I was deeply saddened to hear the recent news regarding well-known author and speaker Joshua Harris. First, Harris and his wife, Shannon, announced they have chosen to divorce after 21 years of marriage. Harris made his announcement in an Instagram post.
A few days later, in another post, he declared that he’d undergone “a massive shift” regarding his faith in Jesus and that he no longer considers himself a Christian.
Although Joshua suggests that these decisions were the result of “significant changes” he’d undergone in recent years, he hasn’t specifically described what has led to such dramatic shifts in his philosophy and worldview.
First and foremost, we should pray for Joshua and Shannon and their three children: Emma, Kate, and Joshua. The days ahead will undoubtedly be painful and challenging for each of them. I do not know the status of the faith of the other family members, but please pray with me that they would press deeper into a relationship with the Lord even as Joshua, at least for now, has moved in a different direction.
Critics of Christianity are gloating over a former pastor and Christian spokesman renouncing the faith. But Joshua Harris is not the first—nor will he be the last—to do so. In fact, as our culture becomes increasingly hostile to Christianity, I believe it is likely that more people will choose a similar path.
Again, I don’t know why Joshua made these decisions, nor do I want to speculate. I do, however, want to use this opportunity as a “teachable moment” in my own life to take inventory and make sure I’m doing all I can to maintain a vibrant relationship with the Lord—one that will stand the test of time. I urge you to do the same.
In 1 Corinthians 9:27, the Apostle Paul writes, “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified” (ESV). He’s saying that our faith is a journey that requires us to practice discipline—being faithful in prayer, Scripture reading, church involvement, close fellowship with other believers, etc.—as we intentionally pursue an ever-deepening walk with our Savior.
Though the Harrises’ situation has received a great deal of media attention, we do know their challenges are not unique. Every month our counseling department fields on average 2,000 calls from other families facing similar crises either in their relationships and/or their faith. It’s our privilege to come alongside them with the hope, comfort and enduring truth of the Scriptures.
Indeed, Focus on the Family has stood on the principles found in God’s Word since our inception in 1977, and we continue to do so. We believe redemption through Jesus Christ offers people true hope in a world of confusion where personal feelings matter more than objective truth.
If you are facing struggles in your own life, we have caring Christian counselors on staff, and it would be their privilege to offer you a free initial consultation. Call us, leave your name and number, and they’ll get back with you just as soon as possible. The number during business hours is 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).
I also want to remind you of our marriage intensive Hope Restored. If you’re on the brink of divorce, these marriage intensives can go a long way toward restoring your hope, facilitating healing between you and your spouse, and bringing restoration to your relationship. The number for Hope Restored is 1-866-875-2915, or visit online.