Archives For Culture

In March, a group of students from the University of Oklahoma chapter of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity (OU SAE) was caught on video celebrating with a racist chant. The OU SAE video went viral, making sure racism remained prominent in the non-stop news cycle. It was an appalling moment representing an appalling history. It was also a reminder of why pastors and churches must engage the issues surrounding racial reconciliation and justice.

For me, this hit close to home. After seminary, I served as a pastor on a church staff in North Dallas near the homes of the two college students in the OU SAE video. Now, I pastor a church in Oklahoma, not far from where this video was recorded. The proximity was hard to overlook. I do not know these young men or their personal stories, but it is not hard to imagine they might have been in our church building a time or two. Maybe they had even attended an event for students somewhere along the way. They almost certainly would have known people who attended our church. These realities serve as a reminder of the great responsibility and the great opportunity for churches to bring about real change. People all around us need the gospel, and our cities need the gospel to be lived on her streets and in her living rooms.

Royce Cafe Edmond, OK

Royce Cafe Edmond, OK

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I find that many pastors increasingly feel a need to do something about racism but are uncertain about how to proceed. To be honest, that’s how I have felt much of the time. Over the last few years, I have been trying to engage in the conversation knowing that I will likely make some mistakes. Its seems better to speak poorly (and learn from it) than to remain silent. We can not do everything, but we must do something. You may not have an international platform or have all the answers to end systemic injustice, but you can take some first steps to engage in the conversation.

1. Be Quick to Hear, Slow to Speak

In this conversation, listen more and talk less. White evangelicals especially need to heed this warning. This command from James 1:19 means more than patiently waiting your turn to talk. This is a two-part command. The first is as important as the second, for it is grounded in our love for others. We need to purpose to listen—really listen—to our friends. Not listening for the sake of politeness or argument, but for love’s sake. Lean in. Listen up. Love the person in front of you. Then, when we speak, let us do so with wisdom and much grace.

2. Build Real Relationships

The most significant aspect of my journey has been the real relationships I have with African American friends. Understanding increases more from twelve real conversations than from reading twelve-hundred tweets. When I am in a friend’s home, sharing meals, and watching our kids play together, things change. I hear about in-laws who refused to attend the wedding for their interracial marriage. I hear about the time they were handcuffed face-down in the street for no reason. I hear about the insults cops made to their spouse on a routine speeding violation. They loan me their book on lynching. I feel their longing for the shalom of God to break into our world. Then, their struggle has a chance to become my struggle.

3. Invite Diversity into Your Church

Find ways to bring diversity to your church, even if it’s a short-term connection. When we need a guest preacher or guest worship leader, consider bringing in a guest that would add to the diversity of your room. The same might be done with special events, retreat speakers, or curriculum choices. Over time, we ought to consider how to grow our diversity throughout our church, but we can immediately take a first step with the guests we invite to serve our body.

4. Follow Key Influencers

In the digital age, it is easier than ever to connect with a broad collection of people. Find out who the influencers are on this topic. Read their blogs. Follow them on social media. You don’t have to read everything, and you certainly do not have to agree with it all. Even occasional reading will raise your awareness about how others are thinking. It will show you which landlines you should avoid and point you to common ground you may share. Missionaries are students of culture.

5. Research Local History

Find out about your city’s racial history. When I pastored in North Carolina, people said there was no racial tension, in spite of the fact that we were situated on Tobacco Road and the town square bore a statue to the Confederate soldier. However, when the county courthouse later burned down in a fire, one black friend told me he wasn’t sad to see it go because of the number of people he knew who had been hurt by the injustice that took place there.

In my current city of Edmond, Oklahoma, I was able to connect with a professor of African American Studies who shared with me his research, including some advertisements giving clear evidence of racism in our local history. It’s easy to see how religious people in past decades missed the mark. These serve as a warning to our churches about our need for the gospel and it’s implications. We would be foolish to think that these histories do not extend into our congregations and our cities.

6. Preach the Word

Racial reconciliation is not the gospel, but the gospel results in the reconciliation of diverse people. The implications are evident throughout the Bible, and these need to be brought to bear on our lives and the lives of those in our churches. Our people need to see “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). When you craft your sermons, allow racial reconciliation to become an illustration for how the gospel works itself out in life. When appropriate, allow reconciling with others to be an application point. Consider adding a sermon or short series on race to your preaching calendar. God’s love for all people is clear: Jesus’ blood “ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9). May our preaching nurture a godly love for others and a passionate longing for the day when all people will stand shoulder-to-shoulder as brothers under God’s reign.

