Email Questions: Should Women be in Ministries?

So this has been in draft form since December :/ , but it is a question I’ve gotten a few times over the years, and something I’ve asked other older women (who are wiser and have seen more than me), as well for their own personal thoughts.  Even though it looks like a simple yes or no answer kind of question, it can be complicated depending on the circumstance.

In short, I don’t have a perfect, clear-cut answer, BUT I can give you some thoughts from people I admire, and using my own experience some.

Personally, and I understand some won’t agree with me, I do think a lot of good can come from women ministering to other women and using their gifts as a blessing (in general) in a community.  I think it can be grossly misused, however, like anything that is supposed to be good and helpful.  I think there are clear boundaries where women are not supposed to cross, such as being a Pastor or any kind of teacher or leader over men in a Christian environment.  This unfortunately sounds vague and unhelpful, but again, I guess why it’s taken me so long to even publish this post, even though people keep asking, is because this topic is more than I am able to define myself.

I don’t believe we can just dispense with the biblical suggestions in Titus of older women using their hopefully gained wisdom, experience, perspective from mistakes made in the past, and aged-grace they seem to possess in helping younger women to get through this journey staying in God’s will easier.  There’s a reason why these instructions are in the Bible, and when older women forgo their calling to minister in those ways to younger women who truly need their guidance, our entire society crumbles.  But then when I think of examples of the older women, even Christian ones, out there right now, they are often telling younger women the wrong things – even going so far as to mock trying to stay pure for a husband (Sheila Gregorie)!  The advice out there, from older Christian women often in self-made leadership positions, is mostly all akin to, “anti-help,” in my estimation.

The bulk of advice from popular older Christian women, honestly, makes me sick to my stomach.  It’s probably the evidence of decline toward the (more than likely still far off) end, where the Church collectively leaves God altogether, and starts officially worshiping idols (hopefully it doesn’t get that bad).  It can’t be a good sign that even the older women are leading us astray, or having public tantrums on twitter, or embarrassing public meltdowns like Beth Moore had not too long ago.

But with all the negative attention female ministries (ministers?) are getting, I have seen some positive things come from ones that seem good.

Something I’ve told an email friend in relation to this recently, is the example of a Christian Mom’s Group I’ve been going to.  It is a group with mostly larger families that (mostly all) homeschool.  It is a wonderful group and surprisingly close-knit for that many people in one place all at the same time.  We’re actually, I believe, one of the smallest family that goes, with only 3 kids!  The group is basically like a Christian-moms’ book club 🙂 with the book we’ve been reading this past year being, The Mission of Motherhood, by Sally Clarkson.

Clarkson is what I would say a real life Proverbs 31 woman fulfilling her Titus 2 role now that she’s older and has figured out how to raise godly children into adulthood.  I haven’t researched her past too well, so there could be something off I don’t know about.  But her book, filled with tons of her own life examples and advice on basically how to be a good, Christian mother, is just invaluable.  I mean seriously, imagine if the real Proverbs 31 woman took the time to write an entire book on LOTS of the topics, hard questions, faith issues etc. about motherhood – THAT is what her book has been like for all of us.  Yes, there have been some moms who have felt, “uncomfortable,” or threatened by her success and “idealistic,” suggestions, but most have used it as inspiration and conviction to do better.  Most have admitted that she’s made them a much better mom, and the group itself, has made them better moms just through the accountability.  But it wouldn’t have even been a “thing,” if Clarkson hadn’t used her gift in writing her book in the first place (and she’s written many others).

So… one real-life Proverbs 31 woman using her gifts to minister to more women than she could probably count, has had a major impact on all of our lives – in measurable, real life moments!  That isn’t a small thing!  It doesn’t just affect us moms personally, but our kids, and our husbands, and our neighbors and even strangers we end up meeting.  It’s been weird seeing the effects of just a simple group like this ripple out much farther than I ever imagined.

And it’s made me really look at the women who see someone like Clarkson and feel negative feelings and emotions (like envy or snarkiness), and feel so sorry for them that they’re completely missing the blessing of her kindness and gifts to us!  Yes, she’s a real life Proverbs 31 woman in many ways, yes, she’s successful in her roles, but I still don’t understand women who feel, “threatened,” or, “intimidated,” by that for some reason.  To me, she’s someone to look up to.  Another role model or type of mentor-figure, if you can call a book author a mentor (?).

