Human Sexuality and Discernment

comments Comments Off
By Paula Marolewski, November 22, 2016 9:57 am

“We need more discernment around issues of human sexuality.”

I have heard that statement or variations of it many times recently. I don’t and I do agree with it.

I don’t agree that there is a need to discern whether LGBTQ behavior or same-sex marriage are sinful or not. God has made clear in his Word that such lifestyles and unions are sinful. (For a sound and respectful review of this matter, I welcome you to explore

I do agree, however, that we desperately need communal discernment around human sexuality in many critical areas, including the following.

Discernment Regarding Deception

We should engage in communal discernment to determine what lies we have believed – and why we have believed them – that have allowed us to come to our current state of polarization in the Church. For example, why have some church members and leaders accepted beliefs such as:

• Any form of human sexuality is acceptable if it is loving, faithful, and monogamous
• If someone has a same-sex attraction, it is acceptable because it is “natural”
• There is no “right” interpretation of the Bible
• Morality is relative
• Human sexuality is a civil, not a moral, issue
• All perspectives are equally valid
• LGBTQ lifestyles are diversity to be embraced, not sin to be avoided
• Experience is authoritative in the interpretation of Scripture

Discernment Regarding Hospitality and Ministry

We should discern together how to better engage in hospitality and ministry in the sphere of human sexuality. For instance:

• How do we balance grace (Jesus welcomes all of us to come as we are) and truth (Jesus calls all of us to sanctification in him) as we relate to the LGBTQ community, both within and outside the church?
• How does radical hospitality affect our evangelism? Worship services? Church programs? Corporate life?
• How can we help Christians who have a same-sex attraction or who are practicing an LGBTQ lifestyle to live lives of moral purity and holiness, either in a heterosexual marriage relationship or in celibacy?
• How do we minister to people who must break off a same-sex relationship with someone whom they love in order to follow God’s call to sexual holiness?
• How do we bring God’s healing to people who carry guilt and shame for their sinful sexual behaviors?
• How do we teach the biblical position on human sexuality in such a way as to make it clear, relevant, and attractive to the church and the world today?

Discernment Regarding Engagement

We make a serious mistake if we treat everyone who affirms LGBTQ behavior and same-sex marriage in the same way. We need to discern together how to effectively engage with and respond to many different groups within this larger whole. For example:

• How do we engage in outreach with unsaved members of the LGBTQ community and welcome them into our churches and invite them to salvation?
• How do we disciple newly-saved people who practice or affirm LGBTQ behavior or same-sex relationships?
• How do we respond to long-time Christians who practice or affirm LGBTQ behavior or same-sex relationships?
• How do we engage with those in church leadership who practice or affirm LGBTQ behavior or same-sex relationships?

Discernment Regarding Discipleship

As we look at how often and how easily LGBTQ behavior and same-sex unions have been accepted by Christians, we should ask ourselves:

• Where have we fallen down in discipleship and Christian education that has permitted this view to take such hold in our churches?
• Are we teaching people how to read, study, interpret, and apply Scripture?
• How can we better explain why issues of human sexuality matter so much?
• Where else are we allowing anti-biblical views to take hold? For instance, with regard to the doctrines of salvation, heaven and hell, the nature of Scripture, etc.

Discernment Regarding Conversations

Affirming the biblical position with regard to matters of human sexuality does not limit conversations. It multiplies them. For instance:

• How do we have sensitive, gentle conversations where people feel safe to share the deep pain that may have prompted them to embrace or affirm LGBTQ behavior or same-sex marriage? For example, perhaps they have struggled with powerful same-sex attraction for years, or they may have a family member or friend who has embraced an alternative lifestyle.
• How do we encourage conversations where we talk about reason and logic and world views? We live in a world where everything is considered relative and absolutes are non-existent. The younger generations especially need to be introduced to the concept that there are absolutes, and that personal experience and interpretation are not the ultimate reality.
• How do we engage in conversations where we humbly ask where we have hurt those who affirm or embrace LGBTQ behaviors or same-sex marriage in our actions, attitudes, and words? We need to confess the injustices we have perpetrated and seek reconciliation.
• How do we make space for conversations where people are free to express their doubts and questions and receive sound, biblical counsel?
• How do we have conversations where we disciple each other and build one another up, growing in grace and truth?

The Call for Discernment

As the above points reveal, taking a firm stand on matters of human sexuality does not remove the opportunity for further discernment. Rather, we have and will continue to have a tremendous and burning need for discernment in the Church.

