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Now available! Preparing for Dating and Marriage: A 31-Day Family Devotional

Now available! Preparing for Dating and Marriage: A 31-Day Family Devotional

Now available! Preparing for Dating and Marriage: A 31-Day Family Devotional by new author, Rev. Cory Griess Cory Griess is a pastor in the Protestant Reformed Churches of America. He and his wife, Lael, live in Grand Rapids, MI where he currently pastors the First Protestant Reformed Church. The Lord has given him and his wife six children, all born in Northwest Iowa where he pastored for nine years before moving to Michigan in 2018.     Each meditation in this book...

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Coming soon! Preparing for Dating and Marriage: A 31-Day Family Devotional

Coming soon! Preparing for Dating and Marriage: A 31-Day Family Devotional

Coming mid-August! Preparing for Dating and Marriage: A 31-Day Family Devotional by new author, Rev. Cory Griess  Cory Griess is a pastor in the Protestant Reformed Churches of America. He and his wife, Lael, live in Grand Rapids, MI where he currently pastors the First Protestant Reformed Church. The Lord has given him and his wife six children, all born in Northwest Iowa where he pastored for nine years before moving to Michigan in 2018.   Each meditation in this...

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Books for your Valentine

Books for your Valentine

It’s Valentine’s Day! It’s the day to buy your wife or girlfriend (or mom!) flowers and chocolates and a nice dinner, and…a book?

Hey, why not? Valentine’s Day is supposed to be all about love, and we’ve got books that speak about love from a biblical perspective.

And you don’t have to limit your gift to your significant other. Consider getting these titles for your teenage children. Help them to start their romantic relationships off on the right foot.

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A book on marriage for “laypersons and preachers alike”

A book on marriage for “laypersons and preachers alike”

Marriage: The Mystery of Christ and the Church is a Reformed pastor’s instruction and exhortation to married couples, especially young married couples, with the purpose that they glorify God in their marriages and enjoy the bliss of this blessed communion of life.

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Biblical, practical, God-focused, and Reformed

Biblical, practical, God-focused, and Reformed
If you are looking for a 12-step program to finding a godly spouse and a happy marriage, you will not find that in this book. But you will not be disappointed because you will find a fresh, biblical, practical, God-focused, Reformed approach to dating guided by the principles of God’s word. In a world where dating is self-focused and resembles what happens on a used car lot, Rev. Engelsma grounds dating in God’s glory, marriage, and the relationship of Christ and his bride, the church. Read More

January 15, 2020 Standard Bearer preview article

Marital communication—The sweetest words

Let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice.—Song of Solomon 2:14

There are many interpretations on the Song of Solomon, yet most would agree it contains lovely communication between a bridegroom and his bride. The two sing one another’s praise. They speak with love and respect. Their speech involves sharing personal thoughts, including inmost longings, in safety. There is mutual trust. This level of communication is a giving of oneself, a way of saying, “I want to know you and I want you to know me.” There are no substitutes for heart to heart talks in marriage.

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"Radically different in that it seeks the glory of God in our dating relationships"

"Radically different in that it seeks the glory of God in our dating relationships"

The world in which we live continues under the lie, the lie with which Satan tempted Eve and the lie which the heart of the natural man continues to indulge. This lie says that man is as God and can know all things, good and evil—even about dating.

And what if we don’t know?

Just do what everybody else is doing. Or at least Google it.

Dating Differently, subtitled A Guide to Reformed Dating, is radically different from what is above described.

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It's here!

It's here!
Dating Differently: A Guide to Reformed Dating by new author, Rev. Joshua Engelsma Read More

October 15, 2019 Standard Bearer preview article

In a world that has perverted and idolized sex, we need to have a proper attitude toward sex. God has made each of us a sexual being, either male or female, and each of us will either use or abuse the gift of sex.

Only the Scriptures can give us a proper perspective on human sexuality. God created us with this gift, and God knows our sinful inclinations with regard to sex. The Scriptures speak plainly and purely about sex, powerfully warning us against the dangers of its abuse, as well as extolling its blessedness when used as God in­tends.

Because there is not a word in Scripture that can be harmful to the believer, and because Scripture speaks openly about sex, we must also discuss this subject openly and biblically with our children. If we do not do this, then they will inevitably learn the wrong lessons about sex from peers and culture.

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Arriving in one week!

