Funday Friday: Christian Sign Humor

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Here is a little Funday Friday humor for you to relish:

If you would like to add some more joy or humor into your life, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a coach or counselor.

Pastoral PTSD

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Pastoral PTSD

By J.A. Medders

Pastor Ted plops down in his peeling “leather” office chair, opens his Gmail, swigs his Coke Zero, and reads a two-sentence email from a church member: “Hey, can we meet? I’d like to talk you about something.” Depending on the state of Ted’s heart, he will either be encouraged or exhausted—maybe worried fearful of what’s about to happen.

I’ve been Pastor Ted. Have you?

The Common Pain of Being a Pastor

It’s not uncommon for pastors to have lurking suspicions toward vague and brief requests for a meeting. Why? Well, many pastors have shrapnel and scars from the ministry. When a pastor goes through a storage unit of skirmishes, he might pick up a flinch along the way. Pastors who have been through the fire, the storm, and the hard fought battles—some needed, others ugly and unbiblical—will often come down with this peculiar lack of faith. While I’ve never played a doctor on television, I have a diagnosis: I call it Pastoral Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

Here’s my trauma. At twenty-five years old I became the Lead Pastor of a two-year old church plant. I had no idea I was placing my heart on an ant-bed. While I was already a part of the church, no one expected I’d become the Lead Pastor they were searching for. Nor did I. Dozens of families peacefully left the church after I was installed; it’s like they heard the fat lady sing. I would be lying if I didn’t say it bothered me. But I get why they left. Most of them had been married longer than I had been alive. I was a whippersnapper. But this isn’t what shellshocked me. My church became a street-fight and I wasn’t ready. As if it weren’t bad enough that people left by the dozens and the church finances went cliff diving in shallow water, the personal attacks were jarring.

Here Are My Scars

I’ll never forget when a well respected man in our church and city, came to my office to chat. It was an ambush. Before I knew it, he’s calling me arrogant for not agreeing with him that Adam of Eden wasn’t a real person. “I thought you’d be different and listen to older guys?” He goes on to say how he doesn’t like how I became the Lead Pastor of his church. I can say that I wasn’t too thrilled myself with the position in that moment either! “I’m only staying because I have friends here,” he said. “I can’t imagine you’ll make it anyways.”

One lady wrote to me in an email, even though she said she didn’t mean to be rude, “You are all about yourself. You don’t care about people wanting to know Jesus.”

I remember getting groceries with my daughter when another woman came up to me and said, “I liked going to your church, but you were just too young for us. My husband just couldn’t respect you.” And this was after former members were avoiding me on the previous aisle.

A small group leader eventually left the church because my wife didn’t wave back to him—or see him—while she was chasing our daughter across the cafetorium of the Junior High.

One man stood by my side and advocated for me during the interview process to become the Lead Pastor, only to pull the Benedict Arnold option after my ordination, spreading gossip and doubt among the church.

I could go further, but I think you get the point: Christians, who I thought you were my friends, made me their enemy. Pastoring became a game of Minesweeper. Meeting here, counseling there, going well, and then kaboom. Reset. Bang.

One day, it all came crashing down. I couldn’t do it anymore. I was sick of crawling through the razor-wire of pastoral ministry. While crying in my car, I managed to mumble out a prayer, “Lord, I can’t do this anymore. Would you please do something? I won’t make it, this church won’t make it, unless you do something.”

He did. He heard my mumble. The church finances recovered. The troops retreated. But once the dust settled, I already learned a new set of unfortunate skills for the next couple of years of pastoral ministry. Similar to signs in a parking lot: hide, take, lock. Hide in my office, take precautions, and lock the door. I began to pull back from the sheep, fearing their bark and bite. I locked myself away in my study, only taking the time to pastor the people that I knew weren’t a risk.

Whenever an email, a text, or a quick, “Can we get together this week?” was tossed my way, I immediately ducked for cover. I could feel my heart recoil and my soul would get uneasy. What are they upset about? What did I do? Are they leaving? I bet they are leaving. This reflex paralyzed me. I became like one of Pavlov’s dogs. Whenever I heard the meeting bell ring, I prepared for another disappointing and painful encounter—even if it weren’t true. A full-scale retreat was in motion. Everything felt like a crisis. Everything made me cringe.

