Category Archives: Marriage

Time to Prepare

Jim and I were privileged to attend an annual holiday dinner for those over 65 years of age where our son preaches. We enjoyed the visit with those people so much. The food was delicious and the talent show that followed the dinner was so much fun.

One of their older members led the prayer before dinner and I appreciated all that he said in that prayer, but one statement really caused me to begin to think. He thanked God that He has given us time to prepare for eternity.

I’ve spent some time pondering on that and I began to wonder if I fully realize that whatever time I spend here on this earth is the time I have to prepare for eternity. Do I just let one day flow into the next day without a real purpose in mind? Do I fritter away time that could be spent doing something that helped prepare me for eternity? Do I recognize the blessing of time to prepare? Do I really understand that for which I am preparing, or is living here on earth all that is important to me?

Here are some thoughts for your consideration:

  • As a wife/husband am I spending time in God’s word studying what He wants me to be in that role? You see, God in His wisdom gave us guidelines all throughout His word concerning the role of wife/husband. A simple study of Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 would not only help with our home life but also teach us that the husband-wife relationship is a picture of what the church should be like. Since those who live faithfully in the church will be in heaven one day, I need to prepare by being the kind of wife/husband I need to be.
  • As a young Christian person, am I focusing on God’s command to obey my parents? Many today show no respect for parents (and many parents neither demand nor deserve respect), but God’s word is clear concerning this (Eph. 6:1; Col. 3:20). When you make that decision to put Christ on in baptism, you need to begin preparing for eternity by being obedient to your parents.
  • As an employee, am I preparing for eternity by giving an honest day’s work for a day’s pay or am I simply being a people pleaser (Col. 3:22)? So many today work from their homes, and it would certainly be tempting to just do the minimum and then relax the rest of the day. When you travel for work, do you put in your time and fulfill your full obligation, or cut back just a bit because you are away from home?
  • As members of the body of Christ, are we preparing for eternity by the example we set – in our Bible study, attendance, benevolence, lifestyle, dress, language, entertainment, etc.? Do we just fit in here with the world because that is where we are now, so we’ll live like everyone else around us (2 Cor. 6:14-18)?

I’m praying you’ll add to this list those things which apply specifically to your walk of life.  Isn’t it time for all of us to focus less on the here and now, and more on our eternal home?

“In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also”  (John 14:2-3 ESV).

Are you preparing for eternity while blessed with the time to do it?

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AUTHOR: Donna Faughn

How Titus 2 Will Transform a Church (and Save a Bundle of Money in the Process)

Families are struggling. Even in the church, families are going through rough times. We can act like it isn’t happening, or we can face it head-on.

While there is nothing wrong with this approach, for many congregations the default response is to hire someone. “Let’s get a younger preacher who can relate to these families.” (Never mind the fact that, since he’s young, he’s probably struggling, too!) “Let’s add a family minister to our staff.” “We need to add a counseling center.”

Trust me, none of these are necessarily bad things, and in many cases, they can provide a great help to a congregation.

But in our rush to think of staffing as the solution, are we forgetting a Biblical (oh, and far less expensive) method? It’s found right in the middle of the book of Titus, and it might just transform a congregation.

Interestingly, chapter 2 begins by introducing us to the phrase “sound doctrine” (which just means “healthy teaching”). Typically, when we think of “sound doctrine,” we think of issues like the plan of salvation or pure worship. Those things are true, but what is interesting is this: that’s not the subject under consideration in Titus 2. What is? What is the “sound doctrine” Titus is supposed to preach and hold to? The relationship between older Christians and younger Christians!

For example:

Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in the faith, in love, and in steadfastness. (Titus 2:2)

Don’t you think there might be some younger men who would see that type of example and understand what it means to be a godly Christian man? What if these older men were willing to teach some classes or even just take a younger man under their wings and show them what it means to walk in the faith?

What about our Christian ladies? Paul had that covered as well, and it didn’t take bringing on another staff member:

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (verses 3-5)

It’s simply about living the right way and being willing to pour that into the next generation.