Arriving in one week!
Pastorally and accessibly, Joshua Engelsma answers the practical questions of Reformed, Christian dating based on the truth that we must date differently—with marriage as the goal and scripture as the guide. Read More

Announcing a new book for teens on Christian dating!

Announcing a new book for teens on Christian dating!

  DATING DIFFERENTLY: A Guide to Reformed Dating by Joshua Engelsma Coming October 2019! We’re bombarded with antichristian messages everywhere in life, and from casual hookups to casual sex, our culture’s messages on dating are no different.But Christians don’t have to follow these norms. The Bible gives us a better way.It’s a way of chastity and wisdom. A way that understands that marriage—the end goal of dating—is for life. The person you marry will shape who you become spiritually. And that...

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Dating Differently chapter preview: Who's the One?

Dating Differently chapter preview: Who's the One?

In many ways this chapter gets right to the heart of Christian dating. What I write here is devoted to helping answer the question, “Whom should I be dating? What do I look for in a boyfriend or girlfriend?” Once you’ve answered the questions raised in the previous chapter—Why do you want to date? Are you ready to date?—then you’re ready to ask yourself the next question: “Who’s the one?”


I’m not sure it’s possible to overstate the importance of this question and its answer. What makes marriage the most important decision you might ever make is that you are going to be living with that person for the rest of your life. You’d better be quite sure before you enter into the lifelong bond of marriage that you know exactly the kind of person you are marrying.

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Christian Marriage

Christian Marriage
As head of the wife the husband must love his wife even as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it (v. 25). In the love of God the husband must love his wife. Love never seeks to hurt or destroy, but always seeks the salvation of its object. God so loved us that he gave his only begotten Son to atone for our sins and give us everlasting life and glory. That love must be reflected by godly husbands. Loving his wife as Christ loved the church, the husband will never be a ruthless tyrant. He will lead his wife in the way of the word of God. Together husband and wife will bow before that word in all of their married life. God's word will be the foundation for their marriage. In God's love the husband will provide both the earthly and spiritual need of his wife. Just as Christ gave himself for the church, so the husband will love his wife. With the self-sacrificing love of Christ the husband will seek his wife's welfare in this life and for the life to come. A godly husband lives for his wife. She is first in his life. He is not harsh or bitter towards her. He is tender and kind. He nourishes and cherishes her as Christ cherishes the church. He rules not with an iron hand expecting to be waited on hand and foot. His wife is no harried, tired slave who lives in fear of him. As the church has all of the love of Christ so the wife has all of the love of her husband. He loves her so much that he will not only put up with her weaknesses and bad habits, he loves her so much he is willing to die for her. Read More

The Grammatical Gymnastics of an Advocate for Divorce and Remarriage: Active Voice

We have seen that the use of the passive (or middle) voice in the Greek of Matthew 5:32, 19:9 and Mark 10:11, 12 (even if we accept the translation in the passive or middle, which we do not) does not justify remarriage after divorce (at most it increases the guilt of the man who divorces his wife, but it does not permit the divorced woman to remarry). Luke records the teaching of Jesus on divorce in a different context, and in the active voice.

Since in Luke 16:18 Christ uses the active voice (and moicheuoo instead of moichaoo), a different argument is required to justify remarriage after divorce. In Luke 16:18 our advocate for remarriage clings to the present tense of the participles and the verbs: “Everyone putting away…and marrying…commits adultery.” This supposedly refers to the Pharisees who “were continually divorcing and continually marrying…The actions of divorcing and marrying resulted in continual adultery, actively destroying the very institution of marriage.”

Perhaps, to capture the fullness of the present tense, we could render it thus, although it would be an over-translation: “Everyone (who keeps) putting away his wife and (who keeps) marrying another (keeps on) committing adultery and the one (who keeps) marrying her who has been put away from (her) husband (keeps on) committing adultery.”

Nevertheless, I do not see how an appeal to the present tense helps the case of our remarriage advocate. In Matthew 5:32a the same phrase appears: “Everyone (who keeps) putting away his wife…” The point of the present tense is that when remarriage occurs the relationship that results (the second or subsequent marriage) involves the remarried persons (both of them!) in continuous, ongoing adultery. This is true whether the remarrying person is a Pharisee on his second or seventeenth relationship or whether he or she is a modern Westerner (even a church member or officebearer) on his or her second or third marriage. If the original spouse still lives, any subsequent relationship (second, third, fourth marriage) is adultery.

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