Have you been there? Are you there?

Staring Fear In The Face

Not surprisingly, this disorder in my heart led to disorder in my ministry. I found it difficult to connect with people in the church. They felt like potential spies, waiting to execute their orders. “Et tu Brute?” I thought I was surrounded by a bunch of Brutuses instead of Barnabases. While I used to be outgoing, extroverted and playful, I became guarded, introverted, crusty. I didn’t have problems enjoying the company of other pastors and leaders outside of our church. I knew they weren’t out to get me. I trusted them. I knew we were on the same team. We are in similar trenches. But it was the Sunday morning worship service that felt like walking through a haunted house.

I wasn’t mature enough to admit it then, but looking back, I feared the people in our church. For about 3 years, I was terrified of them and hid it by faking toughness, “I don’t care what anyone thinks of me.” But of course I did. We all do to a certain degree. My heart and mind developed an allergic reaction to the sheep. The closer they got, the itchier I became. I was scared. Some of the sheep seemed like KGB operatives, while others really were kindness in animation.

After 3 years of war, the conflict was purged from the land. The church was experiencing the peace of God, but I was still uneasy. The flinch abideth. Whenever a new, gracious, and supportive church member wanted to get lunch, my stomach would turn. Even though no one gave me an inkling that an insurrection was coming over a salad, it didn’t matter. I was suspicious. I was fearful. I was lacking love. Something was wrong. Something was wrong with me. I became a man of little faith.

His Power Is Perfect In Our Weakness

The reason a pastoral flinch took residence in my heart is that I ceased to believe God’s grace was enough for me in all of these things. Paul endured more difficulties and ministry battles than I can fathom. He asked the Lord to make it easier on him, and what did our Lord say?

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:8–10).

In the wake of attacks, insults and calamities, I failed to believe what we teach little children. I am weak but he is strong. Therefore, I am strong because his power is made perfect in my weakness. I didn’t believe the Lord was at work in me.

Faith is the antidote to pastoral PTSD.

The gospel and the gospel’s glorious gifts bring rejuvenating sanity to pastors. Once 2 Cor. 12:8–10 began to rest on my heart and mind, I could look back at the first three years of my ministry and not refer to it as the First Baptist Chernobyl. I could look back with contentment and thanksgiving—and even, “Boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” God refined me in those years.

The Gospel Is Your Sanity

As soon as I stared my lack of faith in the face, it began to flee. Joy returned as soon as I believed my identity in Christ is more valuable and precious than my ideas of what ministry should be like. My grip loosened on my dreams, and my hands were raised in praise to him. When I began to have faith that all things are working together for good (Rom. 8:28) and that a mob of angry church folk can’t separate me from the love of Christ (Rom. 8:35), excitement and eagerness bloomed again. The glory of Christ gave me faith in future grace to go out and provide, protect, feed, and shepherd his people. He never left me, and never will. I didn’t have to be afraid anymore; I’ve been crucified with Christ, and it’s no longer I who live, but Christ, who loves me and gave himself for me, lives in me (Gal. 2:20). The gospel I preached was—and is—the gospel I need.

Church members, please love your pastors. Honor your pastors—outdo them in showing honor (Rom. 12:10).  Respect and esteem your pastors. “We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work” (1 Thess. 5:12–13). Pray for them. Make it a joy for them to pastor you.

Brother Pastor, if you suffering from what has happened to you. Do not fear. Put your trust in the one who’s handled your past, present, and future. You too have a faithful and sympathetic High Priest, the Man of Sorrows, that you point the sheep to. Cry out to him, “Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me; all day long an attacker oppresses me; my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” (Ps. 56:1–4).

God’s grace toward you is not in vain. He is your sanity, stability, and Savior. He himself will restore you, and empower your for where you are and what lies ahead. “After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 5:10–11). May the risen Christ strengthen you in your ministry for his glory, your good, and his church’s good.

