The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Marriage & Family

Responding to Your Child’s Serious Illness: Help for Christian Parents

235

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

You’re a parent and you find out that your child is ill.  Very ill. Doctors are telling you that the recovery rate for this particular illness isn’t very high.  The only treatments they’re offering are things that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.  Your kid is scared and looking at you with those big, anxious eyes.  Parents are supposed to be able to fix anything, but you can’t fix this.  Parents are supposed to always know what to say, but you’re speechless.  Parents are supposed to be able to save the day, and you’re feeling like a total failure.  It’s time to reach out for some help, so you hop online and start cruising through Christian websites looking for advice on how to handle your situation.  It doesn’t take long to notice that a lot of them are telling you the same thing.  This isn’t God’s will.  Disease comes from the devil.  Healing is just a prayer away.  We have a big God: if you believe, you will receive.  There’s power in numbers, power in repetition, power in holy water, power in fasting, power in chanting Bible verses.  Tell God what you want enough times and He’ll surely do it.  Read more of this post

Guidance for Christian Women: Is it wrong to not want kids?

1699

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

You’re a woman and you don’t want kids.  Does this mean you’re some flawed freak?  Certainly not.  There is no law that says all women must want kids.  In fact, there are many very sound reasons to not want kids, and in this post, we’ll discuss some of the more common ones and perhaps some of these reasons will help you make sense out of what you’re feeling. Realize that beating yourself up over not wanting kids is like shaming yourself for liking chocolate—it’s pointless and self-destructive.  Rather than criticize yourself for something that’s wired in, view your preferences as the educational things that they are.  Your preferences change a lot as you go through life, and your current preferences help you understand who you are, how you think, and what your priorities are.  The better you understand yourself, the easier maturing becomes.  But to understand yourself well, you have to stop telling yourself who you should be and accept who you actually are.  Read more of this post

Dating Essentials: Real Love vs. Infatuation

118

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

There are certain critical concepts that every single should understand. Understanding the difference between infatuation and real love is one of those concepts, so let’s get into it.

UNDERSTANDING VALUE

Put a real diamond ring on a table next to a plastic kiddie ring that is trying to imitate the look of a real diamond. Which ring is worth more? The real diamond, of course. The kiddie ring is just a cheap toy that will bring some amusement for a very brief period of time before ending up in the trash can. The real diamond can be kept for decades and its value will likely increase. If a crisis arises, the diamond can be sold for major money that can help you or someone else out of a jam. Real love is like that real diamond: it lasts. It retains its value. You can use it to meet needs and really help people. Infatuation is like that kiddie ring: it’s amusing at first, but then you’re so over it and it’s useless. If you’re wise, you go for real love. If you’re stupid, you waste your whole life chasing after infatuation. God tells you to be wise. The world encourages you to be stupid. Read more of this post

Practicing Discernment: Victoria Osteen Advises Christian Parents

93

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Within the realm of Christendom, you are being bombarded on all sides with facts about who God is, how He operates, and how He responds to you. A lot of those facts are wrong. As a Christian, you need to be on your guard. When you accept lies as truth, you’re the one who is hurt by them, not the folks who led you astray.

Now if you’ve got some decent people skills and a basic understanding of human psychology, it’s a very simple thing to get rich off of Christians. Most Christians have a poor understanding of the Bible, yet at the same time, they think it’s some kind of magical contract which God is bound to honor. This puts manipulative shepherds in a sweet spot. All they have to do is start slicing and dicing passages and they can get Christians to believe all kinds of lies about God. This is a very common strategy for lying leaders in the Church: they refer to Scripture to build up their credibility in your mind, and they count on the fact that you won’t question them. Now questioning the leaders themselves is a waste of time, but you should certainly be questioning what they’re telling you in your own heart and looking to God for wisdom. Unfortunately, most Christians don’t do this. That’s how we get guys like Joel Osteen, the senior pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. Read more of this post

Gentle & Quiet: The Ideal Wife According to Peter

172

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear. (1 Pet. 3:1-6)

Whenever we’re reading the words of humans, we need to read with caution. What we call the Bible is a collection of documents written by various men over a span of hundreds of years. None of these men were perfect. Like us today, their beliefs about God were tainted by cultural superstitions and biases. For example, Peter lived in a male-dominated society. He was taught from the cradle that he was the superior sex. God disagrees, of course, but we have to cut Peter and all of his fellow Jews slack in this area because we humans believe what our parents teach us. Those of us who have been blessed not to grow up in a culture which views most people as subhuman lowlifes will have a hard time appreciating what it was like for these New Testament Jewish men to comprehend all of the radical changes that Yahweh’s New Covenant introduced. Read more of this post

Finding a Wife for Isaac: Lessons for Christian Singles

175

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Our story begins with a very old Abraham calling the manager of his household to him for a serious talk. We aren’t told what the manager’s name is, but his high-ranking position tells us that Abraham trusts him. Abraham’s wife Sarah has recently died, which has been a great grief to everyone. Now Abraham has decided that it’s time for his adult son Isaac to get married, and this is why he has called a meeting with his manager.