I rarely agree with everything I read, except the Bible, so her book is no different… there are some topics I wish she were more honest about, but for the most part, she does stick to biblical advice.  She’s gentle when talking against feminism, moms who choose or need to work, or women who use daycare, which fits with her personality.  But she also makes it very obvious that the overall impact of her book is still dramatically pro-stay-at-home-moms, pro-homeschooling, etc.  The science-loving part of me wishes she went into more of the hard evidence against daycares on baby and toddlers’ brain developments… at the least to try to be more convincing of Truth, or the evidence against public schools on the kind of information they feed our kids.  But at least she’s confronting other topics (motherhood attitudes) that not many people seem to touch.  And it’s working, many of the moms actually feel conviction or acknowledge how they’re making changes!

The Bad Side of Female Leadership – When it Goes Bad, It Really Goes Bad

Let’s start with Lysa Terkeurst… a lonnng time ago, probably 10 years ago, I used to read her blog over at Proverbs 31 Ministries, and I liked it.  Somewhere along the way, the messages started to feel like they lacked spiritual depth, as though they were only scratching the surface, or circling the same topics again and again.  It may not still be like that, I haven’t read there in years – and it is rotating authors, so maybe some rotated out, but I longed for something deeper, something that helped in my role as a wife and mother.

But where did Lysa go wrong?  I don’t know specifics, since I’m not extremely well acquainted with everything she is or has done, but it seemed when news of her husband’s affair came out, that she was always on tour, always writing something new (she’s written 16 books total – that books take A LOT of time and energy and devotion), Bible studies (that take even more time than books to produce, sometimes with videos accompanying them – which she did do – in  different countries at that!).  Her, “ministry,” quite honestly from an outsider’s perspective inspecting it after her husband went astray, looked like it was the total and sole focus on her life while her family stood on the sidelines.  For a wife and mother of five children, this is wrong.  There’s a huge sacrifice, or, “cost,” to putting your ministry above your husband and children, and although her children deny that is what happened, it’s hard to see her schedule in those years leading up to it, and *not* come away with the thought that she was neglecting some major things on the home-front.  Is a woman, “ministering,” wrong?  No, according to Paul, but maybe part of the reason why he mentioned older women was because the demands of children and supporting a husband would be a lot less in that stage of life.  Lysa’s been doing this as they were young, little, developing, and needing her each day to be there.

Even if her neglect isn’t what inadvertently caused her husband to stray, living a life that ostentatiously puts your family on the back-burner, all so that you can promote yourself and your self-defined, “ministry,” to strangers (instead of your own family), should be seen for what it is.  A Christian woman neglecting her role as wife and mother should (hopefully) produce guilt or shame when she’s realized what she’s done.  Unfortunately for Lysa, even though she’s managed reconciliation and prevented divorce, there was no public acknowledgment of anything she may have done to contribute to their marriage problems, let alone any acknowledgment of how little she was actually a wife and mother.

Healthy shame leads to realizing what’s important… that we’ve been off on our personal spiritual journeys and pursuits, perhaps she realized this, cut back on her schedule, and just didn’t let her followers know (it did look like she cut back, but that could have been from the divorce).  One thing I LOVED about Pilgrim’s Progress was that it didn’t (at all) shrink away from confronting the necessity of shame in helping to get us back on the right path and obtain humility when we mess up, and especially acknowledging our past sins when trying to witness to others!  What a beautiful book it was and so good to read it again.  We all get off course at some point, but unfortunately right now the popular theme is to avoid feeling ashamed at all costs!  I’ve seen Christian memes from Christian women leaders that proclaim that feeling shame at all, is spiritually wrong!  In Pilgrim’s Progress, there’s even a scene where Christian and his journey partner Hopeful, were whipped so that they could learn from their waywardness, and if I remember right, the one disciplining them was an angel of God.  Discipline is good.  God disciplines those He loves.  Shame, in it’s right form to correct us when we get off track, is just as necessary as discipline is, because it often brings a turn around.

