When my husband and I got engaged, two particular sentiments dominated the congratulatory discussions - the “Oh, you’re going to love marriage, it’s so wonderful. Such a blessing” comments, and there were also the “Get ready. It’s not as easy as it seems” comments.
As we’re rounding the corner of eighteen months and wrapping up our newlywed status, I’ve found that both are true (at least so far). Marriage has been so, so sweet! It does also take work, but not because my husband is difficult – because I am. Thankfully, the Bible has plenty to say regarding our sinful tendencies as newlywed wives, and how to turn those into opportunities to grow. These pithy nuggets of practical wisdom in Proverbs have been a great help to me and can help us shape us into “excellent wives” who are “crowns” to our husbands rather than “rottenness to [their] bones” (Proverbs 12:4).
What does that bring to your mind? Perhaps you’re thinking of those facebook debates over the Christian’s use of alcohol or arguments over personal standards. Perhaps it conjures bitter memories of judgmental Christians and legalistic churches.
What if, when we thought of Christian liberty, it brought to mind ideas such as “love,” “God’s glory,” and “service”?
Christians have idols that we love to hate, at least superficially, like materialism or pride. For some reason these are the idols that are the ones that typically get the “amens” and “that’ll preach” comments when the pastor serves up a message about them. But for some reason, there are certain idols that we just love to love. Were the pastor to preach on an inordinate love of conservative politics, or the American dream, or the nuclear family I’d venture a guess that we wouldn’t hear as many “amens” during that sermon. Yet, even the good and well-intentioned things that we do as Christ-followers can become idols if we allow them become so prominent that Christ loses His preeminence in our lives.
Whether it’s your overwhelming responsibilities, family pressures, or uncertainty about your future, desperate moments leave you feeling hopeless and helpless—drowning in a sea of anxiety. All you want to do is escape, and you’re on the verge of doing something crazy to get out.
Dear Christian Teen,
I’m sure you made some incredible memories at Christian Camp this summer. Good friends, good fun, and new experiences are all part of what camp so memorable! But there’s two things about summer camp that typically don’t last: camp romances and camp ‘decisions.’ Now that your starting up school again, chances are that girl/boy you met at camp has probably moved on, and that life-changing spiritual decision you made after the Thursday evening chapel service has moved along as well. Now you’re back in “normal life,” surrounded by your normal friends and your normal habits.
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