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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…

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    Why Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

    According to the market research firm IBIS World, Valentine’s Day sales reached $17.6 billion last year, 2014, and this year’s sales are expected to exceed that figure. February 14 has catapulted into a lucrative opportunity for the sales community. Tangled up in the legends and history of this holiday is a remarkable story. The legend: Saint Valentine was a Roman Priest at the time of the rule of Emperor Claudius- a persecutor of the church. Valentine lived and ministered against the backdrop of a very permissive society where there were no boundaries or strict codes morally. Polygamy would have been more popular than one man and one woman in a…

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    The Time I Served My Husband and Actually Liked It

    I did the impossible and actually cooked a meal I had pinned on Pinterest- Carne Guisado (Tejano stewed beef). Cooking is not an out of ordinary task for me in the House of Jacobs; its a regular part of how I contribute to my family. So when dinner time comes around my husband (Matt) and I fall into our respective roles almost without thinking. While he gets the kids in their chairs and washes their hands, I portion out their food and let it cool.  Often, I prepare my husband's plate and bring it to him. This particular dinner though, I was nervous to present him with the meal as…

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    All the Single Ladies

    Two single friends recently attended a teaching about an independent study of biblical femininity. Most of what they heard was fine, but the presenter was apparently so enthused about God’s design for the female body that she elevated the roles of wife and mother beyond what was appropriate. My single friends, one of whom is old enough that she will probably never marry and will definitely never have children, were shocked and angered. The over-enthusiasm for marriage and family meant that as single women, they both felt the shame of being “lesser-than.” I knew what they were experiencing. For many years, much of the teaching in the church has (unintentionally,…

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    Biblical Womanhood, Part 2

    Several weeks ago, I wrote about biblical womanhood. Afterward a theologian posed some good questions for clarification. So I’m using that conversation as a Q/A here to help further explain what it means to be a woman as God designed her. His statements are bold; my explanations follow:  You say of woman that, “She is an image-bearer,” but then argue that because “she” is an image-bearer the female bears that image completely in and of herself. The underlying assumption is that an individual human being, whether male or female, carries the whole divine image.   Woman is indeed an image bearer, completely in and of herself. But that does not mean…