A word to husbands on Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day is one of those holidays that sneaks up on you. Well, at least it sneaks up on me. The winter is rich with holidays for the Darling Family: Angela and I were married the week before Thanksgiving, two of our four children have December birthdays, and my birthday is in late January. It gets busy and  . . . expensive. And I'm guessing I'm like most men. We do the Valentine's thing sort of reluctantly. It's a bit of an eye-rolling holiday. We feel we're getting hosed by Hallmark. Think about it: Mother's Day, Sweetest Day, Valentine's Day, Anniversary. I've even heard some (very unwise) husbands (who apparently have a regular cot in their garages) say they ignore it and just "love their wife the entire year." My advice is to . . . not do that. Don't do that at all. For one thing, your wife doesn't want to...

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Relationships and the Great Commission

This Sunday I preached from Romans 10, where Paul reminds us that we are the instruments God sovereignly uses to deliver the gospel news to the world. "How will they hear without a preacher" is motivation for every follower of Jesus to be that preacher. It doesn't necessarily mean  only pastors and missionaries do the preaching, but all Christians should in some sense, preach the word to the lost. We should do this winsomely, lovingly, and intentionally. This passage convicts me in a lot of ways. For starters, it presupposes that I actually care about those who don't know Jesus. In my daily life, how often is my heart broken for the brokeness of the world around me? Secondly, Paul's words also presuppose something else: that we are actually building relationships with people not like us so that we may be the bridge that leads them to Jesus. Much of our Christianity...

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Don’t Judge Me By My Worst Day

I was driving home the other day and flipped on the local sports radio station here in Chicago. I enjoy listening to sports talk--particularly ESPN 1000, WMVP. For the most part the talk is lively, there are good interviews, and the discussion is about something that takes my mind off of the other pressing and important things of the day. On this particular afternoon, the hosts were interviewing the Chicago Cubs' President of Baseball Operations, Theo Epstein. Now if you're a sports fan (and if you are not, I'll allow you time to repent right here), you'll know that Theo is the Great Hope of Cubs nation right now. We haven't won a title in over 100 years. We've had our hearts ripped asunder by near misses in the playoffs, particularly the unforgettable, trama-inducing 6-outs-away-from-the-World-Series game that featured Steve Bartman and the ball interference in 2003 against the Florida Marlins. We're...

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How Should Christians React to Hate?

It's no secret that the biblical sexual ethic, a beautiful monogamous relationship reserved for marriage between a man and a woman, has swiftly fallen out of favor in our culture. The recent declaration by Jason Collins, a veteran NBA center, has exposed the deep rifts in our society on the issue of homosexuality. While most of the world celebrated Collin's courage, ESPN NBA reporter, Chris Broussard, a committed evangelical Christian, had his own courage to say, into a stiff wind of opposition, that Collin's lifestyle choices conflict with the Christian faith. Nothing in this story should surprise us. Society has been moving this direction for some time now. But what caught me off guard, I guess, was the public shaming of the Christian position on marriage. I heard many, well-respected sports commentators, guys I've listened to and followed for many years, seemingly equate Christians like Broussard with bigots and with the...

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