Guilty Conscience –> Conviction –> Shame for having failed God –> Confession –> Repentance –> Change

The fact that her children and husband lost out on having a wife and mother who was actually there, can’t be fully made-up for.  When Art Terkeurst (Lysa’s husband)’s affair came out, it completely wrecked their adult daughter, and almost ruined her own marriage.  So yes, our mess-ups in life and marriage even impact our children when they’re adults!  I’m not saying Art isn’t at fault for his own choice to have a long-going affair, but affairs (from what I’ve studied psychologically) almost never start without the other partner giving them an emotional or sexual reason to be that tempted.  The only exception are serial cheaters who have a character disorder/personality disorder, which Art does not seem to have (only one, very hard to quit affair).

It’s typically been a role of male missionaries or Pastors to travel or go on speaking engagements, because mothers are biblically called to be, “keepers of the home,” literally holding down the home-front.  Which brings me to the next point…

Lysa preached Sunday sermons at her own church and others fairly frequently, something I only found out when researching what may have happened to damage her relationship with her husband.  It seems the women who do this, that I’ve watched personally in real life, tend to emasculate their husbands just by simply being in spiritual authority over them in this way.  Not only is it biblically wrong according to Paul in 1 Timothy 2, but when a wife becomes her husband’s “Pastor,” even for temporary sermons, she’s completely inverting the kind of natural relationship the Bible says a wife and husband should have, where she submits to him in everything, as she would unto the Lord.  When Lysa became Art’s Pastor, he was suddenly thrown under her spiritual authority and leadership.

For a marriage, I think it could possibly turn the husband completely off sexually, to have to abdicate his role of leadership and headship over her, submit to her leadership publicly as he supports her disobedience to Scripture – it sounds humiliating and emasculating, even if only subconsciously (some men may feel this, but they’d never admit this).  We know a family member who chooses to live this way, as a female Pastor, and no surprise, they’ve had recurrent issues with his infidelity.  It sounds like the perfect recipe for an affair… if another submissive, feminine woman comes along and decides she thinks the emasculated husband is perfect – looks up to him and follows his lead on things, it can spark feelings he doesn’t feel anymore for his emasculating wife.  Men need to feel needed, masculine, and capable as both provider and leader over their wife/household.

Loud and Proud Divorcees are Leading the Way

I’ve been sent links to other female ministers, one even somewhat connected to the old church social circle we used to attend a couple of years ago, and it’s amazing to me how so many divorcees are holding themselves up as leaders to be modeled after, and at the same time, wanting younger women to respect them and their mistakes as part of their, “journey.”  Their mistakes are holy and glorified.  Their, “hot mess,” (messy divorces) as they call it, is held up as a role model for their capitalized success at leadership.  There’s zero repentance, zero focus on whatever they may have done wrong to contribute to their divorce, and a very strong, “you don’t need no man,” vibe from their blogs/websites.  Most are still single and divorced, or married a second time, but to a man they disrespect publicly.  It’s extremely disheartening to read the blogs like this.  I’ve only come across one older leader of a women’s Bible study who was divorced, who actually was humble enough to talk about what she did wrong and how she personally contributed to the demise of her first marriage – it was so refreshing.  And her honesty was beautiful, and so needed as she gave it to us as a warning not to be like how she was in her past!  How many female ministry leader divorcees do you know who are like that?  Again… I’ve only encountered one!

This post is already too long, but other examples are:

Beth Moore –

Sheila Gregorie-

And I’m also including the many other authors who are in agreement with these women.  We are having an epidemic of Christian female leaders who are destroying biblical Truth, even going so far as to mock it, unchallenged.

These examples, as you can see, are so bad they promote the idea that women shouldn’t be using their gifts at all!  This is the consequence of Christian women like Beth Moore, Sheila Gregorie, and Lysa Terkeurst recklessly misusing their opportunities to teach Titus 2 concepts.  Who is going to trust them?  When Christian female, “leaders,” act in these completely unbiblical ways, they lose their witness and rightfully so.

***

Hopefully with all these examples above, a reader and fellow Christian can see it just hasn’t been working out too well to hold up females as pseudo pastors, because that’s what they’ve become in effect, when growing such large ministries.  Maybe it goes to their heads in a way, but one thing is for certain (and I’m sorry in advance that it sounds so unkind to these women and their families, but this needs to be said):

These women grow such large ministries that they become almost like heads of the households for other Christian wives to follow.  This in effect leads other men’s wives to follow that female minister (like Beth Moore) on theological questions or topics, instead of her husband’s leadership.

