Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. —Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
It was 12:45 a.m. and I was sending my dad an email after my university’s team got hammered by 32 points on a Saturday night. I was a student manager. Our season was looking bleak, everyone was doubting the process, and no one wanted to practice at 8:00 a.m. The email read like this:
Dad, we got crushed tonight. We were overmatched and our execution was awful. We just got back to the arena and our guys are exhausted. Coach has scheduled practice for 8:00 a.m. tomorrow, Dad! What is he thinking?!
My dad’s reply:
I am sure Coach has a reason for what he is doing. He’s teaching them how to win and sometimes that’s a hard thing to do. Teams who have never won before don’t understand that it takes effort, day in and day out, to build a championship team. Coach knows what he’s doing.
During this toughest part of the season that my dad’s words and the team’s experiences taught me some valuable lessons that I apply to my marriage today, lessons that are taken directly from the pages of Scripture.
STAY COMMITTED TO THE PROCESS BECAUSE HEALTHY MARRIAGES REQUIRE DAY-IN-AND-DAY-OUT EFFORT.
Galatians says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” When marriages fall upon hard times, couples can be tempted to give up. The first big marital fight, the first holiday visit to the in-laws, the miscarriage, and any other number of life challenges can cause any marriage, but especially a young marriage, to crack. Work to know the triggers of marital stress in your relationship. Yet, it’s during these difficult moments that couples must stay committed, or covenanted, to one another. And often, that commitment doesn’t look sexy or feel wonderful. Practicing at 8:00 a.m. after a game the night before never felt sexy, nor did workouts at 5:00 a.m. Commitment often feels the exact opposite of sexy and wonderful; it is often a practical and devoted decision when you feel nothing.
Commitment often feels the exact opposite of sexy and wonderful; it is often a practical and devoted decision when you feel nothing.
COMMITMENT TO EACH OTHER WILL PRODUCE MARITAL GROWTH.
Galatians also says, “for, at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Commitment during a hopeless moment is often the seed that will produce marital growth. The formula for successful teams is the same for a successful marriage: commitment through difficult times produces resiliency which results in a stronger marriage. I have seen too many couples squander the pain of a difficult season instead of using that pain to grow closer to each other and to God. If you find yourself in a difficult season of marriage, lean into the pain, and allow God to use that pain to grow your marriage. A simple question you can ask God during a difficult marital season is, “God, what are you trying to teach me or teach us during this season?”
The formula for successful teams is the same for a successful marriage, commitment through difficult times produces resiliency which results in a stronger marriage.
SOMETIMES MARRIAGE REQUIRES A 12:45 A.M. CONVERSATION.
Ephesians 4:26 says, “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.” It does not say to resolve every problem before going to sleep. However, there are times during a difficult season in marriage when you will find yourself up late into the night trying to resolve a conflict or work through a challenge. Couples can choose to see these times as burdens or they can embrace the eccentric nature of such conversations, lean into the conversation, and find themselves connecting on a different level. Please note: if you find yourself growing too exhausted to engage in respectful conversation, pause the conversation and commit to re-engaging in the morning with fresher minds and hearts.
The same team I was concerned about ended up winning three straight NCAA conference championships because they stayed committed to the process of improving and grew as a result of that commitment. I pray the same is true for your marriage. Your marriage will most likely never be given a literal championship trophy for being healthy or for staying committed during the sometimes mundane day-in-and-day-out work of marriage. But holding hands at the age of 80 while celebrating a lifetime of commitment and devotion to one another is greater than any championship any sport can offer. (Article was originally published at startmarriageright.com.)
I always try to emphasize one thing to a bride as her wedding day approaches. “It’s your wedding. It’s your celebration. It’s your day. You and your groom deserve the fairy tale; your fairy tale. So, when it comes to your wedding, don’t be shy about being honest with your dreams and hopes. It’s your day, so make it happen.”
I tell brides this because of a dynamic I’ve witnessed at too many rehearsals: a bride’s mom hijacks her daughter’s wedding and makes the wedding about her desires, her expectations, and her dreams. As this dynamic has played out time and again, I’ve seen many brides torn. They desire to speak up and express their own wishes, but out of respect, due to fear, or from a place of sheer defeat, the bride stays quiet. A little part of her dies inside because she realizes that it’s not her fairy tale day after all. It’s her moms.
