Acquainted with Sorrows

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…a time to weep, and a time to laugh;a time to mourn,
and a time to dance…”

Ecclesiastes 3:1,4

Does being a Christian mean being happy all of the time? Dr. David Powlison of CCEF  lends a thoughtful perspective on sorrow and happiness and the role that each may play in the believer’s life…  

Photo: sem rox

The Christian & Closure

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Is the search to find closure an unbiblical pursuit? Dr. David Powlison of CCEF offers a wise perspective on this interesting question…

Photo: Kriss Szkurlatowski

Answering the Age-Old Question

“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from
sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control
his own body in holiness and honor”

1 Thessalonians 4:3-4

In his booklet, “Sex Before Marriage: How Far is Too Far?” Tim Lane of the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation addresses the issues of sexuality and purity from a biblical perspective: 

Why does it seem like the Bible is so narrow in how you practice and enjoy sex? The answer is that God knows how powerful sex is. When sex is practiced outside of marriage, you are misusing it and there are personal and interpersonal consequences. Sex outside of marriage is incomplete, because it doesn’t have a binding union as its basis. So when you have sex outside of marriage, what you are really saying is, “I want to have physical union with you, but not the entanglements of any other kind of binding union.” Most people don’t consciously think like that when they are having sex before marriage, yet, that is what they are doing and communicating—no matter how much they say they care for their partner.

Married sex is very powerful. It communicates the intense, personal nature of the marriage bond. The Hebrew word for sex is yada, which literally means to know someone personally. Sex is a form of disclosing yourself to another—becoming vulnerable and open in a very personal way that leads to an intimate knowledge of another. Every time a husband and wife have sex, it is a way of recommitting themselves to one another. They are saying that they belong exclusively to one another and no one else. To have sex in a casual way goes against the grain of what sex was intended to communicate. It was never intended to be a casual, recreational activity that can be done with someone outside of the context of deep commitment and love. When you use sex like this, even though it might feel great, in the long run there is bound to be hurt and pain.

Tim Lane discusses the purpose and content of the booklet…

You can read the text of “Sex Before Marriage: How Far is Too Far?” HERE or you can purchase copies of the booklet from CCEF to share with others HERE.

Illustration: B S K

Stepping In or Standing Back

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows,
that will he also reap.”

Galatians 6:7

Confusing love and mercy with enablement is a common problem both in the world and in the church these days. Over the last few years, I’ve been truly alarmed to see Christian parents repeatedly taking steps which make it easier for their children (whether young, teenaged, or adult) to continue on in sinful habits. Of course, I realize that the parents don’t see it that way; they believe they’re showing love by swooping in to rescue their children from the painful consequences of sinful choices. But God has ordained the principle of sowing and reaping, and we need to be sure our “helpful” actions toward children, spouses, or anyone else aren’t actually hindering His plan to bring another to repentance. This is an area where the church has become greatly affected by the world, and we need clear teaching and discernment to understand when love steps in and when love stands back.

In the following video, Winston Smith of CCEF provides some helpful thoughts on how we as Christians can discern the difference between loving others and enabling them in their sin.

Photo: Razief Adlie