learned skill.
Children are a gift from God precisely because they are a heritage. Parenting is valuable because as one participates in the activity of it, it produces something of worth. Something that brings significance for both the parent and the child.
Girls can be placed in an awkward position when they are asked out. How should a girl turn down a guy? Can a woman serve her brother in Christ who goes out on a limb to ask her out on a date? The apostle Paul tells us that whether we eat or drink, we should do everything to the glory of God. This does not exclude the moment when a girl is faced with the decision to say no to a pursuer
We are talkers. Our talking isn’t just a way we pass the time. There is much more going on with our desire to speak. Part of the reason we speak compulsively is an attempt to rule and subdue the earth, because we image a God of spoken power.
When we, as kids, would complain to my dad about how mom wasn’t letting us have the sleepover we asked for, or when I entered that phase of life in college in which I felt I knew everything and she knew little, he would slowly say, “That’s my bride you’re talking about.”
A very common piece of advice, or warning, I have received is that my closest friends should not be in our church. I have been told it’s impossible to have close friendships with church members, warned I will get burned, and told to find another outlet for community in order to protect myself and my family from negative experiences.
We have, yet again, entered a new season in our household. It is no longer just dirty diapers and nursing sessions; but now it is those things plus getting homework done, consistent discipline and realizing that we are helping to form sufficient adults one day. I could be so tempted to try and just get through it. But if I’m being honest, doing life that way makes me sad.
Sometimes I like to think about how exhausted Jesus must have felt as whole towns followed him around (Mk 1:33). I like to think about this mainly because while I don’t have whole towns following me around, sometimes having chatty little children feels like it.
It may be the case that some of us have lesser capacities than others, smaller investments to make. It may be the case that someone else’s gifts seem to be more transformative in the lives of others, or are more easily seen. It is, however, most certainly the case that each person is created in the image of God and positioned in the world to reflect Him for His glory within the scope He has assigned to each (Isaiah 43:7; 2 Corinthians 10:13).
Whatever the onset, caring for aging parents necessitates we give of ourselves in ways and to degrees that we hadn’t anticipated. In the best scenario, it’s a joyful exchange of love and support between aging parents and their adult children. But for many, parent care is a challenge that brings up difficult dynamics and forces us to make decisions that put us at odds with what our parents want.
As I tossed and turned in the wee hours of the morning, my frustration grew; not with the speakers of the words I obsessed over, but with myself. It was clear to me that I had become a woman whose worth felt threatened by other’s opinions.