Paul made this statement for a reason: ” let the wives ask their husbands at home”

It’s not that I believe women can’t minister to others in different ways and in maybe using their gifts, but in teaching biblical things outside of Titus 2, it does seem to get fuzzy on what may be right, and what may be wrong.  I don’t hold all the answers, but I did think this was a good question I’ve gotten from readers a few times in the past.

Can Women Minister in General?

YES!

Are MANY of them getting it wrong, acting unashamed, embarrassing fellow Christian women who are supposed to look up to them.?  Yes 😦

May we pray for God to give us a revival, where older women who are actually qualified will start teaching and helping younger women to what God’s called them to.

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There is Wisdom in Being Peaceful (Avoid Arguments, Mind Your Own Business, Seek to Live a Quiet Life)

The Beth Moore’s women’s bible study group I’m in just continues to give and give – there is so much to be said for when you seek wisdom, and put yourself in a place where you’re likely to receive it, you will chase it as it unravels like a rolling yarn ball.  A few weeks ago, we studied the verse 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.

I’m sure we’ve all seen why this verse is important, we may have just not connected the dots (or even knew that such verse in Scripture existed).  But hands down, it is off-putting to see any person, but especially a “Christian” going against this verse in their social interactions with others.  I’ve been terribly guilty of this before, out of sheer ignorance that it was really wrong for me to be debating issues with a persuasive agenda in mind (what other agenda is there when it comes from a debate? None).

Definition of Debate1) a formal discussion on a particular topic in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward; 2) argue about (a subject), especially in a formal manner

Synonyms: discussion, discourse, parley, argument, conterargument, dispute, wrangle, war of words, argumentation, disputation, dissension, disagreement, contention, conflict, negotiations, talks

There were times 2-3 years ago, that I thought I needed to debate against Catholicism, because I honestly wanted to help those dutiful believers under that religion that strays so much from biblical truth, to see how wrong some of their doctrines truly were.  There are times when debate may be necessary in cases like that, even in pointing out false or unfounded doctrine; however, the way I was personally going about this “mission” was terribly misguided and ended up hurting many people, possibly even pushing people away from what I was trying to get them to look at.

I wasn’t exactly rude (except if you count in a very pushy, arrogant way! Ie. sometimes debating itself is rude in certain circumstances), but I was too wrapped up in the debate itself to care about the effects it would have on my personal relationships with the very people I proclaimed to “care about.”

Just like how we are not supposed to argue about extra-biblical preferences or opinions such as “Should Christians Participate in Halloween?” or “Should Christians Have Christmas Trees Since They Were Used By Pagans?”  I also feel that we should be extremely cautious in treading on the ground of where another believer feels personally convicted, as per all of Romans 14, where we are constantly reminded “not to argue” about personal convictions (even over controversial topics). 

This is not to say that argument or debate has no place, but merely when it comes to certain topics that aren’t pertaining to a person’s salvation or biblical truths.  We are called to accept other people who may be “weak in faith” or may simply have differing opinions from us.  When I looked at the Greek meanings and footnotes of great authors on this chapter,

I found at the same time that we are called to accept them, we are also warned repeatedly, to not try to “persuade” them using examples or “debate,” that to accept their opinions and personal convictions was exactly that.  To just accept.  To try to even persuade them was sinning. We are free in having our personal convictions over many many non-essential topics, however we are most certainly NOT free to debate them as we see fit.

Why don’t we have the freedom to just debate over anything?  It seems clear that Paul is talking about Christians debating other Christians – there are already both saved – and debates over such trivial things can have potential to be extremely divisive at times.

We are called to pursue peace and unity within the body… having debates over non-essential issues often do more harm to keeping “unity” than they do to flourish believers’ relationships with each other. 

Romans 14 goes on to include the word “criticizing.”  When we try to persuade others from their convictions, we are in effect criticizing their current beliefs, in my opinion, the very root of it is a very prideful thing in which we are automatically assuming that we understand something better than them, and that’s why we feel a certain desire (or enjoyment from) debating on an issue.  The reality is maybe we DO understand something “better than them,” maybe our faith truly IS a little stronger so that we understand that we have more freedom to feel a certain way on a topic – however, that is why this chapter is in defense of those who have a “weaker faith.”  It is their faith at stake then, not ours, and we should be very guarded and cautious in what we choose to debate about in effort to help them grow (on their own) in their faith.