There’s a deeper, much more meaningful process taking place in those moments when the bride is wrestling with whether or not she should express her desires to her mother. The process is one of spiritual formation where the bride has to decide, “Do I be honest with how I feel or do I simply bury my feelings?”
Jesus said in Matthew 18:15, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you.” If a bride’s mother is being selfish, then the bride must do the difficult work of confronting her mother about her selfish behavior; selfish behavior that is hijacking her fairy tale.
Such confrontation is extremely tough to do. But, it is important to point out that Jesus didn’t promote the burying of our feelings nor did he promote the sugar coating of our feelings. In that moment of decision, the bride is making a choice to live a life of honesty and congruence. She is deciding that she is worth speaking up for and that she cares about herself enough to do so. Yes, a bride must respect her mother, but if that bride is going to practice loving others as she loves herself, she must decide that she will advocate for herself or else she will always struggle to advocate for others like her husband and children. If the bride is going to model honesty and speaking the truth, the bride will hopefully decide to speak up. Otherwise, her relationship with her mom will always be one of false honesty where she pretends she is happy with her relationship. In essence, the bride will be living a relational lie with her mom.
In my sixteen years of ministry, I have learned that the earlier a couple can develop the characteristic of honesty with their respective parents, the greater the likelihood each set of parents will respect the marital boundaries of the newlywed couple
What if you’re the groom in moments like these? First, I encourage a groom to also be honest about their desires around the wedding, but to ultimately submit to their wife’s wishes. Allow Cinderella or Tiana to have their fairy tale! Secondly, I encourage the groom to be a voice of encouragement for their conflicted bride, but to not rescue her. The groom needs to empower his bride to be honest about her dreams and desires around the wedding. Son-in-laws-to-be benefit from encouraging daughter-mother dialogue instead of triangulating themselves into such conflict. Finally, pray that your bride will find the strength to be honest and advocate for herself.
Brides, it’s your fairy tale day. Moms, it is not your fairy tale day. Brides, be honest about what you want and may the celebration go well!!! (Article originally published at startmarriageright.com)
What Is Healthy Marriage, Healthy Family?
Healthy Marriage, Healthy Family is a marriage enrichment course that was created for the purpose of helping couples strengthen their marriages in a safe and fun environment. The core belief of the course is that healthy families are built upon healthy marriages.
Who Should Attend?
Any couple, from engagement to 75 years of marriage, will most likely benefit from this course. Couples with healthy marriages can use this course to strengthen their marriages. Couples whose marriages feel “stuck” might find this course to be a positive way to jump start marital growth and connection.
Do I Have to Be a Christian or Part of a Church to Attend?
Not at all. However, anyone taking Healthy Marriage, Healthy Family should understand that the class is built upon Biblical principles. The Christian faith and Biblical principles will be discussed often, but the purpose of this class is to not convert you. It is to help your marriage grow stronger.
I’m Afraid Someone Might Think My Marriage is Bad If I Show Up
The above fear is normal, but please know that this course is a marriage enrichment course. The primary purpose of this course is to improve a marriage, not fix a broken marriage.
Can this Course Heal My Broken Marriage?
A couple whose marriage is struggling will benefit from this course, but will most likely need additional counseling or therapy to address deeper causes of martial discord. If your marriage is in a difficult place, you are encouraged to attend and see this course as a first step towards healing.
Does My Spouse Have to Be Present in Order for Me to Attend?
Spouses are encouraged to attend together, but it is not required. The course has had many attendees before whose spouse could not attend due to work or other personal reasons.
Is the Course Offered Online?
As Healthy Marriage, Healthy Family is slowly developed into a (hopefully) published curriculum, the course will be offered online, at times, through Facebook Live. The next session of the course, mentioned below, will be offered online (technology permitting). Check out Dr. Paul's Facebook page, Rev. Dr. Paul Gibson, to watch live.
How Long is the Course?
The course consists of 7 sessions that will last approximately 90 minutes each. (The current Healthy Marriage, Healthy Family course will start Sunday night, January 14th and will meet each Sunday night until the end of February.)
