• left hands, no wedding rings
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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…

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    The List

           Fourteen years. In just a few days my husband and I will bask in springtime Pacific desert beauty as we celebrate our wedding anniversary. And on such an occasion as this, I remember “The List.” For if not for “The List,” our marriage could have ended in a legal battle over who gets to keep the Moroccan mosaic glass light fixtures.              Over a decade ago, I read every book I could find on marriage. I would like to say I’ve got the whole wife thing down. I do OK on most days—all glory to “The List.”          Allow me to rewind. I consider…

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    Silver Boxes with Bows on Top

    The 18th Century preacher, John Wesley, dressed sharp in his day. One Sunday morning he wore a bow tie with long ribbons that hung down. After his sermon, a lady approached him and asked if he was open to some criticism. He said, “I guess so.” She said, "The ribbons on your tie are too long and inappropriate for a man of God." And she took out her scissors and cut them. A hush fell over the crowd. Then Wesley asked to borrow the scissors. As she handed him the scissors, he asked, "Ma’am, are you open to some criticism?" She answered, "Well, I suppose.” He said, "Good. Now stick…

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    Singleness, Sex, and Cold Showers

    “Boys will be boys.” “It’s not healthy to suppress those sexual urges.” “You can’t expect a person to go without it for too long.” “If she (or he) doesn’t ‘put out,’ I’ll just look elsewhere.” We’ve all heard, or been told, one of these lines. Sexual purity and fidelity seem to be values of the past. Just read the most recent headlines associated with the #MeToo (#YoTambien) movement, and you will quickly learn of yet another actor, CEO, judge, pastor, president, reporter, or news broadcaster who has fallen from grace because of his or her history of promiscuity and/or sexual harassment.    Where are our role models? How can we…

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    Photoshopping Life

    When Ray and I visited the Galapagos Islands, one of my favorite pictures was the two of us with a gigantic tortoise. Unfortunately, my big ol’ red purse was on the ground in the picture too. So I photoshopped it out. At our son’s wedding, one of the ushers wasn’t wearing his boutonniere when it was time for the formal pictures. “Not to worry,” the photographer said. “We can photoshop it in later.” During my daughter-in-law’s holiday family picture taking, someone suggested photoshopping in a beloved uncle, since they were missing him. “No! He’s been dead for two years!,” someone else responded. “You don’t photoshop in a dead person who…

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    Two Reasons We’re Celebrating Forty Years Together

    We were young and deeply in love. Making big promises we had no idea what it would take to keep. Maybe that is part of God's grace. We don't know what we don't know. But before long we began to get an idea.   Jack and I share so much. We are both strong personalities. ("This will not be a boring marriage," said our pre-marriage counselor-pastor.) We are both thinkers. I love discussing books, movies and ideas, talking theology and politics with him. We both enjoy travel adventures together, and back when I could ski we delighted in riding the lifts and swooshing down the mountains together.   But in…

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    Marriage and Mother’s Day- What They Have in Common

    Love and respect are fundamental for a solid marriage. We are told by all the experts that in a marriage relationship, men need to be respected and women need to be loved. The Bible supports this but also commands us to love and respect both men and women. Since these things are essential for a happy marriage and commanded by God then it is imperative that part of training up a child in the way he/she should go must include teaching them how to love and respect well. As we teach children to love and respect their parents we are giving them the basic tools for building a lasting marriage.…

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    Fighting for Our Marriages: Guarding against emotional affairs & a great resource

    If every reporter who recently savaged (or even snorted at) Vice-President Mike Pence for not dining or working late alone with women other than his wife would simply google “where do affairs happen the most,” they might change their tune. They would find that anywhere from 38–53 million men in the U.S. have cheated on their wives, touching one in every three couples. And that 65-85% of adulterous affairs begin at work. They would also find that few consciously decide to start an affair.   According to Focus on the Family, “affair partners are usually happy in their marriages and have no plans to leave their spouses. Because of the gradual slide toward…

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    Depression and Spiritual Emptiness

    Recently I’ve been walking through life, walking through marriage and walking through ministry, floating, watching, and just a little bit empty. I can’t quite find the leak in the balloon; it feels as if my passion, my energy and sometimes even my faith, is slowly deflating. My house is dirty. I keep trying my best but it just stays that way. I’m snapping at my husband and I am ashamed to admit it, but my tiny toddlers have become tiny terrorists to me. I don’t know what to do with them so I do what I can until it’s time to put them to bed. Then I’m left wondering what to…