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Answers to Real Questions

This past weekend we shelved the sermon and invited everyone to instead text-in honest, anonymous questions about faith and relationships.  

It was a fantastic Sunday at Life Church and we ran out of time to address every question that came in.

For what it's worth, here are the remaining questions with brief answers from Dr. Jon.  Enjoy!

How do you get over someone?

Changes and transitions in relationships can be hard and painful sometimes.  We are made for relationship, not for heart break.

Getting over someone may be as simple as getting back to Someone: Jesus.  He promises to stick closer to you than anyone else and that He will never turn His back on you.

Perhaps the end of your relationship was God's merciful way of actually bringing you back to your first love, Jesus.  Focus on Him, fix your thoughts on Christ, and see what God can do through you.

What does the Bible say about addiction and how do you best help someone through that journey?

Anything that controls you masters you.  We are called to only be mastered by the Holy Spirit: "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit..." (Ephesians 5:18).

To that end, recovery programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous are fantastic pathways for breaking addiction and creating new, healthier habits.

What does to turn the other cheek mean? If I get attacked by a mugger, do I just let them punch me?

Um, no.  Punch them and run.

Jesus taught that in our daily relationships, choose to empathize rather than criticize. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Choose to be defrauded for the sake of your witness rather than giving Christians a bad name by taking someone to court.

I have add and have trouble carving out time for prayer. How do I make prayer fit my life?

Go to bed 5 minutes earlier tonight and set your alarm to go off 5 minutes earlier in the morning.  Use that time to pray.  If you don't know where to start, I recommend C.H. Spurgeon's Morning & Evening devotional as a guide.

Can you give advice for people who are hard to accept God due to past experiance. (i.e: child loss, suicide etc.)

Number one, I am so very sorry for the loss and pain you have experienced in life.  I cannot imagine what that might feel like and I feel nothing but sympathy for your journey.

Number two, understand that God loves you so much, He entered our pain-filled world through the Person and Works of Jesus Christ.  Jesus encountered and endured every hardship that we do, so He understands us deeply and personally.  

Hebrews 4 says, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin."

Number three, the Scriptures are breathed out by God and actually speak to each of these unique hardships.  Seek the truths found only in the Bible for guidance and solace in moving forward with Christ.

My mother passed away in March of this year. I find it hard sometimes to move on: I'm good somedays and then, and some days, I'm sad. Is that ok to still feel like that?


Grief comes in waves.  Give yourself permission to grieve appropriately.

You may find some peace in reading Phillip Yancey's book, What's So Amazing About Grace?

What does the Bible say about living together unmarried with kids?

It doesn't, because this is not God's best for our lives.

The best gift you could give your children is a solid, stable home with a married mother and father raising them.

It's never too late to make things right with God.

Put a ring on it, set a date, and let's aim for God's blessing in your relationship!

How do you keep faith in a relationship God puts you in when the other person hurts and betrays you? How do you find forgiveness?

You find the will to forgive by remembering how you have been forgiven by God through Christ.

"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:  that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us." (2 Corinthians 5)

How to let go of someone that's not giving you what you need and makes excuses for everything that involves you but when it's other people they can.

It sounds like you're describing a relationship that is one-sided; you are always giving while the other person is always taking.  That sucks (literally).

Have an honest conversation with the other person.  Bring up your concerns in the form of questions:
  • "Have you noticed that sometimes you will do ---- while I offer you ----?"
  • "Do you ever feel like I'm always giving in this relationship while you are always receiving?"
  • "What are your long term goals for our relationship?"

What advice would you give a seasoned couple battling weariness in their relationship?

Make a move:

Refuse to settle and make a move!

When your heart says to stay in your relationship but your head says to do you decide?

The Bible tells us that the heart is deceitful above all things and should not be our guide.  Don't follow your heart, follow your Bible.

Do you believe that, there is no Reconciling after certain situations happen?

In general, no.  I believe in reconciliation, even if it means leaving my door open and the welcome mat out!

What advice would you give someone who loves their spouse unconditionally, but they are clearly unequally yoked?

To be unequally yoked means two will be living life in opposite directions, so the plow cannot go in a straight line. There can be no peace, no rest. The work is hard as a result, and the yoke is heavy.

Spiritually mismatched couples can have a loving relationship if they commit to being respectful to one another. As long as you can lovingly coexist, stay with the relationship. 1 Corinthians 7:13-16 offers some guidance:

“If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?”

Broken relationships leave damage in their wake so don’t be quick to step out of a relationship.

If your spouse has moved from disbelief of your faith to disrespecting your faith or to disrespecting you, seek help.

If your spouse demeans you or undermines your ability to practice faith or forbids you from engaging your children in faith, then you need some support to help you modify behaviors or develop an exit strategy. Abuse and neglect are not behaviors that God desires for our relationships. We all carry the image of God and we need to treat one another as God’s image bearers.

How do you know that you've found the right church for you?

When you discover a church that makes a big deal about Jesus, teaches the Bible, has biblically-qualified leadership, and shares a vision that your household can 100% get behind, you know that you're home.

Follow Dr. Jon for Daily Encouragement

Jonathan Herron

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