Is There a Cost?
No cost. Healthy Marriage, Healthy Family is a ministry of Hardinsburg Baptist Church. CHILDCARE WILL BE PROVIDED for those taking the class onsite.
Who Will Teach the Course?
The course was created and will be taught by Rev. Dr. Paul Gibson. Paul holds a Doctorate in Marriage and Family Counseling, is a regular contributor to Start Marriage Right at http://www.startmarriageright.com/author/paul-gibson/, and is currently working on publishing the course as a marriage curriculum.
Do I Have to Register to Attend? How Do I Register?
No registration is required, but it is encouraged. Go to www.paulbgibson.com (desktop) to register.
I am excited to announce that I'll be leading a second Healthy Marriage/Healthy Family Course starting Sunday night, January 14th at 5:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. The course is completely open to anyone in the Breckinridge County community. The course will meet every Sunday night through the end of February at Hardinsburg Baptist Church. There is also a possibility that this course will be offered online through Facebook Live and ITunes.
Healthy Marriage/Healthy Family is for any couple engaged to their 75th wedding anniversary who desires a healthier, happier, and holier marriage. You will laugh much, cry a little, and grow a lot.
If you want to know more information, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can sign-up for the class by using the form located on the right of this page (Desktop).
I was 23 years old, married for a year, and just received an offer to coach high school basketball. I was already attending seminary part-time and had started a career as a pastor. My wife, Tara, was scheduled to start traveling for medical internships within the month. Over the next four months, she would be gone throughout the week and return home over the weekends. I was entertaining the coaching offer because I was hoping to use coaching as an extension of a career in ministry.
I met with our senior pastor to seek his approval and wisdom regarding the offer. His words still haunt me to this day. With my pastor sitting right across from me, he gently looked up, and with concern on his face, said “Paul, I’m afraid you’re going to be doing too much.”
I’m afraid you’re going to be doing too much…
If only I would have listened. I accepted the coaching offer. Six months later, our marriage was showing fractures. I had grown distant from Tara. What had happened?
COMPLICATING THE HARD WORK OF MARRIAGE
Marriage is hard work. A lot harder than I expected. Basketball started to dominate my focus and Tara started her internships. I found myself too physically and emotionally exhausted to talk with Tara every night on the phone. Our conversations became short and I grew snippy. When she would return home for the weekend, I often had practice to attend. When we were together, I was a zombie whether we were sitting on the coach or watching movies. We were not connecting. The physical distance of internships and the emotional distance caused by my commitment to basketball and my career made the hard work of marriage even harder.
The physical distance of internships and the emotional distance caused by my commitment to basketball and my career made the hard work of marriage even harder.
Lack of time together and the result of not connecting led to an unhealthy marriage. It took two years of counseling to recover. I wish I could go back to that office and sit in the on the meeting between my younger self and my pastor. The more mature, wounded me would refuse to allow my younger self to leave until he had made the decision to not accept the coaching offer. I still cringe when I think of the heartache we experienced as a couple.
LAYING ASIDE YOUR ARMOR
The words of Deuteronomy 24:5 contain great wisdom. “If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married” (NIV). Focusing on marriage and not battle was an Old Testament warriors’ sole responsibility for a whole year!
Currently, if a young pastor or any young professional asks me about accepting an additional employment role in the early years of marriage, I try to put the fear of the Lord in them. I strongly tell them “You’re going to be doing too much and you’re going to hurt your marriage. Lay aside your metaphorical armor and focus on your marriage first.” Such focus is especially important when marriages start off with additional challenges like school internships, graduate school processes, young children, and medical or mental illness. Challenges like these require an even greater focus and commitment to help an early marriage stay healthy and holy.
