How often do we pray for help, but when it arrives, reject it and send it packing? Much more frequently than we’re even aware. There’s a simple explanation for this: we think we know what the help should look like. When it comes in a form we don’t recognize, we assume God didn’t answer our…
For this particular shade of this series (here’s Part 1 and Part 2), I felt it best to turn to someone from the “never marry” side of the singles’ world, someone with a different story and perspective, who could speak credibly to those with a reluctant view of marriage and a, shall we say, greater enthusiasm for singleness.
To that end, I’m excited to introduce my blog’s very first guest poster, Sarah J. Callen.
When Brandon first asked me to share about singleness, I began racking my brain for the best way to communicate about this topic. Then a simple solution hit me: share your story. I hope my story will leave you encouraged if you’ve been hurt in the past, give you compassion for those in a different stage of life than you, or just give courage to share your own, even if it’s messy.
Growing up, I never wanted to get married. The entire institution of marriage was wholly undesirable and having kids was completely out of the question. I met Christ when I was 16 and dove into church culture, but my hatred of marriage remained. I was certain I was just going to be like Paul and choose singleness so I could serve God, not realizing the depth of hurt I was trying to cover up using this Christian justification.
Some of my friends got married right out of high school and I had plenty of weddings to attend all through my college years and, while I was happy for them, I still didn’t understand their desire to marry. Why on earth would you want to put up with another human being for the rest of your life? Why would you sign up for something that had a high probability of leaving you in worse shape than when you entered it?
You see, at a young age I decided that marriage was a bad thing.
Good solution for all the “gotcha” arguments that are often presented in opposition to Christianity. If you can achieve the existence and sovereignty of God, a lot of tough issues fall into place. Let us pray that the Spirit moves amongst our friends and loved ones, for only he saves in the end.
So, this is just an advice post for doing apologetics.
Here are three situations I’ve run into while doing apologetics in the last month.
First situation. I was talking with a lady who is an atheist. I had a copy of “God’s Crime Scene” in my hand, and she asked me about it. I told her that it was a book written by the guy who solved the homicide case that I asked her to watch on Dateline. She remembered – it was the two-hour special on the woman who was killed with a garrotte. She pointed at the book and said “what’s in it?” I said, it has 8 pieces of evidence that fit better with a theistic worldview than with an atheistic one, and some of them scientific. Her reply to me was – literally – “which denomination do you…
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Tomorrow’s tax day and it’s brought out the contrarian in me.
Like many of my readers, I fall into the sociopolitical pool that mistrusts taxes generally. It can be disheartening to think that too many tax dollars are going to nothing, funneled into places that help nobody, and that the resulting voids only call out for more tax dollars to fill them.
But it is encouraging to remember that they also do good.
Those firefighters who help repel the flames creeping towards your home? Paid for with tax dollars. We Montanans are especially grateful for that today.
The soldiers who put their lives on the line to stand watch over our country? Trained, equipped, and paid with tax dollars.
The police? Same thing.
After their military tour, some young soldiers go to school and get degrees (like mine in secondary education after my Air Force years) off of the G.I. Bill, also paid by taxes.
Of course, our teachers are paid through taxes.
And those glaring Montana potholes that nearly destroyed my car this morning? Not getting fixed by anything but taxes.
Paul teaches us, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God” (Romans 13:1). And this is said with brutal, excessive Rome in mind.
The Pharisees tried to trap Jesus by asking whether he thought taxes should be paid. If he said yes, the people would denounce him; if he said no, the state would. Instead, Jesus slipped the trap (as he always did so well) with a statement that helps form part of the foundation of our modern concept of separation of church and state: “Therefore give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21).
So, as we go about launching opinions on social media about whether or not taxes should increase, we can least pair it with thankfulness for those who serve their world on them.
“…most Christians think if we could only get the spiritual combination just right that God would then be willing to help us out.”
Ever since my senior year in high school, my journeys in faith and fitness have always walked alongside each other. I got into Jesus, (like, really into Jesus) at about the same time I got into lifting, and looking back, it comes as little surprise that a lot of my encounters with the Lord have been more or less in the gym.
As cliché as it sounds, being in front of a barbell or on a tennis court reminds me a lot of what church feels like. I have a sense of comfort, a sense of familiarity, and a sense of peace whenever I start loading up forty-fives or taking serves out of a basket.
This is all great stuff so far, and I’m sure a great deal of athletes have a similar testimony to my own. It’s just that, despite having glimpses of God in the weight room or…
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Years ago, my college group attended a weekend retreat (at a hot springs!) without knowing the topic. The speaker hadn’t announced it beforehand. Later, we discovered that that was because the speaker himself didn’t know his subject until he got underway; God only revealed it to him then. That subject was marriage. And it didn’t take long to see why God in his wisdom had waited for the reveal: at the end of the retreat, numerous attendees, as they shook the speaker’s hand in gratitude for solid teachings, admitted that if they’d known the topic beforehand, they wouldn’t have come.
At a different young adults’ group I briefly attended, the pastor offered a choice of topics for the next series: one of Paul’s epistles, or relationships. Paul’s epistle won. By a landslide.
And a friend recently asked, “Can we quit making the first question we ask someone after we haven’t seen them for a long time, ‘Soooo, do you have a guy’?”
Why do so many millennials land anywhere from disinterested to fiercely opposed to marriage?
The answers, I suspect, reach double digits. I myself never numbered among the matrimonially disinterested, but over time, I’ve come to appreciate fellow millennials’ increasing desire for singleness. It stems from not a few understandable stalks. And as I said last week, blunt criticism of singleness, from even respectable evangelical figures, will never be as effective as understanding and encouragement.
One stalk, I think, could be described as a lack of affirmation.
Amazing story about recovery from brain cancer. Also, why aren’t you following her blog already?