On this day in 1898 the world was given C. S. Lewis. (We lost him 54 years ago exactly one week previous from today.) Every year in this November week spanning Lewis’s day of departure and day of birth, I think of him even more fondly than I normally do. Perhaps no writer looms as largely over my life—and the lives of so many others I know and admire—than that of Jack’s. I typically try to run some variation of a tribute to him, and so this year I’d like to list three things reading Lewis has taught me over the years.
The gospel offers something both shocking and hopeful to relationships. It reminds me of my own need for grace, a poverty I share with the person who has provoked me. This new vision empowers me to see others in a new light. When my wife sins, I stop using it as leverage to get my way. Rather, I offer forgiveness, knowing my capacity for sin is no smaller than hers. When my children disobey, I’m not surprised—only eager to correct them in love. When I read about a famous celebrity who can’t seem to make wise choices, I’m less likely to join the mocking chorus.
The Role of Women in Ministry
I loved watching this conversation with Jen Wilkin, Josh Patterson, and Matt Chandler about The Village Church’s position on the role of women in ministry. Very charitable and thoughtful.
I am thankful for the mothers at my church and all that I have learned from them. One thing I’ve learned is that women without children need relationships with those with children. As one who does not have children, I hope to equip moms to love those who are not moms. Here are three ways to love women, like me, without children in your church.
If we don’t want our homes held hostage by glowing rectangles, we can limit our time on devices, or we can do away with smartphones altogether. What king or queen has invaded your house and demanded you hand your fifth grader a smartphone? Mom and Dad, you are the authority in your castle. You are responsible for the culture you create. If a phone helps accomplish the vision of what you want your home to be, then have at it! If it doesn’t, toss it out. But don’t abdicate your kingdom and fall helplessly before the throne of Apple or Samsung.
As an elder or church leader, how should you understand your wife’s “clearance level”? Is there a baseline curiosity that mercy should satisfy? Does the one-flesh status of marriage grant full access to counseling details? Partial access? Or should there be an impenetrable firewall between our work at church and our wife at home?
Ray Ortlund shares wisdom from Francis Schaeffer.
A favorite from the archives:
“Intercessory prayer” is one of those terms we never (usually) use, but is something hopefully all of us practice. Every time we pray for someone else—when we bring the needs of another before the Lord, whether “serious” or “simple”, we are interceding on behalf of that person. We are praying for them. This, at the most basic level, is what intercessory prayer is.
And everyone said, duh.
Now, we get this (but we kind of don’t). Or maybe it’s just me. After all, the moment I feel the most conviction and conflict is when the following words come out of my mouth or from my keyboard: “I will pray for you.” Conviction because I know it matters, and I want to do it. Conflict because I know there’s a good chance I’ll fail to do it unless I am disciplined. (Surely I can’t be alone in this.)