7. Make Disciples

When I wrestle with a problem as big as racism, I can become overwhelmed or discouraged. When global solutions seem hard to find, I find it helpful to focus on first steps. So, let me encourage you: start with the people in your room. Disciples are people. They are not a theoretical group, but a collection of individuals in need of gospel transformation. These individuals have their own stories and struggles. They need help applying the gospel to their life situations. If we are going to sever the real roots of racism in our world, it will be through the application of gospel truth to the sin in our hearts.

When I consider the two young men from the OU SAE video, I know we have work to do. This is not a problem with a quick fix. This conversation will continue, and our call as the people of God is to be a voice of reconciliation and hope for all people that speaks loudest in the gospel of Jesus.


Note: The post card above is in the public domain as a royalty free image, but may also be purchased via the website in the watermark.

I love redemption stories. “No matter how broken, each violin shared it’s story…Beauty no one ever imagined coming from what had been deemed just a pile of junk.”

This video made me hit the pause button on my day. I’ll admit I had to fight back tears. Not much needs to be said. Just watch and consider:

  1. Everyone has a story. When we enter into others’ stories, we connect with their humanity and remember our common Creator.
  2. Use your gifts for good. God has given you talents, training, and experiences so that you can serve and do good in the world. Find the good you were made to do.
  3. Imagine the beauty that God sees. If a talented artist like Rick Guidotti has eyes to see such beauty in the midst of struggle, can you imagine the beauty that God sees in the ones that he himself created?
  4. One day, God will make all things new. May we love and serve others, especially the marginalized, until that day. Come, Lord Jesus.


What stood out to you as you watched the video? Did you find the story as moving as I did? If you or someone you love deals with one of the conditions mentioned in the video, I’d love to hear your honest thoughts on this.


*Sorry I had to link to an external site; apparently, wordpress can’t embed NBC video player. It’s worth the trouble.

plant growI wanted to post some important ideas related to the new church that we are launching in Edmond / OKC, Oklahoma. God is doing some incredibly exciting things with Redemption Church, and I can’t wait to see what God does in the years ahead. Some posts are more personal in nature, but this one is intended to give you some of our reasoning behind starting a new church. I hope it gives you some understanding of how important church planting is to the mission of God. Every church was once a church plant, and I’m convinced that every biblical church should be involved in planting new churches.

Much of the information in this post is summarized and modified from Tim Keller’s influential article, “Why Plant Churches?“, which I highly recommend. The article significantly shaped my thinking about church planting.

A Personal Passion: With about 20 years in ministry, I’ve fallen in love with the excitement, the possibility, and the challenge of starting a new church. As important as that is for me personally, it is more important that I’ve become convinced that the continual planting of new churches is the way that the kingdom of God will grow its influence in our world. The church thrives when she is a multiplying organization. Disciples making disciples and churches planting churches is not only the best way forward–it is the only way forward.

RC-Logo_VertA Biblical Mandate: We are responding to the biblical mandate to plant new churches. When Jesus sent his followers into the world to “make disciples” and “baptize” and “teach,” he was essentially calling them to evangelize, incorporate new believers into churches, and help them grow as authentic disciples of Jesus.

A Common Objection: Well, I’m sure that made sense in the church’s beginning years, but why do we need to plant a new church today in a place where lots of churches exist already?

