Posts belonging to Category Marriage



8 Things You Need to Know About Gay Marriage and the Supreme Court

One week from today, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments about gay marriage. Here’s what you need to know.

  1. There simply is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that requires all 50 states to redefine marriage.
  2. The question before the Court is not whether government-recognized gay marriage is good, only whether it’s required by the Constitution.
  3. The Constitution is silent on which vision of marriage is correct, so We the People have authority to make policy.
  4. The Constitution does not require a new vision of marriage.
  5. Everyone is in favor of marriage equality. Disagreement is over what consenting adult relationship is a marriage.
  6. Marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children.
  7. Redefining marriage to make it a genderless institution fundamentally changes marriage.
  8. There is no need for the Court to “settle” the marriage issue like it “settled” abortion. Allow democracy to work on the best policy.

 
From Ryan T. Anderson at The Daily Signal. (Click here to read Ryan’s elaboration on each of these points.)

Unemployment Prompts Large Increase in Living Together

Regular readers at this blog know that I get a steady stream of comments on my Living Together Before Marriage Series. Many of the comments come from people who agree in principle that living together before marriage is not right, but who then offer reasons why they feel it is okay for them. Now add a bad economy and unemployment to the list. From The Christian Post:

The number of unmarried couples living together rose 13 percent from the previous year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

This year, there are 7.5 million opposite-sex unmarried couples living together – up from 6.7 million in 2009, reported the bureau on Thursday. The year before had witnessed a two percent drop after a five percent rise in co-habiting couples between 2007 and 2008.

Demographers say a poor job market is likely a factor in the rise of co-habiting couples in 2010.

According to 2010 data, unmarried couples who recently began living together usually have one partner unemployed. Only 49 percent of cohabiting couples this year are ones where both partners are employed. This figure is down from 59 percent in 2008 and 52 percent in 2009.

As I try to share with people in the comments section, if you will trust God and put Christ first in your situation, I believe God will always open up another option for you. If you or your boyfriend/girlfriend are unemployed: check with family, check with friends, check with your local church, and see what living arrangements you can find. But please don’t make the mistake of moving in together before marriage. You can read more about why in the articles below.

Living Together Before Marriage Series:
    ● Statistics on Living Together Before Marriage
    ● Scriptures on Living Together Before Marriage
    ● Living Together Without Sex
    ● What If We Already Lived Together Before Marriage?

When Does Marriage Begin?

I love these paragraphs from Walter Wangerin on “When does marriage begin?” and the significance of the marriage vows:

Marriage Begins with the Vow

Listen: marriage begins when two people make the clear, unqualified promise to be faithful, each to the other, until the end of their days. That spoken promise makes the difference. A new relationship is initiated. Marriage begins when each vows to commit herself, himself, unto the other and to no other human in this world: “I promise you my faithfulness, until death parts us.” That vow, once spoken, once heard, permits a new, enduring trust: each one may trust the vow of the other one. And that vow forms the foundation of the relationship to be built upon it hereafter.

A promise made, a promise witnessed, a promise heard, remembered, and trusted — this is the groundwork of marriage. Not emotions. No, not even love. Not physical desires or personal needs or sexuality. Not the practical fact of living together. Not even the piercing foresight or some peculiar miracle of All-seeing God. Rather, a promise, a vow, makes the marriage. “I promise you my faithfulness, until death parts us.”

Here is a marvelous work, performed by those who are made in the image of God — for we create, in this promise, a new thing, a changeless stability in an ever-changing world. We do the thing that God does, establishing a covenant with another human being: we ask faith in our faithfulness to that covenant. We transfigure the relationship thereafter, transfiguring ourselves, for we shape our behaviors by the covenant. A new ethic has begun for each of us. We have called forth a spiritual house in which each of us may dwell securely. Whether we know it or not, it is a divine thing we do, and it is holy.

From Walter Wangerin, As For Me and My House, pp. 18-19.
    • Click here for As For Me and My House at Christianbook.
    • Click here for As For Me and My House at Amazon.

Related posts:
    ● Statistics on Living Together Before Marriage
    ● Scriptures on Living Together Before Marriage
    ● Living Together Without Sex
    ● What If We Already Lived Together Before Marriage?

