Ask Mel–How Do I Witness to Teenagers?

“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point,
he has become guilty of all.”

James 2:17

Witnessing to family members can be more than a little challenging at times. Today, I offer a few thoughts on how to approach sharing the gospel with teenaged relatives.

Resources I mentioned:

Do you have a question for Ask Mel?
You can send it to:
preciousadornment@gmail.com

Image: Billy Alexander

Ask Mel–How Do I Overcome Anger?

“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.”

Ephesians 4:26

Anger wreaks havoc on countless homes and relationships. All of us experience this destructive emotion in varying degrees, but for those struggling with a pattern of anger in their lives, real change can seem nearly impossible. Is there any hope for overcoming this deeply-rooted problem?   

The books I mentioned:

Uprooting Anger by Robert D. Jones

Anger & Stress Management God’s Way by Wayne Mack

If you have a question for Ask Mel, send it to: preciousadornment@gmail.com

Photo: Felix atsoram

Ask Mel–Do I Have to Tell My Spouse I’ve Been Unfaithful?

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another…”

James 5:16

Is it more loving to conceal or to confess past unfaithfulness? In the following video, I offer a few thoughts on the inseparable link between confession and true repentance.

Have a question for Ask Mel? Send it to: preciousadornment@gmail.com.

Photo: Bethany Carlson

Ask Mel–What Can I Do if My Husband Continues in Sin? (Pt.2)

 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you…”

Matthew 18:15-16a

In this video, I continue answering a question about how a wife should respond when her husband is involved in ongoing sin.

View Part 1 HERE

The two resources I mentioned:

The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace

Biblical Resources for the Wife’s Protection” by Lou Priolo

Have a question for Mel? Send it to: preciousadornment@gmail.com.

Photo: Walter Groesel

Ask Mel–What Can I Do if My Husband Continues in Sin? (Pt.1)

“But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,”
that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

Hebrews 3:13

Today, I address the difficult question of what a wife should do when her husband becomes involved in a life-dominating sin…

You can visit the Ask Mel page to view the previous videos on biblical submission that I mentioned.

Have a question for Mel? Send it to: preciousadornment@gmail.com.

Photo: Walter Groesel

Ask Mel–How Do I Help My Friend Grow Spiritually (Pt.2)

“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”

Proverbs 27:6

More thoughts about how to encourage our friends’ growth in Christ…

View Part 1 HERE.

There’s so much more that could be said about this topic, but I do want to keep these videos as short as possible. Here are a few more points I felt I
should add:

  • Ask how you can pray for your friend. This may provide her with opportunities to share things she would otherwise have felt uncomfortable telling you about.
  • Ask your friend to pray for you. By sharing your own need for prayer, you can help your friend see that you also need help and encouragement in your walk with Christ.
  • When possible, invite your friend to join you for activities she may find both enjoyable and spiritually beneficial such as Bible studies, conferences, or other church events.
  • Finally, if you see no evidence of spiritual fruit over time, be aware of the possibility that your friend may profess faith in Christ without actually knowing Him at all (Matt. 7:22-23). Ask the Lord for her salvation, if, in fact, she has not placed her faith in Him.
  • Continue showing love as you lean on the Lord for strength, recognizing that He loves your friend far more than you ever could.

Do you have a question for Ask Mel? Send it to: preciousadornment@gmail.com.

Anything else you would add?

Illustration: Cecile Graat

Ask Mel–How Do I Help My Friend Grow Spiritually? (Pt. 1)

“A friend loves at all times…”

Proverbs 17:17

Today, I share a few thoughts relating to friendship and spiritual growth…

[Sorry for shouting “Hi!” I just can’t contain my enthusiasm sometimes.  :)]

Part 2 will be posted on Monday.

Do you have a question about life, love, & other mysteries? Send it to:
 preciousadornment@gmail.com.

Have you struggled with this issue in your own friendships?

How would you attempt to encourage your friends in their walk with Christ?

Illustration: Cecile Graat



Ask Mel–What Should I Do if My Husband Won’t Lead?

 “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her
by the washing of water with the word…”

Ephesians 5:25

Just a few thoughts on a widespread problem… 

Have a question for Mel? Send it to preciousadornment@gmail.com.

What thoughts would you share to help women struggling with this issue?

Photo: Jesper Noer

Ask Mel

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”

Ephesians 5:22

What does submission look like when a husband asks his wife to follow him into sin? The topic of today’s video…

Do you have a question about the Christian life that you’d like to ask Mel?
Send an email to
preciousadornment@gmail.com.



Illustration: Sigurd Decroos

Ask Mel–What Is Submission within Marriage?

“Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”

Colossians 3:18

Today, I continue addressing the issue of how a wife can submit to her unbelieving husband. I’ll wrap up our whirlwind tour of this vital topic tomorrow.

 

You can view Part 1 HERE & Part 2 HERE.

