How To Affair-Proof Your Marriage

Nobody wakes up one day and says to themselves, “Hmm… I wanna go get an affair today.” It just doesn’t happen like that. Affairs are always the result of a long, gradual process, many times without those involved even being fully aware of the destination they’re being taken to.

What if I pass on to you something that others have passed on to me: one, simple practice – a practice that when continually applied, will keep your marriage secure and keep potential landmines away?

Ready?

Publicly talk about how much you love your spouse.

All the time.

It’s so simple, and yah – it can get awkward sometimes. I’ve got one guy on my newsfeed who takes this principle a little too far. Weird. You don’t need to do it in a way that needlessly makes those in your social feed feel jealous (or worse, gross)… but you do want to let them know you’re taken… that you’re committed… that you’re seriously not open to another option.

Faithfulness is something we all long for, no matter who you are. We longed for it from our parents, even though we may not have admitted it at the time. We long for it from our employers and our coworkers on the job. And we long for it in our own relationships.

The problem is, we don’t often believe it’s possible.

So we stop trying.

We stop saying the things we used to say when we fell in love.

And instead we start saying the negatives or the whatever’s or the frustrations. And that’s the message that gets heard.

And while we do that… slowly, the vultures outside the home circle the air over our heads a little bit closer. A little bit closer. A little bit closer… Eventually, they’ll be close enough to see that the front door isn’t fully shut, and before long they’ll invite themselves in.

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We don’t need more truth-tellers in the Christian community

There are several high-profile national leaders in Christianity whose posts I simply cannot like or share, and haven’t been able to for several years now. And that’s frustrating to me because these are people I align with on much of their theology.

Why? Because their TONE is continually so condescending, so arrogant, and so judgmental. How I wished we all realized that HOW something is said is just as important as WHAT is being said.

We don’t need more truth-tellers in the Christian community right now. 

We need more truth-in-love tellers.

We need more people who won’t shy away from telling the truth, but are at the same time extremely aware and cognizant of its delivery. People who are hyper-intentional about communicating their love and acceptance of the ones who happen to be in the crosshairs of that truth.

Truth-only-tellers tend to garner support from their “Christian fan-base” while simultaneous pissing off those on the edges and margins of the faith. They embolden the ones in the Christian corner while alienating themselves from the very ones they’re called to reach.

I believe that it is 100% possible to communicate your view of truth with someone who 100% disagrees with you, and still do so in a way that validates their experiences, intellect, and dignity. But if you shut them down and attack them as a person first, your message won’t be heard.

You’ll be known for who you’re against and what you hate, rather than who you’re for and what you love.

walking away

 

 

Lead With Grace Before Articulating Truth

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

I heard a talk this morning that so resonated with a lot of my thinking and feeling lately on many issues facing our culture. You can check it out here.
In the talk, Michael Lindsay quoted Timothy George (Dean of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University), as follows:

“John is such a careful writer that the order of those words [grace and truth] really mattered. I believe that Jesus’ ministry was one in which people came to encounter the GRACE of Christ before they could appreciate the TRUTH he had to offer.”

Wow.

One of the things that burns me up inside is this idea that we in the Christian community have to run towards the brokenness in our culture and shout the truth that we have personally come to realize, without first adequately communicating grace. We have burned many bridges in this process over the years. Bridges of ministry that no longer exist with many individuals, people, families, and entire communities.

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If we want to make a difference in this world, we need to learn to lead with grace before articulating truth.

Loved But Not Entitled

this prayer has been stirring in my heart for the last few weeks, but until now i have not been able to quite articulate it.

Dear God,

Help me teach our students that they are LOVED, but not ENTITLED.

That the value you’ve placed on their existence is far greater than they could ever imagine or will ever be told by another human being…

and yet,

that they are not above anything or anyone, and that they’re not free from the responsibility you’ve placed on their shoulders.

I Love My Job

just got an email from youth specialties with this video. if you work with students, it’s totally worth the 3 minutes. we’re gonna show it at our next team meeting in a few weeks.

some of the most significant ministry to students really does happen between youth services.

thanks YS!