Forget the Five Love Languages — Only One Matters

Gary Chapman failed to accurately define the love languages, but I believe he hit upon a truth: It is utterly important to understand that people express and receive love in different ways. And, like Chapman, I too believe that there is an underlying means through which we express love. I believe we can understand it, define it, speak it, and become fluent in it. 

Read More
John DiffenderferComment
Why Did This Happen to You?

As you collect the pieces of your life, a question will haunt you: Why did this happen? It's the same question I've asked countless times. In our divinely complex and ordered world, it's impossible not to question why senseless, unmerited suffering occurs. The answer won't be simple, but don't fear the question. The question is for your good — not your torment.

Read More
Don't Settle for Anything Less than Shalom

We should resist the urge to divide or compartmentalize our lives. Who you are, what you do, and what you want are all equally important parts of your identity. Your sense of shalom — unity of body, mind, and spirit; personality and behavior; faith and works; values and decisions — is essential to your sense of self-worth, value to others, and wellbeing. Shalom requires wholeness across all aspects of our lives. You can't be complete if part of you remains incomplete.

Read More
John DiffenderferComment
No, I Don't Want My Daughter to Be Like Ruth or Esther

Judeo-Christian circles occasionally have some odd traditions and sentiments. Countless times, I've heard parents pray for their daughters to become women "like Ruth and Esther," two terrific protagonists in the Bible. It's such a popular sentiment that it even crept its way into 1970s show tunes via Fidler on the Roof. But it's weird. I wouldn't wish that on anyone, especially my own daughter.

Read More
Because We Broke Our Marriage Vows

Husbands and wives generally don't appreciate unsolicited marriage advice. Even when facing high-risk situations, most people don't want someone else telling them what to do — they just want affirmation. But sometimes affirmation isn't healthy, just, nor deserved. Sometimes people need to be held accountable and asked to change. Sometimes unrelenting truth is the most merciful thing one can offer. And that's a bitter pill to swallow.

Read More
The Idolatry of Our Expectations

We make idols of our own plans when we trust in them to provide our sense of identity, purpose, success, and happiness. By seeking to assert our own desires over God's will, we prioritize ourselves before God. Worse, we often mistakenly assume that God's will is aligned with our own. In so doing, we attempt to make God in our own image, instead of conforming ourselves into the image of God.

Read More
"I Don't Love My Wife Anymore"

I've talked to many couples facing seemingly doomed marriages. More often than not, the root cause isn't infidelity or addictions or crimes. Usually, the heart of a maritally disengaged spouse is summed up in a single statement: "I don't love my wife/husband anymore." It's tragic and heartbreaking. Mostly because it's based on a lie.

Read More
Your Wedding Doesn't Matter

Your wedding is literally only a few hours. It will come and go in a stressful blur. Weddings are irrational fantasies — people gussied up beyond their means, pretending to know how to waltz, eating cake they can't afford, wearing other people's tuxedos, and holding fake flowers. And, once the limo pulls away, you'll be left picking rice out of your hair and with a very real marriage. 

Read More
10 Ways You're Ruining Your Marriage

Marriages end with all sorts of excuses. The reality though is that marriages only end for ten reasons. If you've already read The Marriage Commandments, you know what those reasons are. You know the 10 principles you have to keep to keep your marriage strong. But most don't know. So, based somewhat on those 10 principles, here is a quick rundown of 10 ways you might be ruining your marriage.

Read More
Christ Didn't Die for Our Individuality

Instead of drawing close to our nine friends and excluding everyone else, we should pour out our lives for those who will be reconciled to God — especially when they may not share our beliefs. If we are truly the Body of Christ, we have to be willing to endure pain, discomfort, and disappointments. Self-preservation, whether it be of body, reputation, or ideas, should never be a deciding factor. As the Church, we must lay down our lives.

Read More