It was the second week of my Old Testament Theology class. I missed my Dad’s phone call a few times, and I knew something was up, so I called him back during a break. His words were, “Evan, your mom is divorcing me.”  After the call, I went back to class trying to focus on what the professor was saying. My mind was not focused on the class. Instead, I was thinking about my Dad who has been a great example to my wife and me, my brothers and the rest of the family. I was also thinking about how could my Mom do this? What does she think she will get out of this?

Satan is a cunning deceiver. He is quick with his tempting. He desires to steal, kill and destroy. In Seminary, it is not different. Satan will strive to keep your focus off of Christ. He will also aim to keep your focus off of making disciples. Seminary is a privilege. Keep your focus on Christ. I have been blessed with the opportunity to attend Southern Seminary after graduating from Boyce. It has been a joy to learn at SBTS and live/serve in the surrounding area.

In conclusion to this article are three brief pieces of advice for the first year seminary student or one who is returning to school.

Be Prepared for Trials

Please recognize that the trials will come. There may be the death of family members, divorce of parents, struggling with health issues or not knowing how you will pay your bills. The trials will come, but Christ will help you endure.

Be Involved in the Local Church

I hope this is not the first time you have heard this. You need to be involved in the local church. Since hearing the news of my parent’s divorce and my cousin’s death in the fall of 2016, I have cried on some of our members’ shoulders. But they have also cried on mine. I love my church. They are my community that encourages me to work hard, study hard, and rest in Christ. If you don’t love the local church now, how do you expect to love them in the future?

Christ is King

Many classes at Seminary are a perfect time to take your mind off of some of the trials that life may bring. These courses will require you to focus on Christ! They should press you to Him! The purpose of languages and Christian theology is not for “just knowledge sake.” The purpose of languages, Christian Theology, and other courses exist for the declaration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christ is the focus of our studies. May He be our focus and reflected in our lives.

We only get one life, and it will soon pass. Only what is done for Christ will last!