Top Ten Reasons to Plant New Churches

  1. New churches are the best way to reach the unchurched. Study after study reveals that the average new church gains 60-80% of its members from unchurched people. Churches that have existed 10-15 years or more gain 80-90% from people who transfer from one congregation to another.
  2. New churches are the best way to reach new generations. Younger generations are disproportionately found in new churches, primarily because older congregations settle into routines that suit their existing members.
  3. New churches are the best way to reach new residents. In a new church, new residents are on equal footing with people who have been around a long time.
  4. New churches are the best way to reach new socio-cultural groups in an area. New churches are much more nimble and able to make cultural adjustments that existing churches would take years to make.
  5. New churches are the best way to reach the dechurched (those that once attended church, but no longer have any interest in church). Because they often feel “outside the box” and incorporate new styles, new churches tend to break down barriers for people who have been previously turned off by church.
  6. New churches are the best way to bring new ideas that renew the entire Body of Christ. These ideas help to breathe new life into existing churches and bring about renewal throughout the area.
  7. New churches are the best way to raise creative, strong leaders for the kingdom. New churches value pioneers, creatives, and innovation, and they create space for new leaders to emerge and bless a city.
  8. New churches remind us to build Jesus’ Kingdom and not our own kingdoms. Churches tend to institutionalize and can become focused on maintaining their own ministries. Church planting renews our heart for the lost and for the mission of building God’s Kingdom.
  9. New churches are the best way to challenge existing churches. Seeing a new church engaged in gospel mission may push an existing church to self-examination so that it changes its heart and improves its ministry.
  10. New churches breathe new life and people into existing churches. Some who start out in a new church will discover they are more comfortable in an existing congregation.

[Summarized and modified from Tim Keller, “Why Plant Churches?” at]

I’d love to hear your thoughts. What surprises you as you read this post? What most resonates with you? Would you be interesting in helping to plant a church? Leave a comment below.



AMNOTE: This post originally appeared at I have contributed to their men’s curriculum called 33 The Series. If you aren’t familiar with 33, I hope you will check it out at If you want a discount code, email me at By way of transparency, I get a small cut if you use my discount code when you purchase the curriculum, but I’d promote it even if I didn’t.

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Most of us struggle to find the balance between work and home. We feel like we are stuck in the middle of a tug-of-war between the office and the house, and we can only win at one or the other. Many live with a constant low-grade guilt about the lack of time with their kids. This struggle seems especially strong for those that travel.

Iʼm not a normal business traveler. In fact, my routine typically keeps me busy but close to home. Over the last few months, Iʼve found myself in a pattern of traveling every other week. This new rhythm of life has got me thinking. What does it mean to reject passivity and accept responsibility as a father who is on the road?

First, know this: your work matters. We often overlook the spiritual value of hard work, but we are called to provide for our families, to make a positive contribution to the world, to honor God by doing our jobs well. Just donʼt allow work to matter too much. When your job consistently limits your investment with your children, it might be time to recalibrate.

Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisors they succeed.” With that in mind, I hope you will consider this post more of a digital roundtable on this topic. These are ideas Iʼve had. Iʼve tried some of them. Iʼve failed to try some of them. Some of you have traveled with greater regularity, and you will have even better ideas. I would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.

Seven ideas for fathers who travel…

    1. Prioritize focused time with your kid(s). Wise men proactively organize their schedules around what is most important. They fight the temptation to live under the “tyranny of the urgent,” refusing to allow pressing matters to crowd out the most important things. So, prioritize an hour with your kids before or after a trip. Shoot some hoops or take your kid(s) to breakfast on days before you leave town.
    2. Manage the transitions well – For some, this is difficult. My natural tendency is to procrastinate with making my travel plans, but Iʼve found that it is critical to plan and organize my departure and return so that things are not crazy and stressful (for me or for my family). When these times are frantic, it multiplies the impact of being gone.
    3. Write a note to be opened while you are gone. I know, I know. Some of you donʼt think you are a “writer,” but it doesnʼt have to be that hard. Think of one thing that your kid does well, and let him or her know how proud you are. Think of the unique way that God has made your child. Is your kid thoughtful or hilarious or competitive or caring? Highlight one attribute you see in them. Say I love you. Donʼt be afraid to share your heart. Let them know you are happy that God put them in your life.
    4. Find an app or internet game to play. With so many apps and games available, find one that you can play. My 10 year old and I played Words with Friends for a few weeks. He could take his turn after school, and I could take my turn at night so that it was his turn again the next day. Iʼm guessing there are other apps that would allow for these easy touch points to stay connected.
    5. Facetime, skype or call. This seems easy, but Iʼve found it more difficult than I thought. When my kids are available to talk during the afternoon, Iʼm usually pounding away at work or in meetings. When Iʼm available to talk during the evening, my kids are usually in the middle of the dinner, bath, bedtime routine. If itʼs too late, I can hardly get them to answer two questions. I tend to get batter responses if I can sneak in a call before dinner time.
    6. Record a video reading your childʼs favorite book – If your child is small, itʼs hard to beat reading books at bedtime. With phones, Ipads and computers having built-in video devices, itʼs never been easier to record a video. Take five minutes one evening before you leave and record a video of yourself reading his or her favorite book. Your spouse can play it for your child while you are out of town.
    7. Guard your weekends – When you are regularly on the road, you need to especially guard your calendar on the days when you are home. As much as possible, try not to let loose ends linger around on your projects so that they demand your attention later. Discipline yourself to work hard on the road so that you can be fully present when you are home. Donʼt just be home; be engaged at home.

