By Marc Engelhardt

Everything we have covered thus far highlights how wonderful sex is and that it is a gift from God. At the same time, it highlights how destructive sex can be for people when used outside the intentions for which God gifted it. It can be very discouraging to know that bonding ourselves to people through a misuse of sex will change our reality and who we are. What’s worse is that even if we were ignorant of the truth about sex we typically can’t blame anyone but ourselves for our choices. This can lead to discouraging depression.

By Joel A. Hess

That’s really all you want to know, right? What’s the rule, Pastor? What can I do? What can’t I do? Just tell me, and I’ll do it. Just say it. Or, is this is a good reason? What if he does this? What if she does that?

This is not an unusual conversation that confronts a pastor at least a couple times a year. How often I have had a man or woman tell me they wish their spouse either cheated on them or beat them so they would have a good reason for divorce. 

By Paul Koch

I recall many years ago I was doing a Sunday morning Bible study at my previous congregation in Georgia. We were working our way through St. Matthew’s Gospel that happened to be the text that corresponds to our reading today of Mark 10:2-16. So, we began by talking about the harsh realities of divorce. Divorce seems to be a plague of sorts in our land, it’s no longer rare or shocking. All of us have come in contact with the realities of divorce. Either you have been divorced or your parents have, or you know someone who has gone through the hurt and struggle of divorce. And it is easy if you haven’t been divorced to speak with a certain self-righteousness about the whole thing. Then again, it is also easy to justify divorce to the point that it can seem a noble or necessary thing. During that Bible study in Georgia, I was no doubt more on the self-righteous side of things when a member brought to my attention the simple fact that most of the people sitting there had been through divorce. In Bible Study on a Sunday morning a small southern town, those who had not been divorced were certainly the minority.

By Marc Engelhardt

(This post continues the recaps from Christ in Common, which is a discipleship discussion that takes place in my context. Christ in Common is a good example of how we purposefully approach the discipleship triad of Foundation, Worldview, and Practice. Remember, as recaps, these posts hit highlights of what the group discussed in person, so they are short and may seem to make some jumps occasionally. If you pull out the Word and study the Foundation mentioned, you should be able to fill most gaps.)