Leave and Cleave Like a Strawberry

Living in a multicultural city and serving in a multicultural church has given me a wide view of some of the ways different generations of a family can relate to one another. As a young generation begins to pair up and to marry, forming new families, they need to learn to relate to the generation or generations that came before. This can take many different forms and I’ve long observed that the most significant determining factor is usually culture. We …

Counsel for Couples

Over the past few years, we have been blessed with an incredible volume of resources related to biblical counseling. From primers for amateur counselors to in-depth examinations of specific issues, we are now well-served with resources meant to address a host of common issues. New to the field is Jonathan Holmes’s Counsel for Couples: A Biblical and Practical Guide for Marriage Counseling. Holmes is the pastor of counseling at Parkside Church in Ohio and brings a wealth of both practical …

Become a Patron

Shepherding At Home

In this video, which was filmed at a nearby conference, I was asked about some of the concerns related to pastors and their families. I tried to briefly to remind church leaders of the temptations that draw us away from this primary calling. Transcript Pastors always need to remember that you’re qualified to ministry through your family, not apart from your family. So being a pastor doesn’t make you a good dad, being a good dad may help you become a pastor. …

Rejoice in the Wife of Your Youth (and Not-So-Youth)

This summer Aileen and I celebrated our twentieth anniversary and I can say with honesty that few things in life have thrilled or honored me more than the fact that she chose to spend her life with me, of all people. All those years ago she agreed to link her life to mine and we’ve been together, joined, ever since. How amazing is that? Just around the time of our anniversary my devotions led me to the words of Solomon: …

Does Premarital Pregnancy Nullify ‘Unequally Yoked’?

I enjoy John Piper’s “Ask Pastor John” feature and often benefit from hearing (or reading) his answers to the more than 1200 questions he has taken on so far. It reflects a lifetime of studying Scripture and applying its principles. He recently answered a question on whether premarital pregnancy nullifies the principle of “unequally yoked” and I want to interact with it just a little. Here’s the question: A young couple at my church is unmarried, and they have a …

Twenty Years Ago Today

Twenty years ago Aileen and I each woke up in our parents’ homes. Twenty years ago I walked into St. John’s Anglican Church through the side door while, a few minutes later, she walked in through the main doors. Twenty years ago we looked into each other’s eyes and said our “I do’s.” Twenty years ago we strolled over to Ancaster’s Old Town Hall and spent a few hours celebrating with our families and closest friends. Twenty years ago we …

The Space Between Courting and Hooking Up

I have often reflected on how and why dating has become so difficult in the 20 years since it was of any real concern to me. At least, when speaking to today’s young adults and observing their lives, it sure seems there has been a significant shift. Something has changed between then and now so that what once seemed relatively simple has become strangely complicated. I know there are many reasons for this, but I’ve been pondering the possibility that …

Don’t Leave Jesus Out of Your Marriage

I recently had the opportunity to speak and preach on marriage. This is always a tremendous challenge personally. There’s nothing like spending a couple of weeks deep in what the Bible says about marriage to expose my insufficiencies as a husband and to come face-to-face with all the ways I fail to be all God calls me to be and to be all my wife deserves. More than anything else, I was challenged to continue to ensure Jesus is the …

It’s Submission, Not Subjection

The Bible has a lot to say about submission. It’s a theme, a command, that appears with regularity. Christians are told to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21). Wives are instructed to submit to their own husbands (Ephesians 5:22). Church members are directed to submit to their pastors (Hebrews 13:17). In summary, we are all to submit to God in every way (James 4:7) because all authority ultimately flows down from him (Romans 13:2). It …

How To Love Your Wife As Christ Loved the Church

As a Christian husband, you are not left wondering or speculating about what it means to carry out your role in a way that pleases God and blesses your wife. To the contrary, the Bible provides clear guidance: You are to love your wife as Christ loves his church. In the closing verses of Ephesians 5, Paul describes how, out of love, Christ sacrificed himself to do for you what you could not do for yourself. Out of love he sanctified you to God’s …