WHAT KIND OF UNSIDE DOWN, convoluted, world are we  presenting to the our youngest Americans, those pre-teens whose only knowledge of the world around them is one where everyone is masked, boys really are girls and vice versa, and at any moment their supposedly safe schools could be turned into a shooting gallery. 


This is a world where energy costs are soaring as political leftists declare war on fossil fuels, and government leaders, school officials, television personalities, and most adults in their lives encourage youngsters to “snitch” on their parents, siblings, friends, neighbors, and anyone else who they are told are bad people because they don’t get with “the program.”

While the above-named events are difficult even for adults to handle, at least those of us with some life experience are able to compare our current world with a not-too-distant past that was more benign and recognizable.

Our evil world is polluted with hatred, inflamed rhetoric, judgmental commentary, and pure evil intent. As Christians, we are called to a higher standard, but all too often, even those in the church that bears the name of Jesus fall into the world’s insidious trap. We need to pray and dedicate ourselves to setting a better example.

LoveAndGrace Christian Blog

The youngest among us are not so privileged. They have nothing safe, benign, and comfortable to compare this with, to see for themselves that what’s happening all around them isn’t right, isn’t normal, isn’t the way it should be.


 IMAGINE BEING A five-year-old girl and being told you could be a boy if you want to be, or a boy who’s encouraged to think of himself as a potential girl. Maybe you’re a mistake! Maybe you shouldn’t have the body your mind is housed in, but, instead, the body of your opposite sex sibling! 


What if you see nothing wrong with a man dressed up like a tawdry woman reading children’s stories to your classmates at the local library, or hearing your parents grumble and gripe over dinner because of the cost of gasoline, the shortage of baby formula, or the idiots — like their uncle and aunt — whose political views differ from theirs.

Recently, a Christian brother posted a FaceBook meme about voters in a state other than the one in which he lives who selected a political candidate in the primary election — not even the general election but the primary — by calling those voters “stupid.”

Seriously? They’re stupid because you don’t agree with them? And supposedly you’re a church leader, one who sings “Give Me Jesus” on Sunday but rails against his neighbors on Monday?

Is this not madness! 

What is a five-year-old to think?


THE BIBLE WARNS US that in the “latter days,” all sorts of evil and mayhem will flourish. Among the sin examples in one passage, along with murder, lying, and various sexual sins, is dishonoring one’s parents (Rom. 1:29-31).


That one seems so innocuous, like tossing litter into a condemnation of assault with a deadly weapon or sucker punching someone, yet it lies at the very base of our youngests’ world … the lack of respect for authority.

That lack of authority translates over to failing to adhere to teachers’ instructions, or that of police officers, or teachings at church, or advice from older — and wiser — siblings and family members.

Yet, when we look at the instruction they are given, too much of it — way too much of it — is disrespectful of life as God designed it, so the young are disrespecting the authority of those placed over them who, themselves, are disrespecting God’s order.

What a mess.


YES, THERE IS A WAY OUT. It starts with the Bible. Yes, the Bible! It is God’s Word, and He tells us how He designed us and how He expects us to live — how to think, how to speak, and how to act.


  •   Romans 12:21 (NKJV): “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
  • Ephesians 4:29 (NIV): “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

We’re not doing it. Those of us who claim the Lord as our Savior may well do a better job than the rest of the world, but the Bible clearly states we are in the minority, and we’ve still got sinful hearts. 

If Christ’s followers can’t get it right, what hope is there for those who reject Him and His design for our lives?

Who will speak into the lives of our children, to teach them there is a way out of the dark jungle of our current world and into the shining light of God’s new creation?

There are those who labor in the muck, striving gallantly to instill good morals in the young, only to be vilified for their effort. 

In today’s upside down world, they are considered “bigots” and “haters” because they, alone, stand true to God’s eternal and universal Word, not equivocating between good and evil as the moment suits.

The answer, of course, is to rely on Jesus Christ, who, the Bible reminds us, remains sovereign and will enjoy having *the final say* on human history. 


OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, we are ashamed at the mess we’ve made of the perfect world You created and gave to us to run. First, we disobeyed you in the Garden; then, we killed Your prophets and apostles, and even Your Son, Jesus Christ, and still we continue to rebel. Forgive us, please, and help us walk the straight path You have designed for us. Thank You, Lord, for Your mercy. In Jesus’ name. AMEN


HERE’S A CHALLENGE I recently saw: Are you (am I) living our lives in light of eternity, or are we living soley for the present, without regard to the eternal consequences of our current choices?


The challenge appeared in a book I recently reread on marriage, co-written by pastor and author Francis Chan and his wife, Lisa.

While I thought the book would focus on “marriage tips,” the  authors challenged us to focus on Jesus Christ, His perfection, and our failure to be like Him. 

“People accuse me of going overboard in preparing for my first ten million years in eternity. In my opinion, people go overboard in worrying about their last ten years on earth.”


Why? Because, the Chans argue, the health of our marriage is based on the health of our relationship with Jesus Christ. If we are strong in our faith and in our walk with Christ, our marriage will flourish; if our faith is weak, then our walk with Christ will be spotty, and our marriage will suffer.

My takeaway from this scenario is that God created the institution of marriage to be our life’s barometer, much like our personal canary in the coal mine.



