At Issue – Self-Reliance

At Issue - Self-Reliance Zechariah 4:6 God brings us to the end of ourselves to show us how much, how desperately, we need him. We need the power of his Spirit to help us walk in obedience, no matter the cost. We need his help to forgive as we’ve been forgiven, to love as we’ve been loved, to be patient with others as he’s been patient with us. Only through the Spirit can we break the power of sin in our lives—whether it’s addiction or Continue Reading

Marriage at the Resurrection

Matthew 22:23–30 “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage” (vv. 29–30). Matthew 22:15–40 records three points at which corrupt leaders tried to get Jesus to take positions that He might later regret. Ironically, the various sects these men represented were usually at odds, but they ganged up on Christ, their common foe. Times have not Continue Reading

Beauty in Submission

1 Peter 2:11—3:7 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 1 Peter 3:1–2 For many people, the word submission implies serving someone else hand and foot. Submission seems dehumanizing. We assume that such deference would sap a marriage of the mutual Continue Reading

Conquering Fears in Marriage

Hebrews 11:1—12:3 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1 It’s scary to tell someone, “I love you.” It’s even more frightening to ask, “Will you marry me?” Still even more terrifying is the answer: “Yes.” Think about the weak-in-the-knees words “I do” and what can follow them: buying a house, having children, moving the family to a different state, taking a new job . . . The Continue Reading

Filling the gaps?

September 5, 2012 Filling the Gaps? Lynn Cowell "I made you. I am now your husband. My name is The Lord Who Rules Over All. I am the Holy One of Israel. I have set you free. I am the God of the whole earth." Isaiah 54:5 (NIRV) I never thought I'd marry the guy I had crushed on since sixth grade and whose name I doodled on all my folders! Twenty-five years later, while far from perfect and at times under lots of parenting pressure, Continue Reading

At Issue — Lust

Matthew 5:27–30 Our society loves the little loopholes—on our taxes, on our timesheets, in the courtroom, in our obligations. But in God’s eyes, violating the spirit of his law is the same as actually breaking the letter of it. Having a sexual fantasy about your handsome neighbor is as sinful as if you had actually engaged in a physical affair. Investing your emotions into a male friend or man you met online and becoming dependent on him at Continue Reading

Making the Hard Choice

September 3, 2012 Making the Hard Choice Melanie Chitwood "'Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold I will do something new, now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.'" Isaiah 43:18-19 (NAS) Several years after a friend weathered a huge storm in her marriage, I asked her, "How do you not remember and not get angry all Continue Reading

Finding Strength in Submission

Philemon 1–25 Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. Philemon 8–9 During the Reformation, when Martin Luther and Ulrich Zwingli were exchanging strong words about Biblical interpretations and ecclesiastical practices, Zwingli spent a troubled morning walking the mountain trails of his beloved Switzerland. From a distance he observed two Continue Reading

At Issue – Marriage

At Issue - Marriage Mark 10:1–12 It used to be that when couples pledged themselves in marriage “till death do us part,” they meant it. Sadly, many Christian couples today enter into marriage thinking they can always get out and try again if this marriage doesn’t work. Yet God designed marriage as a permanent union of two people into one for his glory—not a temporary alliance until something goes awry or one of the two parties finds a better Continue Reading