If you would like to talk to someone about your struggles in ministry, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a counselor or coach.

3 Things I Have Learned While Being Single

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3 Things I Have Learned While Being Single

By Joy Eggerichs

I realize that my generation resists anything that is “3 steps to ________.”  It seems too “packaged” or “consumeristic.”  My apologies.

In thinking about the things I have learned while being single, I wrote some of them down.

This created a list.

That list happened to consist of three things.

Are you seeing the natural progression?

Next time I will let my post be more “organic” and “holistic.” Then we can dialogue.

But back to my list…

1) Work at being content, even when you don’t feel it.

If I’m not content in my singleness I probably won’t be content in marriage. (i.e. like George and Gwennie)

My mother has taught me this and it makes sense.  It’s easy to idealize the things we don’t have or the seasons we aren’t living in.  We look at Facebook and think, “Wow, that person’s life is so much cooler than mine.”

In that moment we have a choice.  We can either let discontent breed in us, or we can be realistic about the situation at hand. For example, Bill and Nancy aren’t posting the photos of the two hours their baby spent in a blood curdling scream.  Or the status update doesn’t read, “Joy Eggerichs is spending Friday night crying in the fetal position.”

Okay, maybe once.

I remember last spring hearing about a woman who had just gotten married and was freaking out about not being able to leave an event when she wanted.  She had to now consider her husband. The patterns and personality we develop in our singleness won’t go away when we get hitched.

Walking home that spring day I expressed gratitude to God for the freedom I had in my singleness…freedom to go and leave as I please.  But should marriage come, I vowed to remember the feeling of yet again going home and still not having anyone to hug me.  Married people often forget the things they have, but once longed for.

That day I chose to strive for contentment, no matter the season.

2) Focus on who you are becoming and learn to give some grace.

So often we are “looking” for the right person and yet my father always reminds me that it’s more important that I “be” the right person.  I don’t think he means striving for perfection as much as he means a shift in focus.

Have you ever written or made a mental list of what you want in a person?

I have. Multiple times.  It’s in a diamond encrusted silver frame. So what?

This can be a healthy reference point.  Especially when you think you’re in love with the girl from the Verizon stand in the middle of the mall because she gave you a discount on your Droid. It may feel like love, but it’s not.

However, I think it’s more important to have a checklist for our own life.  Are we living a higher standard? Are we treating people, our God, and our body in a way that is honoring?  If we can’t say that for ourselves, it seems a bit hypocritical to expect to find someone that makes our list.

We need to extend “checklist” grace to one another.

3) Is God a good God?

There is this whole trend of being angry at God. Especially when it comes to anything we are disappointedabout, i.e. relationships. When relationships are hard or completely lacking, I sense our generation feels like it’s most authentic to be angry at God.

I believe it’s 110% okay to bring our anger to God. But we must not let that manifest itself into sin because it gives the Devil a foothold (Eph 4:26-27) .

“Oh Joy, you sound so silly when you talk about the Devil.”

Yes, I feel silly, but I believe it’s true.  Josh White, a pastor and friend here in Portland, said recently (in my own words) that if we don’t acknowledge the brokenness and darkness of this world, then when something goes wrong, all we will have left to blame is God.

I see this happening far too often.  We get angry at God in our singleness when we desire to be married, or when our friends are having babies or when we realize we are never hugged, or when we wonder who we will grow old with, or whose shoulder we will cry on.

For me, having to answer if God is good affects how I live and react in my singleness.

If you would like to talk to someone about your relationships or being single, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a coach or counselor.

Randy Alcorn Talking About His Depression

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Renowned Christian writer Randy Alcorn opens up about his struggles with depression during this video interview:

Randy Alcorn Depression

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or a depressed mood, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a counselor or coach.

God Will Give You More Than You Can Handle

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God Will Give You More than You Can Handle

By Mitch Chase

Christians can make the strangest claims when comforting those who are suffering. What do you say to someone whose life is falling apart? If you have but few precious minutes with a person who’s lost a job, home, spouse, child, or all sense of purpose, what comfort do you give?

