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Marriage and Family Articles

  • John McKinley — 

    “Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body” (1 Cor 6:18 NASB). Why is sexual sin singled out as uniquely damaging to the body in a way that other physical actions are not? Substance abuse, gluttony, cutting—these are all harmful acts to the body, but they do not do what sexual misconduct does, according to Paul. Typical responses from students to explain this exception are that sex involves the whole person, or maybe because it involves someone else. The same could be said for illegal drug use, so there must be something more.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    Three years ago, Trudi and I adopted two precious girls out of the Los Angeles County foster system. They are now 14 and 12 years old. We are deeply grateful for these precious young ladies God has brought into our family. But we encountered a few things that we wish someone had told us about foster-adoptions before we started the process. Here is a short list of issues that might be helpful for you to know if you’re considering embarking on such an adventure.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    This week was a week of tears in the Berding household. We cried as we sent our oldest daughter, Lydia, overseas into a needy and difficult region of the world as an ambassador for Jesus Christ. She will be gone for at least one year, and is open to and actively praying about making a long-term commitment after that year. We cried before we sent her. And we cried afterwards. But we will not hinder her from going out. Quite to the contrary, Trudi and I are entirely supportive of the mission Lydia is on; she is going out with our full blessing. But many young people don’t enjoy the support of their parents as they depart for overseas service, and many never actually make it—in large part because their parents have opposed them. Their Christian parents…! Family opposition may be the number one reason young people with a call to overseas missions don’t ever arrive there. And this is a grave sin on the part of the parents.

  • Octavio Esqueda — 

    Hace ya varios años escuché una frase que me ha hecho pensar constantemente y que refleja uno de los mayores peligros que enfrentan los líderes cristianos. La frase dice así: “es importante no estar tan ocupado en la obra de Dios que nos olvidemos del Dios de la obra”. El problema no es el servicio a Dios sino el enfoque y, en muchos casos, la motivación que nos mueve al servicio. Estoy convencido que uno de los pecados principales de muchos líderes es el énfasis obsesivo por el trabajo y, por lo tanto, el descuido de lo esencial y verdaderamente importante como Dios, la familia y el cuidado personal.

  • John McKinley — 

    Love is a sloppy concept, and love is a complex reality. I love ice cream. I love my children. I love my wife. I love books. I love God. I love my students. Each of these “loves” has a different content. It could be a problem if I love books in the same way that I love my children, or if I love God in the way I love my wife. Love is not the same in every relationship that we live in. This is a brief analysis of love as we experience and live it in various relationships.

  • Nell Sunukjian — 

    Many women, and men, too, avoid studying Proverbs 31:10-31 because they think it presents an unrealistic and unattainable standard for women. I can’t tell you how many articles I have read that describe this lady as ‘superwoman’ and, therefore, not applicable for the average female. But would God really put a job description in His Word if it were unattainable? Surely our knowledge of Him says the description of the woman of noble character was placed in the Scriptures to encourage us, male and female. It’s for our edification; there is much we can learn from it about becoming wise women.

  • John McKinley — 

    An introduction to the book, His Brain, Her Brain: How Divinely Designed Differences Can Strengthen Your Marriage, by Walt and Barb Larimore (Zondervan, 2008).

  • Nell Sunukjian — 

    I left for our short trip to Santa Barbara feeling weary. The semester was ending here at Talbot--there had been several speaking engagements, grandchildren to tend and sick babies to hold. All good things, and needed things, but I felt stressed by the load.

  • Joanne Jung — 

    After being unresponsive for two days, my dad was escorted into the presence of his Savior on Saturday May 4, 2013 at 2 AM. Family and friends gathered to celebrate his life last Friday. I shared these words:

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    My wife Trudi and I spoke for a parenting seminar this past weekend. We offered 14 “tips” for nurturing the spiritual lives of one’s children. I’ve included the 14 teaching points here for your own consideration. Our prayer is that many parents will take on the call to intentionally train their children in the ways of the Lord. If you want your children to grow up to be passionate followers of Christ…

  • Klaus Issler — 

    The Christmas story is about Jesus being born into the family of Mary and Joseph. Have you ever considered what other options there were for which type of family Jesus could have been born into? We could explore these possibilities by asking, “What early life experiences do we think could best prepare Jesus for his later public ministry?” Let me suggest a context for this kind of musing. Imagine you were invited to observe that special planning session in eternity past when the Godhead considered creating this world and mapping out a plan for our redemption. Of course this couldn’t happen, but pretend this divine session was like one of our committee meetings. The topic on “today’s” agenda is “What is the best early life experience preparation for Jesus to be formed for his distinctive divine-human role as Messiah and Savior of the world?”

  • Ben Shin — 

    Life can be busy. This just seems to be a reality of life. And especially within the Christian world, busyness sometimes seems to translate into godliness. I have known this to be true in my own life. I have the privilege to teach each week at the seminary and interact with students and colleagues regarding very important eternal matters. I also served as the lead pastor of a church on a “part-time” basis. I’m married with two little boys who were always wanting daddy’s time. And I was finishing my dissertation for my doctorate. Just a little busy!

  • Mick Boersma — 

    After a Talbot chapel some time ago, in which we struggled with three or four 'glitches' in the program, my dear colleague Dennis Gaines leaned over and said to me, "I call these things weeds". Yes, weeds...those little irritations that prevent our best efforts from being the gems of perfection we designed them to be.

  • Nell Sunukjian — 

    I wince when I look at the photo. Don and I are standing in the sun with our firstborn son, flanked by Don’s elderly grandparents. Grandpa has just lifted up our son toward heaven to give thanks. All of us are beaming with joy. And I am wearing a very short dress.

  • Mick Boersma — 

    It started as I was picking up toys from a visit by our precious grandchildren. Strewn about the living room, into the kitchen and out the back door was a dizzying array of colorful plastic pieces of everything from ‘Cootie’ to ‘Madeline’s Christmas Book and Doll Set’. This scene had played out before – every time those five bundles of energy had ‘left the building’.

  • Nell Sunukjian — 

    How does one raise a daughter? What does a young girl need from her parents? What does she need from her mom?

  • Kenneth Way — 

    I was recently reflecting on my doctoral training and I realized that I learned a few things (ten, to be precise) beyond the actual subject matter of my discipline. For starters, I learned that footnotes can be overdone.

  • Joanne Jung — 

    This post is written for and dedicated to those who desire a deeper communion with God through prayer and who struggle with distractions, distortions, or disillusionment.

  • Kenneth Berding — 

    This past Christmas we purchased a cell phone for our 13 year old daughter (Ela), and added her to our family plan—including texting. (We blocked internet access.) Five years ago when we acquired phones for our two older daughters (now 22 and 20), texting was a small part of the culture; now it has permeated our culture. Because of this, we decided to write up a contract for our junior high daughter outlining our expectations for cell phone use—and texting in particular. Our daughter is quite responsible, and we’re confident that she will function well under these guidelines. But we thought it would be wiser to express our expectations up front than to attempt to “make it up” as we go. I share this “contract” with you in case you are a parent trying to figure out how to negotiate cell phone use—and texting in particular—with a middle-school-aged daughter. Feel free to use it, change it, send it, or ignore it. (This contract can also be used with a son if you make a few adjustments.)