#Humanity

  • 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Helping the Hurting | Dave Furman
    No one wants to be like Job’s friends. We have hurting people in our lives, and we want to help them, but how do we manage to not make fools of ourselves? And how can we actually help hurting people without discouraging them even more? Just like Job’s friends, we may think we have the…
  • 4 Principles for Talking to Your Kids about Sex | Julie Lowe
    As a parent, how comfortable are you talking with your children about sex? Not so much? Why is that? God created sex to bless us—why is it so hard to talk about? For many, it is our own discomfort with the topic. Perhaps you did not grow up in an environment where it was discussed,…
  • A Biblical View of Marriage | Christopher Ash
    The biblical view of marriage is of a God-given, voluntary, sexual and public social union of one man and one woman, from different families, for the purpose of serving God. Marriage was first instituted by God in the order of creation, given by God as an unchangeable foundation for human life. Marriage exists so that…
  • A Letter to Wives Who Are Wondering: Is it Abuse? | Darby Strickland
    Dear Sister, Many hurting wives are not sure if what is happening to them is abuse. Are you one of them? Do you wonder if what you are enduring is bad enough to qualify for that label? Maybe you suspect something might be “off,” but you wonder: “Is it me? Is it my fault? Maybe…
  • Basics About Bipolar | Ed Welch
    Diane, a thirty-five-year old wife and mother, was becoming increasingly irritable. Her flashes of anger at the slightest provocation put everyone on high alert. Adding to the family tension, she was sleeping erratically—staying up late and getting up early. The family didn’t really know what she was doing with her time. Half-finished projects littered the…
  • Communicate With Teens | Tedd Tripp
    Teenagers’ lives are full of complexity. Strong forces compete for their attention. They often feel insecure. They worry about their appearance. They spend a lot of time fixing their hair and clothes. They change their clothes three or four times before going out. They practice in front of the mirror: “Is this my good smile?”…
  • Counseling Angry, Unmotivated, Self-Centered, and Spiritually-Indifferent Teens | Richard M. Horne
    Counseling angry and indifferent young people typically begins with presenting issues. But counseling does not stop there. The youth counselor who tries to identify the teen’s problem for him and then offers his own solutions, even his understanding of biblical solutions, does not have to wait very long— maybe five or ten minutes—to see the…
  • Created Body and Soul | Paul Helm
    Human beings are made up of both body and soul. These two parts are distinct but inseparable in our nature state. They will be separated in death, but this is a result of the curse and will not continue indefinitely. The body is not ethically inferior, as some unchristian sources hold it to be, but…
  • Depression’s Odd Filter | Ed Welch
    So you have your work cut out for you. All new wiring. Get rid of the tangled mess by confessing that you don’t hear, and replace it with a very simple connection: God says it, I believe it. If you want to check to make sure the system is working order, keep track of your…
  • Engaging Our Emotions, Engaging with God | Alasdair Groves
    Emotions are tricky. Everyone has them. Everyone struggles with them. Many struggle with how they feel more than anything else in their lives. Then there is the sea of other people’s emotions in which all of us swim. I suspect most of us consider emotions to be more of a liability than an asset. What…
  • Expecting Less from Church | Ed Welch
    I decided I would say something to him. A fellow elder. Transparency is good, as a general rule, with the right person, at the right time. “I didn’t hear too much from the sermon on Sunday.” I actually meant, “I didn’t hear one thing.” I would have rather confessed anything other than this. Anything. Part…
  • Fear of Being Alone | Jayne V. Clark
    This morning I heard on the radio that a 50-year-old man had been found dead in his apartment. That news was sad enough, but what made it even more tragic was that he had been dead for three years. Three years! For some of us, that news report expressed our greatest fear—dying alone and forgotten.…
  • Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, Woefully and Tragically Fallen | Steve Cornell
    Evangelicals have a significant stake in the decision-making nature of human beings. Terms like belief and unbelief, obedience and disobedience, are part of a biblical grammar of responsibility. Accountability and culpability are essential concepts in relation to the bad news about sin, the good news of the divine gift of salvation, and the expectation of…
  • Five Ways to Help Protect Your Kids from Sexual Abuse | Julie Lowe
    There is a growing alertness among parents, educators, and the church about the need to teach kids tangible ways to stay safe. Until children are old enough to keep themselves safe, it is the job of parents and concerned adults to prepare them to navigate difficult situations that may occur when they are away from…
  • Gender and Sexuality | Andrew T. Walker
    Sexuality refers to God’s anthropological design and pattern for the procreative relationship between male and female and to the experience of erotic desire within that design. Gender refers to biological differences in male and female embodiment and the different cultural ways in which the creational distinctions between male and female are manifested. The creational narrative…
  • Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation | Christopher Yuan
    When discussing same-sex sexual behavior and desires, some assert that the Bible has nothing to say about sexual orientation. But Paul’s use of sarx (“flesh” or “sinful nature”) can be a helpful category to better understand and minister to individuals who have an enduring and unchosen predisposition. What is at the root of the confusion…