It can be difficult to balance family and work when you are on the road. It will require intentionality. Hopefully, something here got you thinking about your role as a traveling father. Maybe it sparked an idea for you. Iʼd love to read your thoughts.

Any ideas you would share with us? What has worked well for you? What do you find difficult? How do you manage to balance family with life on the road?

Share your ideas in the comment section below.


Every now and then I run across something that so hilariously or so painfully illustrates a larger problem that I have to share it. Sometimes, it is both hilarious and painful. Give this two minutes of your time, and I guarantee that you will laugh, and you’ll probably watch it again to make sure it wasn’t a joke. Then, somewhere along the way, you’ll be a little bothered by the tragicomedy of it all.

Only in Texas, right? Kind of reminds you of the verse from scripture that says, “Without elegance, it is impossible to please God.” (If you are looking for this in your Bible, you are going to be looking for a really, really long time).

Leslie, from Big, Rich Texas says, “It is appropriate to have a baptism anywhere. You can actually have it in a church…I prefer a beautiful swimming pool. It’s a little bit more controlled and it’s a little bit cleaner.”

Isn’t that how we’d all like our spirituality–a little bit more controlled, and a little bit cleaner?

You know, a clean place like the manger that welcomed the infant Jesus to the world. Or, a little bit more controlled like the cross where Jesus’ battered, bruised, bloody body bid the world goodbye (or at least “see ya later”). No, there was very little elegance in Jesus’ life, but his life was more glorious than the grandest of parties.

This video is a reminder how easily we can veer off course. Sure, few (if any) of us would throw a $10,000 baptism celebration that completely misses the point, but we are not immune to the temptation to embrace the trappings of Christianity without engaging Christ.

This is perhaps rarely more true than at Christmastime. We go to church without seeking Christ. We sing songs about Jesus without being awed by him. We decorate our homes with heart-warming reminders of the Baby Jesus, but we are not heart-broken over our sin that begged for the Savior to come. We throw office parties in Jesus’ name but never mention him to our co-workers. We too play religious games.

This is what makes Christmas so amazing. God came. In a manger. For people like us.

He didn’t hide until we became like him. He left heaven for us.

He didn’t wait for us to clean up the mess. He entered the mess for us.

He didn’t expect us to become righteous. He offered his righteousness for us.

He didn’t hold our brokenness against us. He was broken for us.

He didn’t hope that we would conquer death. He beat death for us.

Immanuel. God with us. God for us. In spite of us, yet also because of us. Jesus in our place.

The Bible says nothing about our need for elegance, but it says a lot about our need for faith: “Without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Heb 11:6).

My prayer for you this Christmas:

May you believe in Jesus. May you rejoice in the God who took on flesh for your sake. May you leap at the thought that the perfect Savior gave his all for imperfect you. May you rest in the reality that he forgives sins–all of them. May you laugh like a child fully accepted and adopted by a forever Father. May you celebrate Christ, our Rescuer and King.


Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year. I love everything about it. I love the food, the weather, the family, the food, the football, the food, the fun. I love the pace, which always seems slower and less hurried than Christmas. I love that we stop to say what are thankful for.

We should enjoy these things. And we need to enjoy the one that gave them to us. I want to offer a quick reminder that we need to remember the God that we are thankful to.

We say “I am thankful for __________” a lot, but the more important sentence to complete is this: “I am thankful to __________.” If you scan your twitter feed or facebook feed, I bet you’ll find “I am thankful for __________” repeated over and over, but you will rarely see a mention of who people are thankful to.

A “thank you” does not terminate on itself or vanish into the Autumn breeze. It is not intended to stop with us. A thank you is intended to go somewhere. It has a destination. Our thanks need to be offered to a particular recipient.

Let me illustrate. A letter is mailed from a father to a daughter. A football is passed between quarterback and receiver. A kiss is blown from one lover to another. Each is a great example of something offered and something received.

