UPDATE 2016-02-21: This is a very personal amendment to the original post. The bulk of my writing below was constructed out of anger and frustration in defense of my wife. While the heart to stand up for her was noble, and I will always attest to the quality of woman she is and the need to honor her, the spirit and tone that I wrote this post in was not reflective of Jesus or of what it means to pastor people. As one commenter on Facebook aptly put it, “The author is usually spot on, but missed the mark on this one.” I’m sorry for the hurt it caused specific people (whom I’ve since apologized to and asked for forgiveness in person), and for the lack of Christ’s long-suffering love. Rather than redact the entire post, I’m letting it stand as it is with this apology atop, hoping it’s a testimony of how the Holy Spirit brought needed correction. I’m still a work in progress, and I’m glad I’m worthy of the Lord’s attention. For anyone else who was hurt or put off, I’m sorry. Thank you for being gracious with me as I press in toward Jesus.

My wife, Jennifer, is an amazing woman. And she was an amazing teenager.

Yes, she was in a relationship too young. And got out of it. And was in a second relationship with a guy who needed serious counseling. And she got out of that one too.

She also walked the talk as a Christian.

She did her first 40-day juice and water fast at 15 years old. (And still was first-string on her soccer team). When her other friends were off partying at midnight, she was laying on her face next to her flag pole, praying for revival in her school. She was devoted, outspoken for Jesus. And was still Homecoming Queen.

She was a rockstar.

As a teenager.

Because of this faithfulness, she addressed thousands of her peers in arenas around the country. Multiple times. And sang in front of 25,000 teens on the Mall in Washington, DC. All to give glory to her one true love, King Jesus.

God rewards those who pay a price to follow him.

Ladies, if you have my wife’s phone number or are friends on Facebook, don’t text: “So, can I ask you a question?”

Listen, I love that you admire her. So do I. Either ask your question, or don’t. Pretending like you’re weighing your options when you’re stepping up to bat with a Titan of faith is unbecoming.

And if you’re going to ask for her pearls of wisdom, please mean it. In other words, don’t insult her by throwing them in the mud after she gives them to you. Her time and her testimony are valuable. They’re gold, and then some. If you really value her, decide in advance that you’re going to model what she’s modeled for you. Or don’t bother asking. You’ll be wasting your time and her’s.

Ladies, you have this sneaky way of so desperately wanting her advice when you don’t have a boyfriend, conveniently throwing yourself into Jesus. But the moment that cute boy comes along, you suddenly vanish off the map for six months.

Here’s my advice: don’t expect to get the life she has without paying the price she paid to get it.

Wisdom is purchased, not transferred.

Start saving early.

“Wisdom is supreme. Get wisdom. Yes, though it costs all your possessions, get understanding.”

King Solomon of Israel (Proverbs 4:7 WEB)

Do you want to know why she’s such an amazing woman? Because she sought wisdom, and chose to cling to it even when other things seemed more enticing. This was hard. She was not proven faithful when life was easy—she became great in the midst of adversity. I could not ask for a more remarkable, more intelligent, more steadfast, more beautiful, more passionate woman than her. She paid for every one of those attributes, and more.

If you want role models, true female models, they’re out there. Most aren’t on the covers of magazines, and most won’t give you the answers you want. Just make sure you’re really going to do what they say before you ask for their pearls; they get tired of being insulted as soon as your fancy changes.

“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.” Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 7:6 ESV)

To those of you who have listened to Jennifer, and in turn, listened to Jesus, you know who you are, and I applaud you. Thank you for treating my wife’s wisdom with the honor it deserves. Your lives are testimonies of God’s faithfulness to those who pursue him at any cost. I love you for honoring the Jesus in my wife. Carry on.



Megan Jackson · 8 Mar ’15 at 9:46 am

Wonderfully written. Jenny is a beautiful example of how to be all in for Jesus. Her testimony is amazing and I’m honored to know her. Any girl(s) who receive advice from her should run with it and do as instructed, no matter what the cost. She isn’t one of those people that you need to question her advice, you see the life she lives and that tells you it’s solid. I believe the same for you, Christopher. The advice you give isn’t questionable, it may be hard to follow, but it’s solid and going to get you where you need to be.

    Christopher Hopper · 8 Mar ’15 at 10:38 am

    Thanks, Megan. We so appreciate you. Tots is a life lived in pursuit of King Jesus, and we’re privileged to know you and watch you grow in God. You’re increrible. Keep going! You’re a role model to many.

Angela Brodie · 8 Mar ’15 at 3:05 pm

While I applaud your dedication and loyalty to your wife, an example for all men to follow, I don’t believe Jesus would have ever admonished anyone seeking His counsel to “not waste His time” unless they were going to do exactly as He instructed. he trusted the Father to take the seeds He planted and cause them to take root. Your wife is someone that loves the Lord and has sacrificed so much, but who by her own admission has not walked a perfect path, so I must respectfully ask why you feel the need to demand that from others? In addition, many young girls struggle with confidence and self esteem issues, yet you demand the come boldy to seek advice from someone they admire when often they have been made to feel less than worthy by those that are supposed to love a nurture them – not an approach I see anywhere in the Bible.

    Christopher Hopper · 8 Mar ’15 at 3:50 pm

    Hi Angela. Thanks for writing.

    Both Jennifer and I live our lives in such a fashion that we give hundreds of chances to those we counsel; the health of our church and the testimonies of those we lead speak to that. The point here is not admonishment of people seeking wisdom. We give out lots of it—as much as we can.

    The issue is of people continually seeking wisdom without any intention of implementing it. It is the repeated approach with no behavior change.

    If you’re going to ask for advice from people who’s lives display good fruit, and you don’t want to take it, that’s fine. Just don’t to come back for it again when you already know what the initial advice was. Put *that* advice into practice first. In fact, it’s how our entire ministry operates; from drug addiction counseling to marriage counseling. Do the first thing (Rev. 2:5), and do what you already know is right to do (James 4:17).

    Yes, entertaining people who treat wisdom with such disdain *is* a waste of time—even Jesus moved on to people that were hungry and in need (and gave us the line on not giving wisdom to people who don’t want it, evidenced by their actions—his words, not mine). I thank God for the Holy Spirit who is able to meet all needs; I am not him. So I move on to hungry people, and trust them into his hands.

    Ironically, regarding her past, Jennifer had sought those with spiritual authority in her life because she valued it so deeply. Sadly, in both cases, her leaders (one of whom was a pastor, his son being whom he wanted her to date) endorsed the relationships. With the help of the Holy Spirit, and with her own cognition, she finally got out of those relationships. All the more reason that wisdom form people with wounds should be treated with honor.


Michael Hensley · 8 Mar ’15 at 4:22 pm

I love you brother, and I hear your heart. But this comes across as haughty and I don’t think you meant it to.

    David Perry · 8 Mar ’15 at 10:12 pm

    I’m not quite sure how he sounds haughty. It sounds to me like he values his wife and is praising her for what he sees in her. He is guarding her heart, her time, and encouraging relationships that give life. Thank you Christopher for being an example to other men by praising and valuing your wife enough to speak about her at the ‘City Gate.’ #Proverbs31Wife

      Christopher Hopper · 9 Mar ’15 at 1:46 am

      Thanks for your kind words and noble assumptions, David. I’m honored, as is Jennifer.

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