It might be enjoyable for the person who is acting in pride in thinking their debate and personal opinion is important to hear, but it is most definitely NOT enjoyable for the other party involved, who ends up feeling judged because this fellow Christian is not able to merely accept that they have a different opinion or different conviction.

The 3 main things Beth Moore was pointing out in 1 Thessalonians 4:11 were to:
1) Seek to live a quiet life

2) To mind your own business

3) To work with your own hands

These all fit in line with following Romans 14, seeking to live a quiet life requires one to be responsible – to argue and debate only when it is truly called for and needed.  This is for a very important reason and greater mission we should be aware of… Beth points out in the next verse (vs 12) that the 2 reasons Paul wanted us to focus on these 3 things in life were:

1) So that we may win the respect of outsiders, and walk properly in their presence

2) To not be dependent (financially or emotionally) on anyone – being a burden unnecessarily

People are actively watching what we do as a Christian… all the time.  Even if you think you live a responsible public life, we are also called to have greater integrity in also living a responsible private life in our own homes, otherwise, the reputation of Christ is still at stake!

I recently had a very strange experience with friend who wanted to constantly debate in public over my own personal convictions – to the point where the arguments were lasting for days, other people were taking note, picking sides, and generally getting the wrong idea of what the initial topic was supposed to be about.  It was causing some believers to feel justified in judging certain types of people, and also affecting non-Christians who were more than likely feeling judged by seeing the argument play out in the wide open environment of social media.  Nothing good seemed to be coming from it at all, never-mind the multiple miscommunications due to it being over social media and not in person, or in private.  This is not to say that we don’t have to freedom to post or have our own personal opinions, but choosing to publically debate over them (or even privately at times) is not always the best idea.

We carry the reputation of Christ, and we truly need to be careful in what we choose to publically debate about because of Paul’s warning that we need to “win the respect of outsiders.”  To think that it doesn’t matter what other people think, or how something may look to others (even online), Beth points out, is an irresponsible Christian ethic.  I have already been through this lesson many times before, and I’ve definitely had negative consequences when I reveled in my freedom to debate whatever I wanted.

Beth talked about how we can lose our perspective, make certain issues more important than maintaining healthy relationships, or lose sight of the goal of unity between believers in effort to debate our point or opinions.

Literally, some hills are just not worth dying on… and we should hold ourselves responsible for carrying the reputation of Christ.

Hope this encourages you as much as it enlightened & reminded me of those commands!  Here’s to living peaceably, a quiet life, minding my own business, and keeping perspective when it comes to debating.

The Painful Cost of Deeply Loving Someone

It’s funny how God works… sometimes He’ll put you through a situation or allow it to manifest itself in your life with a divine purpose behind it in order to teach you a lesson or grow your faith.  Yesterday I had one of those moments.  I’ve been involved with my sweet, wonderful, I-cannot-say-enough-great-things-about-them women’s Bible study, which meets every Tuesday for almost 2 1/2 hours (it feels more like 3).  Most of the women have a few years on me, but generally its a great age range, and perfect for the kind of mentor-mentee relationships to develop with the women who lead each small group and their participants.

We’ve been walking through Beth Moore’s Children of the Day study on 1 & 2 Thessalonians – two of the most beautifully uplifting books in the New Testament in my opinion – and today’s message really hit home for me, the Madness & the Gladness of having deep, personal relationships.

This is not meant to be only about romantic relationships… yes, those can bend us, twist us, or even break us with pain caused to our hearts, but this is first & foremost about friendships.

We so deeply need friendships, but there comes a real cost from investing our hearts and time in them.

Beth pointed out that even when you have a child, or come to love a child as your own, that love that you feel is often so deep that it literally hurts your heart just looking at them!  My son, who’s only 4 years old, just experienced this himself the other day when we were watching a video about the baby developing at 28 weeks (his baby brother), he suddenly said, “Mommy, he’s so sweet it’s making me want to cry!”

He loves his brother (or the idea of him) so much already, just seeing a baby moving around in the womb touched his little heart, and made him want to cry.  Love does that!

Just the fact that love can hurt when nothing is going wrong tells us that the act of loving someone is so powerful, and leaves us open to being hurt.  When a relationship is going badly, the pain can be heart-wrenching and “maddening.”  Beth pointed out that to love is to be vulnerable, that sharing your faith with them is ultimately sharing your life and experiences with them, [and if you want to read more of my own thoughts on living vulnerably, click here].  She showed us the Latin word it comes from, vulnerare, literally means to wound.  Our definition of vulnerable today, is “capable of being physically or emotionally wounded; and being open to attack or damage, easily able to wound.”

