an outlet of encouragement, explanation, and exhortation

Category: Family (Page 1 of 2)

On Women in the Church and in Marriage

In the past I wrote a series of posts considering biblical teaching on women in the church and in marriage. Several people have asked me about this recently so I thought I’d make the posts easy to find by adding a page that serves as a table of contents for these posts, and linking to it. And now, in 2023, the “Hot Topics” message Church teaching about Women refers to these articles yet again, so I am republishing.

In a nutshell, I argue that God created humans, male and female, to stand as peers in carrying his image. God often calls women into leadership and teaching ministry. It is God’s call that makes a leader or teacher or preacher in His church – nothing less will do. And no human organization can rightly oppose what God does. Regarding marriage, I argue that the best plan for marriage is a partnership of mutual submission under the headship of Christ.

I mention the Bible Project as a valuable resource on the creation narratives in Genesis, both podcasts and videos. One particular video on human identity may be helpful. There is another, older video by Tim Mackie video that you may find helpful. The Bible Project is a tremendous resource!

Last Sunday I mentioned trends in American higher education in which more women were attending college than in the past. Here are some statistics over the last 50 years.

A recently published, excellent new book, Tell Her Story: How Women Led, Taught, and Ministered in the Early Church, by scholar Nijay Gupta, lives up to the description in its title. This is a very helpful book – highly recommended!

On the Cost of War: A Demonstration of Extreme Love and Loyalty at Great Cost

A recent trilogy of Rough Translation podcasts tells an amazing story of two people who make great sacrifices. I was struck by the display of the often unseen cost of war and violence and by the great display of love demonstrated by one who joined in with the sacrifice of a hurting veteran for whom she grew to care a great deal. There are many dimensions to the story and its implications; I’m still processing. The humanity, vulnerability, loyalty, love, sacrifice…

Here are links to the three podcast episodes that tell this story. They are worth your time. Beware if you are squeamish; the first episode tells the story of terrible injury and suffering in war.

  1. Battle Rattle
  2. Battle Lines
  3. Battle Bourne

Mom (Formally Speaking)

Below is the obituary that I put together for my mother shortly after she passed in early February. It’s not really much in the way of special memories or deep thoughts – though I captured a couple of hers in very brief form. It’s more the formal obituary that one finds in the newspapers. Or used to find in the newspaper and now one finds…. where? Well, here at least.

My sister Janice and my brother John and I called her (unsurprisingly) “Mom.” Mom was the branch for my ancestral Quaker roots, and her father Albert the one through whom much of the lifeblood of the Quaker incarnation of following Jesus flowed to me. Family. Anderson First Friends Church. Mom and Dad began taking in foster kids when I was in middle school, I think. It was just a thing we did…

Services in these strange and tragic times are difficult for family spread across the country and we are still working that out. Well, I said this was the formal part, so below is Mom’s obituary.

Rachael Ann Ginder, 83, of Anderson, passed away on  February 3, 2021, at Community Hospital of Anderson. She was born on December 8, 1937, in Anderson, the daughter of Albert E. and Cicely (Lancaster) Pike. Rachael was a member of First Friends Church in Anderson for much of her life and later attended Madison Park Church of God.

Rachael retired from Gaither Music, Alexandria after several years of service. She served on the board of several non-profit organizations and was a Court-appointed special advocate for a number of years. Her primary life-calling was as a mother to foster and adopted children, many with serious special needs. Over the years, with her husband Ron, she cared for over 200 children. In 1986, she received the Golden Deeds Award given annually by the Exchange clubs. She also received the Foster Parent of the Year Award twice. Featured several times in published interviews, she would emphasize, “My daily goal is to be sure disabled and dying children are not alone. You can find beauty when you allow God to give you the ability to see these little ones as he does.”

Rachael is survived by her loving husband Ronald Ginder, whom she married, July 25, 1953; her children, Joseph (Susan) Ginder, John (Belinda) Ginder; adopted children Susanna Ginder, Rebecca Ginder, and their special sibling, Jana Marie Craig; grandchildren, Laura, Ben, Sam, Brian, Joe, Lara, Monica, Gabriel, and Gene’; and 5 great-grandchildren; her sister Phyllis Van Duyn; and many nieces and nephews.