Welcome to the Sink Your Roots Blog!

comments Comments Off
By Paula Marolewski, February 18, 2012 11:12 am

Welcome to the Sink Your Roots blog! I welcome you to download all the contents of this blog plus the articles and Seedlings available on in two convenient free ebooks:  


Seedlings take just a minute or two to read – but you may ponder them for hours, if not days! Now you can download all the Sink Your Roots’ Seedlings in one convenient ebook. Download Seedlings Ebook Now 


Enjoy Sink Your Roots’ articles and blog posts? Download this convenient collection – divided into convenient categories for easy reference. Download Grow! Ebook Now 



Please pass this information on to your friends, family, and church members and let them know about Sink Your Roots!


One Thing I Do

comments Comments Off
By Paula Marolewski, February 18, 2012 11:09 am

This is the last post on this blog for perhaps quite a while. I’d like to close up the blog with a song I wrote based on Paul’s word in Philippians chapter 3: “One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

That should be our goal, always. One thing. One thing only.

I welcome you to download the melody and simple chording here. May God guide, strengthen, and bless you daily!


One Thing I Do

by Paula Marolewski


Verse 1:

Lord, I come to you, with my past and with my pain –

With all the guilt I feel inside, all my failures, all my shame.

And I lay down all of this darkness, all the hurts and all the sin,

I give them up, set them all aside, and pledge to you again …



That one thing I do – forgetting what lies behind.

Just one thing I do – pressing onward all the time

Yes, one thing I do – reaching upward for the prize:

For the prize of the call in Jesus Christ –

For the prize of the call in Jesus Christ.


Verse 2:

And Lord, I come to you, with the victories I’ve won –

All the best I am and have ever been, all the works for you I’ve done.

These, too, I lay aside lest they stop me on the way –

Lest they weigh me down or turn my eyes from serving you this day …



So one thing I do – forgetting what lies behind.

Just one thing I do – pressing onward all the time

Yes, one thing I do – reaching upward for the prize:

For the prize of the call in Jesus Christ –

For the prize of the call in Jesus Christ.



There’s nothing in life that’s too great a cost,

Nothing that I won’t give up for lost.

No sacrifice that I will not give

That in you I might live!


All of my dreams, every hope I have planned –

I put them all in your loving hand.

May each step that I take be right there with you

And the song that I sing be “One thing I do!” …



Oh, one thing I do – forgetting what lies behind.

Just one thing I do – pressing onward all the time

Yes, one thing I do – reaching upward for the prize:

For the prize of the call in Jesus Christ –

For the prize of the call

For the prize of the call

For the prize of the call in Jesus Christ!


Copyright 2008 Paula Marolewski, all rights reserved.

Lord of the Pieces

comments Comments Off
By Paula Marolewski, February 18, 2012 10:59 am

On rare occasions, I write songs. I’d like to share this one with you, entitled “Lord of the Pieces.” It was written out of pain and to comfort another who was in pain. For the melody and simple chording, please download the music here.


Lord of the Pieces

By Paula Marolewski


Where is the peace when my life is in pieces?

What can I do when hope lies crushed on the ground?

Where can I turn when my dreams have been shattered?

When what I have lost will never be found?


Some people tell me You’ll fix all the pieces,

That everything always comes right in the end.

But while I know that Your hand is at work here,

I also believe that some things just will not mend.


That’s why You must be …


Lord of the pieces before You’re Lord of my peace.

I’ve got to give You all the brokenness

Before I find release.

Take each and every shattered part,

Decide what You will do –

To mend and fix, to heal and change …

Or to leave them … broken through.


With all of my soul, I wish that time could go backward

That I’d never know the pain that daily I find.

In the night I’m tormented by doubt and by worry –

I can’t seem to stop the thoughts that whirl in my mind.


Lord, hear the prayer of Your struggling child,

In all of my sorrow help me to see:

That You bore my pain as You wept in the garden

And still in Your hands You wear the scars from the tree.


That’s why I’ll …


Give you the pieces, O Lord of my peace.

It is in Your brokenness

That I find my release.

Take each and every shattered part,

Decide what You will do –

I put them in Your nail-scarred hands,

For Lord, I trust in You.


Copyright 2006 Paula Marolewski, all rights reserved.

Grim, Iron Determination

comments Comments Off
By Paula Marolewski, February 12, 2012 2:58 pm

When we think about God’s call on our life, we tend to think of it in terms of inspiration, joy, fulfillment, and purpose. And it is all those things. But we should not forget one other important thing: 

God’s call and our ministry will require grim, iron determination.

This is a word both of warning and of encouragement. If you follow God’s call and immerse yourself in ministry (as all of us must – this is not just for pastors and missionaries!), you will experience suffering. Obstacles. Persecution. Disappointment. Conflict. 

