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Marriage and Family Articles

  • John McKinley — 

    The story that follows is a parable of human experience as essentially relational. People are individuals and vitally connected to others. Everyone lives according to relationships. The overemphasis on our individuality is misleading so that we ignore the ways that other people affect us in beneficial and disabling ways. This parable is an illustration of one sort of benefits and damages through being generated in families ...

  • Karin Stetina — 

    What is the purpose of life? How does work fit into the purpose? As a college student I spent many hours contemplating these important questions and many others, such as: Do we have free will or are we predestined? What is the best form of worship- hymns or praise songs? How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Maybe you have asked some of these same burning questions? ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Is it possible to love your wife when you're not with her? Here are 10 ways:

  • Daniel Kim — 

    아버지는 78년 전에 한국의 작은 시골마을에서 태어났습니다. 어떻게 다리가 그렇게 되었는지는 모르지만, 아버지는 어렸을 때부터 다리가 매우 아프셨습니다. 나중에 알게 되었지만 아버지에게는 엉덩이 절구관절이 없어 걸을 때마다 허벅지 뼈가 골반을 찔렀습니다. 옛날50년대 한국에서는 이것이 아마 당연한 놀림거림이었을 것입니다. 그래서 아버지는 자라면서 육체적으로 그리고 심리적으로 많이 힘들었을 것입니다.

  • David Talley — 

    Do you like the idea of Advent candles, but you are confused about how to approach this family time? One of the biggest difficulties in our home through the years has been to find an advent candle reading plan that fit our family. We bought many books, searched websites, and listened to the ideas of others. Eventually, I made my own. I think that the following is a compilation of many resources, but it is what we have used to celebrate advent through the years. It is good for young and old alike, and I believe that it crystallizes the advent story.

  • Daniel Kim — 

    My father was born 78 years ago in a small countryside village in Korea. We don’t know exactly what the story is or what happened, but since he was little he had a very bad limp — a disabled leg. We’d later find out that the whole ball socket of his hip was missing and that every time he took a step, his thighbone would stab his pelvis. It was painful both physically and emotionally, as you can imagine all the names he was called in mid-century Korea.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Today is my 30th wedding anniversary. Thirty years ago I vowed faithfulness, friendship, and my entire future to Trudi Lynn Wilson. Apart from following Christ, it was the best decision I ever made. Trudi has shown more love, compassion, and grace than I could have ever hoped for, and far more than I deserve. She has willingly tramped all over the world with me, setting up home, family, and ministry in Portland, Berlin, two cities in Turkey, Los Angeles twice, Philadelphia, and New York. But this post isn’t a veiled attempt to get you to send notes of congratulation (though gifts are welcome). I decided today might be a good day to share a song I wrote for Trudi about five years into our marriage ...

  • Mick Boersma — 

    ... I’ve also concluded that, metaphorically speaking, 40 miles per hour is my best speed for living life. Of course, there are those times when I have to go fast to finish a project or keep up with a host of activities particular to a certain time of year (like the little league/soccer schedules of my grand children). We all have fast times, for sure. But the life speed that will enable me to go the long haul, continue to be effective, enjoyable to live with, and strong enough to handle the load, is a cruising speed of 40. Perhaps I first started becoming comfortable with this pace as a boy on our family farm. Life came and went in seasons. Spring and Summer were frenetic at times, but Fall and Winter balanced everything out as the ice and snow forced me to slow down, look both ways, and proceed with caution ...

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Ser mamá es uno de los más grandes privilegios, honores y responsabilidades en esta vida. El amor de una madre por sus hijos trasciende el entendimiento y supera cualquier otra expresión de cariño. Por todos es conocida la figura de una “madre abnegada” que da todo por sus hijos sin esperar nada a cambio. A pesar de su amor desinteresado es triste que como hijos y como sociedad en general tomemos este amor por sentado y no lo apreciemos como deberíamos. Qué bueno que podemos celebrar el día de las madres para honrar su servicio y legado en nuestras vidas. Lo malo es que no tengamos la tendencia a reconocer su esfuerzo durante todo el año y celebremos también sus vidas como mujeres que tienen sueños y dones más allá de su labor como madres ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Paul’s discussion of the Old Testament law in Romans and Galatians connects well with a practical life concern: How do we effectively parent our children? In particular, one question parents regularly face has to do with what part rules play in raising children. Since Paul actually uses the raising of children as an analogy to explain the role of the law (Galatians 3:24-26; 4:1-7; Romans 8:14-17), perhaps we should turn the analogy on its head and ask if there is anything we can learn about raising children from Paul’s teaching about the law ...

  • David Talley — 

    I have a friend who was diagnosed as schizophrenic and delusional. He suffered for over 5 years with this illness, and during this time people tried desperately to come alongside of him and “help him change.” All of them experienced failure in their attempts. Those years were sad and difficult for family and friends. He recently committed suicide, and we are grieving his loss. As a result of his illness, my friend did not always treat people properly. He left his family. He lost his job. He spent his entire life savings, including his children’s college funds. The family lost their home, and his wife did her best to keep the family together. He did not walk his daughter down the aisle or even attend her wedding. He missed birthdays, his anniversary, and Mother’s/Father’s Days. Obviously, there was much pain. And there was anger. And often this anger was expressed toward my friend ...

