Feb 21

Q&A: Guy Friends

2011 at 2:58 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Singleness | Relationship Advice | Purity | Q&A

Q. I am 18 years old and would like to know how to be “just friends” with the guys in our church, but don’t know how. Can you give me any advice? A. It wasn’t so long ago now that I was navigating my way through the teen years and into early adulthood. One issue always lurking in the shadows was “friendships with guys.” How do these relationships look different from those with my girlfriends? How much time do I spend with them? Is it okay to hang out one on one or talk on the phone? I always wished for a simple set of rules—just a little list of “do’s and dont’s” that I could carry around in my pocket. These rules would guarantee me success, and I would no longer have to worry about that little conscience of mine. However, I learned early on that this one was a wisdom issue, and that Scripture was the primary source for that wisdom. In 1 Timothy 5:1-2, Paul tells Timothy that he should, “Treat…younger women like sisters, in all purity.” Now if the guys are going to treat us as “sisters in all purity,” then we in turn must act like sisters, in purity! Here in this verse is the wisdom we so desperately need. We must ask ourselves—do I treat my guy friends as I would my own brother? Am I walking in absolute purity toward all young men? For myself, I realized that my heart often had many competing motives at work in my relationships with guys. Instead of thinking and acting like a sister, I sometimes found myself wanting the attention of a particular guy. I also wanted other girls to think I had a sufficient number of guys that called me “friend.” Often times, the motives behind my relationships with guys were not God-honoring. That is why it was so helpful that my mom and I kept a running dialogue on this issue. We didn’t have some kind of formal debriefing once a week, but talking about my guy friends was a regular part of our lives. These conversations were most critical for me in the accountability that they provided and the counsel that my mom brought. For those of you who may not have a godly mom, I would encourage you to have these types of conversations with another older, wiser, woman in your church. As Mom said last week, we aren’t called to live the Christian life alone. We need the help, encouragement, and counsel of others. I also quickly learned that my friendships with guys needed to look quite different than my friendships with girls. I recall a conversation that I once had with my singles pastor. He told me, “Janelle, guys read into things just as much as girls do. When a girl shows consistent attention to one guy, it can cultivate affection in that guy’s heart.” While I may have been considering my guy friends as brothers, they may have been thinking that there was something more. I remember my mom telling me to relate to all guys as “another woman’s husband.” I found this little phrase to be a very helpful heart-check in relating to my guy friends. All of this said, friendships with guys are not wrong. In fact I would argue that friendships with godly young men during these years are a gift from the Lord and something to be enjoyed. Paul is obviously assuming that Timothy will relate to other young women in the church, but he makes clear what those relationships ought to look like. As one of three girls (until my favoritist little brother arrived on the scene 12 yrs. after me) I’m very grateful for the guys that were my “brothers” during those years. If we pursue the biblical principles of purity and brotherly love, we can be free to enjoy godly friendships with godly guys as blessings from our heavenly Father. —from the archives

Feb 17

A Husband Joins the 5 O’Clock Club

2011 at 3:34 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under The 5 O’Clock Club

I love this email from Holly:

I wanted to share with you how joining the 5 O’clock Club has benefited both me and my husband. I recently joined in order to provide myself some accountability in getting up earlier to have some quality time with the Lord. Both my husband and I read our Bibles and pray, but the birth of our son this past year and new jobs have led to our schedules being turned upside down. The Lord has not always had the priority or quality time that He has deserved. So, now I have consistently been getting up earlier these past few days to read and pray in the living room. After a day or two of doing this, my husband (unknown to me) got up right after me and started spending this time praying in our bedroom. He later mentioned to me, “You should email that girltalk blog and tell them that your getting up early to have devotions has encouraged me to get up early and pray.” He teasingly added that he couldn’t have his wife taking the spiritual leadership in the family! My husband most definitely is my spiritual leader, and he shepherds me very well. However, I am thankful that we both now have an organized, planned, deliberate, and personal time with the Lord each day!

As always, you (or your husband!) can join here.

Feb 16

“To God Be the Glory” In Life and In Death

2011 at 3:29 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Suffering

How does a man glorify God in the face of death? How does his wife glorify God after he is gone?

Here’s how:

The Story of Zac Smith from Adam Kring on Vimeo.

A Story | Tears of Hope from Adam Kring on Vimeo.

For more on dying well, or living well after your husband is gone, we recommend:

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go: Facing Death with Courageous Confidence in God ed. by Nancy Guthrie

The Undistracted Widow: Living for God After Losing your Husband by Carol Cornish

May God grant each of us grace to live and die to the glory of our Savior!

HT: Justin Taylor

Feb 15

Doing What I Can

2011 at 5:09 pm   |   by Kristin Chesemore Filed under Motherhood | Parenting Young Children

My little Claire is now over three months old—hard to believe! She has been such a sweet blessing to our family. This girlie is very loved (albeit a little roughly!) by her brothers, and returns their attention with lots of smiles.

For me, re-entering the newborn season after seven years has been delightful, but its also been an adjustment. It’s added a new layer of complexity to my life of caring for my three active boys. In addition to herding them all into the car to go somewhere, I’m also dragging the carrier (with baby inside!), the diaper bag, stroller, and other assorted gear. I’ve got to fit nursing in between carpool, lunch monitoring, homeschooling my youngest, making dinner and church meetings. I’m absolutely loving it, but I’m also having to adjust my expectations of what I can get done each day.

My quiet times have also changed. It is harder to get a quiet time, much less a quiet moment to meet with God. If Claire doesn’t sleep through the night (like last week when she had a cold), it is difficult to get up early. This unique season means I have to improvise in order to feed my soul. In the words of Jean Fleming, I need to “do what I can.”

Some days this means reading my Bible over Claire’s nap. It means putting worship music on while I work around the house, or listening to sermons online. I also try to read good books with short, simple Scripture meditations to give me a quick “shot” of truth. John Piper’s Godward Life volumes, and Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening are great resources. This time around, I’ve been blessed by Paul Tripp’s Shelter in the Time of Storm. His thoughts on Psalm 27 have provided just the daily refreshment I have needed.

So, if you have a newborn like me, may you too be encouraged in the grace of God as you do what you can.