“God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Breaking out of comfortable routines can be beneficial for us, but it isn’t always as easy as it sounds. My (jcd’s) father, for example, hated automatic transmissions on automobiles because he had learned to drive with stick shifts. I’ve fallen into similar patterns. Until 1992 I wrote books on yellow pads with pencils. I worked that way for years despite the availability of word processors. The twentieth century was almost over before I decided to join it.
Rigidity and the force of habit can cause us to do things that make no sense. Yet when we stop learning and growing, we fail to reach our potential. To look at it another way, which companies would you say are more successful in today’s fast‐changing marketplace: those whose motto is “We’ve always done it this way,” or those that continually evaluate their methods and seek improvements?
Some of what succeeds in business also makes sense in marriage. You might ask yourself if any outdated routines and pointless—or even costly—habits are holding you back.
JUST BETWEEN US…
Am I stuck in any habits that no longer make sense?
How are those who are unwilling to change like the Pharisees of
How can I encourage you to get out of old ruts or discard outdated habits?
Lord, we can become so comfortable in our old ways, but comfort can lead to stagnation and retreat. Inspire us by Your Spirit “of power, of love and of self-discipline” to reach for Your creative best. Thank You for the gift of new life we can enjoy together every day. Amen.
The act of releasing a grown child into the world is often challenging for parents, but we should keep in mind that the prospect of leaving home can be equally daunting for your son or daughter. Sometimes they will need a gentle push out the door.
You’re probably familiar with the story of the Prodigal Son, who demanded his share of his father’s estate, set off on his own, and squandered his fortune in wild living (Luke 15:11–13). This strong-willed child couldn’t wait to sever his family ties. His older brother, however, was the hard-working and responsible member of the clan. He remained with his father, laboring for years on the family farm.
We don’t know for sure how the older son felt about his life at home, but he clearly resented the homecoming lavished on his brother upon his return (vv. 28–30). Compliant children such as this eldest son often have a more difficult time disengaging from the nest. Because there is little conflict with their parents, they’ve developed a close, secure bond that is hard to give up. Yet God did not intend for adult children to maintain the same relationship with their parents as they did when they were small. That’s why every family should anticipate an “independence day” that is a passage into freedom—not only for the grown child, but also for the parents.
BEFORE YOU SAY GOOD NIGHT…
Do you have “compliant” kids that may struggle when the time comes to leave home?
Do you talk with your kids about the future, helping them anticipate an “independence day”?
Lord, we so enjoy close relationships with our children—yet we don’t want to hold them back from the plans You have for them. Open our eyes, Lord, to see how we can best release them into the world and into Your care. Amen.
Atheist: God doesn’t exist.If He did, why would He allow suffering?I would never believe in an imaginary daddy in the sky.God was made up to control us.
I believe in science, not the existence God.When we die, we rot in the grave and never cease to exist again. (No purpose in life)
My reply: If space, time, and matter had a beginning…then the first cause has to be outside of space, time, and matter. A self-existent, timeless, nonspatial, and immaterial being. It had to be Powerful in order to create the universe out of nothing. Intelligent to be able to design the universe with great precision. He had to be personal in order to Choose to create life out of nothing.
God allows suffering because He gave us free will. Allowing us to have free will allow…