Rachael was preceded in death by her parents and daughter Janice, and adopted children Michael, Melissa, Elizabeth, Patricia, and Alissa. A memorial service will be announced at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to White’s Residential and Family Services, 5233 S. 50 E.,Wabash, IN 46992 (or

Advent Calendars

I’m writing this on November 25. There is just enough time to get an Advent calendar to use for yourself or with your children to work your way through the Christmas season with daily reminders of what it means to us as followers of Jesus.

For children, the idea these days is that you get a “calendar” that is actually a picture of some sort with little doors that you open one per day on the 25 days leading up to Christmas day. If you choose a Christian Advent calendar, there will be something behind each door that takes you through the Christmas story leading up to Jesus’ birth. Our two youngest grandchildren are into Snoopy this year, so I ordered the Peanuts Calendar from Amazon. There are two Peanuts Advent calendars. One is completely secular and the other (the one I ordered) tells the story of Jesus’ birth in a way that may remind children of the original Peanuts Christmas special.

There are many other Advent Calendars available. has many, for example.

I recommend Wikipedia for a bit more in-depth explanation of Advent Calendars.

Sarah Williams talks on “Sex in the Post-Modern Story”

“The problem of sexual confusion in our culture, which is huge, is not going to be solved by the reassertion of power.” Thus says the wise and learned Sarah Williams in these talks given at Corban University, which I cannot recommend highly enough. Williams is a first-rate scholar and does us a great service in explaining the world from which our present day came and how we got here, with regard to how we think of people and sex. I don’t know much about Corban University; but Sarah Williams I have read and listened to quite a lot over the past couple of years, to my great profit. Such great free resources are not so easy to find! This one is top notch.

Sex in the Postmodern Story, Part 1
Sex in the Postmodern Story, Part 2
Sex in the Postmodern Story, Part 3

Angel’s Landing

For those who just want links to the pictures:
Here are the pictures from hiking up
These shots were from on top of Angel’s Landing.
These are the pictures taken on the way down.
The story is below…

A couple of years ago I was watching a documentary on national parks. On segment was on Zion National Park. I was only half paying attention. I noticed a very interesting-looking hike, backed up the DVR, and found that it was called “Angel’s Landing”. So I googled a bit, watched a video of the hike and thought, “I have to do this one!” I knew my son Sam would be interested, so I showed him. He agreed: “We have to do this.”

Then, Sam got married, got a new job, etc… Scheduling the hike was not happening. A couple of weeks ago Frances, Sam’s wife said she thought we should go somewhere for Memorial Day weekend. I thought, “That’s one weekend I want to stay home. Everything is too crowded and traffic is bad.” Then Sam dropped into my office one day and said, “Dad, Frances and I are going to Zion National Park over Memorial Day weekend. Are you coming? I am making reservations to stay somewhere.” Eventually Susie and I decided to join them. We left after
everyone got back from work on Friday evening, between 6:30 and 7 PM. Drive to Vegas and keep going… By 2:30 our time, 3:30 local time, AM, we checked into our room in St. George, Utah and zonked out, having passed one fully-engulfed semi-tractor-trailer rig (southbound) and watching another blowing tires beside us on the I-15.

Saturday we toured Zion and did minor hikes, just a few miles to the start of the Narrows and to Emerald Pools. Sunday we planned to hike to Angel’s Landing with a few thousand of our closest friends. It’s not that long, only a little over 5 miles. All uphill, or down, with the last half-mile a climbing scramble over rocks with thousand-foot drop-off’s on one or both sides. Susie decided she was sore enough from the easy hiking and bad bed. She stayed on the valley floor watching the park movie in a museum and walking gentle shady paths and
chatting with another intelligent woman who was sitting on a nice bench enjoying the view awaiting her husband who wanted to get sweaty and sunburnt.