Here’s what I often see as a problem, though. Younger men and women (and I’ll let you decide what is “younger” and “older”) have some issue and, instead of the church asking a wise older person to teach or help, they simply go to their peers for advice or (more often) validation.

Of course, we need peers as friends. They can provide a sounding board and a place where we can know we are not alone.

But God’s Book says the older ones are to be teaching the younger ones how to do things in this life God’s way!

Older Christians, that means it is time for you to step up to the plate and do what God has commanded you to do! Instead of seeing an issue and helping to pay for another staff member, you roll up your sleeves and help that struggling dad or that hurting mother! You show them what God’s Word says and you share your immense wisdom with them.

But younger Christians, that also means you have to swallow your pride, not think you or your generation has it all figured out, and actually listen to the wisdom of these wonderful saints! Instead of trying to seek out a hired hand who is more “relevant” and in the same boat, why not listen to someone who has been there and still carries himself or herself with Christian grace?

You want to transform a church and help your families? I’ll take God’s plan any day of the week!

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AUTHOR: Adam Faughn

Are You the Victim of a One-Way Relationship?

Over twenty years of counseling has brought some valuable insights to my ministry. One of those insights is that those who are struggling with their loved ones often feel as if they are in a one-way relationship. I’m not just speaking here of husbands and wives. I’m talking about all relationships: dating couples, parent-to-child and child-to-parent, sibling-to-sibling and friend-to-friend.

People get hurt when they are constantly giving and not receiving. They feel unloved and unappreciated. They often come to the conclusion that their love is unrequited and that the other person in this relationship doesn’t really know who they are or what they truly care about. This all translates to one terrible reality – although there is a relationship, they feel completely alone!

How does a person get themselves into the one-way relationship mess? Sometimes it is just a matter of choosing. We may be so desirous of being close to another person that we set all boundaries aside and go all in with our devotion even if the other person hasn’t chosen to be so dedicated. We may want more from the relationship than the other person wants, and we may convince ourselves that this other person loves us as much as we love them. It may be that we are born into situations where there is some dysfunction already occurring in our families with regard to equality and appreciation in interpersonal relationships. Thus we become a victim of patterned behavior that was in place even before we came into existence.

How do we change the tide in a one-way relationship? Well, what do you do when you are going the wrong direction down a one-way street? You back up and assess the safety of your current direction. All relationships take two people to exist. You cannot control the activity or the choices of the other person. If your relationship is in trouble, there are probably some things that you are doing that are contributing to its unhealthy status. Here are a few things you might want to try in order to improve your situation:

1. Don’t allow yourself to be treated disrespectfully. Proverbs 22:10 says, “Cast out the scoffer, and contention will leave.” It is one thing to be patient and endure persecution. It is another thing to allow yourself to be trampled on by someone who is supposed to love you. Take the Father’s example: God loves us but he also demands our respect and admiration.

2. Don’t be so available. “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine…” (Matt. 7:6). There is a point at which it is unhealthy to continue to extend oneself far beyond the genuine interest or desire of someone else. Even Christ walked away from giving energy to the people who did not appreciate his efforts of love and compassion.

3. Don’t become dependent. “Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass” (Psa. 37:5). This biggest mistake people make in their search for happiness is seeking to derive it from someone else. People hold on to relationships that are bad for them, hoping that things will pan out. But our clinging post is Christ and Christ alone. He is the one on whom we should and can always depend. Our joy must be derived in and through Him.

4. Don’t believe that constant fighting is normal. “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3). You may be in a relationship with a person who always wants to fight. Conflict may be how they seek to get their way. But putting away your weapons is a good idea. It takes two to have a disagreement. Peace will only be found by those who are dedicated to its discovery.

5. Increase the frequency of quality communication and conversation. When Paul and Barnabas were seeking to establish and strengthen the church in Antioch, it says, “They stayed there a long time with the disciples” (Acts 14:28). The two most important ingredients in a relationship are time and communication. There must be time for listening if we want to be heard. There must be time for talking if we want to communicate.