But each of these becomes meaningless if there is no one to receive that which is offered.

A letter mailed without an address indicated is marked “Return to Sender.” A football with no receiver bounces crookedly in the grass and must be retrieved. Someone walking the city streets blowing kisses to nobody is eventually invited to the psych wing of the local hospital.

If we offer our thanks generically, without intending them for someone specific, they lose their power. Yet far too many of us, maybe even most of us, fail to think about this most important question: To whom are we saying our “thank yous”?

Let’s remember that Thanksgiving is about the one to whom we offer thanks: God.

The bible points out our human tendency to enjoy God’s creation without showing gratitude to our Creator (Romans 1). This is our habitual way of acting in this great world of ours. We become so swept up in its beauty and tastiness and laughter and love that we fail to look beyond them to the Great Giver of All Good Things.

In some way, when we find ourselves continually saying “I’m thankful for ________” without ever saying “I’m thankful to   G O D ,” we are repeating the harmful pattern of those who “did not honor him as God or give thanks to him” (Rom 1:21).

The joy of Thanksgiving is in celebrating all of the good that we’ve been given.  It is a time when we set aside worry and heartache and achievement and striving to pause and give thanks for our many blessings. We soak turkey in rivers from the gravy boat, stuff ourselves with stuffing, pretend we are interested in an oversized Snoopy bouncing off towers in NYC, sneak an (second) piece of pumpkin pie. We remember that we love our children more than we love the Dallas Cowboys, even when the kids keep running between us and the TV. We make the most of the life we’ve been given. And it is good.

These are days to be remembered.

These are days to be thankful for.

And these are also days to be thankful to.

May we celebrate life to the fullest today,
and may we be “abounding in thanksgiving”
to the one who gives us life to enjoy.


NOTE: With our move to Edmond, Oklahoma to plant Redemption Church, I haven’t had a lot of time to write. So, I wanted to pass along a recent post that I wrote for my friends at Authentic Manhood. I’ve written several pieces in the Training Guide for their 33: The Series biblical manhood study. If you aren’t familiar with them, I hope you will check it out, grab some guys, and launch into the series together. If you decide to purchase the series, you can receive a 5% discount by using the discount code “Resident55,” and I will receive 15% of the proceeds (as a church plant resident).


I haven’t had a friend in years.” The comment surprised me. I knew it was (sort of) a joke, but there was enough truth in it to reveal the frustration. In years of working with men, I’ve never had a guy say, “You know, I just have too many deep friendships.” No, whenever I share about biblical friendship, guys almost always say, “I need friends like that.


I like music. Why is that important? Well, it’s not particularly important, except to me (and my wife, who does our budget), but it does have some relevance to you. Because this is my blog, I sometimes post music here. If you don’t like music or have bad taste in music (kidding, of course), no big deal–just skip this post and wait for the next one.

Now, to get on with it…

I’ve been a huge fan of Mumford & Sons ever since I clicked a link to a youtube video when they first hit the scene. The British folk-rock group has talent to spare combined with lyrical depth that is rare. If there was any doubt of their greatness, 2011’s Grammy performance blew the world away with their passion and joy. It was as good as live performance gets. The kind of show that you want to pay for. They had so much fun getting to play in front of the world that you couldn’t help but cheer them on. I added a new item to my bucket list that night.

I’ve been waiting, along with many others for their sophomore release, so I thought I’d post a video of this song from their upcoming album. Enjoy.

Are you a Mumford & Sons fan? Have you seen them live? Love to hear your stories.


February 7, 2012 — Leave a comment

I was editing a video recently and came across the predictable “Romantic Effect” video editing tool. You know the one. It puts a dreamy blurry weepy air around the person in the shot. The effect tries to give the impression that you are viewing the world through tears of joy. It’s the look that you (you, not me) see on Hallmark movies in the middle of the day when you are sick and no one else is home.

Confession: The video I was editing was a short clip of me talking into the camera, so I put the Romantic filter on myself just to see what it looked like. Creepy.

But the “Romantic” special effect annoyed me for another reason. A more important reason. The very fact that we’ve created such this special effect and given it the title “Romantic” is bothersome. Romance is not a fuzzy fluffy furry moment of spontaneous affection. Our definition of romance needs an upgrade.

