Christians are already being sexually discipled – by the world. Young women learn about sex from Cosmo magazine, novels, and girl’s nights. Young men are exposed to pornography at as young as eight years old. Sexual addictions and perversions are as present in the church as they are in our culture, but no one wants to speak up because of the shame.
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It’s who I wanted to be. Excellence – my goal in work, home, marriage, motherhood, friendship – in every circle of life I would be at the top. I would not just do good; I would be good. I would be good at everything.
I sought new tasks and worked willingly: typing, scrubbing, cooking, writing.
I found the best deals and the cheapest groceries and cooked the healthiest meals.
I got up at 5 AM, planned my day, made the list, did the things.
I became a business. I worked out regularly. I dressed myself with as much style and class as I knew how.
Because I had to be excellent.
Christians possess all the power of God to pursue His holiness in their lives. On our own, we could never achieve virtue and honor. But by walking according to the Spirit of God in us, His character is manifested in ours. Courtship culture has ignored the role the Holy Spirit plays in relationships, and has taken up the mantle of the Spirit for itself. And like most pseudo-Holy Spirits, it doesn’t do a very good job.
We can set up physical standards, have chaperones, and be as “intentional” as we like, but if the Spirit of God is not alive and active in our hearts, we can find sin. Purity is not a list of outward actions. It is an inner change of desire and priority.
This week on the podcast we are answering a listener question from Sarah. She asks how we can let people into our lives when we have been hurt in the past – or know that we could be hurt in the future.
Most of us can relate to this question. How do you know when a relationship is a healthy risk – and all relationships require some kind of risk – and when it’s headed a toxic direction? Listen below or in iTunes or Stitcher, and don’t forget to subscribe!
I shifted in my seat at the women’s conference as the speaker said it again.
“You are a beautiful, chosen, special woman of God. There is no one in the world like you!”
It’s the same message I’d heard dozens of times on the radio, in books, at conferences – even emblazoned on coffee mugs and shirts at every LifeWay Store in America. It’s the same message preached to Christian women in every corner of western culture. And it’s a message that – while well-intentioned – is completely deficient.
The fact that I’m thinking about Christmas gifts this early in the game says something for how I’ve grown in the last two years. I’m very much a “last minute” shopper! As I reviewed some products this fall, I realized that other Christian women might enjoy the items I’d discovered. Since I’m frequently asked where I buy my coffee, Bible, commentaries, and clothes, I thought – why not compile a holiday gift list from my favorite items?
This is by no means an exhaustive list (I’ll need a separate list for books alone!) but it highlights some of my favorite products and companies of 2016.
To say “I love you” is a big step in a dating relationship. Love carries with it the weight of potential covenant and future intimacy. But how do you know when to say “I love you”? Like many of the relationship decisions discussed on this blog, the timing of “I love you” will look different for each couple. Even so, this individuality should be guided by biblical principles. God gives us His wisdom for questions like these.
Maybe you’ve spent the month doing a Bible study on giving thanks or posting “30 days of thanks” on your Facebook feed. Giving thanks is an excellent way to defeat discontent and focus on the Lord’s provision, but sometimes we fail to thank God for the things He’s given that we don’t actually like.
Why do some girls get asked out often, and others not at all? It’s a pressing question in Christian dating culture, and one I’ve been watching for a while. In fact I’ve had my thumb on the pulse of the “asked out” problem for quite a while now. And while there’s no easy answer for why some people never get asked out and others do, I think it’s worth discussing..
A man who loves God will know you’re not just a “good girl” who wants to be liked. He’ll know you’re a sinner saved by grace. He won’t just like you for what you can offer him; he’ll love you for what God is doing in your life, and for how well you’ve submitted to His leading. Only a man who knows Christ can see your flawed, failing heart and choose to love you anyway – and do it over and over again for the rest of his life.