Loving Wayward Souls
What do you do when someone you love leaves? And how do you pursue someone who has hurt you, who has sinned against you?
Whether you are dealing with an unfaithful marriage partner, a rebellious child, or a wayward friend, the counsel you offer needs to be pursued in a gospel-rooted approach, grounded in truth and practiced in the midst of Christian community.
While each situation is unique, our stories often deal with common themes of shame, guilt, confusion, uncertainty, and struggle. These lectures will help you become equipped to help others struggle to find their way in dealing with their own wayward souls and reminded of the hope of the gospel and the necessity of depending upon the Holy Spirit through prayer for yourself and those whom you are counseling.
Dave HarveyDave Harvey is president of Sojourn Network, teaching pastor at Summit Church in Fort Myers/Naples, Florida, and founder of AmICalled.com. He has also authored several books, including When Sinners Say I Do: Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage (Shepherd’s Press, 2007), and Letting Go: Rugged Love for Wayward Souls (Zondervan, 2016) with Paul Gilbert.
Tim ChalliesTim is a Christian, a husband to Aileen and a father to three children. He worships and serves as one of the pastors at Grace Fellowship Church, where he primarily gives attention to mentoring and discipleship. He is a blogger at challies.com, book reviewer for WORLD magazine, co-founder of Cruciform Press, and he has written five books including Sexual Detox: A Guide For Guys Who Are Sick of Porn (Cruciform Press, 2010), Visual Theology: Seeing and Understanding the Truth about God (Zondervan, 2016).
Zack EswineDr. Zack Eswine serves as Lead Pastor at Riverside Church and serves as Director of Homiletics for Covenant Theological Seminary in Saint Louis Missouri. His award-winning writings about honest questions and ministry, human sorrows, and hope, flow out of his local life following Jesus as a pastor, husband, and father.
Jim NewheiserDr. James (Jim) Newheiser, Jr., is the Director of the Institute for Biblical Counseling and Discipleship (IBCD) and the Director of the Christian Counseling Program at RTS Charlotte. He is also the Associate Professor of Christian Counseling and Practical Theology at RTS Charlotte and an Adjunct Professor of Biblical Counseling at The Master’s College.
With Additional Workshops By
Scott Mehl, George Scipione, Caroline Newheiser, Curtis Solomon, Ann Maree Goudzwaard, Eileen Scipione, Greg Gifford, Elyse Fitzpatrick, Tom Maxham
The garden offers this extraordinary vision, this remarkable vision of the flourishing life, an existence that if anything was fully true and satisfying and good and delightful, but something happens. What happens? Prone to wander happens because paradise is not enough for these two. I mean, God has one simple rule, just one. That’s all there was, just one, and the serpent seizes upon this small law, this one rule, this one command ultimately based for their good, the serpent seizes upon it and incites this impulse to rebel, this impulse, this instinct to stray, to go rogue.
See, one of the things we begin to discover as we wait into this world of prodigality is that the worst lies aren’t the ones that our prodigals tell us. The worst lies are the ones we tell ourselves. This is why rugged love starts with strong enough to face evil. This is why I ask you to turn to Romans 12:9 where the word of God says, let love be genuine. Then, it pulls this second idea right up alongside of it, abhor what is evil. Then, we’re going to talk about the third idea in just a second. Let love be genuine.
I was thinking recently about the celebrity suicides we’ve seen recently and how several people have taken their own lives, people who were, from our assessment, living the life, people who seemed to have it all, people who seemed to have what we think would bring happiness, or what the culture around us would bring happiness. I think there’s certain people we can understand why that person would take their life, but these celebrities, like they’ve got it all. They’ve got fame, and they’ve got popularity, and they’ve got money, and they’ve got power. That seems like if I had those things I would be so fulfilled. I think that’s why our culture gets so rocked when celebrities, of all people, take their lives. We just can’t understand, “How could you have all that and still be missing joy?”
e’ve already heard a lot about it. There’s some people who suffer in their families with unbelief. And some of the most disturbing words that Jesus ever spoke were about family. And in Luke 12 verse 49, he says, “I’ve come to cast fire upon the earth and how I wish it were already kindled, but I’ve a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished. Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth. I tell you know, but rather division, for from now on, five members in one household will be divided three against two, two against three. They will be divided father against son and son against father. Mother against daughter and daughter against mother and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
One of the skills that you and I have learned is how to get somewhere. Our culture is built on it, teaches you how to get somewhere, especially if you’re in a white collar world, it teaches you how to get somewhere. Well, you went to kindergarten in order to get to … Excuse me, elementary school.
You went to that Subway sandwich. You went to … just being real.
And the mind and the voice of unbelief is disapproval. And so it leaks out all over the place. And so we find 100 different ways to telegraph that disapproval, and then we’re mystified that they never call us. See, Ishmael is a voice that whispers to the wayward mind, and Ishmael speaks to that prodigal and says to him or her, “Oh certainly they love you. Oh yes, they love you. They just don’t like you.” Of course they love you, they’re your parents, of course they love you, they’re in your family. Of course they love you. They’re on record for loving you. You’re just not likable. They don’t really prefer having you around. You kind of represent something that’s kind of appalling to them. You’re disgusting to them.