If you find yourself at the beginning stages of marriage and facing an additional job offer, wrestling with going back to school, or accepting a position that requires even more time away from your spouse, please think long and hard. Do whatever is necessary to lay aside, or not pick up, your metaphorical armor. Work on “bringing happiness” to your spouse by focusing on them as much as possible. A young marriage that focuses on time together and connection lays the foundation for an even healthier marriage in the years to follow. There will be plenty of time later to pick up “your armor.” (This article was first published at startmarriageright.com)
“Fear is the path to the darkside. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” -Master Yoda
If you read my biography, you discover pretty quickly that I am a big Star Wars fan! Why? I’ve thought often about this question and I can think of three answers. First, Star Wars connects me to my childhood. Secondly, Star Wars does a wonderful job showing that good is not achieved without struggle. Lastly, Star Wars provides heroes in an age when our society is confused about who is good and who is bad. (I digress.) As the opening of Stars Wars: The Last Jedi nears, I desire to share a few lessons about marriage that a couple can possibly gleam from Stars Wars (and Holy Scripture, of course).
An Ancient (True) Tale
A powerful scene takes place in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Characters Rey and Finn are introduced to Han Solo and Chewbacca on the Millennium Falcon. As Han Solo prepares to ditch Rey and Finn, they inform Han that they are on a mission to return BB-8 to the Resistance because BB-8 holds a map to Jedi Luke Skywalker. After hearing their mission and no-doubt being stirred by memories of his past, Han Solo tells Rey, "It is true. All of it. The Force. The Jedi. It's all true."
Up to that point, Rey and Finn had been wrestling the meaning of the map, Luke Skywalker, and their journey to return the map to the Resistance. Han Solo's words begin the process of helping Rey and Finn understand that their journey was part of a ancient tale that was still being written; a tale of good vs evil, light vs dark, the good guys vs the bad guys.
A similar scene takes place in Acts 2. After the Holy Spirit falls upon the first church, many are left asking, "What does this mean?" Peter responds with a passionate testimony that ends with these words, "Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah." In essence, Peter could have responded, "It is true. All of it. Jesus' life. His death. His resurrection. It's all true."
I believe all married couples are like Rey and Finn; they must wrestle with the truth that they’re part of an ancient tale that is still being written; a tale of good vs evil, but more specifically of eternal life versus eternal death, of the Messiah versus The Accuser. Marriages shaped by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ purposely work to identify ways their marriages can share the Light of the Gospel. Such sharing could be through volunteering at a church, caring for a young college student, or even adopting a child or being foster parents. Regardless of the “how,” Christ-like marriages recognize they are part of an ancient tale that implores them to share the Light of Christ to a dark world. Don’t coast through marriage! Identify ways your marriage can make a tangible difference for the Light Side of Christ.
What If Your Marriage Turns to the Dark Side?
“Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” -Master Yoda
I believe Yoda was partly correct. Marriages that have symptoms of fear, anger, and hate are on the path to the marital Dark Side. However, I would slightly amend Yoda’s wise words to say that “fear leads to anxiety, anxiety leads to mistrust, and mistrust leads to an inability to connect, and not connecting leads to the Dark Side.” Proverbs says, “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life” and Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” How’s your heart regarding your marriage? Is it full of fear, anger, or hate? Are you anxious in your marriage, not feeling accepted or loved? Do you trust your spouse? Do you feel as if you and your spouse are miles apart relationally?
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, it’s time to get help. And, help might not be an Old Jedi Warrior on Dagobah, but it very well could be a marriage therapist or pastoral counselor or even an older, wiser couple to seek out for help and wisdom. Please don’t allow your marriage to be seduced by the Dark Side because you and your spouse are too stubborn to reach out for help. The fate of the galaxy is in your hands! We all need an Obi Wan Kenobi, a Yoda, or Leia Organa Solo (metaphorically speaking) to help our marriages when we are seduced by fear, anger, hate, mistrust, and disconnection.
Again, our marriages are part of a much larger, ancient tale that is still being written. As you navigate the light and dark, may the force, er, I mean may the Grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, and the love of the Father be with you!
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? (Isaiah 43:19)
In life, and in the life of a church, I think people often assume that if we are attempting something “new,” we are forgetting about the old. This line of thinking often misses the truth of many a “new” situation; the new can only exist because it is being built upon a solid foundation established by the “old.” In other words, “new” would not be possible if the “old” had not prepared the way for the “new.”
