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Marriage and Family

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” –Jesus I can almost hear the irritation in Jesus’ voice and see it in his face when I read this passage. In today’s language, we might say that he “face palmed” when the disciples shooed away the little children who wanted to play with him, kids who wanted a kind word or funny story from the famous rabbi.  How would it look for the rabbi, the prophet, the up-and-coming teacher from Nazareth, to have a bunch of dirty kids running around him, hanging on his legs, and making silly faces? Simply improper. Unprofessional. Undignified. The disciples cared about appearances. They couldn’t have this image of Jesus’ min... Read more
Editor's Note: This ongoing series of articles entitled, "My Awesome Egalitarian Husband: #LoveGrowsMutuality" was inspired by blogger Rachel Heston Davis, who shared her and her husband's story here and invited other egalitarian women to do the same. As I wrote this article, I was en route to a conference for Air Force Reserve chaplains. Only three hours before, I received a call from my baby's pre-school. They informed me that my daughter was running a fever and needed to go home. I rushed to pick her up, take her to the pediatrician, and drop her and her antibiotics prescription off with my husband so I could get to the airport in time to catch my flight.  I had one foot out the door when my husband, Ryan, stopped me and reminded me to calm dow... Read more
Once in a while it makes me cringe. Occasionally, I argue the point in the rather limited space of a comment box on Facebook. As you can tell, most recently, it has prompted me to write this article for the Scroll. Maybe I should quit taking it so seriously, but it bothers me when people state, as if it were an indisputable fact, that mothers “just have an instinct” when it comes to caring for their children. It’s not that there is no instinct. There might be. I admit I don’t know a lot about the biology that underlies instinctive behavior. But I do know that instinct is too often assumed to be the reason women “just know” what to do for a crying infant or a fussy preschooler when, more times than not, we women don’t have a clue the first sev... Read more
A recent blog post on the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood's website titled, "Soap Bubbles Submission," caught my attention for a number of reasons. I want to respond to the author's understanding of submission as expressed in the article. The author, Martha Peace, recounts her struggle to submit to her husband in the small, daily tasks of marriage (specifically in rinsing soap completely out of glasses—the bubbles referred to in the title). But before I look at the question of submission in marriage, I want to address Peace's opening paragraphs on the sovereignty of God. Peace describes her struggles as a new, adult Christian with issues like the problem of evil and Ephesians' command for wives to submit. Her solution to these theological is... Read more
A few weeks ago, I co-hosted a wedding shower for my brother and his fiancée. They’re getting married in May. I’m so excited for them and so happy they have decided to partner with each other for life. For the shower, I shared a reflection about marriage and I thought I’d reprise it here. When my husband and I were preparing for marriage, people warned us that the first year of marriage was the hardest year. We braced ourselves, expecting the worst. And the worst never came. We had a wonderful first year of marriage! What were those people so worked up about? In the five years since then, I’ve realized there isn’t a specific year where every marriage experiences its “hardest year.” The truth is, you never know when it’s going to... Read more
When my best friend told me she was finally ready to get her first tattoo and wanted me to come with her, I figured it was a great opportunity to get the next one I'd been thinking about. I wanted to get the words "Still I rise" from the famous Maya Angelou poem. Those powerful three words represent hope at the end of a long, winding tunnel in my journey toward sobriety. After managing quite well for a few months, I figured a new tattoo was a better reward than a chip from AA. My other tattoos—six, to be exact—represent various other significant milestones in my life. My long-suffering husband understood the importance of the previous four I acquired during our relationship, so I figured he'd have no problem accepting this one. Still, I was prepared for him... Read more
She is my firstborn. With fiery red hair and beautiful blue eyes, she is strong-willed, talented, fun, determined, creative, boisterous, self-focused, and so much more. At nine years old, she loves the Lord and loves to worship. On some days she wants to be a pastor, other days a teacher, and still others the president of the United States. Yet, there are days when she is not so sure of herself or the world. There are days that she is scared to grow up. There are days when I’m scared for her to grow up. Especially when I see videos like this one: “How Christian Guys Define a Godly Girl.” In this video, girls are judged as godly by standards that are both toxic and unrealistic. Seemingly harmless in their presentation, videos like these possess the potential to co... Read more
If sports were a love language, it would have been my daddy’s. He ate, drank, slept, and breathed baseball. I remember spending Saturdays watching the History Channel’s nine-hour anthology of the history of baseball. I remember watching a feature on Jackie Robinson’s life. I remember how inspired I was by his perseverance in breaking through the racial barrier in major league baseball. I remember admiring the toughness of Ty Cobb, the confidence of Babe Ruth, and the selflessness of Lou Gehrig. I remember the tragic loss baseball fans endured when Pete Rose bet on games and lost out on the Hall of Fame as a result. I wanted to be them. I wanted to be all of them put together. And so, with all of that inspiration in my heart, I’d follow Dad out to the fron... Read more
It occurred to me as I was reading Philemon recently that Paul actually uses the word, hypakoe or hypakouo, translated as "obey" when he asks Philemon to comply with his request to free the slave, Onesimus. This is significant because many Christians believe that wives are called to obey their husbands. Though some complementarians use the term "submission," they are often actually talking about one-way obedience. Paul and Philemon are both men, but their relationship paints a picture of how obedience should play out between adults. By studying how Paul uses hypakouo, we can gain a greater understanding of the biblical usage of the term, thus shedding light on how submission or obedience should look in a marriage.   It's important to n... Read more
For all the women who are both impossibly strong and deeply human. I’ve been a strong woman for a long time now. Many of you know what that means. We think that to be strong women, we must pour out endlessly, we must spend of ourselves, sometimes until nothing is left. But many of us continue to do so, long past when our reserves have run dry, because we think we have something to prove. Because we don’t see that our strength is in our skin and not our armor, in our love and not our fear. I used to wear armor. The cracks never showed, but they were there. In my early years as a Christian feminist, I wore my armor like a second skin. I inspected it for chinks every day, for any weaknesses or flaws. I kept it shiny, hard, and impenetrable, because it was what I thought I need... Read more

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