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  • One Unexpected Key To a Joyful Marriage

    One Unexpected Key To a Joyful Marriage

    You probably keep score. I’m sure you don’t mean to. You may not even be conscious of it. But there’s a pretty good chance that you do it. You keep score in your marriage. You keep score when you tally up the things you do for your spouse and when you tally up the things…

  • Reforming Criminal Justice

    What If a Criminal Justice System Isn’t Actually Just?

    Reforming Criminal Justice: A Christian Proposal Matthew Martens Most of us probably assume that the criminal justice system in our country is generally sound. We may believe that it needs some tweaks here and there. We may understand that because it exists in a fallen world it will in some ways reflect the sins and…

  • Love Keeps No Record of Rights

    Love Keeps No Record of Rights

    We’ve heard it at both weddings and funerals, as both aspiration for a life lived together and as commemoration of a life lived well. In these two contexts and so many others we’ve heard the “love passage,” the Bible’s beautiful description of love enacted in the life of the Christian: “Love is patient and kind;…

  • Love Your Wife

    When You Don’t Like Your Wife, Love Your Wife

    There may not be times in your marriage when you stop loving your wife, but there may be times in your marriage when you stop liking her—or when you stop acting like it, anyway. There may be times when you are easily irritated with her or times when you just can’t get along. There may…

  • Settlers in the Land of Love

    Settlers in the Land of Love

    An old story tells of a settler who traveled from east to west, from lands that were settled to lands that were still unknown. Having grown weary of city living and having begun to crave wide-open spaces, he spent all he had on a vast but speculative parcel of land in the far-off territories. When…

  • Lessons In Becoming a Better Listener

    Lessons In Becoming a Better Listener

    It is one thing to hear, but another thing to listen. Good communication and healthy relationships depend upon not only hearing the words other people say, but on carefully listening to what they mean to communicate. To listen is to love. But if we are honest, few of us are good listeners. It’s easy enough…

  • How To Respond to Social Media Enemies

    How To Respond to Social Media Enemies

    The early promise of social media is that it would help us make friends. But as it has matured, it seems better suited to help us make enemies. Long gone are the happy days when it was all about connecting with others around shared interests. Today it seems to major in beating down others others…

  • Love Is Not Heavy-Handed

    Love Is Not Heavy-Handed

    Whatever else we learn about church life, we learn quickly that it will at times come with conflict. We are, after all, sinful people attempting to share community with other sinners. It’s inevitable that problems will arise, inevitable that there will be angry words, unfortunate misunderstandings, unintentional insults. While there will be many great blessings…

  • How Many Loves Have You Experienced Today?

    “Love is a many splendored thing,” says the old song. Love has many hues, many shades, many facets. Love has many features to observe, many marvels to behold. There is so much to love that none of us can ever experience it in all its forms. Not even close. Yet while none of us can…

  • Focus Clarity

    No Squishy Love, No Brutal Truth

    Sin has made our vision opaque and our minds dull. We do not see God for who he really is and ourselves for who we really are. We think far too little of God and far too highly of ourselves. On our own we are doomed to look blindly and think badly. But as our…

  • Self Care

    Should Christians “Self Care?”

    Words and phrases come and go. Both within the church and without, they often rise for a while, then quietly slip into decline and disuse. It is an annual tradition for dictionaries to announce the new words they are adding as well as the antiquated ones they are removing. In recent days, I’ve repeatedly heard…

  • The Problem with Falling in Love

    The Problem with Falling in Love

    “I just don’t love her anymore,” he said. Years had passed, circumstances had changed, affection had waned, love had diminished. He recounted a few memories of the early days—the blush of young love, the tentative first dates, the romance, the anticipation, the wedding. But that was then and this is now. “I fell in love…

  • On Losing the Ability to Type (and The Ol’ Ball and Chain)

    I’m doing things a little bit differently today. For now at least, I’ve mostly lost the ability to type, so am going to try my hand at a little bit of video. If you want, you can click play to learn more. Transcript We’ve got lights. We’ve got a camera. We’ve got a microphone. Let’s…

  • A 93 Million Mile Love

    A 93-Million-Mile Love

    Christians are called to love. We know this. We’ve been loved by God so we can love in return. We display proof of our salvation when we stop living self-focused lives and begin living others-focused lives. We show our love and appreciation for God in the way we turn our love outward to become “zealous…

  • Did God Break the Law for Love?

    It happened again. A popular preacher said something in a sermon, it made its way to social media, and lots of people got upset. This happens quite often, doesn’t it? I rarely pay attention to these things and comment on them infrequently. However, I am making an exception for the latest one because I suspect…

  • Reading Classics Together

    Love Is a Risky Business

    Love is a risky business. In one way or another, at one time or another, we have all suffered because we have loved. We have all been shocked to learn something we didn’t know before, we have all been grieved as we have discovered another person’s hidden actions or behavior. Some of us have even…

  • Shades of Love

    Over the past few weeks I have found myself thinking a lot about love. C.S. Lewis told us that according to the Bible there are four kinds of love: phileo, eros, agape, and storge. But I haven’t been thinking of love in such neat categories and under such clear headings. (Plus, D.A. Carson declared the…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (3/18)

    Here Come the Radicals – Matthew Lee Anderson makes some interesting observations about contemporary Christianity. “David Platt, Francis Chan, Shane Claiborne, and now Kyle Idleman are dominating the Christian best-seller lists by attacking our comfortable Christianity. But is ‘radical faith’ enough?” 5 Myths About Bible Translation – Dan Wallace covers five common myths related to…

  • When My Love Grows Cold

    Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. It’s the day when every seat in every fancy restaurant will be full and when couples who don’t care for restaurants will be preparing nice meals for one another. Flowers will be delivered to offices, gifts will show up in mailboxes, cards will be exchanged. I am something of a skeptic…

  • Reading Classics Together Collection cover image

    Two Are Better Than One

    Today we continue to read through John Bunyan’s classic work The Pilgrim’s Progress, and we come to the ninth stage of Christian’s journey. You may remember that in the last stage Christian and his friend Hopeful encountered the shepherds at the Delectable Mountains. And now they journey on. Discussion A lot happened in this week’s…