Back to the hike… below is a link to a few shots from the hike up. They only go as far as Scout’s Landing, about 1/2 mile short of Angel’s Landing, because, well, I didn’t want to die and put my camera in my backpack for the final scramble. You can zoom in on pictures like DSC4409 and similar to see the path of little figures winding up the rock and some silly fools doing stupid stunts up on top of a pile of rock beside a sheer drop-off up on the “landing”. Here are the pictures from hiking up

The top was a gentle curved rock about 20′ wide and a few hundred feet long with a couple of trees for sparse shade. Frances wanted to join the fools standing on the pile of rock; Sam talked her into merely sitting. I stood beside the pile for my photo. When I was younger and stupider I would have stood on the pile of rock. However, I don’t think I would ever have done the Rose-on-the-bow-of-the-Titanic pose on top out over nothing that one girl did. I missed that shot with my camera. Later I heard that the girl was a dancer and claimed to have great balance so she wasn’t afraid. I thought of the gusty wind. These shots were from on top of Angel’s Landing.

I took a lot of pictures on the way down. Some show the path up the foot of the rock. It looks dramatic and was fun; however, it was an easy walk other than being all uphill. My only complaint was the trail surface. I don’t like hiking on cement. Much of the path was roughly paved up to Scout’s Landing. These are the pictures taken on the way down.

I don’t have close photos of the really interesting part of the hike – that last intense half-mile scramble up the rock. Like I said, I preferred staying alive to pictures. I wore a cheap Muvi video camera for that part and collected video footage, but significant editing is required. I have yet to do that editing. (It’s almost two hours of footage, so I expect to need about 20 hours to edit it! When will I next have 20 hours?) I did some exploring in Bing Maps, and I was able to find some interesting views of the hike.

Here’s a quite nice Bing maps view of the Angel’s Landing hike area. (Note that the map can be zoomed and the perspective altered, etc. Play with it.) In the center of the photo you should see Angel’s Landing. Above it, connected by a ridge, you see Scout’s Landing. The easy part of the hike from which I could take pictures ended at Scout’s Landing and the intense portion was across the ridge connection to Angel’s Landing. You can see the easy portion of the hike winding up from the valley floor below and to the left of Angel’s Landing. The dramatic switchback pictures were of the area in the shadow of Angel’s Landing. Then we crossed a footbridge to a long uphill walk to Walter’s Wiggles, the steeply ascending walled-in zigzag switchbacks up to Scout’s Landing. It was at Scout’s Landing that one could decide to continue on to the West rim or to Angel’s Landing. There were portable restrooms, but no water. There was ample area for resting and waiting if some members of a group decided not to continue to Angel’s Landing.

After descending and meeting up with Susie, we did a little more walking that day on the valley floor and in Springdale, and a bit of driving to see a bit more of the park. The short drive up from the river east to the tunnels and rock formations was beautiful.

We left for home on Monday about noon from St. George. We spent 3 hours going the last 12 miles to California on I-15. At least we got to see a couple of people parachute down over the freeway while wasting gas idling in the desert. Our traffic reporting on Google maps was not working; but Susie suggested a call home to Vanrith who helped us scope out the situation. The rest of the drive home once across the state line was uneventful with only a few slow-downs at the expected places. Susie spotted a Greek food place near Baker and I had a Gyro!

It turns out that for me, climbing down and walking down was the killer exertion. Those muscles (quads) were really sore on Monday and are just getting back to normal today. I resumed workouts this morning (Friday). Note to self: My workouts prepared me for walking and climbing up, but not for climbing down!

Just in case you are wondering exactly where this is, here is the Google Map for Angel’s Landing. All in all, not your average hike and I’m glad we went; neither the crowds nor the traffic managed to spoil a great weekend!

