7 Reasons Why the Current Marriage Debate Is Nothing Like the Debate on Interracial Marriage






It is the nature of love to bind itself, and the institution of marriage merely paid the average man the compliment of taking him at his word. Modern sages offer to the lover, with an ill-favoured grin, the largest liberties and the fullest irresponsibility; but they do not respect him as the old Church respected him; they do not write his oath upon the heavens, as the record of his highest moment. They give him every liberty except the liberty to sell his liberty, which is the only one that he wants.

G. K. Chesterton (quoted here)






The Downside of Cohabiting Before Marriage







You Never Marry the Right Person

In other words, some people in our culture want too much out of a marriage partner. They do not see marriage as two flawed people coming together to create a space of stability, love and consolation, a “haven in a heartless world,” as Christopher Lasch describes it. Rather, they are looking for someone who will accept them as they are, complement their abilities and fulfill their sexual and emotional desires. This will indeed require a woman who is “a novelist/astronaut with a background in fashion modeling,” and the equivalent in a man. A marriage based not on self-denial but on self-fulfillment will require a low- or no-maintenance partner who meets your needs while making almost no claims on you. Simply put—today people are asking far too much in the marriage partner.

We disparage marriage and monogamy even as we develop increasingly unrealistic (read: selfish) standards for it.





South Park S2E12

Stan’s mom: Stanley, you know you’re the most important thing to me, right?
Stan: If that’s true, then get back together with Dad, for me!
Stan’s mom: Stanley, you have to understand how divorce works. When I say you’re the most important thing to me, what I mean is you’re the most important thing after me and my happiness and my new romances.
Stan: Oh.

I don’t necessarily advocate taking marriage advice from South Park, but this satire of the divorce mentality is particularly spot-on.

1:31 am,
permalink





Staying deeply in love with someone happens gradually and requires conscious decisions, made over and over again, for a lifetime. Too many people choose to get married based on attraction and don’t consider, or have enough perspective to recognize, whether their love can endure.

Founder of eHarmony: On Second Thought, Don’t Get Married

It’s not that you shouldn’t get married; just understand the above before you say ‘I do’

(via davereed)

our culture propagates a billion lies about love, but there is a better way. love is work; it doesn’t just happen. it’s also very different than we expect it to be: both far better and more difficult.

(via hilker)





The "Try Before You Buy" Approach to Sex

Greg Koukl:

The first problem with the “try before you buy” approach is that it reduces sex to physical mechanics. The title of a well-known book, Sex Begins in the Kitchen, makes a great point: A critical part of our sexual fulfillment has nothing to do with what goes on in the bedroom, a truth women understand better than men. 
Simply put, the power of sex and the effectiveness of a good sex life are not to be found merely in mechanics, but are primarily—though not entirely—relational. A good relationship can be improved by better mechanics, but good technique can’t build a sound partnership. Ironically, “good” sex can actually be a danger sign. Some of the most unhealthy relationships are accompanied by tremendous sexual intensity. The cycle of conflict, then reconciliation, which is characteristic of unstable unions, can really launch the libido. That’s why making up is so sweet. 
Later in life, though, this emotional seesaw gets old. The eroticism dissipates, but the fighting and distancing remain. The very pattern that stimulated passion ends up ruining the marriage. Conversely, qualities that make for a healthy marriage—respect, self-control, kindness, charity, sensitivity, patience—do not lend themselves to sexual intensity at the outset. In the long run, however, these virtues stabilize the relationship and contribute to a satisfying sex life.
Is your sweetheart patient, sensitive, self-sacrificial, understanding, kind, and concerned about your particular needs? Those qualities make the real difference in the long run, and you can discover them without jumping into the sack together to test the machinery.

Read the rest.

11:32 pm,
permalink




I Looked For Love In Your Eyes

I saved my best for you.
Other girls may have given themselves away,
But I believed in the dream.
A husband, a wife, united as one forever.

Nervous, first time, needing assurance of your love,
I looked for it in your eyes
Mere inches from mine.
But what I saw made my soul run and hide.

Gone was the tenderness I’d come to know
I saw a stranger, cold and hard
Distant, evil, revolting.
I looked for love in your eyes
And my soul wept.

Who am I that you cannot make love to me?
Why do I feel as if I’m not even here?
I don’t matter.
I’m a prop in a filthy play.
Not an object of tender devotion.

Where are you?

Years pass
But the hardness in your eyes does not.
You think I’m cold
But how can I warm to eyes that are making hate to someone else
Instead of making love to me?

I know where you are.
I’ve seen the pictures.
I know now what it takes to turn you on.
Women…people like me
Tortured, humiliated, hated, used
Discarded.
Images burned into your brain.
How could you think they would not show in your eyes?

Did you ever imagine,
The first time you picked up a dirty picture
That you were dooming all intimacy between us
Shipwrecking your marriage
Breaking the heart of a wife you wouldn’t meet for many years?

If it stopped here, I could bear it.
But you brought the evil into our home
And our little boys found it.
Six and eight years old.
I heard them laughing, I found them ogling.

