For the last two weeks, this concept of covenant has dominated my thoughts. (Some of my friends are ready to beat me over the head if they hear the word “covenantal” one more time.) Two weeks ago, covenant rocked my world, completely reshaping the way I relate to God and understand my history with him, and covenant has radically altered the way that I practice faithfulness to God in dating.
Covenant is a promise without an exit. It binds two or more individuals together, but because our culture has come to focus so much on individual freedom, the concept of covenant has all but disappeared from our habits and practices, and as I’ve reflected on both my dating history and the way our culture practices dating, I’ve come to see how an absence of covenant from our dating habits and practices is robbing us of God’s highest and best for romantic relationship.
Continue reading Do We Believe in Marriage Anymore? What Our Dating Habits Say About Millennial Beliefs in Marriage
Some years ago, I got involved with the high school youth ministry at the church I was a part of, and very quickly I came to care for a number of students, one girl in particular.
I’ll never forget the Friday night that this girl called me up and told me that she had gone to bed early under the guise of reading her book because her mom was drunk and she didn’t want to be around for the hurtful words that were going to spew from her mother’s mouth if she stuck around. As the son of an addict, it broke my heart, and I quickly came to care for this girl. I knew her pain.
Nevertheless, through a series of misunderstandings and miscommunications, my relationship with this girl was severed. I pushed for answers. I wanted reconciliation, but got nothing except the angry and protective rants of this girl’s father. He would have none of it.
I knew the history of this family. I knew that they had once been close with another family in our church, and that when the fathers had collaborated to do something about the alcoholism of this girl’s mother, the mother had found out through an intercepted text and slandered the father of the other family, saying that he had made a pass at her. The relationship rotted as the church leaders did nothing. Continue reading The Secret to Forgiveness