At this time, Abraham is living in the land of Canaan. This is the land that Joshua would later be invading with his army after the death of Moses. This is the famous Promised Land, only right now there are no Jews living in it, for a “Jew” is a descendant of Jacob (aka Israel), and Jacob hasn’t been born yet. Right now Canaan is filled with idol worshiping pagans, but Abraham is very attached to the land for he knows that Yahweh has promised it to him and his descendants as some kind of inheritance. He doesn’t want to leave. He doesn’t want his son Isaac leaving, either, but he also doesn’t want Isaac marrying one of the local Canaanite women. Even though Abraham’s own people are as into idol worship as these Canaanites are, he’s got it in his head that it would be so much better for Isaac to marry someone from his own family tree. Read more of this post

Preparing Our Kids for the End Times

149

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

With the end times barreling down on us, now is a good time to think of all those young souls who God has temporarily put in our care: our kids. Since we’ve been given such a sacred trust, and since the Holy Spirit has so graciously given us a heads up as to the kinds of chaos He’s going to be unleashing on this world, there is a clear responsibility on our part to try and do something to prepare our kids for what is coming. So how do we do this? Certainly not by terrorizing them with mental images of chaos and a bunch of overwhelming “what ifs”. Obsessing over future knowledge isn’t going to help anyone. Teaching our children to focus on certain essential truths about their own relationships with God is the best way that we can prepare them for what’s coming.

Terror and panic are tools which God uses to drive rebels back to Him. They aren’t things that He wants His obedient kids getting stuck in. When Christians who sincerely care about pleasing God fall into the grip of negative fear, it’s because they have lost their focus on truth. As we review essential truths with our kids, it will be a good chance to review those truths ourselves. Tools for calming a frightened mind and frantic emotions are going to be desperately needed once terrifying headlines start hitting the news. God is going to be moving in unpredictable ways during the end times—He could visit your neighborhood with His terrifying powers at any time. Where is your mind going to go when you start hearing the sound of people screaming outside? Before you even rush to a window to see what’s happening, God wants your focus to be on the fact that He is right there with you, and in total control of the situation. God does not want His obedient souls to be melting in fear. He wants us to be calm role models for others. We need to be the souls who are keeping a grip on essential truths in the midst of all the chaos. With their limited life experience and their dependency on you, your kids need you to help them get equipped with emergency response patterns that are going to help them run towards God, not away from Him. Trials are fabulous opportunities for progressing forward in our individual relationships with God. With the right kind of preparation, we can all head into this period ready to grow and thrive. Read more of this post

Godly Submission: Guidance for Alpha Women

55

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Some women are born to lead. When they get in any group situation, they instinctively assume the alpha position: giving the orders, claiming the highest authority, and exuding domination. If this is you, then you’re who we’re talking to in this post.

Now if God has created you to be an alpha, you probably recoil at the thought of submitting to anyone. To you, submission means quietly following, acting passive, and holding back. None of these things are you. You don’t follow, you lead. You aren’t quiet, you’re loud.  You don’t hold back, you charge ahead. If you tried to sit on yourself enough to come across as passive, you’d probably explode. There are many men and women in the Church today who will try to make you feel bad for being an alpha woman. But God doesn’t see this as a bad thing at all. God likes His alpha women, and He always makes sure He has some around for when the alpha men fall down in their duties. God has used alpha women to save the day on countless occasions throughout history. God loves variety, and you’re like a pungent spice: a little of you goes a long way, but your presence adds so much to the group that things seem terribly dull without you. Don’t let anyone convince you that being an alpha woman is a flaw. It’s not a flaw, it’s a beautiful part of your design. You’re like a wild stallion in a field: full of fiery determination and independent drive. You don’t need other people to affirm your decisions for you because you know your own mind. You’re not afraid to go against norms and take on new challenges. You are brimming with potential and God has glorious plans for you. Read more of this post

Boundaries in Marriage: Inappropriate Submission

24

As a Christian, it is vital that you keep a firm distinction in your mind between created and uncreated things. Yahweh, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are uncreated. Everything else is created. You need to treat these two groups very differently. If you try to treat them the same, you will end up in a major mess.

Read more of this post

Clothes, Makeup & Jewelry: Guidance for Christian Women

271

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Is wearing makeup a sin? Is wearing jewelry a sin? Are there certain hairstyles and clothing styles that are inappropriate for Christian women? These are the questions we are going to answer in this post.

The Bible is not an infallible book. It contains documents that were written by imperfect human beings. As a result, some of the teachings and conclusions we find people drawing in the Bible are, well, wrong. Read more of this post