We see such a connection between the old and the new in Scripture. Jesus’ completion of the New Covenant was possible because the Old Covenant first served as a shadow and copy of “better” things to come. As many have been learning in the class on Hebrews, the Old Covenant wasn’t bad, it simply was incomplete, unable to truly bring about redemption for the people. Thus, God enacted a new plan with a better high priest and sacrifice through Jesus Christ.
I have heard a few in our community and even our church grumble with frustration that HBC is doing away with the “good old Living Christmas Tree.” I write the two paragraphs above to show that what HBC is doing with what was formerly called “The Living Christmas Tree” is building upon its GREAT foundation to create a new worship experience that will honor what the Living Christmas Tree was about, telling the story of Christ’s birth. Matter of fact, many of the same elements from past Living Christmas Trees will still be present; a community choir, multiple means of instrumentation, and congregational participation.
Yes, this year’s Christmas Worship Service will be in many ways something “new.” But, I encourage all of us to know that whatever “new” we are doing is built upon the wonderful foundation of what was “old,” a Living Christmas Tree experience that for many years stirred our community. I pray that we as a church and community can trust that God is doing a new thing, built upon the old, with our Christmas Worship Service. And, I believe that when the weekend of December 9th and 10th is over, all will walk away feeling as if they worshipped the birth of “our newborn king.” Save the date. The new, built upon the old, will uplift us all!
27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 2 Corinthians 11:27-28 (NIV)
I wish someone would have prepared my marriage for the daily difficulties of pastoral ministry. I remember being in seminary thinking that my future ministry and marriage would look like a Norman Rockwell painting; warm, full of beautiful colors, and fulfilling. At the center of that metaphorical painting would be a small little home representing a peaceful, Jesus-centered marriage.
After almost sixteen years in pastoral ministry, I can confidently say that I do not believe Normal Rockwell ever painted Paul’s words from 2 Corinthians 11. Such a painting would not be colorful and warm. It would be cold, harsh, and heavy because Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 11 describe ministry with words like labor, toil, hunger, thirst, cold, naked, and pressure. Pastoral ministry can be a constant kick in the teeth. And, that’s just describing the pastor’s plight. Somewhere behind the pastor, in the background and carrying their own burden, is the pastor’s spouse.
If a pastor feels the heaviness of pastoral ministry, so does their spouse. If a pastor is sad and burdened for a church, the pastor’s spouse sees that heartache and grieves in their own way. If a pastor is trashed and humiliated by disgruntled church members, the words and snide remarks not only hurt the pastor, they deeply cut the pastor’s spouse. If a pastor feels overwhelmed from the burdens of their church to the point of burnout, the pastor’s spouse must wrestle with what it means to have a spouse who comes home every night without the emotional energy to engage.
Please hear me if you are a young minister considering marriage; pastoral ministry is not a Norman Rockwell painting. Pastoral ministry will test the very bonds of your covenant marriage many, many times. When you as a pastor feel burdened, know that your spouse is feeling the same burden, sometimes in heavier ways. When you are emotionally exhausted at the end of the day and have nothing left to give to your spouse, know that they are often left feeling lonely. When you as a pastor “face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches,” know that you will often be tempted to not care for the one person for whom you should care the most; your beautiful, strong, loving, and caring sacrificial spouse.
So, if you are a pastor entering marriage and ministry, know that Paul’s words from 2 Corinthians are just as meaningful and weighty to your spouse as they are to you. Do whatever is necessary to start your pastoral ministry at home. If you feel as if you have been neglecting your spouse, move heaven and earth to re-establish a healthy Biblical rhythm of life that allows you to put your marriage first. After all, pastoral marriage and ministry may not produce a Norman Rockwell painting, but a healthy marriage could possibly be the most powerful testimony of a successful ministry. So, love and care for your spouse and, in the process, paint well.
Whether it be physical health or mental health, I encourage my family, friends, and co-workers to always, ALWAYS, go in for a check-up at least once a year. Most often, the best health care is preventive health care.
I believe the same is true regarding the health of a church; preventive health care is the best healthcare. So, just like taking a blood count and a blood pressure reading at a medical check-up, I would like for us to take a mid-year reading of some of our metrics and ask, “What do the numbers mean about the health of our church?
