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    A Wedding Prayer

    Someone once told me that a big draw for people coming to the bible.org web site, which hosts this blog, is wedding resources. They come looking for wording. Whether seeking entire ceremonies or simply prayers and vows, they look to a site with the word “Bible” in it for help. So, today I’m sharing a prayer I crafted for one of my favorite couples, Lacie and Eric, at their beautiful wedding in the Air Force Academy Chapel near Colorado Springs. Some of the words I wrote myself, but I also borrowed phrases from songs like “Wonderful, Merciful Savior” and The Book of Common Prayer. Do you have a favorite wedding…

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    Why Does Genesis Command a Man (Not a Woman) to Leave His Parents?

    Recently, one of my students asked me an important question: “Is there any significance to God telling the man he “shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife” (Gen. 2:24)? Why is the wife not to leave her family? Great question. Let’s begin with how the ESV translators render the verse in question: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Contrast that with how the NET translators render the verse, especially noting the parts in italics, which I added to both texts: “That is why a man leaves his father and…

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    Autonomy Gone Amuck

    autonomy (ô-tŏn’ə-mē) n., 1. Quality or state of being self-governed 2. Self-directing freedom and especially moral independence The first definition seems to be in line with biblical principles (self-controlled and responsible). However, the second definition seems to be how our culture defines autonomy. The culture’s definition echoes the repeated phrase in Judges, “everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Jud 21:25). The book of Judges displays the chaotic and evil outcome of everyone doing right in their own eyes…autonomy gone amuck!     Several contemporary thinkers aid in discerning the issues involving autonomy. Philip Rieff(1922-2006) wrote of the triumph of the therapeutic self which is defined as when “the…

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    Sex + Addiction = The Devil’s Playground

    Often times Christians shy away from anything involving the term “sex.” Add to the mix “addiction,” and you can clear a room in five seconds. But I encourage you to pull up a chair and stick around. Because today we have a submission by my guest blogger and psychotherapist husband on this taboo topic. Read on… “Sex addict.” The phrase can make us uncomfortable. Especially when used to describe ourselves or someone we love. I believe our discomfort comes from the way society stereotypes addiction. Of all addictions, sexual addiction seems to bring the most shame and embarrassment to the sufferer and loved ones. For this reason, many sufferers want…

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    Shades of White—Part 2

    A couple walks through the snowdrifts, clasping the others’ hand, as they slowly make their way through the deep, wet wonderland. With each step they give each other balance, courage, and strength. As they look over their shoulder, they see two pair of footprints, gently mingling with the mud beneath. Bright white snow turned ivory with wear.   Ten years ago I posted this just nine days before my wedding day. And I couldn’t help but revisit it. Today Turtullian’s timeless words, penned in the 200s, still hang in our home. Their endurance reminds us what it takes to make a marriage beautiful. How beautiful, then, the marriage of two…

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    Running to my Husband

    I have a fantastic husband. Not just Instagram fantastic, but like for real fantastic. Today, he put together two utility shelves for our mudroom and took the kids out of the house so I could get work done! Yet no matter how “real life” fantastic he is, all spouses fall short. Even my husband. We have the tendency to find the worst time, to say the gravest things, that send us over the edge. I can’t even pinpoint what our fight was about that fateful day but I do remember the sinking feeling in my stomach as tears welling up in my eyes. I retreated to my room to lick…

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    How I Almost Ruined My Marriage

    It was 1:00 am. With blood shot eyes I sat wringing my hands on our faux leather couch. The seams are busted on the edges so the puff is spilling out. I’ve contemplated putting tape over these eruptions but really…who wants to be THAT person.  I sat contemplating whether or not I should mend the seams in the couch or just own the mess and cover it, maybe a pillow will do or that really cool washi tape that’s all the rage. That fateful night our couch became the backdrop for one of the realest fights we’ve had to date.  Past arguments about leaving the milk out,  or even what…

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    God’s creation of Adam and Eve

    Genesis 2:18–25 Time: The dawn of human history Place: Eden   Lesson Aim: To recognize that God made us for relationships.   Introduction   Imagine the difference between automobiles in a new car showroom and a junkyard. In some ways, life is comparable to that. God, as it were, hands us the keys to a brand-new car and then says, “Here’s how to drive it and take care of it.” That’s what we find in Genesis 2, when all of life was brand new. We discover that God created Adam and Eve to be in a mutually loving and caring relationship with each another. It’s appropriate for us to wonder…

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    How to Stay Married While Navigating Infertility

    “Fifty percent of our infertility patients end up getting a divorce,” the nurse explained, when I questioned what I thought was a peculiar portion of the hospital’s legal paperwork. At that moment I was surprised to hear the statistic. But with raised eyebrows and a let’s–just–get–on–with–it mentality, I circled the appropriate decision for which one of us would be given custody of our frozen specimens “should divorce occur” and I went on with my day. A few months later, however, as my husband and I struggled to overcome our intense grief over a double infertility loss, I remembered her words. I then understood perfectly well. Infertility, miscarriage, and loss can…

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    Paul and His Subversive Passage on the Family

    In the first half of the Book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul lays out the Christian’s new identity in Christ. In the second half, he provides the “so what,” or the ramifications. As he outlines what Spirit-filled living looks like (Eph. 5:18ff), he envisions a community in which people show Christ’s love by serving one another. And one of the places where such service happens is in the household—where in his day he would have found spouses, kids, and slaves under one roof.  People living in the first century under Roman rule would have been familiar with instructions for respectable families known as “household codes.” These codes outlined the ideal…