This article originally was published on Whole Magazine.
In the quiet of night and the darkness of dusk, it calls out for you. It lures you in with its whispers as it begs to be pondered. The saying is true that “sin crouches at the door,” offering sweet lies but seeking to devour you (Genesis 4:7).
I don’t know your reason for tuning in. Maybe it’s curiosity. Maybe it promises satisfaction to your sexual appetite. It could be a way to find out what men seem to desire in a woman. Whatever your reason is, it’s not a good one. There are no good or logical reasons to watch porn. Anything seemingly pleasing it offers you is permeated with deceit.
Don’t be deceived, it will indeed take you down and destroy you.
Porn Will Kill Your Conscience
Did you know, every time we look at sex on a screen, our conscience dims a bit more?…
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. (Psalm 56:3 ESV)
The sum of prayers whispered to heaven asking God to sustain our baby boy’s life are innumerable to my little mind. I can’t even begin to count them. It started from the moment I knew another child had taken root in my womb. Faithfully, my lips repeat it during every morning prayer, bathroom break, mealtime blessing, bedtime thanksgiving, and many moments in between. Many times, it’s followed by a heart that pleads, “I trust you, Lord. Help me trust you.”
The more his tiny body moves across my hand from within as if to say “hello mama,” the more I’m simultaneously confronted with two thoughts: 1. I love this little boy so much my heart could explode. 2. Oh, how it would hurt to lose him now.
Deep love + deep fear.
Pregnancy after losing three unborn babies for me has been filled with peace that truly surpasses understanding, but also fear that tries to wrap its arms around my heart.…
Nearly everything is shared online these days. Moments of family fun, date nights, articles, songs, Bible study musings, you name it—we’ve probably shared it. Some people stay far away from exposing any personal details on social media. Meanwhile, others are an open book, allowing even strangers a ticket to see the inward battles they face.
In this culture we’ve created of sharing without thinking, and where authenticity is praised, we must learn not to share our struggles or heartaches simply for sharing’s sake. Many times, our openness is self-centered. We long for the praise that comes with it—the “you’re so brave’s” and the “you inspire me’s.” Or maybe we just want pity, so we share to get the attention our hearts crave.
As Christians, we should see the value of openness while also discerning what our motives are for sharing. Then we must strive to align our motives with scripture.
We Share to be Healed
We live in a society where the admission of sinful tendencies is often praised with no pursuit of growth attached to it.…
This article originally appeared on Gospel-Centered Discipleship.
I once heard a speaker call a fellow Christian an “EGR,” i.e. “Extra Grace Required.” In my immaturity, I followed suit in using the acronym when confronted with my own “EGR’s” in daily life. How unloving; How hurtful.
Surely, in the Christian life, we’ll face those who frustrate us whether it be by action on their part or due to the wickedness in our own heart. We aren’t going to naturally love everyone. But in the Bible, that’s exactly what we’re called to do.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
I wanted to share an update but felt unsure of how. The typical “Baby Allen coming soon!” announcement just isn’t within our reach. We hope the above statement is true, but only God knows. So, this is the best way I found to say…we’re pregnant again.
I was hesitant to share this. I feared what people would think of my decision to announce our fourth pregnancy to the world so early, given our struggles with miscarriages. “They’ll think I’m presumptuous or just plain stupid. What if I miscarry the day after I share the news? Then I’ll be so embarrassed!” Most people would advise me to keep quiet, reminding me the world doesn’t need to know. But I feel this urgency to push past the discomfort.
If I’ve learned anything in this season, it’s that pregnancy isn’t really about me anyway. It’s not about 9 months of pampering and getting everything I want, it’s not about receiving my ticket to the mom club, or the attention you get from virtually everyone—strangers included.…
I was restless. Many thoughts bouncing from one side of my head to the other, colliding and creating more thoughts. Silently, I watched the Black-Capped Chickadees dash across the yard into the white spruce right outside the window, their quickness mimicking the questions and fears racing through my mind.
How do you keep bringing your broken heart before the God who allowed it to be shattered?
That’s what I found myself wondering. It just seems easier to keep our distance and bury our longings in the tomb with all that’s been lost.
The Idol of Self-Protection
Praying for things we desire comes naturally for many people but for me, it’s a struggle. I fear my heart’s quick reaction to such prayers—how it turns my requests into idols. I don’t want to desire the created thing more than the Creator, so I don’t ask. But in not taking my supplications to him, I keep back a part of my heart from him, and therefore, provide fresh soil for the roots of another idol to deepen.…