We might turn to conventional wisdom instead of Scripture and end up saying something like, “Don’t worry, this wouldn’t happen in your life if God didn’t think you could bear it.” The sufferer may object, head shaking and hands up. But you insist, “Look, seriously, the Bible promises God won’t ever give you more in life than you can handle.” There it is—conventional wisdom masquerading as biblical truth. You’ve promised what the Bible never does.

Temptations Versus Trials

In 1 Corinthians 10, the apostle Paul writes, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” His discussion is specific: he’s writing about “temptation,” a snare that breaks a sweat trying to drag us into sin. Using a predator metaphor, God warned Cain that “sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it” (Gen. 4:7). Sin stalks us, but God is faithful. Sin desires to overcome us, but there is a merciful way of escape. Sin sets the bait, but for the believer—praise God!—sin is not irresistible.

Now if people apply Paul’s words about temptation to general sufferings, you can see where the line “God will never give you more than you can handle” comes from. I don’t doubt the sincerity and good intentions of those who use this phrase, but sincerity isn’t enough. Even Job’s friends meant well.

The Twin Errors

There are at least two errors in the unbiblical notion of “God will never give you more than you can handle.” First, it plays on the cultural virtue of fairness. Second, it points the sufferer inward instead of Godward.

1. Trials that Are . . . Fair?

If you give your children boxes to load into the car, you make visual and weight assessments that factor in their ages and strength. You don’t overload their arms and watch them crash to the ground with stuff splayed everywhere. That would be unfair. The saying “God will never give you more than you can handle” strikes a tone of fairness we instinctually like. There’s something pleasing about the idea that the scales are in balance, that God has assessed what we can handle and permits trials accordingly.

But there is a glaring problem with the “fairness” that undergirds this conventional wisdom: God has been unfair already, because he has not dealt with us as our sins deserve. He has been longsuffering, forbearing, gracious, and abounding in love. The sun shines and rain falls even on the unjust (Matt. 5:45). God transcends the categories of fair and unfair to such a degree that we have no position to evaluate his actions or weigh his will. His ways aren’t subject to our culture’s standard of fairness.

2. The Power . . . Within?

Suffering doesn’t ask if you’re ready. It may come slowly or with a vengeance, but it doesn’t ask permission, and it doesn’t care about convenience. There’s never a good time for your life to be wrecked. But the saying “God will never give you more than you can handle” tells me I have what it takes. It tells me I can bear whatever comes my way. It tells me God permits trials according to my ability to endure. Think about what this conventional wisdom does: it points people inward.

Yet the Bible points us Godward. As the psalmist says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling” (Ps. 46:1–3). When our strength is failing under crushing burdens, the answer is not within. God gives power to the faint and increases the strength of the weak (Isa. 40:29). The power comes from him to those who wait on him.

Where Trials Direct Us

Trials come in all shapes and sizes, but they don’t come to show how much we can take or how we have it all together. Overwhelming suffering will come our way because we live in a broken world with broken people. And when it comes, let’s be clear ahead of time that we don’t have what it takes. God will give us more than we can handle—but not more than he can.

The psalmist asks, “Where does my help come from?” (Ps. 121:1), and we must be able to answer like he did. We must know and believe, deep in our bones, that “My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth” (121:2). When trials come, trust that the Lord’s help will come. This news is helpful to sufferers since we’re saying something true about God instead of something false about ourselves.

Paul recalled a time when God gave him more than he could bear. In a letter to the Corinthians, he wrote, “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself” (2 Cor. 1:8). Paul and his associates had been in circumstances that transcended their strength to endure: “Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death” (1:9).

Then he provides a crucial insight into his despair. Why were he and his companions given more than they could handle? To “make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead” (2 Cor. 1:9). God will give you more than you can handle so that his great power might be displayed in your life. Indeed, a greater weight of glory is still to come: “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:17).

You might not consider overwhelming sufferings to be “light” and “momentary,” but think of your trials in terms of a trillion years from now. In the middle of affliction, sometimes the most difficult thing to hold onto is an eternal vision. Paul isn’t trying to minimize your affliction; he’s trying to maximize your perspective.

