In the church today, you probably didn’t even have to read one of those books to hear the term spiritual leadership tossed around. We hear the plea, “I just want to find a man who will lead me spiritually,” or, “I’m so sick of my husband not taking up his role of leading me spiritually.” Perhaps you share that plea. Maybe the man you married hasn’t turned out to be the spiritual leader of your dreams. If so, there are two temptations I’d like to encourage you to guard yourself from: Taking up your chisels to carve your husbands into an idol, or carving yourself into an idol for him.Read More
I had to carry my doubts to the foot of the cross. I needed to remember the sufficient and complete work of Christ that merited God’s forgiveness and love towards me. I needed to remember that forgiveness of my sins was a gift of grace, and continued to be a gift of grace, so that, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10 ESV). I needed to remember the old, old story of the cross.Read More
It hurts when someone we love is hurting, and we hate that we can’t stop their suffering. We love them, and we wish we could simply dust away their pain, collect it in a dustpan, and chuck it out the door. But we were never meant to do that. Even our most faithful prayers may not make the pain disappear. We were not created to be healers. We are meant to be a part of the body. As a fellow part of the body, I am not meant to fix another. I’m not able. I can’t take away that pain, and to believe I can minimizes their suffering.Read More
Rachel found her identity in something we still do today: Motherhood. Whether we are mothers already or desiring to be mothers, we too at times find fulfillment and joy in becoming moms. We place our hope in being the best mom and strive to outdo one another in mothering (just look at the mommy wars on social media). Or perhaps while waiting to be married, we watch the mothers around us and wish we could find a husband so we could fill our arms with a baby too. Or maybe we are married but God has shut our womb.Read More
I’ve noticed this to be a trend among those of us who love theology. Though I would (and have) argued that we need to pursue sound doctrine and speak out when falsehood is being promoted, there is also something honourable about lips that are slow to speak. I am learning more and more the value of being the last one to speak on issues, especially in a room of people much older and wiser than me. There’s value in taking time to re-evaluate and ponder what someone’s words could have meant before criticizing them. There’s value in listening to a person’s story before voicing our counsel, and value in hearing what others may have to offer for advice first.Read More
God, why can’t I be free from this, even still? I prayed. What kind of believer, what kind of counselor, what kind of mother am I if I can’t catch a grip on this single struggle even now? Yet, in the midst of this fear, God has taught me that He is still faithful to us even when we have yet to conquer our greatest fears.Read More
Dear Seasoned Woman, the truth is I actually don’t know it all. I can gain some knowledge through Bible study and reading solid books, but there is a special kind of wisdom that comes with experience that I can never fake. You have the benefit of time and experience spent reading the Bible, hearing it preached, loving your husband, raising your children, serving your friends, maintaining your home, and discerning decisions. You have something I can’t force by listening to podcasts or following Instagram accounts. You have years of witnessing the faithfulness, goodness, and grace of God. I need your wisdom applied to my life. I can read books and blog posts, but they don’t know my personal story. I need you, seasoned woman, to listen to my stories and teach me how to apply the wisdom you won through your own experiences.Read More
My anger acts in a similar way at times. It screams and refuses to be overlooked until it gets what it wants. It demands to be noticed. What do we control our anger when it demands its way? How can we submit it to God’s commands to be patient, loving, and kind? We begin in our hearts.Read More
In her book Idols of a Mother’s Heart, Christina Fox sets out to help mothers recognize the idols they have stored away in the corners of their hearts. But she doesn’t leave us mothers there with a pile of idols to clean up on our own—with the words of a fellow mom who knows the battle all too well herself, Christina guides mothers how to turn from those idols and back to God, without forgetting the gospel hope we desperately need.Read More
In motherhood, there are many things I want control of. I want to control my child’s health and safety. I want to control their future happiness. I want to control their behavior. I want to control their salvation and ensure that they become believers. These are a few of the many things I vainly grapple to control. Notice I said vainly. I can control none of these aspects of my child’s life. And that makes me fearful.Read More
A courtroom, a wooden sawmill, and a farm. Those are the images that come to mind as I read Matthew 7:1-6. What do they share in common? They teach brothers and sisters in Christ how to encourage and counsel one another in killing sin. They teach us how to be avoid becoming graceless judges, how to be merciful siblings, and how to dodge vicious dogs and trampling pig.Read More
Decision-making can fill us with anxiety. What if I make the wrong choice? Sometimes we extend the necessary time to make a decision out of fear. But what if I told you decisions shouldn’t cause us so much stress? What if I told you that as believers we have God’s Word as a perfect standard to bring our questions to? What if I told you that despite what you choose, it is still entirely in God’s hands? What if I told you that we are blessed with the gift of wisdom for the decisions that don’t have black-and-white answers? Would any of this relieve your anxiety, friend?Read More
I was weary that night. I expected joy and excitement as I prepared for my newborn. I longed for those sweet kicks and a rounded belly. But when I finally got it, it wasn’t at all what I had hoped for—instead of excitement, I had the miseries of anxiety. My pregnancy seemed to be filled with hospital trips for unknown bleeding, random cramping, unbelievable backaches, and all the worries that accompany those.
