• Leaving and Cleaving

    IMG_1148“A couple should live at least a hundred miles away from both sets of parents for at least the first year of marriage.” That’s what an older couple told us as we rode to church in the back seat of their car. We thought we were doing pretty well by that standard: it wasn’t quite our first year of marriage, but we were 3,000 miles away from all four parents.

    Leaving home in order to join together and form a new, separate identity as husband and wife is woven into the creation ordinance. Genesis 2:24 tells us that “a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife…” The New Testament repeats this mandate (Matt. 19:5). Getting married necessitates getting out of your parents’ home (in all but very rare circumstances) and creating a new, independent household. At least, it does according to biblical standards. Continue reading

  • Guest Book

    IMG_6601Some guests think that our guestbook is an odd tradition. They politely sign it, commenting that it “must be a British thing,” or some other remark that lets us know that this is weird for them. Others think it’s great, and flip back through the pages to see if they know anyone else, reading comments from previous guests.

    The guestbook is something we started years ago, and it has helped us be better hosts. Here are a few ways it has helped our hospitality—three reasons that you might want to start your own. Continue reading

  • Trusting Your Wise and Generous Father

    Petronia_xanthocollis_at_BharatpurIn the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches us about our heavenly Father. He describes the birds of the air, telling us that our heavenly Father feeds them, and aren’t we of more value than they are? In Matthew 6:32, after describing the pressures of our human need to obtain food, drink, and clothing, he reminds us that our heavenly Father knows that we need all these things. In Matthew 7:11, reflecting on prayer using the illustration of a child asking a father for food and receiving what is good, he says, “how much more will you Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Jesus tenderly and lovingly points us, and the crowds hearing him, to God the Father’s great care and love for his people. Continue reading

  • These Aren’t The Best Years of Your Life

    vacation A friend with a stroller was walking through town when an older woman stopped her to see the baby. After admiring her, the granny said, “These are the best years of your life; too bad you’re too tired to enjoy them!”

    Mothers with small children often hear this–at least the first part. We keenly feel the second part, wondering why the best years of our lives are so lacking in sleep. We try hard to enjoy the fleeting stages of childhood while fighting to go to the bathroom alone. If these are the best years of our lives, why don’t we feel like it? And if these are the best years, what on earth will it be like when they are teenagers? Continue reading