  • Help! I Keep Losing My Temper | Alasdair Groves
    Losing your temper is a lot like losing your car keys—you never choose to and it always seems to happen at the worst moments. For some “losing your temper” means yelling, swearing, pounding a fist on the table. For others, lost temper is barely perceptible: a tightening of the jaw, a cold silence, but the…
  • Helping Those Who Are Angry With God | David Powlison
    Let’s begin with a case study. Todd, a middle-aged divorced man, says he is angry with God because, essentially, his life is falling apart. His wife left him for another man; his only child—a twenty-five-year-old son—is not very responsive to him anymore, and a stray dog recently killed his cat, which he thought was the…
  • Hoarding: First Steps on a Complicated Problem | Ed Welch
    Some hoarders have no words to describe the tension they feel when there is a threat that something could be discarded. Can we find some words that can get them (and us) started? What does the King say? The New Testament describes life with Jesus as King. That life, of course, is usually the opposite…
  • Hope for the Depressed | Ed Welch
    Depression tries to tell us what is true and what isn’t. For example, it says that you will never feel any different, and you can’t continue to live in such a condition. It says that God doesn’t care, and no one loves you. It tries to persuade you that nothing matters. Know, however, that depression…
  • Humanity as Male and Female | Claire Smith
    God made humanity in his image as both male and female, which reflects the harmony and relationality of the Trinity, supplies the foundation for the different roles and responsibilities of men and women, was reaffirmed in the life of Jesus Christ, and cannot be reinvented or dissolved by new cultural standards. To be made in…
  • It’s All About Me: The Problem with Masturbation | Winston Smith
    In this article, Winston shows how seemingly “harmless” sexual fantasies and masturbation negatively impact people and their ability to have healthy relationships with others. He shares how to build a new inner world founded on Christ’s love, instead of imaginary fantasies. Learning these truths will help those who struggle with masturbation and sexual fantasies to…
  • Letting Go of Pain | Ed Welch
    It sounds strange – let go of pain. Who would want to hold on to it? But we are complicated people. Sometimes pain grabs us and it won’t let go; sometimes it grabs us and we grab it right back. And we have our reasons. [Read More]
  • Making All Things New: Restoring Pure Joy to the Sexually Broken (Part 1) | David Powlison
    Is your sexuality misshapen and misdirected? Sexual evils are among the dark things that pour forth from within our hearts. Jesus bluntly indicts a roster of sexual wrongs (Mark 7:21-23) – and offers costly mercy to the repentant. Has your sexuality been harmed by others? Some people experience terrible sufferings at the hands of predators,…
  • Making All Things New: Restoring Pure Joy to the Sexually Broken (Part 2) | David Powlison
    Walking in the light is not magic. When you see the fork in the road more clearly (today’s skirmish)…, and when you see and hear your Lord more clearly (something He says)…, then you start talking, start needing, start trusting, and then you start making the hard, significant, joyous choice to love people rather than…
  • Man as the Image of God | Richard Phillips
    Just as Seth bore the “likeness and image” of his father Adam (Gen. 5:3), God made Adam and Eve to bear his image and likeness. Historical theology has often grounded the image of God in mankind’s superiority over lesser creatures, given man’s higher rationality and spirituality, and especially in human’s capacity to know and worship…
  • Men: Pursue Others Like Jesus Pursues You | Ed Welch
    All the biblical stories of the Lord moving toward people are stories of grace. Grace is God’s moving toward us in Christ. He pursued us not because we called out so well and took the first step of self-reformation. We were simply sick and needed him. Or worse, we were enemies who were not inclined…
  • Ministry, Personal Limits, and Saying “No” | Ed Welch
    How do you get off the phone when the other person speaks without a pause and you have work that needs to get done? Have you ever heard yourself saying “yes” and are already kicking yourself for saying it? What are wise boundaries? Some version of this is the most common question I receive as a…
  • Pastor: What Your Wife Wishes You Knew about Being a Pastor’s Wife | Jani Ortlund
    Dear Pastor, I might not know your wife personally, but we are connected through our shared membership in a unique club. You might not have heard of this club before, if your wife doesn’t want you to know she belongs to it. It’s the “Help! I’m a Pastor’s Wife and I’m Struggling Club.” There are…
  • PTSD and Trauma | Ed Welch
    Scripture speaks in depth to human suffering, but does its reach extend to trauma? Trauma usually identifies an event that has brought death close. This is why it first entered into our consciousness through war. The shell shock of WWI and WWII has given way to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for veterans of Vietnam…
  • Rejection | Darby Strickland
    Rejection—it’s so personal. It sticks to our souls. It does not respond to reason, and is not easily dislodged from our hearts. We can try to talk ourselves out of the indictment that comes with it, but the words we use are mostly ineffective, reinforcing our shame. I have experienced all sorts of rejection. I…
  • Sexual Abuse in Marriage | Darby Strickland
    This is the first in a series of three blogs on the sexual abuse of women in marriage. My goal is to help counselors and pastors to recognize when a wife is being sexually abused by her husband and then offer appropriate help. In this first blog, we will define what marital sexual abuse is.…
