Even as Christians, we feel the reality of time taking its toll. And yet as Christians, we have the unique ability not to see aging as bad news:
Gray hair is a glorious crown; it is found in the ways of righteousness (Prov. 16:31).
Why might that be? Why can the Christian actually stand apart from a culture growing younger and not only embrace getting older but actually enjoy it?
This is a good conversation.
Our brand-new marriage took an instant nosedive. We didn’t even make it to the end of our two-week honeymoon to British Columbia before we knew our relationship was in serious trouble. We had been warned about five areas of potential conflict all couples have to deal with, and we immediately jumped into all five of them: sex, communication, money, children, and in-laws. We were so young—barely 21—and inexperienced, and when sex didn’t work and we argued about sex, and then argued about our arguments and began to layer resentment on top of resentment, it was a perfect setup for misery and disenchantment.
But using language like this stretches and re-stretches important concepts into utter subjectivism. The result: love is emptied of its meaning and weight, and subsequently replaced by a lesser good—something ersatz and manmade, something wobbly and even capricious. “Love” is now a universal term for nothing in particular, which makes conversations about it difficult.
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra shares a great story.
Since I now get up before the sun rises, and since we built that deck in the backyard, sometimes I take a lamp out, get the cushions out of the deck box, and sit facing East. I read and I write and I study and I think about God and how to put the amazing truths of Romans 8, for example, into a 3,000-word paper that will help others see just a little of the glory. If you’re a writer, you’ll know that a lot of writing is sitting in one spot and staring into space for a considerable amount of time. It’s how we think. But have you ever done that as the sun rises early in the morning? Have you ever done that outside? Staring into space, I mean.
We’re running special training sessions at the SBC meeting in Phoenix this week. If you’re there, do come by and check them out.
A favorite from the archives:
I often forget that making a request of God in prayer is not something I should hesitate to do. Instead, more often I come to him with trepidation. I know that I have no reason to doubt God’s goodness. I have seen him answer my prayers time and again. I’ve seen him provide exactly what we needed as a family right when we needed it. I’ve seen him miraculously heal a young person in our church. He’s prevented Emily from dying, blessed certain opportunities, and given his yes to so many other things besides.
But still, there’s this part of me that lacks confidence when I pray, even though I know I don’t need to be that way.