  • Karin Stetina — 

    This past fall a friend shared an article from the New York Times entitled The Microcomplaint: Nothing Too Small to Complain About. It was amusing to read about all the silly complaints that celebrities tweeted to the world. Everything from the misery of only decaf coffee being available to what the writer deemed a “complaintbrag” of not being able to buy a Persian rug with cherub imagery. This habit, however, does not appear to be limited to celebrities. Cruise ship directors have received equally amusing complaints. For example, one passenger reported that the sea was “too loud” while another passenger grumbled about there being no celebrities on the Celebrity Cruise ship. In the past complaining was something often reserved for private ears. Today, however, it is not only acceptable to publically complain about the littlest inconvenience, it is often encouraged. It has even been identified as a communication style, particularly of Americans, who frequently see themselves as victims. Are Christians exempt from “microcomplaining” or are we part of the “culture of complaint”? What does Scripture have to say about complaining? ...

  • The Good Book Blog — 

    Michelle Lee-Barnewall (Associate Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Talbot School of Theology) recently wrote and published Neither Complementarian nor Egalitarian: A Kingdom Corrective to the Gender Debate. We wanted to learn more about this book, so we had Michelle respond to some questions ...

  • David Talley — 

    When was the last time you considered the mentally ill or, even much less, ministry to the mentally ill? I have been remembering a good friend. He was my best friend during my freshman year in college. Our rooms were in the same suite in our dorm. We shared a bathroom. We took the same classes. We sat next to one another in chapel because my last name followed his alphabetically. We were on the basketball team. As point guard, I fed him the ball, and, as shooting guard, he made the shot. What a team we were! He introduced me to my wife. We double-dated numerous times. He was the best man in my wedding. We vacationed together as families through the years. We saw one another on at least a yearly basis, our friendship always picking up like we had just seen one another the week before. We shared something special ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Columnist Joel Stein in the December 21 issue of TIME (p. 174) labeled 2015 as “The Year the Adults Gave Up" ...

  • William Craig — 

    Dear Dr Craig, As the Christmas season is upon us, I'd be interested to hear your wisdom regarding Christian families celebrating the Santa Claus tradition. To be more precise, do you think it's consistent with Christian values to pretend that Santa is real? As a parent of two young children this is particularly relevant to me at the moment. On one hand we recognise that as a Christian family, we always want Jesus to be at the centre of the Christmas celebration. We also highly value telling our children the truth in all things. But I also can see a place for fantasy and make believe and see the fun and joy that this can bring to a family ...

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    I have no intention of answering this specific question. (Do you think I’m crazy?!) But since this is a truly difficult question for many Christian parents, let me offer a suggestion about gift spending that might help you in the future. I know that you’re probably reading this post too late in the season to make any changes for this upcoming Christmas, but now may be the ideal time to formulate plans for the future ...

  • Mark Saucy — 

    While I’m not usually too much into “merchandising in the Temple,” I must here. That’s because the book at issue in this modest review is a grabber. Not only does it concern a topic most pressing in our ever secularizing world—and therefore one Evangelicals must get good at talking about—it’s a topic that touches every one of us in everything we do ...

  • Scott Rae — 

    This week in Washington, DC, the National Academy of Sciences is hosting a three-day conference- the International Summit on Human Gene Editing, to examine the implications of new gene editing technology. Through a new technology developed in the past year, gene editing is now being done.

  • David Talley — 

    Voice of the Martyrs has offered an excellent idea for those who may be travelling during this Thanksgiving season or who might be looking for some special activities to do while gathered with families and friends.

  • Dave Keehn — 

    The national pastime has become a sacred holiday: shopping on “Black Friday.” The day after Thanksgiving has developed into a manic state of sales and spending as retailers, seeking bigger holiday profits, offer new bargains and longer hours to lure holiday shoppers to good deals and great values on amazing products. The spending hype reaches fever pitch as stores open earlier and earlier each year, replacing the day dedicated to gratefulness with unashamed greed and giddiness for a purchase that is meant to show our love for another, bought in rushes of grabbing items that has led to fights, stampedes and debt. Many justify this intense season of shopping with the value of the purchase – the money saved on an item they would buy at a higher price later indicates this was a good value-based purchase ...

  • Daniel Kim — 

    ... The well-known words suitable helper in Gen. 2:18 are so engrained in our English speaking culture that it’s difficult to think of Gen. 2:18 in any other terms, even though many translations have tried to adopt better wording to fit the original Hebrew (c.f., ESV, NLT, or the footnote in the NASB). These words come in the midst of the sentence, “I will make him a helper suitable for him” (NASB). Suitable helper might have been a suitable translation 50 years ago, but I suggest that the phrase suitable helper has become outdated and is now misleading in its translation ...

  • David Talley — 

    I believe that we are at a place in the history of the church where we need to have a vision for what we are seeking to produce in people through the ministries of the church. It can be increasingly difficult to maintain a simple focus on our main purpose to “make disciples” in light of the diverse needs of any church body and, therefore, it is easy to get caught up in the “monster of ministry” activity. I believe that we need to think more strategically in terms of what we are seeking to produce in a person and make this a focus for the church. Our biblical mandate is to present every person complete in Christ. What would this look like? Where should our sights be set? What should the life of disciple look like? ...

  • Joe Hellerman — 

    Seminary students are among the busiest people I know. Church + Family + School + Work makes for a challenging time of wise prioritizing. A Talbot professor back in the early 1980s gave his busy seminarians some pointed advice. He instructed us not to spend a lot of our time in local church ministry. “This is your training time,” he asserted, “and seminary is where you need to focus for this season of your life.” At the time it sounded like good advice. Now I’m not so sure ...

  • Mick Boersma — 

    This past spring my wife and I traveled to five states and visited nearly 50 Talbot alumni. Our journeys found us in the San Joaquin valley of California, the Flagstaff-Casa Grande corridor of Arizona, parts of Illinois and Indiana, and the Colorado Interstate 25 from Ft. Collins to Colorado Springs. And while our grads were doing all kinds of ministry in a multitude of settings, some basics about life and ministry came through loud and clear. Here are some of the most prevalent ...