  • Sexual Abuse in Marriage: 12 Ways to Help Victims | Darby Strickland
    When God places women in our care who have been sexually abused in marriage, he is entrusting us with a tender and clear mission. These women face tremendous suffering and need us to care for them with gentle wisdom. They also need us to be strong—calling evil acts what they are—evil. This is not a…
  • Sexual Abuse in Marriage: The Power of Confusion | Darby Strickland
    Over the years, I have had hundreds of conversations with women who are being sexually abused by their husbands but do not realize it. They know something is wrong but do not know what it is. In fact, most of these women come to me seeking help for something else, usually anxiety, depression, or even a…
  • Small Decisions Matter: Discernment for Everyday Life | Ed Welch
    Life is in the details. Listen to C. S. Lewis describe how our small, day-to-day decisions matter: “Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which,…
  • Teens and Body Image | Julie Lowe
    As parents, we teach our children not to lie. Perhaps less discussed and more difficult to identify is when your child believes a lie, especially one that consumes their thoughts and actions. In today’s culture, a common lie that many youth buy into concerns body image. They believe they have to be a certain size…
  • The “Gift” of Singleness | Jayne V. Clark
    Have you always wanted to be married? As a child, did you dream about what your spouse would be like and how many kids you would have? Or maybe you’re more like me. Your desire for these things came later. Maybe you wanted to be on your own for a while, enjoying the freedom and…
  • The Absurdity of Pride | Ed Welch
    Pride might help us feel strong and attractive in our own eyes, at least for a moment. But in reality, it is a gross violation of our created design. When seen accurately it is ugly, destructive, and utterly absurd. It is the absurdity and ridiculousness of pride that I want to consider. A child hits…
  • The Doctrine of Humanity | Owen Strachan
    This essay examines humanity through a theological survey of God’s intentions for the crown of his creation. We give special and deserved attention to the early chapters of Genesis, believing that these chapters reveal God’s creational design and establish God’s creational order. This essay treats Adam as a historical person who sinned against God in…
  • The Dull Conversation | Ed Welch
    Some conversations are just less interesting than others. The simple facts of a person’s day—the route to work, the morning snack, the spilled coffee—are not interesting unless they reveal something about the person who lived those details. In the same way, prayer requests about a distant, sick aunt can be boring unless we know something…
  • The Many Faces of Shame | Ed Welch
    Guilt is easy to identify, shame less so, and there are reasons why. One is that guilt is black or white. You did wrong or you didn’t. Yes, we can be blind to our wrongness, but when we are willing to open our eyes, matters of right and wrong are blatant. Shame, on the other…
  • The Roles of Men and Women | Denny Burk
    God created human beings for his glory, and his good purposes for us include our personal and physical design as male and female. Being made in God’s image as male and female is not a matter of one’s own autonomous preferences. Rather, it is a part of God’s beautiful design and plan. Whereas egalitarianism tends…
  • The Secret to Dealing with Fear and Anxiety | Ed Welch
    “Humble yourselves.” That’s the secret. It has been there all along, but we rarely use it. Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7) Fear and anxiety sufferers like myself…
  • What Is “Success” In Parenting Teens? | Paul David Tripp
    Many parents have a simple goal for getting through their child’s teenage years: survival. But this goal focuses simply on getting yourself through a difficult time. In order to get through these years, parents tend to settle for external, behaviorist goals. We try to deal with our kids according the Nike way, “Just do it!” But parents…
  • What Is God Up To?: The Temptation to Overinterpret Suffering | Ed Welch
    We tend to overinterpret suffering. There is something about the human mind that prefers answers. When life-changing events befall us, we often interpret them as highly personal messages. We do this with individuals. Every person whose troubles are known to a church community receives specific “biblical” interpretations for the trouble, or is asked, “What is…
  • Why Prayer Is Hard for Me | Laura Andrews
    I’ve never been very good at long-distance relationships. I often cringe when my phone rings, no matter who is calling. I can take days, weeks, or even months to return a call or even a text from a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while. And often, when I finally bring myself to reach…
  • Why We Give in to Temptation | Mike Emlet
    Why do we give in to temptation? This question often arises in the context of counseling for repetitive struggles such as pornography use, masturbation, substance abuse, and overeating. There are many biblical ways to answer this question, but I want to focus on just one: we give in to temptation because we get tired of…
  • Words: A Hidden Weapon of Domestic Abuse | Darby Strickland
    When we think about domestic abuse, we tend to think about acts of physical violence. We picture women with bruises and black eyes, or worse. While this is an all-too-common occurrence, this assumption about domestic abuse causes us to miss the fact that the primary weapon abusers use against their victims is not their fists…
  • Young Teens and Social Media | Julie Lowe
    Like all of us, teens are made to live in relationship. They are social, interested in peers, and looking for connection in the relationships they build. They are also growing in independence. For many, social media is newly available to them and it is tailor-made made for those who are just entering the social scene.…