Image from kristenbomas.com
American culture is rife with addiction. And many people in the church like to pretend it doesn’t exist within their pews. But it does. Often, when all the ‘amen’s and ‘hallelujah’s have ceased, and the worship team has gone home for the day, a fellow church member is whispering to a trusted friend in the back corner about her struggle to live with an addicted spouse. I know, because I’m often the trusted friend.
My heart breaks for people who have to deal with a significant other’s addiction. It is almost unbearably painful and frustrating. Addiction destroys trusts and often brings couples to financial ruin. After seeing the effects of addiction within my own family, I think it’s time to address the issue for others who may be suffering. I will attempt to shed some light on addiction and hopefully provide a little wisdom in how to deal with it effectively. Continue reading
Image from knowlegebase-script.com.
Let me describe a common scenario for you. A Christian is surfing the Internet and sees where someone has posted a disparaging comment about a particular Christian belief, practice, or faith in general. The Christian feels a twinge of concern and decides this is a good opportunity to engage the writer. Of course, her purpose in responding to the comment is to show how wrong and ignorant the writer is and maybe convince a few folks to turn to Jesus. So she begins to respond, keeping her tone calm and polite at first.
But then, people don’t answer her in the way she expects. Some purposely antagonize her and hurl insults. Others challenge her beliefs with provoking and unfair questions. As the conversation continues, she becomes increasingly frustrated and angry. Soon, her responses are no longer calm and polite. The writer of the original comment is written off as a sad, amoral idiot who will see the truth only when it is too late to save himself. Continue reading
Look! My garden phlox is sprouting!
Last fall, I finally got around to weeding the flowerbeds in front of my house after two years of neglect. Boy, what a job! The beds were almost completely overgrown. I had to use a shovel to dislodge the weeds from the soil. After hours of backbreaking work, I finally had everything neat and cleared again. My neighbors were very impressed.
The beds looked great all through the winter. Then at the first hint of spring, the weeds came back all at once–almost worse than before! Silly me didn’t mulch the beds. I had cleared all of the weeds, but hadn’t taken any preventative measures to keep them from coming back. So last week, I was right back at it: breaking up weeds with the shovel and wearing holes in the knees of my pants. You can bet I mulched this time…and took some other measures as well. Continue reading
What if you could become the perfect Christian? The kind that when God looks down from heaven, He can say, “I find no fault in that one.” Would you do whatever it takes? Travel to any country? Witness to any person? Give up chocolate and TV for the rest of your life?
Well, what if I told you that you can keep your chocolate and still be a perfect Christian? What if I told you that being a perfect Christian, while perhaps challenging at times, was completely doable? That pleasing God is totally within the realm of possibility, and it won’t require you to move to India and live in a monastery? Well, here it is, straight from the mouth of Jesus: Continue reading
Image from shyjumathew.com
I recently read an article on The Christian Pundit entitled “It Matters Whom You Marry,” and I agreed with pretty much everything it said. Choosing who will spend your life with you is a critical decision that will impact your whole life–physically, emotionally, spiritually and relationally. I can’t tell you how frustrated I get with women who pine after men who couldn’t care less that they exist. That said, the article expressed a sentiment that I find increasingly common among Christian writers. It goes something like this:
If the guy is not a believer, you can stop right there. You have no business yoking a redeemed soul with an unregenerate one, even if he seems open to change. Christ has bought you with a price and it is not an option to give away that blood bought heart to someone who doesn’t know and love your Lord. It will cripple your spiritual development, open up a host of temptations, stifle your prayer life, make regular church going difficult, and cause massive parenting conflict if you have children. [...] The health of your eternity is at stake. Think carefully.
Should you marry someone who shares your faith? Yes. Will it make married life easier? Absolutely. But the going assumption seems to be that if your spouse isn’t a believer (specifically if you’re a woman), then your marriage is not only doomed to misery, but your own salvation will be jeopardized. It also assumes that if your spouse wears the Christian label, you’ll always be perfectly in tune and marital conflicts will rarely, if ever, arise. Which is hogwash. My dating experience taught me that there’s a big difference between wearing the Christian label and actually being Christ-like. Let me illustrate. Continue reading