Category Archives: Marriage and Family

Identity Issues: Growing Up in the Adam’s Family

Everyone carries baggage from their growing up years. No family is perfect, some are hideous, and all have their oddities. It’s like everyone grows up in the Addams family. For some people I have known, the Addams family would have … Continue reading

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Is Marriage on the Way Out?

My son the youth pastor asked me this week if I thought that marriage was on the way out. He wondered, he said, because cohabitation is now widely accepted and many people who do get married don’t stay married for … Continue reading

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Things I’m Glad My Dad Didn’t Teach Me

(For Father’s Day I am posting a piece first published in 2015 by Gatehouse Media.) After reading an article by Peter Scholl, a forty-something married man with kids, living in Australia, I find myself grateful for the things my dad … Continue reading

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What it Takes for Love to Last

Hundreds of years before people began celebrating Valentine’s Day, the holiday du jour for February 14 was Lupercalia. The philosopher Plutarch refers to Lupercalia as a time when “young men of noble families run through the city naked and …strike those they meet with shaggy thongs.” They were history’s first streakers.

Though respectable people no longer took part in it, the festival was still being celebrated in the middle of the third century when a priest named Valentinus – we know him as St. Valentine –lived in Rome. Fast-forward to 496 AD. Lupercalia is a distant memory. February 14 is now the day to celebrate the Feast of St. Valentine. Continue reading

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A Life That Means Something (MS.)

I just want my life to mean something. Ever feel like that? People usually young adults who are just setting out but sometimes middle-aged adults who feel like they have been missing out – have said that kind of thing to me.

I’ve watched as they try to give their life meaning through their experiences, as if having a meaningful experience would make them meaningful. They volunteer at a food pantry, or go on a mission trip, or enroll in Teach for America. Other people try to add something exciting to life, like jumping out of an airplane (for example). And some take on strenuous, test-your-limits pursuits – they join the Marine Corps or go in for an extreme fitness regimen.

Then they wait for meaning to come pouring into their lives. It’s as if they think of their life as an empty vessel which, when they tap into the right thing, will be filled with meaning.

From my observations, the person who says, “I want my life to mean something” is proceeding from a false position; a wrong assumption. His or her life already means something. Everyone’s life means something because God meant them – he made them for a purpose. But that meaning is, at least in part, a significant– sign-ificant – meaning; the kind of meaning a sign possesses. Continue reading

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So Much for June Cleaver: Mother’s Day 2020

I once thought of Mother’s Day as an innocuous, greeting card kind of holiday. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate moms? Just the fact that she went through labor giving birth to us is cause enough to say thanks. She fed us countless meals, clothed us, put cold washcloths on our foreheads when we had a fever, and laid awake at night when we were out late as teenagers. Everybody ought to celebrate moms.

Then I got to know people – not one but many – who had a mom that did not always see that they were fed, whose five-year-old had to pick out her own clothes and get her own breakfast. Moms who either were not home to put cold washcloths on foreheads or were not sober. Moms who didn’t give their teenagers a thought, except when they were angry.

Then there are the women who ached to be a mom but were not able. Mother’s Day is an annual reminder of what they were denied. Not everyone wants to celebrate moms.

Even moms might not feel like celebrating Mother’s Day. If celebrating requires energy, mom may need to decline. Energy, like bandwidth, is in limited supply. If mom uses too much, she may start buffering and then freeze up altogether. Continue reading

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Take Advantage of Second-Chance Opportunties

I wonder what the failure rate of Jesus’s people is? My guess would be 100%. The question is not whether we will fail but what we’ll do after we’ve failed. Because of God’s grace, there is an “after.” Continue reading

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Key # 2: No Turnovers (listening time: 22:19)

http://lockwoodchurch.org/media Families can allow “turnovers” – losses of opportunities that take away their chance of achieving something for God. In this sermon, we learn five causes for “turnovers”: when we get lazy; when we’re just going through the motions; when … Continue reading

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The Tricky Thing About Mother’s Day

They come to church with a feeling of rejection and failure, and the Mother’s Day tribute only serves to increase their pain. Continue reading

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Love a Spouse Can Trust

Larry King didn’t need wives. He needed tropical fish. He needed something pretty that didn’t talk back, didn’t demand his attention. Continue reading

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