There will be times when your soul seems barren and your ministry pointless. When the world is loud and God is silent. When hope seems a phantom and the future appears bleak.

Consider Paul’s words in II Corinthians 4:7-12:

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.

There is the encouragement. We have this treasure – the treasure of the gospel, of ministry, of calling – and no matter what Satan throws our way, we will not be crushed, have no cause for despair, will never be forsaken, cannot be destroyed.

It will take everything you have, given sometimes with grim, iron determination. But the result will be the life of Jesus – manifested in and through you to a dying world.


© 2012 Paula Marolewski,

Make life easy! Click here to have new blog postings sent directly to your email inbox!

Infinite Value

comments Comments Off
By Paula Marolewski, September 22, 2010 10:35 am

We live in a world where success is determined by numbers. The more people, the more results, the more sales, the more fans … more is better. More is successful. The corollary? Less means failure.

Unfortunately, we bring that yardstick right into our Christian ministry. We evaluate our “success” on the basis of how many lives we touch, how many people we preach to, how many books we sell, how many listeners we have for our radio show until we achieve … success.

More is better. Less is failure.

But let’s face it. Only a small percentage of Christians alive today preach to crowds or write books or talk on radio shows. Only a handful will reach hundreds or thousands or millions of people. Most of us live, serve, and minister quietly within a small circle of work, church, family, and friends. Does that mean that the vast majority of Christians cannot experience “success” in Christian ministry?

Well, if “more is better” and numbers define success, then I guess the kingdom of God is doomed to failure. Fortunately, that is not the case! Here’s why, in six short words:

Every soul is of infinite value.

That’s right. Every soul. Every person you meet. Every woman you speak to. Every man you work with. Every child you know. Every soul is of infinite value.

That means that if you touch just one life with God’s truth, God’s love, and God’s Spirit, your “success” rate jumps from zero to infinity. Just like that. Think of it like this: everything you do has infinite worth, because it impacts people of infinite value.

Suddenly, the playing field is level. All of us who serve the Lord are working toward one end: furthering the kingdom of God. We all have gifts, and the gifts all differ. What is required is that we use our gifts as he gives us opportunity. There is no such thing as one person having “more success” than another just because they have a ministry that reaches a greater number of people. What matters is that we are reaching the people God has given us the responsibility to reach. That is why Jesus taught us so clearly:

“And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward” (Matthew 10:42).

Remember: Every soul is of infinite value. Therefore, everything you do has infinite worth.


© 2010 Paula Marolewski,

Make life easy! Click here to have new blog postings sent directly to your email inbox!

Jesus Understands Loneliness

comments Comments Off
By Paula Marolewski, September 22, 2010 10:33 am

“And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ which is translated, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’” Mark 15:34

There has never been greater loneliness than the loneliness on the Cross. Jesus, who from eternity had been one with the Father, was separated from him. The weight of sin crushed him, causing him to be accursed. And at the height of his pain and suffering, the Father appeared to abandon him.

And while my heart breaks because of what Jesus suffered for me, I am so very, very glad that he did. Because it means that he understands. He is no distant God: immovable, unshakable, removed from the world he created. He came and walked this earth and suffered and died so that he could truly say, “Yes, I understand the pain. I understand the loneliness. I understand the grief. I have walked the same road that you are on now.”

  • What does it mean to you to realize that Jesus not only intellectually understands pain and suffering and loneliness, but that he has experienced it?
  • Jesus’ suffering isn’t the end of the story. His suffering qualified him for a very special role. Hebrews 2:17 affirms, “Therefore, Jesus had to be made like his brethren in all things, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest …” What does it mean to you to realize that Jesus is extending mercy to you, is faithful to you, and is interceding for you all the time? 
  • Likewise, your suffering isn’t the end of the story. Your suffering qualifies you for a very special role. Ask God to use your loneliness and suffering to increase your sense of compassion and mercy for others, and to deepen your ability to serve them.


© 2010 Paula Marolewski,

Make life easy! Click here to have new blog postings sent directly to your email inbox!

God is Compassionate

comments Comments Off
By Paula Marolewski, September 22, 2010 10:33 am

“And Elijah was afraid and arose and ran for his life …. He lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and behold, there was an angel touching him, and he said to him, ‘Arise, eat.’ Then he looked and behold, there was at his head a bread cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. The angel of the LORD came again a second time and touched him and said, ‘Arise, eat, because the journey is too great for you.’ So he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mountain of God.” I Kings 19:3-8

This passage is, to me, one of the most tender images we have of God. We see Elijah – the strong, courageous, faithful prophet – exhausted. Completely done in physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. He actually begged God to let him die in the wilderness.