6. Create appropriate boundaries until trust is gained. “Keep your heart with all diligence…” (Prov. 4:23). Most people that are the victims of one-way relationships have never taken enough time for the other person to earn what they are willing to give. There is a reason God instructed us to marry before we give our whole selves up. We are supposed to save the most intimate part of ourselves only for the person who is willing to make a full commitment to obtain it. There is a part of you that should be retained until the other person has earned your complete trust.

Now, just for a moment, think about your relationship with God. Don’t you imagine that, based on your past behavior, God must have often felt that he was the victim of a one-way relationship? And yet He is the one SAFE relationship. He never leaves. He never forsakes. He always loves. He always forgives. He always keeps His promises. He never disappoints. He is the only SURE and absolute relationship that we are guaranteed for all of our earthly lives as well as for eternity.

Perhaps His steadfastness will help us to patiently endure when we feel like we are not getting what we deserve from others. And perhaps in His dedication to us, we can be reminded that the one relationship we need to put the most energy into is the one he has offered through Christ Jesus. He must forever and always be the supreme love of our lives. He is the “one-way.” He is the only way.

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AUTHOR: Jeremiah Tatum

Episode 93: Our 2017 Thankful List [Podcast]

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With Thanksgiving coming next week, Adam, Leah, Mary Carol, and Turner all sit around and think about gratitude and things they are thankful for. We hope this encourages your family to do the same thing more often!

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Personal Get-Back Coach

I don’t know a great deal about the game of football. I can’t name great coaches of the past or even very many of the coaches of today. I don’t know exactly what the positions are called on the field or who plays what position. You’ll understand what I mean when I tell you that while talking with Adam on the phone a couple of years ago I told him that Vermont was playing that day. He delighted in telling me that “VT” stood for Virginia Tech – not Vermont.

I do, however, know enough about the game to know what is supposed to happen on the field. The object of the game is to get the football into the opposing team’s end zone. Jim and I enjoy watching some football on Saturday afternoons and he enjoys explaining some of the rules of the game. 

A few days ago, at half-time of the game we were watching, the sports commentators were showing some footage from other games that day. In one of those clips they showed a coach who was obviously angry and who had gotten out on the edge of the field. A man behind him pulled him back behind the sideline. The coach again, in his anger, went out onto the edge of the field, and once again the man behind him pulled him back. The coach’s response was to turn around and slap the hand of the man who was pulling him off the field.

At this point, my newest lesson about football began. Jim mentioned that he had heard that officials were trying to do a better job this season in keeping coaches off of the field. Therefore, the role of the get-back coach has increased importance. It is his responsibility to keep the coach off of the field! What a job! I wonder what the pay for that position is! I’ve seen some of those coaches!

While thinking about my new knowledge about the game, I began to think about something else. How many of us wish we had a personal get-back coach? Someone who would help us when we begin to enter a territory we shouldn’t be entering! We do, and they come in many forms.

In a good marriage relationship, husbands are the get-back coach for the wife and the wife is the get-back coach for the husband. You see, when you love someone you are constantly looking out for their welfare. If I see Jim getting into a situation that I think might put him in danger of any kind, I will pull him back as many times as it takes to keep him in safe territory. Ephesians 5:15 says, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise…” Paul goes on the say in verse 17, “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” And then in verse 21, “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” He says all of this before we ever get to the part about wives submitting to their husbands and husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church. Husbands and wives need to be the get-back coach for one another.

Parents need to function as the get-back coach for their children. God calls for us to teach our children diligently concerning His word, which should be their guide for life. Why, then, are so many parents more interested in allowing their children to be taught the things of this world? Why are they allowed to get as close to the edge of sin (and sometimes even enter into sin) and not be pulled back by the people who brought them into this world? “Fathers, do not provoke your children, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). When they are small, we pull them back from the edge of a road, or any other danger we see them near, but often as they begin to grow up, we think our job is to let them test the waters themselves. Parent, take seriously your job of get-back coach.

And finally, as brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to be the get-back coaches for one another. The apostle Paul said it so beautifully in Galatians 6:1-2, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” God understood the need for a get-back coach before we even knew what football was all about! 