Romance isn’t a Relational Special Effect

One of the reasons that so many relationships fail is that they are built upon the “The Romantic Effect.” When a relationship begins, a couple strings together a series of “romantic” moments: first date, first kiss, first birthday gift, first time to watch Gladiator together, first Christmas. As long as they have a fuzzy film moment once a month or so without major interruption, things are good. Or seem to be.

Adolescent relationships are built on this stuff. That’s why we call it teenage romance. In those years, your life is filled with open spaces and open calendars. You have time to unintentionally wander into romantic moments.

The problem with teenage romance is that you have to keep the romantic effect moments happening in new and fresh and different ways. But life just doesn’t allow for a never-ending number of these types of experiences. Far too often, when the newness wears off and the “romantic” moments slow, people trade one partner in for another. Then, they start the romantic filter cycle all over again.

Growing older doesn’t necessarily mean growing up. We find ourselves in a nation of adult adolescents, growing older but still seeking teenage romance.

Fast-forward a few years into marriage for those who make that commitment. If we are lucky (and disciplined), we manage a long weekend away each year where we can create a few moments that are truly special moments as a couple. But there are 361 other days in the year. Try simply adding the Romantic Filter to the picture once you’ve added a few kids, a few sleepless nights, and a few budget line items that are way out of whack. It is going to take more than spontaneous sweetness to maintain the romance as you move through the seasons of life.

We need a stronger love, a more rugged romance.

Fighting for a More Rugged Romance

This is a blog post and not a book, so I don’t have time to go into all the complexities of relationships and marriage. I’m not trying to cover it all. For the sake of this post, I want to offer a single encouragement to you: be tenacious.

Ephesians 5 instructs us about marriage: “a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife” (italics mine).

I love the phrase “hold fast.” To hold fast means to secure a thing in place.* It is to bolt something in place so tightly that it can’t be loosened. We are told to make our wives secure in their relationship to us, so secure that you can never be separated from them.

If we are to hold fast to our spouses, we must fight for our togetherness. When I conduct a wedding ceremony, I always tell the couple to “guard the oneness of their relationship.” We go to battle to protect the union we were intended to enjoy.

Or, at least we should.

John Piper wrote, “When historians list the character traits of America in the last third of the twentieth century, commitment, constancy, tenacity, endurance, patience, resolve, and perseverance will not be on the list…We all need help here. We are surrounded by, and are part of, a society of emotionally fragile quitters.”**

We are now a decade into the next century, and we are no better off. In fact, I think the pace of rapid fire technology and constant digital play has further deteriorated our ability to focus on the important things and deliver day-in and day-out with determination. When we face difficultly, we assume “there’s an app for that” and hope the problem takes care of itself. And our marriages suffer for it.

That is why tenacity has become an increasingly important part of the conversations I have about marriage. In fact, I would list it as the number two requirement behind the gospel.*** Communication is important. Learning to appreciate differences is helpful. Being able to work out a budget makes a big difference. But tenacity trumps technique. Tenacious couples stick it out when things stink. They work on things when things aren’t working. Tenacious couples find romance in both the peaks and valleys of life.

Men, we are called to love our wives as Jesus loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). That means that we should love with the strongest, most tenacious love imaginable.

One of the most profound and most comforting statements in all the Bible, speaks of the  tenacious love of Jesus:

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:35-39)

Let me restate these verses and relate them to marriage…

Since we are called to love like Jesus, let me ask you: what shall separate you from loving your wife? Shall success or debt or dishes or laundry or hobbies or television or hardship or unemployment or cancer or kids or lust or anger? I am sure that none of these things, past or present or future, nor anything else in all creation should be able to separate you from loving your wife.

Husband, hold fast to your wife. Do not let anything separate you from her. Be tenacious about togetherness.

Our world does not need more short-lived scenes with romantic filters applied. But we do need more couples holding fast to one another with a rugged romance that lasts.

What God has joined together, let no one separate.

Is there anything that is driving a wedge between you and your spouse? Is there anything you need to repent of and confess to your spouse? Is there any activity you need to initiate to foster togetherness? Is there a routine of dating and time together that you need to protect as vital?


* Random House Unabridged Dictionary

** John Piper, The Roots of Endurance: Invincible Perseverance in the Lives of John Newton, Charles Simeon, and William Willberforce

*** By gospel, I mean the acute awareness and belief that you are broken and in need of God’s love and forgiveness that is only available through the finished work of Jesus’ death and resurrection.