The Road Ahead

Welcome!

For me, this blog is flinging back the curtain for “Act Two”, after a six year intermission.  Thanks to kind encouragement and generous help from friends, I am thrilled to be writing again.

Six years later

A lot happens in six years.  When I look in the mirror, I’m not sure I’m loving all the outward changes of aging.  Thankfully, my marriage is stronger today than it was six years ago, and my amazing wife is still beautiful inside and out.  Six years have also launched my son and daughters into exciting new developmental stages and possibilities.

Outside my front door, however, six years have profoundly altered the social landscape.  Online etiquette has hit the streets.  People seem more anxious, volatile and polarised today than ever before.  Cast aside are self-control and civility — replaced by angry outbursts, false accusations and name calling.  Simple disagreements are labelled hate speech by some. It’s getting ugly out there.

To a biblical Christian or Conservative Jew, the overarching dichotomy is spiritual — an ongoing, organised and escalating battle between good and evil.  Every week, my heart is pierced by news stories of folks, created in God’s image, who are attempting to pull-to-pieces God’s beautiful design for the family, substituting counterfeit and unsustainable alternatives. Helpless newborn babies aren’t even safe anymore.

Woe to those who call evil good

    and good evil,

 who put darkness for light

    and light for darkness …

Isaiah 5:20

Some days I ask myself if we’ve hit bottom on depravity.  I mean, how many more hits can the family take?

Assaults on everything that is “true, honourable, just and pure” rightfully make me angry, and serve to pull me from the sidelines and back onto the field. Especially when our kids are targeted.

So, yes I’m thrilled to be writing again, but I’m also feeling compelled to write again. I know I can’t do a lot, but I can do something.

Around the next bend

So, what does the road ahead hold for readers?

If you had subscribed to my marriage and parenting articles between 2008 and 2014, you will find some of the more popular relationship articles scattered here in future.

As a counselor, I won’t be able to resist sharing my insights and observations on the exciting dynamics of marriage. My goal is to slowly strengthen yours.

I’ll also address ongoing social, moral and relationship issues.  No topic, regardless of how controversial, politicised or edgy will be out-of-bounds if it affects the family.  If it’s controversial, it’s relevant.  If faith collides with culture, it’s relevant.

Along with fresh articles, I’ll also be sprinkling in some past sermons.  Having had the good fortune to have fallen under the influence of Haddon Robinson at Gordon-Conwell, homiletics has long been a personal passion.  While reading words here with the eye that are meant for the ear isn’t an ideal situation, I’m hoping you’ll find the different genres engaging.

(Oh, and to my U.S. readers, please forgive my non-American spellings.)

An integrated life

I am convinced that leading an integrated life, rather than one that is compartmentalised, is how we were designed, and how we ought to live.

An integrated life squishes together all aspects of one’s humanity — to allow a biblical worldview and its resulting values to overflow and influence one’s family, one’s work, one’s government, one’s choice of friends, one’s community, and even where one shops.

An integrated life can’t be passive, and it can’t be contained, but these days it calls for courage.  By individuals — yes, but especially by the church.  (Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not sensing a lot of courage in the North American church today.)

Unfortunately, it’s not so pretty when we do that compartmentalising thing — keeping all of life’s elements in their own sealed containers for politically-correct reasons.

We go off to work or college and forget to pack our core values or courage.  Our kids in government schools are force-fed diversity curriculum that includes normalising aberrant sexuality, yet we take a pass on speaking out against what we know is wrong and unhealthy.  Out of tradition we vote for a candidate whose party platform is in glaring opposition to God’s Word and common sense.  I could go on and on.

Compartmentalised living muffles our voices, weakens our witness, and dishonours God.

Fighting for the family

Sandy Rios says, “Christians have become so bland, so passive, so non-confrontational. We’re not called to be nice.  We need to fight!”

I agree with Mrs. Rios.  Followers of Christ are commanded in scripture to remain faithful and engaged by staying the course and doing the right thing, regardless of consequences.  In Hebrew thought (repeatedly articulated by our Jewish Saviour), a belief is not a belief until it’s acted upon.  God has created and gifted us to act.

So, this blog is maybe just one teensy way I can do that — to act, to rejoin the fight for the family, to stand for truth in the midst of a crazed culture that seems to have no place left for truth.

Ultimately it’s about worshipping a holy God by honouring Him with our lives, and then following Him in obedience.

Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,

    who walks in his ways.

Psalm 128:1

I’m hoping my articles on marriage, family and relationships will get you fired up to think more deeply about your values, while inspiring you to live a more purposeful, integrated life.

I’m also hoping you will jump into the seat beside me, and join me in this exciting ride.  If you do, please fasten your seatbelt.  The road ahead is known to be rather bumpy in spots.

Blessings on your home,

Robert

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P.S: Next up this month: “Sustainable Marriage”

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