Be grateful for God and His word. Be grateful for a husband/wife who helps you on your way to Heaven. Be grateful for parents who pull you back from those things which lead you away from Christ. Be grateful for brothers and sisters who love you too much to see you slip away from God. Be grateful for personal get-back coaches.

“My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back,

let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”  James 5:19-20

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AUTHOR: Donna Faughn

Episode 92: A Candid Conversation about Comparison and Perfectionism [Podcast]

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Being a parent is difficult, but being a parent in the social media age leads to all sorts of insecurities about not measuring up. On the podcast this week, Adam and Leah have an unscripted and open conversation about the struggle many feel with comparing to others and the drive for being good enough.


Why I’m No Homeschool Superstar” [Read Aloud Revival]

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Mature Marriage Issues: Dealing with the Death of a Spouse

It seems that we often feel uncomfortable talking about the effects of growing older. As a result, we don’t know how to make adequate preparation for that season of our lives. In my opinion, that is true whether we are discussing the effects of aging on ourselves or on our loved ones. 

Donna and/or I can speak from experience about the effects that aging can have on families. For about twenty years, we were trying to see to the needs of our parents as they grew older and as the aging process really took its toll on each of them (and us). For many of those years, we were doing that while we were not close to our parents geographically and while our children were still at home.

Now, as both of us are “creeping up on” seventy, we are beginning to realize some of the effects of aging on the individual who is actually going through that process. We still may not talk about it as often as we should, but we certainly talk about it more than has been the case earlier in our lives. 

A recent experience caused me to do some research that I might not have otherwise have done on this subject. I thought I would, in some way, share that experience with you. 

At this year’s Polishing the Pulpit, I was given an interesting assignment. The specific title/topic I was given was:

MATURE MARRIAGE ISSUES. Some churches may not be addressing two key areas regarding marriage: (1) Caregiving in marriage and (2) Preparing for life without a long-term mate. The best time to discuss these things is before we have to deal with them.

While doing some research for my presentation, I found material from various sources that I considered to be interesting and informative. I submitted material from three of those sources to those who organize Polishing the Pulpit. They were kind enough to make it available electronically. I also took with me some “hard copies” of those materials to distribute to those who attended the session. 

With the help of our son, who is the brains behind A Legacy of Faith, I am including those handouts here. In my opinion, each one is helpful in different – but practical – ways. 

It is my prayer that they are helpful to you.

[To View or Download These Resources as a PDF, click the picture below.]

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AUTHOR: Jim Faughn

“What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate”

Those of us of a certain age may remember that line from the movie Cool Hand Luke. I’m wondering, though, if it is not more than a memorable line from a movie. I’m wondering if a failure to communicate may be at the heart of many of the marital (and family) problems today.

A few years ago, I wrote a book about families entitled God Give Us Christian Homes. I chose the line from the movie as the title of this post as the title of one of the chapters in the book. 

One part of that chapter dealt with what I consider to be some barriers and/or roadblocks as we try to communicate with one another. What follows below is a sort of CliffsNotes version of that part of the chapter. Each of these is fleshed out more in the book, but, perhaps, this will give you an idea about what I see as some real problems in communication. Along with that, I’ve included from that chapter some suggestions I made that might help us to communicate better.

The barriers and/or roadblocks I wrote about were:


A real barrier to communication is erected when one person thinks he or she knows what the other person is thinking, what they are going to say before it is ever said, and/or their emotions. It is hard to tell somebody something when they’ve already decided for themselves what you have to say and have, in fact, already begun to work on a response.


The woman that Jesus met at the well in Samaria was a great dodgeball player. As you read the account of the conversation that Jesus had with her, it is easy to observe all of the efforts she made to change the subject and, in fact, to try to put Jesus on the defensive (cf. John 4).

Dodgeball is still being played and it is not confined to grade school physical education classes. Husbands, wives, parents, children, and all members of any family often try this tactic to keep from really engaging in conversation. 


