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I recently attended the 2018 Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s national conference, “The Cross-Shaped Family.” The event, which drew nearly 1,000 attendees and countless more online, was one of the more powerful events I have attended.

From Russell Moore to Beth Moore to Matt Chandler, the conference had an all-star lineup of speakers. The format included sermons, speeches, expert panels, video messages and more, each speaking to family life and the church.

Only this was not your ordinary marriage retreat or event about family that would focus almost exclusively on married couples. The ERLC event broke the mold, offering help and hope, no matter your age or life stage.

Below were some memorable lines from the event.

On Singleness

“Being single should not mean being lonely. If it does, then we are not being the kind of church the New Testament calls us to be… If you have to be in a romantic relationship to experience friendship and community in your church, then your church stinks.”

Sam Allberry

On The Cross & Family

“Unless we see that the Christian life is defined by the cross, then we are going to fall for the devil’s offers because we are going to expect our families to bear a burden they cannot bear. Instead though, if you ground your identity and your inheritance not in your family but in the cross, if you see yourself as crucified with Christ, if you – as Jesus tells us – find your lives only by losing them, then you are actually freed to love your family.”

–Russell Moore

On Marriage

“Your marriage in the world today is as sacred in the sight of God as the perfect marriage of Adam and Eve back in the garden. (God) thinks your marriage is worth fighting for… Every marriage has problems. We’re really not very good at it. But marriage itself is not a problem. According to Genesis 2, God gave us marriage as a remedy.”

–Ray Ortlund

On Kid-Centered Families

“We cannot teach our kids to give their lives away for the Gospel when all they see is us giving away our lives for them.”

–Jamie Ivey

On Addressing Sexual Abuse

“When it comes to sexual abuse and sexual assault, we cannot move straight to solutions without first starting with sorrow.”

–Phillip Bethancourt

On What Matters Most

“Everything else may fall apart, but Jesus will always come through.”

–Beth Moore

In addition to these, there were many other noteworthy comments, insights, thought gems and messages from God’s Word. In coming weeks, the ERLC will share videos from the event at

In the meantime, check out Dr. Moore’s newest book, The Storm-Tossed Family. This conference and his book have come along at a time when we desperately needed it; and, I confess, at a time when I desperately needed it.