Hands bound, mouth gagged.
Fisheye photo, contorting reality
Distorting the woman into exaggerated breasts.
The haunted eyes, windows of a tormented soul
Warped by the lens into the background,
Because souls don’t matter, only bodies do
To men who consume them.

Little boys
My little boys
Laughing and ogling the sexual torture
Of a woman, a woman like me.
Someone like me.

An image burned into their brains.

Will their wives’ souls have to run and hide like mine does?
When does it end?

I can tell you this. It has not ended in your soul.
It has eaten you up. It is cancer.
Do you think you can feed on a diet of hatred
And come out of your locked room to love?

You say the words, but love has no meaning in your mouth
When hatred rules in your heart.
Your cruelty has eaten up every vestige of the man
I thought I was marrying.
Did you ever dream it would so consume you
That your wife and children would live in fear of your rage?

That is what you have become
Feeding your soul on poison.

I’ve never used porn.
But it has devastated my marriage, my family, my world.

Was it worth it?

(Source: challies.com)

11:12 pm,
permalink




Pod Porn

Douglas Wilson:

One of the older fears about pornography that has not been borne out has been the fear that widespread pornography would create a sexually enflamed male populace. But what has happened is that porn has actually dampened sexual interest in real women, serving many men as a cheap substitute. When it comes to real people, and real lives, and real beds, it turns out that restraint and prudence are erotic.

Of course the older arguments in favor of porn tried to assert that since sex was natural and healthy, it follows that this porn interest represented something open and fresh after generations of previous repression. Now that we started letting it all hang out, all our hang ups would disappear and what a lovely time it would be too.

But the reality has started to set in, and pastors and counselors are starting to notice. The presenting symptom for husbands with a secret porn problem is often a radically decreased libido for real time sex. If a husband is routinely going without for stretches of time that would render a faithful and normal husband cross-eyed, then porn may well be at the root of it. The “porn is sex and sex is natural” meme has run its course. There is nothing natural about this. Porn provides the kind of sex life that someone living in a Matrix pod could enjoy.

12:46 am,
permalink
tagged: pornography,






What does love look like in marriage?

Excerpts from Paul David Tripp’s What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage:

  1. Love is being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of your husband or wife without impatience or anger.
  2. Love is actively fighting the temptation to be critical and judgmental toward your spouse, while looking for ways to encourage and praise.
  3. Love is the daily commitment to resist the needless moments of conflict that come from pointing out and responding to minor offenses.
  4. Love is being lovingly honest and humbly approachable in times of misunderstanding, and being more committed to unity and love than you are to winning, accusing, or being right.
  5. Love is a daily commitment to admit your sin, weakness, and failure and to resist the temptation to offer an excuse or shift the blame.
  6. Love means being willing, when confronted by your spouse, to examine your heart rather than rising to your defense or shifting the focus.
  7. Love is a daily commitment to grow in love so that the love you offer to your husband or wife is increasingly selfless, mature, and patient.
  8. Love is being unwilling to do what is wrong when you have been wronged but to look for concrete and specific ways to overcome evil with good.
  9. Love is being a good student of your spouse, looking for his physical, emotional, and spiritual needs so that in some way you can remove the burden, support him as he carries it, or encourage him along the way.
  10. Love means being willing to invest the time necessary to discuss, examine, and understand the problems that you face as a couple, staying on task until the problem is removed or you have agreed upon a strategy of response.
  11. Love is always being willing to ask for forgiveness and always being committed to grant forgiveness when it is requested.
  12. Love is recognizing the high value of trust in a marriage and being faithful to your promises and true to your word.
  13. Love is speaking kindly and gently, even in moments of disagreement, refusing to attack your spouse’s character or assault his or her intelligence.
  14. Love is being unwilling to flatter, lie, manipulate, or deceive in any way in order to co-opt your spouse into giving you what you want or doing something your way.
  15. Love is being unwilling to ask your spouse to be the source of your identity, meaning and purpose, or inner sense of well-being, while refusing to be the source of his or hers.
  16. Love is the willingness to have less free time, less sleep, and a busier schedule in order to be faithful to what God has called you to be and to do as a husband or a wife.
  17. Love is a commitment to say no to selfish instincts and to do everything that is within your ability to promote real unity, functional understanding, and active love in your marriage.
  18. Love is staying faithful to your commitment to treat your spouse with appreciation, respect, and grace, even in moments when he or she doesn’t seem to deserve it or is unwilling to reciprocate.
  19. Love is the willingness to make regular and costly sacrifices for the sake of your marriage without asking anything in return or using your sacrifices to place your spouse in your debt.
  20. Love is being unwilling to make any personal decision or choice that would harm your marriage, hurt your husband or wife, or weaken the bond of trust between you.
  21. Love is refusing to be self-focused or demanding but instead looking for specific ways to serve, support, and encourage, even when you are busy or tired.
  22. Love is daily admitting to yourself, your spouse, and God that you are not able to love this way without God’s protecting, providing, forgiving, rescuing, and delivering grace.
  23. Love is a specific commitment of the heart to a specific person that causes you to give yourself to a specific lifestyle of care that requires you to be willing to make sacrifices that have that person’s good in view.
8:30 pm,
permalink
tagged: love,