You may have heard about the fellow who was complaining about his wife becoming historical every time there was a disagreement. His friend tried to correct him by saying, “Don’t you mean hysterical?” “No,” the man replied, “I mean historical. She brings up everything I’ve ever done wrong in the past!”

Communication will never be what it can be when one or more of the parties involved insist on being “historical.” The situation at the time is what needs to be dealt with. 


Most of us, especially in family situations, know what issues, words, and/or ideas to avoid. How many conversations have been destroyed because somebody refused to resist the temptation to light the fuse on a firecracker we know will go off?

“Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt…”  (Col. 4:6). This admonition leaves little room for something that we know will ignite a situation.


Sonny and Cher weren’t the only ones to use those words.  At least, they weren’t the only ones to have that idea. 

The blame game has destroyed many conversations and relationships and needs to be avoided.  This game has been around for a long time, hasn’t it?  In the garden, Adam blamed Eve (and God) and Eve blamed the serpent. 


The suggestions I presented that, hopefully, will help families to communicate better were:


Now that you know that I am a real math expert, let me explain what I mean by that. The thought is certainly not original with me that God gave us two ears and one mouth. Maybe He was trying to tell us something.

Far too many people think they are communicating only when they are talking. This is far from the truth. Good communication will involve listening as well; maybe a lot more listening than talking.

Repeatedly, during His earthly ministry, Jesus told the Jews, “You say…” (cf. Matt. 15:5, 16:2, etc.). To be sure, He was usually in the process of correcting some of their misunderstandings or misinterpretation of scripture. At the same time, though, He let them know He had been listening to what they had been saying.


In some meetings where votes are taken, the ayes have it. In communication, often the eyes have it.

Those who are experts in the field of communication inform us that we listen as much with our eyes as we do with our ears. Whether it is family members or others we are talking about, we need to look at them when they are speaking to us and when we are speaking to them.


“Let me be brutally honest.”   

That sentence usually precedes something that is very unpleasant. Hurt feelings, broken hearts, and/or broken relationships have been some of the results of somebody being “brutally honest.”

The Bible informs us that we are to be about “…speaking the truth in love…” (Eph. 4:15, emphasis added). How we say something can have as great an impact as what we say. 


Modern families eat on the run and often eat separately. If, on a rare evening, all of the family members find themselves at home, they might be found eating while watching television or fiddling with some electronic device.

There is a real need in our society to use the dinner table for something other than a nice piece of furniture to be admired. There is a need for the family to sit as a unit around the table with no distractions and share their days and their lives.

Some of the best memories I have of the house in which I was reared and, then later, of the houses in which our children were reared involve eating together. The food was always good, but one can get at least a decent meal at a lot of places.

What is memorable and now missed is that our children are no longer at home and my parents have passed away is the time we had as a family to share more than a meal. We got to share in each other’s lives.


So; there you have it. At least you have some of what I suggested in that chapter. Maybe you have some things you would add to these ideas.

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AUTHOR: Jim Faughn

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Episode 87: Polishing the Pulpit Preview, “Is Satan Stealing Our Families?” and More! [Podcast]

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On this week’s podcast, Adam and Leah talk about the beginning of the homeschool year. Then, they preview Polishing the Pulpit, both in general and some of the lessons they are presenting. Finally, they discuss a great article about how things that are not sinful can begin to eat away at our families and become idols. Resources below.


Polishing the Pulpit [Homepage]

Polishing the Pulpit Schedule [pdf]

Is Satan Stealing Our Families?” [Brie Gowen]

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Episode 85: Technology in Worship, Modesty for Kids, Marriage Myths…and More! [Podcast]

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On this week’s program, Adam and Leah take some time to discuss three very important subjects. What about kids have tech in worship? Why modesty for kids really matters? What are some common myths our culture tells us about marriage?

The links to these articles can be found below.


Children and Technology in Church” (PreachingHelp)

He Looked Down: A Powerful Lesson on Immodesty and Respect” (A Legacy of Faith)

5 Myths Our Culture Tells Us about Marriage” (Of the Hearth)

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