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Living in the Light



Filtering by Tag: Credo

Miscarriage: What Pastors Need to Know

Jessalyn Hutto

This article was published at Credo Magazine on October 14, 2015. You can find the entire article here.

"Until recently, the topic of miscarriage was a bit taboo. Those who experienced such painful losses tended to keep them quiet, entrusting their grief only to their closest family members and friends—if anyone at all. For this reason, miscarriage has historically been treated with kid gloves. It’s something that we know happens, but for most of us, exactly how often it occurs remains a mystery. Most importantly, the depth of grief that bereaved mothers and fathers experience when a miscarriage takes place has been terribly misunderstood.

Thankfully, this confusion has been partially alleviated in recent years as powerful articles have been published on prominent Christian websites like Desiring God and The Gospel Coalition. As women and men have bravely broken their silence, the church has become more aware of the overwhelming devastation experienced by parents whose children die in the womb, and with this awareness has come a greater understanding of the church’s responsibility to care for these grieving parents.

However, many pastors are still unsure how they can practically help women who miscarry their babies. They don’t know what kind of care the fathers of such children need — if any at all. Those who’ve never been personally acquainted with this type of loss often fear saying or doing the wrong thing, and thus find themselves crippled in their ability to minister to their wounded sheep. This needn’t be the case. Pastors can be a pivotal means of grace in the lives of the mourning mothers and fathers in their congregations if armed with some practical, first-hand knowledge about miscarriage.

With this goal in mind, here are five simple things that you need to know about miscarriage in order to minister effectively to those who suffer from them:

1. Know that Miscarriage is Terribly Common

Miscarriages are typically very private experiences. As such, pastors can be deceived into thinking that they a rare occurrence within their congregations. Medical statistics, however, tell us otherwise. In reality, it is estimated that up to 25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage.

This means that it is possible that one in every four pregnancies occurring in your church will end in the pain of death rather than new life.

Does this seem like a startlingly exaggerated statistic? Ask any woman in her child-bearing years if she knows of another woman who has recently miscarried and chances are she will be able to give you multiple names. This is especially true in churches that foster an atmosphere that values children and encourages large families. The sheer amount of pregnancies occurring within these congregations allows for these statistics to be more clearly realized."

Continue reading here.

Let the Children Come! -Credo Magazine's Latest Issue

Jessalyn Hutto

The latest issue of Credo Magazine is all about sharing the Word of God with our Children. It is packed full of helpful articles covering subjects like: the importance of teaching children church history, what family worship looks like in the home, and teaching children important doctrinal truths. It also includes two great interviews that I know you will enjoy: the first is with Nancy Guthrie and the second is with Sally Michael (the co-founder and publishing consultant of Children Desiring God).

In this issue, I had the privilege of writing an article which gives an overview of the four most popular and helpful children's Bibles on the market. I look at their benefits as well as the best times to use them in a child's life. I hope that you will find it helpful.

Read More

Why Our Children Need the Church

Jessalyn Hutto

In this quarter’s issue of Credo Magazine, I had the opportunity to share a little bit about the importance of the church to our children. Here’s a snippet from that article:

“Through regular interactions with teachers, parents, mentors, and pastors, our children are given the opportunity to observe the powerful, sanctifying hand of God in the lives of other Christians. Through the ordinance of baptism our children are able to watch as men and women confess their belief in the gospel of Jesus Christ and commit to living their lives in obedience to him. They gaze in wonder as these believers are plunged into the baptismal and brought back up to the joyful celebration of the congregation, symbolizing their death and resurrection with Christ. In the same way, as the communion plate is passed and the wine and bread are consumed by the members of the body, our children witness the centrality of the gospel to every believer’s life. They are beckoned to come and taste of the Lord’s goodness for themselves—to receive the gospel of grace being proclaimed.”

To Read the Full Article, Click Here.

These Fallen Wombs

Jessalyn Hutto

In her morning devotional Free Grace and Dying Love, Susannah Spurgeon made this extraordinary statement: “tears are the inheritance of Earth’s children” (emphasis mine).