8. Jesus’ Teaching or Dysfunctional Situations?

I believe the most important teaching for family and church relationships comes from Jesus. I believe that my way of relating as a man to women and as a husband to my wife should meet the standards Jesus taught for all relationships. I expect to treat women the way I would want to be treated if I were in their place. These attitudes must take precedence over less Christ-honoring ways. I love God first, and then I love my neighbor – including those who are women – as myself. I treat women the way I would want to be treated. I should see women as sons of God with full rights of inheritance. At least I should do all of these things; though undoubtedly I fail much.

Here are some of the scripture passages that inform my understanding.

Matthew 22:34-39

34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it:’Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 7:12

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Galatians 3:26-29

26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

When it came to how Jesus himself related to women, it is clear that he did not respect all the boundaries of his Jewish culture. For example, in his culture the students of a rabbi were all male. Women were not expected to sit at the feet of a rabbi; that was a man’s place. So what is Jesus teaching by his example in the following passage?

Luke 10:38-42

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Jesus did not send Mary to the kitchen (or wherever women were expected to be by Martha and her society). Ignoring the conventions of his day, He allowed her to remain as a student at his feet. This was not an isolated incident. Jesus interacted with people in a Galatians 3 way. He stretched or ignored the conventions of his day with regard to Jew and Greek and Samaritan, slave and free, pure and impure, or male and female when it suited his purposes. In addition to Mary and Martha, I immediately think of the Samaritan woman at the well and Mary Magdalene, particularly Mary Magdalene being the first to see him alive after his resurrection. There are others.

Rikk Watts comments on this aspect of Jesus’ character in Christian Perspectives on Gender, Sexuality, and Community:

When the occasion arises where he must choose between personhood and traditional behaviour, he always chooses personhood by affirming the faith, love, understanding, and wit of various women, showing compassion and even on occasion rebuking them just as he would a misunderstanding male. In the meantime, his interest in teaching woman cannot help but eventually precipitate change. In Acts, along the same lines and generally in keeping with cultural mores but with an ultimately liberating although not deliberately polemically or confrontational cast, the Spirit uses both men and women to continue the proclamation of the gospel.

In other words, Jesus’ agenda is not gender driven. It reflects instead the earliest words of Genesis: “God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27, NIVI). Women are not objects, nor are men the enemy: both are made in God’s image and as such the reconstitution of humanity by the Son of Man begins with their mutual restoration and continues with the mutual co-operation in the announcement and extension of that reign.

But what are we to do with the passages in Paul and Peter that seem to confirm patriarchy and a limited role for women in marriage and the church? There are numerous books and articles that explain these passages from various perspectives. I have found some to be very helpful – particularly more modern treatments that consider the historical context. While there are many other books and articles (more than I can recall), here is a list of resources that I have found most helpful on these subjects:

  1. Listening to the Spirit of the Text, chapter six.
  2. Christian Perspectives on Gender, Sexuality, and Community
  3. The First Epistle to the Corinthians (New International Commentary on the New Testament) by Gordon Fee. The commentary on First Corinthians is very thorough and fairly academic. No other commentary on First Corinthians has been so helpful to me.
  4. After Paul left Corinth by Bruce Winter. This is an excellent resource for understanding the historical context of Roman Corinth in the time of Paul.
  5. Women’s Service in the Church, a conference paper by N. T. Wright.
  6. The Hard Sayings of Paul by Manfred Brauch, which is also included in the larger work Hard Sayings of the Bible.
  7. Slavery, Sabbath, War, and Women: Case Issues in Biblical Interpretation by Willard Swartley. This resource is fairly dense. Be prepared. It gives a very interesting and thorough historical discussion of biblical interpretation of four topics, including views of women.
  8. Roman Wives, Roman Widows: The Appearance of New Women and the Pauline Communities by Bruce Winter is another book on the historical context of Paul’s letters as it relates to women in ministry in Paul’s time.