I believed that when Levi finally came, my worries dissipate. Finally freed from my fragile womb, and I could know if and when something was wrong. I could finally have some kind of knowledge and control over this little life.
But that wasn’t the case.Read More
Though my husband never seemed bothered, I cried and apologized daily for the messy floors and my excess sleep. I knew I needed rest, but the amount I was getting overwhelmed me. I wanted to force myself into my old routines, but my body wouldn’t allow it. My husband would try to pick up the slack, but that only made me more sad and frustrated.
Tired and exhausted momma, can you relate to what I experienced? First time pregnant wife, do you know the struggle of perfectionism and tiredness? It doesn’t need to stay this way. I want to offer you true change and hope from the Bible that I had to work through in those early months of pregnancy as a housewife.Read More
What’s wrong with self-sufficiency? Why is this a sin? Why should I strive to put off my desire to be self-sufficient? The problem is that we are far from capable of doing it all on our own. Not only were we created for community, we were created as weak and feeble people in need of a truly self-sufficient and all-powerful God. This misplaced desire to be self-sufficient causes a number of problems: legalism, broken community, and idolatry.Read More
Though I now laugh at my childhood (and adulthood) paranoia, many of us fear our own death. We consider this a normal fear—and if someone didn’t share in this fear, we may consider them odd. It’s instinctual to want to live and see death as only bad. But does the Bible promote this attitude? Perhaps we should consider our fear and see what God’s Word has to say about it.Read More
Frustration coiled in my heart like a snake ready to lunge. It felt like I could never find a moment to myself since Levi was born. I couldn’t help but envy all the people around me who I imagined sitting in their homes, showered and clean with nicely styled hair, who didn’t have this problem. The often repeated words of this culture made the snake in my heart rattled it’s tail: You need more time for yourself—how can you love others if you aren’t loving yourself first? Is this true, even for us Christians? Where does self-care fit in the biblical worldview?Read More
We want hope that will help us persevere in the suffering that will inevitably come. But for our hope to do this, it needs to be set on something. Hope doesn’t come alone—though hope may seem like an ambiguous concept, it needs to be placed on something sure if we are to persevere. Friend, which kind of hope do you have? Is your hope sure, or does it only lead to more pain and anxiety?Read More
As well as we know the sting of the unfaithfulness of others to us, we also know of our own unfaithfulness. Hurtful words we have spoken to others we were supposed to love. Promises we made that we never fulfilled. Times when we were supposed to stand strong to hold another up but ran away and let them fall. Just as others have left their marks of unfaithfulness on us, we have likewise left our own wounds of unfaithfulness. Who can be trusted? Can we rely on anyone? If even those who love us most will still be unfaithful due to their sin, and we ourselves cannot be trusted because of our sin, is there anyone who we can look to that will be steadfast?Read More
In a perfect world, social media would be a place of smiles as we connect with friends and share memories. But we don’t live in a perfect world—we live in a world tangled in the thorns and thistles of sin. And in this world, social media can be a place where anxiety flourishes through comparison, knowledge of the turmoil and terror that surrounds us, envy as we worry why God hasn’t given us what he has given someone else, and anxiously checking stats and “like” counts.Read More