  • MATTHEW 10:37 (NKJV): “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”
  • PSALMS 111:10 (ESV): “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!”
  • 1 CORINTHIANS 13:1 (NASB20): “If I speak with the tongues of mankind and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”


Marriage is an “early warning system” that tells us daily whether we’re on track with the Lord or whether we’ve fallen off the path.


That point was made succinctly in Gary Thomas’ book, Sacred Marriage, which suggests marriage was created not to make us happy but to make us holy.1

You can read my blog on that, titled “Unity and Peace at Home” here.


 FRANCIS CHAN FURTHER says the health of our marriage depends on our life purpose, on whether we are living for eternity or simply focused on our daily existence. 

It’s all too easy, he says, for us to fill our minds with our list of things-to-do-today so that we ignore the most important aspect of our lives — why God created us in the first place. He says it was not to scurry about like busybodies checking off our daily tasks but to glorify God.

Glorify God! How can we do that, he asks, if we’re overwhelmed by daily burdens?

Chan starts his book with a comment that I want to focus on for my life because it is so startling and so prescient that I wonder how I never thought of it before:

“People accuse me of going overboard in preparing for my first ten million years in eternity. In my opinion, people go overboard in worrying about their last ten years on earth.” —Francis Chan, Lisa Chan, You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity, Claire Love Publishing, San Francisco, 2014, Kindle, p. 5 2


WHAT DOES YOUR daily activity list look like?

Here are two lists that Chan offers. 

The one on the left is what most of us professing Christians will write; the one on the right is what Chan says the Bible tells us our lists should look like:

Two Priority Lists

1. GOD1. GOD
4. WORK4.

Chan says, “Too many are content with the list as it is arranged on the left. But that list doesn’t come from the Bible.” Ibid. P. 20

He says that while professing Christians often say, “God first, family second,” they rarely live out their lives that way. The test, he says, is to ask yourself, “If I lived for family first and God second, what, if anything, would be different?” Ibid. P. 74

The reality, he says, is that very little would change, which proves the point that while we recognize our God should come first in our lives, we rarely live that out.


IN THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, God tells the Israelites, and through them He tells us, not to worship idols, meaning anything that we cherish or value more than we cherish and value the Lord.3


God, our Creator, has given us the gift of life and a promise, if we want it, of eternal life with Him, yet how many of us who call ourselves by His name live with eternity in mind? 

God has given us marriage, which may be our earthly barometer telling us when we’re following the Master’s lead or veering off onto our own path. 

God is calling us back to His path, and if we follow it, He has promised to give us everything we need. It’s an airtight promisefrom the One who never lies.

LoveAndGrace, an Evangelical Christian Blog

Yet what priorities do we show in our actual living? What comes before God? Is it work, or pleasure, or home, or family, or title, or cars, or musical instruments, or computers, or boats, or … any other of our possessions?

I hate to admit it, but I need to: I cannot imagine functioning anymore without my array of electronic gadgets, from computer to tablet to smart phone to smart watch to noise-canceling earbuds to “tags” that I can attach to valuables (like my keys) so I can find them with an audio beep activated by an app on my smart phone.

Where is God in all of this?

Have I left Him behind? Thrown Him into the ditch? Ignored Him? Pushed Him aside?

I hope not.

As I said earlier, “I hate to admit it,” but I need to acknowledge my sin and repent of it, learning that God has given me this lineup of electronic gadgets to assist me in my labor but not to take first place in my heart.


WE NEED TO KEEP in mind not only that God created us for His glory and purpose but that through the sacrificial love of His Son, He has reconciled us to  Himself that where He is, we might live also.


We are not our own but are bought with a price and that price is the life blood of Jesus Christ.5

When we do that, the Chans say, when we really focus on God and His message of love and compassion to us, when we’re living for eternity with God, then we are living “on mission,” according to the will of God, our Creator. 6

When we lose sight of that call on our lives, we stumble in the dark, unsure of our way.

Lisa Chan said it this way: “Those who don’t believe [in Jesus Christ] are going to live self-absorbed, greedy, sensual, indulgent lives. But those who belong to Christ will be on a mission.” Ibid., P. 78

If we want better marriages, we should adhere to the Bible’s teaching, to seek first the things of God and then everything else — including our marriages — will be thrown into the bargain. 7


OUR FATHER GOD, we are so grateful for Your willingness to reconcile us in fellowship with You after we broke it through our disobedience. Now, we honor You through marriage, in which husband and wife share life’s burdens but, more than that, encourage one another to walk “on mission” for the Lord, witnessing to the secular world through word and deed the blessings of Jesus Christ. In His precious and glorious name we pray. AMEN 

  1. Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage, Zondervan, Grand Rapids,Mich., 2000
  2. Francis Chan, Lisa Chan, You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity, Claire Love Publishing, San Francisco, 2014, Kindle, p. 5
  3. Exo. 20:3-4; 1 John 5:21
  4. 2 Cor. 5:19; John 3:17; John 14:2-3
  5. 1 Cor. 6:19-20
  6. John 10:28; 2 Cor. 4:18
  7. Matt. 6:33; also C.S. Lewis: “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”Mere Christianity. (1952)
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