The overall approach I take to these passages is to consider carefully the historical context and (as best as we can discern it) the reason for writing. We must be careful about generalizing for today from corrective passages written to dysfunctional groups of people in the first century. When Paul taught slaves how to be Christ-honoring slaves, he didn’t mean to endorse slavery as a Christian imperative. When Paul taught men and women how to be Christ-honoring husbands and wives in marriage as it was practiced at the time in Asia Minor, he didn’t mean to endorse a form of marriage in which women were considered hardly more than property as a Christian imperative. Jesus’ (and Paul’s) teaching on human relationships and the nature of life in Christ argues strongly for reworking our lives and cultures into forms that honor God’s intentions in Christ. As Jesus preached:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

-Luke 4:18-21, NIV

Paul worked within the structures of the day without endorsing them as normative for all Christians for all time. Gordon Fee summarizes the approach I believe we must take in Christian Perspectives on Gender, Sexuality, and Community:

The net result of all this seems clear enough: that Paul does not tear down existing structures, but neither does he sanctify them. Everything for him begins with Christ, his death and resurrection, whereby he established the new order, the new creation. In the new creation, two things happen: the relationship between man and woman in the first creation is restored, but that relationship must be lived out under the paradigm of the cross. In Christ Jesus there is neither male nor female, not meaning that differentiation has ceased, but that both alike enter the new creation on the same footing, and thus serve one another and the rest of the church in the same way their Lord did — by giving themselves to the other(s) out of love. Ministry is thus the result of God’s gifting and has nothing to do with being male or female, any more than it has to do with being Jew or Gentile, or slave or free.

In love, I desire the best for others. I hope that they will be free to fulfill the purpose for which God created them – exercising the gifts that God has given. That means I desire women to be free to exercise their gifts and callings as God gives and calls.

I believe God has been stretching the church beyond patriarchy, but not stretching in a way that “breaks” us. His goal in this time is not to set all things right immediately, but to restore human beings into a relationship with him out of which the kingdom of heaven grows in and around and through us, His body. Our role is to be Christ’s ambassadors to those who need him, laying aside our cultural habits and preferences for the sake of reaching others in whatever manner will speak to them – at least as it is consistent with forsaking sin and maintaining clear conscience. The priority is the good news of the kingdom of heaven breaking into our lives here and now. It is freedom for the prisoners, sight for the blind, and hope for the hopeless.

Christ’s impact on society is revolutionary more than scandalous or chaotic: we are called to rework society under the guidance of the Spirit but also to live within cultural forms to promote the gospel. How one knows whether to revolutionize or to submit to a culture’s forms is not simple! The only reliable answer is to follow the leading of the Spirit of God; he sets our agenda. Timing for cultural change rests with him. It is beyond question that the kingdom of heaven will bring cultural change and justice. And yet it will not destroy culture or erase all cultural differences.

If patriarchy is not God’s plan… if, in fact, it is a sinful denial of the image of God in women that stands in the way of bringing glory to God and having the abundant life God desires us all to have, do we need to fight it and speak out against it wherever it may be found? I believe the experience of Christians in cross-cultural mission and the testimony of scripture indicates that we are not necessarily called to take this approach. And yet we are not called to complacency either; we are to prophetically speak the truth in love.

In scripture, we see examples of patriarchal societies being reached by God’s people. God’s people did not make patriarchy the number one issue to speak against. In scripture concessions are made to patriarchal social patterns a number of times. While the direction of change among people who come to God has consistently been to improve the lot of women from what it was before they became God’s people, it is clear that the abolition of all patriarchal patterns in a particular society has not been the only or even the leading priority. And yet those living in these societies were called to justice and the way of love, particularly those who had power. God’s messengers have not necessarily been called to scandalize societies or force into positions of responsibility women who are not called and qualified for the sake of “equality”, but rather to promote the good news of the kingdom of heaven. This good news leads to Jesus being in charge. He will lead his people into healthy change that brings peace and joy and justice to both men and women without complacency. A bruised reed he will not break.

At the same time, God’s messengers to a society have often confronted evil so great that it could not wait another day to be addressed. The Christian missionaries who campaigned to abolish wife burning and enslavement of women in the sex trade are good examples of this. Those of us who go as God’s ambassadors must seek His guidance and embody His character. He is in charge; we are not. John Stackhouse’s book Finally Feminist is a helpful consideration of the idea that God’s agenda is not gender-driven.