Suffering doesn’t get the last line in the script. In this life, God will give you more than you can handle, but the coming weight of glory will be greater than you can imagine.

If you are struggling with life’s trials and temptations and pressures, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with a counselor or coach.

Intense Marriage, Intense Kids

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Intense Marriage, Intense Kids: How to Cope

By Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott

Children are always a blessing. But children bring a tremendous change to your home and your relationship as you previously knew it. And if your kids have intense, spirited, strong personalities, the changes to your world are even more pronounced! If one of your personalities is also intense (or both!), this makes life all the more interesting.

Today, we’re sharing a few tips on how to cope with intensity in your home.


We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to keep your stress levels as low as possible. Intensity in your marriage or family could increase any life or work stress that is already present, creating a pile-on effect…in other words, not the best recipe for a peaceful home.

Start by working with your spouse to identify ways the two of you can reduce your own stress load. This might involve cutting back on activities, hiring some extra help around the house, or saying “no” more often to obligations that make you feel overloaded. Then, consider whether your kids need additional help in this area.

If Mom and Dad can keep their stress and intensity dialed down, this will have a positive impact on the kids. Win-win!


Laughter is definitely the best medicine, and it soothes all manner of ills. Take time with your spouse to have fun, and laugh on purpose. Be silly with each other and with your kids, and make life as happy and lighthearted as possible. Focusing on negativity and anxiety will only serve to amplify the intensity you’re attempting to calm.

Use humor to diffuse intense situations and emotions, particularly when your kids are having a meltdown or a hard day. When it comes to dealing with hard adult issues, agree with your spouse to try to keep things as light as you can.

Sometimes the only way to keep from crying is to find something to laugh about. If you’re feeling the pressure of an intense marriage or parenting kids with intense personalities, this is definitely true.


It’s all about perspective. Remember, your kids won’t be little for very long, and before you know it, you and your spouse will be empty-nesters. That may not be easy to picture now, but time passes by more quickly than most of us realize.

Take the time and effort to help your kids learn to manage their intense feelings throughout their lives, and they’ll be able to manage them when they’re grown. Work to manage your own, and you’ll be better equipped to help your kids!

Intensity in your home might be overwhelming at times, but you have what it takes to cope and create a healthy, peaceful, thriving family life. Keep your stress as low as possible, remember to use humor, and keep in mind that this is just for a season; it won’t be like this for long!


If you would like help with your intense marriage or intense kids, please contact CornerStone Family Services at 614-459-3003 to talk with one of our coaches or counselors.

Music Monday: Good Good Father

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Yesterday was Father’s Day. For those who may have some struggles with celebrating their father, the Christian faith talks about God being our perfect and good Father.

Take a listen to one band’s musical rendition of this belief:

Accepting Forgiveness

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Accepting Forgiveness

By Wendy Pope

“Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.” Psalm 32:2 (NIV 1984)

Many years were spent regretting sins from my past. These sins had hurt others and me. Day after day I would replay my decisions. Two decades later, the sting of past sin still had a hold on me.

God had forgiven me; I’d told Him about my sin and asked Him to pardon me. So why couldn’t I accept the freedom of His forgiveness?

I wanted so badly to believe I was the person David mentions in Psalm 32:2, “Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.” Yet I struggled with accepting that God’s grace could erase my sin, wiping it away as if it never happened.

This can be a hard thing to accept for many of us. It sounds all well and good, but in reality, the weight of sin makes it difficult to believe a perfect God can forgive us.

Yet, His Word assures us that God does not count our sin against us. So how can we live in this truth?

The first step is to acknowledge our sin: to ourselves and to God. This opens up the door for honest conversations with the Lord and helps us stop hiding from the fear of being found out.

The next step is to fill our hearts and minds with truth. Throughout the Bible, God teaches how an unaccepting heart can be changed and softened to accept His forgiveness. The following verses are truth from a loving God who longs to transform our lives through the grace of His forgiveness.