Who would dare to question the legitimacy of this claim? Who is there that has not felt the sting of sin’s consequences in one way or another. When our first parents, Adam and Eve, chose to rebel against the Creator, the repercussions of their sin were not confined to them. Rather, it affected all of creation and every human who was to come from their fallen line. Their rebellion brought devastation to the world both physically and spiritually.

We quickly see this reality spelled out after Adam and Eve sin. God judges them for their rebellion by decreeing that Eve will now bear children through pain and suffering and her relationship to her husband will be volatile rather than peaceful; Adam’s work will be difficult and unpleasant and the ground itself will be tainted and bring forth less food; death will come to their bodies, and ultimately they will return to the ground from which them came.

The Bible’s continuing narrative reveals a world far different from the paradise of Eden God originally created for man. Generation after generation is marked by evil as men seek after their own pleasure and are overcome by selfishness, anger, and hatred. The creation itself works against man as creatures, weather, and the human body seem to war against the ones who were meant to exercise dominion over all the Earth. Today we look around us and see the effects of a fallen world: earthquakes killing thousands, wars taking countless lives, and women executing the babies within their wombs.

Indeed, tears are the inheritance of all Adam’s children... 

Read the full article at Credo Magazine

Offering the Love of God to Our Children

Jessalyn Hutto

“But I don’t know how to love!”

The statement caught my husband and I off guard. We turned our eyes away from our frustrated four year old and stared at each other in disbelief. Sometimes the most profound statements have a way of simply slipping out of the mouths of children and this was one of those moments.

The conversation had begun like many others in our home. Perhaps a toy had been taken from a sibling or a harsh word had been uttered in anger. Whatever the exact circumstance, he had once again failed to be kind to his brother, revealing an unloving heart in the process. As we often do, my husband and I took the opportunity to remind our son that loving others means being kind to them and seeking to make them happy, even if it means not getting your way. When you love someone, we reminded him, you treat them the way you would want to be treated.

It was in response to this common correction that our brilliant little theologian made his argument. And he couldn’t have been more on the money. After taking a moment to compose ourselves, my husband and I affirmed that what he said was true.

“Yes son, we know that you don’t know how to love, and that is exactly why you need Jesus so much…”

Join me at Credo Magazine where I’m sharing how Jesus can forgive and teach our children.

Women Need More Than Proverbs 31 and Titus 2

Jessalyn Hutto

Today I have the incredible honor of sharing my heart for gospel-centered theology for women over at Credo Magazine’s blog. I am thrilled and humbled to announce that I will have the joy of contributing to Credo’s blog on a monthly basis, adding a female voice to the cast of male writers who have been serving the body of Christ there already. I hope you will join me as I talk about the need for applying the gospel to our view of the Proverb’s 31 and Titus 2 Women. Here is an excerpt:

It has been my experience that women especially can find it hard to keep the gospel at the center of their daily pursuit of holiness. Why would I say this? Because there seems to be a disproportional emphasis within women’s ministries, retreats, conferences, the blogosphere, and friendships focusing on biblical texts that are specifically applicable to the female sex but lacking in proper biblical context. We go to women’s retreats expounding on the different virtues of the Proverbs 31 Woman without ever hearing the gospel from where those virtues spring. We engage in Titus 2 relationships, mentoring each other in the practical outworkings of our faith without ever reminding one another of the life-giving truths of the gospel it’s all rooted in. We find accountability partners who will help us focus on the lists of things we need to change about ourselves rather than on the One who has promised to change us.

As a result, our lives can often feel like a vicious cycle of striving to be the perfect wife and mother, failing to be the perfect wife and mother, and then being overcome by guilt because of our inability to be the perfect wife and mother. We have not been taught these important passages of Scripture – which are meant for our edification – within the broader context of Scripture, and we rarely see them coupled with the good news of the gospel… {Read The Full Article Here}