Does God rebuke his prophet? Get irritated and demand that Elijah stand up and get with the program? Tell him to snap out of it?

No. God comes to him. In person. This is “the angel of the LORD” – the preincarnate Christ. And God makes him a meal, bids him eat, and tells him to go back to sleep. And when Elijah wakes up, God has again been in the kitchen, and has made him a second meal. And as he eats, God says softly, “I know how hard this is. I know this is a tough journey. Take your time. Regain your strength. I’m here.”

  • Imagine God coming to you in your pain and exhaustion and comforting you as he did Elijah. Take the time to imagine in the scene in detail. How does it make you feel?
  • One of the places that God meets with us to extend us his comfort and his strength is during our quiet time: time we spend reading his Word and talking with him. How is your quiet time right now? What do you tend to do during your quiet time? How long do you spend? Are you spending enough time to actually be able to quiet your heart to hear God speak?


© 2010 Paula Marolewski,

Make life easy! Click here to have new blog postings sent directly to your email inbox!

Move Forward Despite Doubt

comments Comments Off
By Paula Marolewski, September 22, 2010 10:32 am

“Therefore, thus says the LORD, ‘If you return, then I will restore you – before Me you will stand; and if you extract the precious from the worthless, you will become My spokesman. They for their part may turn to you, but as for you, you must not turn to them.’” Jeremiah 15:19

When I first studied this passage – and even since then – I have struggled with God’s response to Jeremiah’s doubt and despair. In the previous verses, his prophet poured out his heart to God, asking if God was really with him, if he cared, if was going to act. And God’s answer is almost brusque: “Get your relationship with me right, do your job, and stand up.”

Not exactly comforting. But sometimes, the fact is that we don’t need comfort. We need a kick in the pants. Doubt can mire us down – as it evidently was doing for Jeremiah. Plus, he had apparently let his doubts draw him away from God. On all fronts, he was stuck.

God knew that this was a time for tough love, so he pointed out the problem, and commanded his prophet to get his act together and do his job. Likewise, we sometimes need this tough love. It’s as if God is saying to us, “Yes, you’re doubting. Yes, things are hard. Here’s my answer: get back on your knees and start praying, then stand up and do your job, doubts or no doubts. It’s time to get your priorities straight.”

No pity parties allowed. Stand up, and move forward.

  • How do you tend to respond when someone rebukes or reproves you? Why?
  • What happens to your faith if you focus on your doubts?
  • What do you need to do right now to move forward despite your doubts?


© 2010 Paula Marolewski,

Make life easy! Click here to have new blog postings sent directly to your email inbox!

Jesus is the Truth

comments Comments Off
By Paula Marolewski, September 22, 2010 10:31 am

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life…’” John 14:6

When I am doubting, I want answers. I want specific facts to lay to rest my specific questions.

But over time I have learned that facts are not where truth really lies. I know this, because no matter how many facts I have on hand, my doubts never fully disappear. I doubt the new facts as they appear, and new answers only give rise to new questions.

Instead, truth – and its companion, peace – is found in relationship with the One who is the Truth: Jesus Christ. 

When I am focusing on my relationship with Jesus, I can be content to know that he knows the answers to my questions – I don’t have to have all the answers myself. I am comforted to know that he loves me and cares for me and protects me – in and through my doubts. I am perfectly safe from the storm of doubt when I know and have confidence in the Captain who stands at the helm of my ship. The storm may still rage, but I know that he will see me safely to shore.

  • When you are struck with doubt, be sure to spend time reading the Word. Not reading to “find an answer” to your questions, but reading to understand God better.
  • It can be hard to pray when you are doubting, especially if you are doubting the existence or love of God himself. Write out a series of verses that talk about God, Jesus, and his love for you. Read the verses aloud before you enter a time of prayer, and use them as a springboard for praying. For instance, John 3:16 might unfold into a prayer like this:

“God, I affirm that you loved this fallen world so much – and that includes me – that you sent your very best to save it. That very best was your Son, Jesus. Thank you for giving your very best, even when you knew I would doubt him and you. Jesus, thank you for coming and dying on the cross to save me, even though you knew that I would doubt you now. Your love encompasses and transcends my doubts. You have given eternal life to me because I truly believe in you, regardless of what my doubts are now whispering inside me. Help me to know you better through this period of doubting, so that my faith in you and my love for you would grow even stronger.”


© 2010 Paula Marolewski,

Make life easy! Click here to have new blog postings sent directly to your email inbox!

Panorama Theme by Themocracy