My God doesn’t condemn. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 (NIV)

My master is grace, not sin. “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14 (NIV 1984)

My Savior Jesus has set me free, therefore I am free. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36 (NIV)

My old is gone; because of Jesus Christ I am new. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV 1984)

Are you lugging a load of sin that God has already forgiven? Are you ready to stop living in shame, shackled by regret? Life is too short to exchange the freedom of grace for the bondage of unbelief.

Today, allow God to wash the hurt and regret from past sins away with the transforming power of His truth. And let’s pray for an accepting heart that lives in the freedom of God’s grace and forgiveness.

A Christian Guide to Love

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A Christian Guide to Love

By Mark Driscoll

There are a few verses in the Bible that both Christians and non-Christians lean on when conversation takes a turn for the religious. “Do not judge” and “love your neighbor” are two of the most popular, but right up near the top is 1 John 4:8: “God is love.”

The notion that “God is love” is confusing, however, in a culture where “love” can apply to anything from Jesus’ death on the cross, to sex, to deep-dish pizza.

If God is love, what kind of love are we talking about?

It is common to hear married people speak of “falling out of love” with their spouses, and “falling in love” with someone else in adultery. In using the language of “falling,” they are cleverly avoiding any responsibility, as if they were simply required to follow their hearts.

But the Bible tells us not to follow our hearts, but rather “guard” them because they are prone to selfishness and sin (Prov. 4:23; Jer. 17:9).

Because “God is love,” that means love does not come from our hearts, but rather through our hearts. In relationship with God through Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit, we receive God’s love to share with others (1 John 4:7–21). Galatians 5:22 says, “The fruit of the Spirit is love . . .” And Romans 5:5 says, “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Through the presence of God the Holy Spirit in our lives, we are able to continue loving others—including our spouse. Even when we don’t feel “in love” with our spouse, we can give love to them and receive love from them if we live Spirit-filled lives.

The Bible does describe love as a feeling. But rather than beginning as a feeling that inspires an action, love is often first an action based on obedience to God that results in a feeling. This explains why the Bible commands husbands to love their wives (Eph. 5:25) and wives to love their husbands (Titus 2:4) rather than commanding them to feel loving. This further explains why the Bible even commands us to love our enemies (Matt. 5:43–47).

Additionally, the Bible describes love as a verb—it is what we do. Like Jesus’ love, it is a covenant commitment that compels us to act for the good of the one we love. The most popular wedding Scripture of all time depicts love as active: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:4–7).

Christian marriage is reciprocal acts of covenant love. That may sound like a heady theological concept, but it includes the little things. Here are a few practical examples that I collected from some married couples to illustrate:

•“He lovingly makes me coffee every single morning, and it means a lot to me!”

•“He runs me a hot bubble bath when he knows I’ve had a tough day caring for our three daughters (all under five)!”

• “He calls home at lunchtime no matter what . . . just to reconnect and see if we are all doing OK at home.”

•“When my gas tank is low, he drives to the gas station and fills it. My husband has pumped my gas for almost 20 years. I appreciate that he notices and takes care of it for me!”

•“She leaves encouraging notes with my keys or on my car steering wheel in the mornings.”

•“We walk to the library hand in hand, choose books, read them, and then swap. Later that week, over wine on the porch, we discuss those books. My favorite thing ever.”

•“He opens the car door. I never had that before, and it means a lot to me.”

•“She’s excited to see me every time I come home.”

•“My husband will not leave the house without kissing me goodbye.”

•“I love it when she goes with me to a sports bar to watch a game even though she’s not that into it, just because she knows I love it, and I love it when she’s there.”

•“We both take turns writing in a journal that we started when we were married in 2001.”

“God is love” does not mean that “love is God.” This liberating truth allows us to worship God by serving each other, rather than worshiping love and demanding it from each other. When both spouses each make a deep, heartfelt covenant with God to continually seek to become a better friend, increasing love and laughter mark the marriage.

Merry Christmas

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Merry Christmas

If you would like to talk with someone about the struggles you may be having over this Christmas and holiday season, please give CornerStone Family Services a call at 614-459-3003 to set up an appointment with one of our counselors or coaches.