In high school and college, I saw a number of people set boundaries on their lives for the sake of holiness and purity. Friends of mine would declare a “Facebook fast” and would deactivate their accounts for months at a time, citing their need to strengthen a relationship with God as the motivation to abstain. Other friends would declare a year of singleness, determining not to date for twelve months in order to refocus on the Lord. Others set boundaries on existing relationships (“we will not be alone in a bedroom together”; “we will not hang out past 11:00 pm unless others are present”; “we will not kiss until marriage”). At the outset, hopes were high for the excited individuals, each one intent on drawing nearer to God. But not every promise produced the desired result, and not every pledge proved effective.
Marriage is a journey. I had the privilege of watching two dear friends begin that journey on Saturday, and I loved seeing their excitement for the road ahead. As they exchanged their vows and reflected on how God had so perfectly led them together, I saw yet another picture of God’s love for us. The simplicity and humility shown was beautiful, and it pointed to the pure example of Christ, who died for his enemies to make them adopted children of God.
As new marriages are beginning, others I know are marking the first of many anniversaries, allowing me to see couples in a various number of early stages. Not surprisingly, I’m learning a lot by watching those facing the challenges that time brings. Today, I wanted to continue adding to a post I wrote in June. I pray God will encourage and challenge you through these observations. Continue reading
I spent roughly the first seventeen and a half years of my life in the same city. I only ever attended my home church, I was homeschooled from kindergarten through high school, and my circle of friends consisted almost solely of kids I’d grown up with at church and a handful of students I’d met through state youth choirs and events. My parents and extended family are largely Christian, and the friends I made in my neighborhood growing up were from much the same background as I. All in all, I lived a somewhat sheltered life.
Shortly after I started leading Bible studies, I grew a strange desire to buy a sword. I knew of a little shop in a mall about an hour away from the university that sold all manner of blades, so, one day, when I had sufficient funds, I made the trek and purchased an epic battle sword. Sadly, it wasn’t sharpened (which is probably for the best), but it still fit the bill: full scale, heavy metal, and awesome. Between this and another sword I was given in college, I felt much more prepared for war, though I wasn’t swinging either blade against the enemy.
Dreams came true at Comic Con. I watched as fans were literally so star struck before their favorite actress that they couldn’t form coherent sentences. I saw multitudes stand in line to take pictures with big name actors after paying quite a sum of money for the privilege. I got my picture taken with a Dalek (for free) and was able to try on some Wolverine claws after attending a Doctor Who “Q&A” session featuring a celebrity guest. And, to top it all off, General Mills was giving away boxes of Batman and Superman breakfast cereals. Day seized.
Nicholas Sparks, the author of a large number of romance novels, divorced his wife of twenty-five years earlier this year according to a number of sources online. The articles I read noted that he and his wife had come to this decision after much consideration, but separation was still the final verdict. Continue reading
I’ve jokingly referred to 2015 as “The Year of Weddings.” We’ve just recently hit the eight month marker, and, thus far, the vast majority of my friends from college are now newly married, engaged, or are in relationships that are heading toward marriage. As the year goes on, more join that group. Relationships are forming and solidifying on a near epidemic scale. The single boat is apparently sinking, and most people I know are partnering up and jumping ship. Continue reading
Having a quiet time won’t necessarily keep you from sinning. Continue reading