We are called to have these kind of deep, involved relationships with people – God wants us to be vulnerable in these relationships, but everyone has probably had that experience of pouring themselves into another, only to have it turn back on you… pouring hours of energy and love into another, and at the end to find out that it just doesn’t always work.

Beth talked about the “evaporating illusion of control,” or the fact that we just simply cannot control our relationships.  We absolutely cannot control other people, we can’t make them behave, make them acknowledge bad behavior, or even make them apologize… although we may try!!  I’ve seen this many times in many different kinds of relationships ranging from women friends, to my husband, and to my son – but the worst experiences I’ve had personally though, have always been through women friends.  No ex-boyfriend or male has ever wounded me as much as I’ve been wounded by fellow creatures of my own sex… and as a result, its made me extremely cautious in trusting other women – really trusting them enough to be vulnerable with them.  Its something I’ll probably always have to push myself in, and continue to work on.

It does not matter how much you love someone, it will not always keep them from gossiping about you to others, revealing your secrets, betraying your trust in them, or simply not returning the same amount of love that you have for them.  In first Thessalonians, Paul describes his love being so deep for the believers there, that he was anxious to hear how they were still doing (after having many persecutions, and him being hindered from able to physically see them).  Paul wanted to know if his labor (of love) had been in vain, had everything he had so faithfully worked for in them – trying to pour himself out for them, and set an example – not worked.  Had they chosen to go back to their old ways of dealing in the flesh, or have they grown in their faith and has his work in their life at all paid off?

This idea of trying to love someone, to help them grow, to encourage them and try to have a deep, meaningful relationship, and then it all being for vain is part of the “madness” of having involved relationships.  Its maddening to put yourself out there, being open and vulnerable, and try to love someone who does not love you in the same way back, or ruthlessly questions that love because to them somehow it isn’t enough.  This is what we’re called to do, and it can be heart-wrenching and horrible!

I also should point out that some of the absolute BEST experiences I’ve had in having deeply personal, and involved relationships, have also been with women friends.  These have been so beautiful, so vulnerable, and deep, that they are practically at the same level of intimacy as with my husband!  They also just SO important for one’s growth and development into being a better woman, and being more of who God made you to be.

I’ve had times where I could go to one or two of them for counsel or guidance with a problem in my life that I didn’t quite see how I should best handle, and it was in those times that I could trust these few women enough to 1) love me no matter what and 2) tell me the Truth about my own actions and the actions of others, holding me accountable to who they (and I) know I should be.  It may initially be painful to see in myself something that is yucky or detrimental to my life and relationships, but the alternative of NOT having someone to point those things out for me, is much worse – it would lead me to continue living in an unhealthy manner, damaging my own life and the lives of those I interact with.

Friendships like these are like having diamonds or rubies or gold available to you…

and if you have one of these relationships, do not let them go!

The “pure reciprocity” as Beth Moore called it, of that beautiful feeling when you know that they care just as much about you, as you do about them, is just so peaceful and relaxing… it’s truly the reason and purpose of God wanting us to have deep, personal relationships at all!  I could even argue that appreciating these relationships is a lot easier when you’ve gone through some bad ones, or felt the horrible pain of laboring or seeking after someone sometimes for years, in vain.  It’s just not the same if you haven’t experienced a friend who failed at reciprocity.

The bad experiences (the Madness), even the sum of them altogether, pay off in the end if you have experienced the Gladness and joy of having faithful relationships.  For all the times that it just does – not – work – out, to know at the end there are still good outcomes, makes loving others deeply (despite the cost) still SO worth it.  God doesn’t want us to give up on having deeply personal relationships.  Satan, however, is trying to get you to give up on relationships, because these truly healthy, good ones, are CRUCIAL to our faith and our joy in life… our ability to reach others around us and live life abundantly.

No matter how many times it hasn’t worked out or you feel desperately like your labor was in vain, don’t let it hinder you.  In all that pain and hurting, there will “come a healing.”

“May the Lord cause you to increase and overflow with love for one another and for everyone, just as we also do for you!”

1 Thessalonians 3:12

(All quotes and inspiration from Beth Moore’s Children of the Day 2014)