Sunday School Attendance
Diagnosis: We are moving closer to the goal of 115 in Bible Study established at the beginning of the year, but there’s still work to do
Wednesday Bible Study Attendance (HBC Kids, HBC Youth, & Adults)
Diagnosis: With Wednesday Night Bible Study figured in, HBC is very close to reaching the goal of 115 people in Bible Study
Diagnosis: Worship attendance has grown, but next steps must be established to help attendees engage in Bible study & service
Diagnosis: We celebrate HBC’s new members and pray that they continually invest in HBC’s 5 Values
Diagnosis: I would love to see this number increase as more people accept Christ
What do all the above measurements mean? It means that God is doing a good work in our congregation, but that there is still work left to do. As we start the second half of 2017, I pray that we see Bible Study numbers grow along with the numbers of those investing in relationships at HBC. You’ll be hearing more from me shortly regarding Bible Study. Until then, please continue to pray for our church.
Love God. Love Neighbor. Love Self.
Ever heard the phrase, "It's like putting an alcoholic in a bar?" I found myself sharing those words a few months ago when a mentor asked me what my experience has been like as a senior pastor. I said, "It's like putting an alcoholic in a bar." He looked at me in a caring, confused, and curious way. I responded to his curious look with these words...
"I struggle with anxiety. And, I was unprepared for just how difficult, challenging, and anxiety-inducing pastoral work can be."
"Anxiety-inducing pastoral work."
Hi. My name is Paul and I struggle with anxiety.
Being a pastor who struggles with an anxiety disorder is like being an alcoholic in a bar. Why? Because, the temptation to drink for an alcoholic is similar to the temptation of a pastor to allow others' anxieties to trigger their own anxiety. Pastoring is anxiety-inducing work. In any given week, a pastor could be called on to do deal with the following anxieties which other people express...
I wish, I beg, I plead often with God that he would take away my anxiety. Walking the floor at 2 o'clock in the morning because I cannot sleep, having a tight chest and fearing I am having a heart attack, wanting my mind to slow down but cannot get it to do so, have all led to times where I have cried out to God in a very raw, angry, sad, and vulnerable way. "God, I cannot do this...".
I feel like a slave sometimes to anxiety, like it owns me. I am controlled by it. I hate it. I hate feeling like I cannot escape it. I feel so overwhelmed and helpless. The anxiety may not kill me now, but I wonder if it will kill me later.
In a weird twisted way, I sometimes see anxiety as a gift. A gift that causes me to not only read the words of 2 Corinthians 12, but to actually digest and mediate upon and wrestle with the deeply hopeful words of Christ, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." When I am up at 2 o'clock in the morning pacing the floor, when I find my mind and heart racing, when I cry out to God in mental pain, I realize that I am a very, very weak individual. And then, I cling to God's promise, "My power is made perfect in weakness."
"My power is made perfect in your anxiety."
To quote St. Paul, "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." Anxiety sucks. I mean it really really sucks. But, if it causes me to be more dependent upon Jesus Christ, then I see it not only as a burden, but as a gift.
The above words are not some pie-in-the-sky theology or philosophy. Again, I often find myself most angry at and sad towards God when I am experiencing an anxiety attack. But, from the depth of my being, the above words are true. I have a richer, strong, and more honest prayer life because of my anxiety.
Back to the bar analogy...I think churches often forget that their pastors are human beings who struggle with their own struggles. And if your pastor struggles with anxiety, please see them as human and ask yourself, "Does my pastor really need to know this today?" Every time a church member walks up to a pastor and casts their anxiety upon him or her, that church member is doing two things; not casting their anxiety upon Christ and metaphorically giving their anxious-ridden pastor an anxious drink. If your pastor politely turns and walks away, don't be offended. We encourage alcoholics who walk away from bars. Let's encourage anxious-ridden pastors who walk away from anxiety.
“Cast all your anxiety on him (God) because he cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)
Paul is the husband to Tara, father to Natalie and Isaac, has an average jump shot, and enjoys running. His secret wish is to one day become a Jedi Knight. Paul holds a doctorate in marriage and family counseling from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and currently serves as senior pastor of Hardinsburg Baptist Church. Paul desires to help young couples navigate the early crucibles of marriage, especially when one or both of the spouses are engaged in vocational ministry.