Do you have a question about the Christian life that you’d like to ask Mel?
Send an email to
preciousadornment@gmail.com.

Illustration: Sigurd Decroos

Ask Mel–How Do I Handle Marriage to an Unbeliever? (Pt. 2)

“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word
by the conduct of their wives…”

1 Peter 3:1

This is the second half of a two-part series answering the question,
“How should a Christian wife handle marriage to an unbelieving husband?”
You can view Part 1 HERE.

Want to ask Mel a question? Send your email to preciousadornment@gmail.com.

Illustration: Sigurd Decroos

Ask Mel–How Do I Handle Marriage to an Unbeliever? (Pt.1)

“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word
by the conduct of their wives…”

1 Peter 3:1

Trying something new today… Hope you enjoy.

 

Want to ask Mel a question? Send your email to preciousadornment@gmail.com.

Illustration: Sigurd Decroos

Ask Mel–How Do I Become a Better Conversationalist?

“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”

Colossians 4:6

Dear Mel,*

I’m writing in response to your letter last week about not being anti-social. I agree with what you said about being loving and all, but my problem is that I’m a terrible conversationalist. Talking to other people, especially new people, is really challenging for me. I don’t know what to say, and I feel like I only make conversations awkward, so I avoid them as much as I can. Any advice for a tongue-tied girl like me?

Signed,
Struggling to be Social in Saskatchewan

Dear Struggling,

I completely understand what you mean. When I was younger, I was painfully shy, and having conversations with new people scared me to death. It probably wasn’t until college, and really graduate school, that the Lord brought me to a place where I “blossomed” in my interpersonal skills. It’s still a struggle for me, but I think I’ve learned some things that will help you blossom as well.

First, I would say you should examine your heart to see what might be happening in there as far as your interpersonal struggles are concerned. Good social skills start in the heart. I know that for me, the major barrier to becoming an outgoing person was my inward focus. The fear of man often tripped me up and prevented me from reaching out to others (Prov. 29:25). Once I began to care more about what God thought of me than what other people thought, it removed a major obstacle preventing me from becoming the God-centered, others kind of person He wants me to be. Of course, examining your heart isn’t all there is to it. Becoming a good conversationalist takes practice and a bit of skill. Here are three tips to get you started:

1. Truly love people.

If you don’t really love people, then conversing with them will always be a chore. People who are social butterflies often talk because that’s what they like to do, not necessarily because they want to express love for others. Your goal must be higher than being a good conversationalist. Seek to develop good communication skills for the glory of God and the good of others. Ask the Lord to change your heart in whatever ways necessary and open your eyes to view others the way He does. As God answers these prayers, your growing concern for others will help to loosen your lips in the right ways allowing you to better express your love through open and friendly conversations.

2. Ask questions.

Some people are simply unbearable to talk to. You know why? Because they only talk about themselves! A conversation can only go so far when that’s going on. My first tip for you, and really I think it’s the key to making good conversation, is to start asking questions. Start with the obvious, like the person’s name, and work your way out—ask about where she works, her family, where she’s from, what school she’s attending or has attended, what she studied there, where she goes to church, what her hobbies are, etc., etc. Asking good questions not only jumpstarts a conversation, but it can also keep it going for a very long time. Your questions will often uncover shared interests, and then the conversation can really spring to life. We all enjoy talking to someone who is genuinely interested in our lives and will usually open up more quickly when we sense that a person truly wants to get to know us. If that’s the type of person you want to be, asking questions is a skill worth developing.

3. Be truly interested in the answers.

Don’t forget that asking questions isn’t an end in itself; it’s just a tool to help you get to know people better. Make sure you listen intently to the answers and provide feedback when appropriate. Keep good eye contact. Nothing tells a person you’re not interested in what they have to say quicker than your roaming eyes, especially when your eyes are roaming to the clock.

When one line of conversation runs its course, start another by asking a related question or a question about a new topic. It’s a big world; you’ll be amazed at how many topics there are to cover. Someone once told me that if all she has to talk to people about is the weather, then she just won’t talk to them at all. I completely disagree with such an idea. If faced with the choice of ignoring someone or making an observation about the weather, I’ll take the latter any day. Why? Because at the very least, I have recognized that person as being worthy of my attention, even if talking to them about temperature, precipitation, or humidity is the best I can do at the time.

The Scripture calls us to speak the truth in love. Since we can’t obey this command without conversing with people, I’d say that developing good communication skills is a worthy endeavor for each of us to pursue. Our goal in talking to others, as in all areas of life, is to follow the pattern set by our Savior. In Luke 4:22, it is said that the people who heard Jesus “marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth.” The more closely we model our speech after His, the more clearly we’ll reflect His love to the world.

Working on my words with you,
Mel

What advice would you give this person if you could? Have any talking tips you’d like to share?

 

*”Ask Mel” is a weekly question & answer feature where I write a letter presenting an actual problem and then offer biblically-based counsel in response.

Photo: ilker