Have God’s people been more a force to conserve evil or unjust social patterns or more a force for change leading to justice? We can say this: God’s people have not been ideal stewards of the kingdom of heaven, but God has accomplished through his people dramatic change for the betterment of society and justice for the powerless, including women. To the extent that we are faithful, God will lead us to be agents of change in the right places at the right times and in the right ways to bring about change that pleases God without bringing chaos to the societies in which we live. The coming of the good news of Jesus has consistently been good news for both women and men and leads any society that takes it seriously into great change.

Next… 9. Leadership and Spiritual Authority.

To love at all is to be vulnerable.

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.
— C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves

Thinking about sex?

I’ve been asked in past days about whether the standard that sex before marriage is wrong – that Christians must wait for marriage to have sex – might not be a cultural standard from biblical times that doesn’t apply in our context today. I don’t believe the argument that this is a cultural thing that is optional for today. I’ll explain.

There is much pressure to have sex these days in contexts other than that for which sex was designed. Allow me to be blunt. God created human beings in his image; male and female he created them. Then he instructed them to be fruitful and multiply, and created marriage as the context within which to fulfill this good command, saying it was not good for us to be alone.

And it is manifestly not good to be alone. Living alone, without a mate, is a special calling and gift that God gives to some that they might be devoted to the special work of this day of salvation. For most, and even for those who have this gift, being alone is a trial. I believe God can carry us through whatever trial we may face; but it is a trial. (There are other reasons that a special calling to be alone for a time, but I’ll leave that discussion for another day.)

Sex is an expression of the oneness, the union, that God creates when a woman and a man marry. As Christ said, “What God has joined together, let not man separate.” The point here is not to complain about the separations that occur so often in our society, but to note that God is the one who joins a man and a woman in marriage. Then, the man and the woman express this spiritual reality in the physical union of sex, having children, and being a family together. Sex between those whom God joins in marriage is an expression of his creative and fruitful image, the two being one and producing more like themselves as God is three in one and created us in his image.

Now, we all know that sex is about more than making babies. Let’s be honest. It is an amazing expression of love and intimacy (in its best expressions) that bonds the lovers together in a sense of intimacy that is deeply satisfying and encouraging. There is really nothing like being loved, and having that love demonstrated by another giving to you of themselves physically is an amazingly good thing. Similarly, there really is nothing like loving another, and giving of yourself to that one in a special way that demonstrates the uniqueness of your love for that person. These days, most Christians and many others understand that being promiscuous is not a good approach to life. But many waver on whether sex should wait for marriage. We have the technology! We can prevent pregnancy! Everyone else is expecting sex, and it seems like something I should want, so why not have sex with that special one that you are with?

The answer is simple. God didn’t make you that way. He did not make you or me for serial monogamy. He made us for the total commitment of marriage. Sex is an expression of that total commitment that naturally carries the potential of having a child. We see the shortcoming of having a child when there is no commitment to the family within which that child will be nurtured. However, when we can make sure there is no child… what’s the harm? Social mores come and go. They waft through the air like clouds in the sun, evaporating and storming here and there. God’s design is not like that. Do you trust him? That’s the question. Do you believe that life as God intended it to be lived is better than some other life that you can construct for yourself? Do you think you can escape the relational consequences of putting the physical expression of a marriage commitment ahead of the marriage?

The world may not end if you fall to the temptation to have sex before you marry. But your life will be less than the life that God intends you to have. Your choices will have consequences, and God will show you that you chose wrongly. Because he loves you. Cultures come and go, and to some extent we express our Christianity within culture. But in every culture, the temptation to use sex in some way that God did not intend it is strong. There are even ways to use sex within marriage in ways that God did not intend…. again, another day.

Do you trust God? When Eve saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. We make that same mistake, over and over again… not trusting God and doing what seems good to us. And we pay the price. Or rather, Jesus pays the ultimate price and we suffer some consequences. You are making a statement about who you trust by how you handle your sex life.

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