Marriage and Cohabitation in the United States

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (CDC/Centers for Disease Control) just released a new study on marriage and cohabitation in the United States. The study defines cohabitation as “a man and woman living together in a sexual relationship without being married.” The findings confirm what earlier studies have reported — that couples who live together before marriage are more likely to divorce. As The New York Times reports:

Couples who live together before they get married are less likely to stay married, a new study has found. But their chances improve if they were already engaged when they began living together. The likelihood that a marriage would last for a decade or more decreased by six percentage points if the couple had cohabited first, the study found …

The survey found that about 28 percent of men and women had cohabitated before their first marriage and that about 7 percent lived together and never married. About 23 percent of women and 18 percent of men married without having lived together. Women who were not living with both of their biological or adoptive parents when they were 14 years old were less likely to be married and more likely to be cohabiting than those who grew up with both parents.

For more information on the effects of living together before marriage, I encourage you to visit my series on the topic. Click on the following links to access the series:

Living Together Before Marriage Series:
    ● Statistics on Living Together Before Marriage
    ● Scriptures on Living Together Before Marriage
    ● Living Together Without Sex
    ● What If We Already Lived Together Before Marriage?

10 Ways To Do Your Husband Good

Just in time for Father’s Day, here is a great list of 10 ways to do your husband good (from Nicole at GirlTalk).

10 Ways to Do Your Husband Good (Proverbs 31:12)

  1. Write him a love note and place it in his sock drawer.
  2. Take an entire evening to enjoy his favorite hobby with him.
  3. Show up at work with a special drink or take him to lunch.
  4. Encourage him for demonstrating a specific godly trait—in front of friends.
  5. Arrange a datenight at his favorite restaurant.
  6. Pray for him today and tell him you are doing so.
  7. Surprise him with his favorite dessert after dinner.
  8. Greet him in an extra-special way when he comes home from work.
  9. Lead the children in a time of honoring him.
  10. Ask him: “What is one way I can be a better wife?” Then do it!

What are some other ways wives can do their husbands good? We husbands want to get as many ideas out there as possible!

Related post: 20 Minutes to Change Your Marriage

20 Minutes to Change Your Marriage

Who wouldn’t take twenty minutes to change his marriage for the better? Mike Seaver points out the 20 crucial minutes in a man’s day that can really bless his wife and improve his marriage. “If a man would think through these specific times and ask his wife what blessed her during these times, he would be setting a trajectory for a successful marriage. Here are the specific times.”

  • The first 5 minutes when you wake up in the morning
  • The last 5 minutes before you say goodbye for work
  • The first 5 minutes when you walk in the door from work
  • The last 5 minutes before you say good night

        –from a Davis Carman seminar

Let’s hear from the women on this one. What are some things we husbands could do during these twenty minutes that would be a blessing to you? Husbands, remember these are other wives’ ideas. You will need to ask your own wife what would be most helpful to her.

You Might Be a Pastor’s Wife If …

Here is a follow-up to yesterday’s post on You Might Be a Pastor.

You might be a pastor’s wife if …

  • Every summer you counsel at teen camp for your vacation.
  • You have shaken as many hands as a politician.
  • People think your husband works only three hours a week.
  • You can teach Sunday School and nurse your baby at the same time.
  • You can sincerely pray for someone’s dog!
  • You spend more time visiting in hospitals than doctors do.
  • People consider you a walking phone book for church members.
  • You sing in the choir, teach Sunday School, and host a missionary family all in the same day.
  • You’re expected to be a piano player … actually, a “spiritual gift!”

Source: You Might Be a Pastor’s Wife If, by Kathy Slamp

Related posts:
    • You Might Be a Pastor If …
    • The Pastor’s Dog

Marriage for a Lifetime Contest

A nonprofit organization is offering a $10,000 prize to an engaged couple that will agree to abstain from premarital sex — and no one has entered the contest!

“Someone asked me, ‘Is anyone going to respond?'” said contest organizer Phillippia Faust, director of an abstinence education program for Rockdale, DeKalb and Newton counties. “In our society, it is going to be hard to find [a couple who has not had premarital sex]. … But the standard is the standard.”

The prize also includes free flowers, invitations and other bridal goodies. I am sure there must be some eligible Christian couples who have already taken a stand on this issue. But if you want to enter, you had better move fast. The deadline is October 31.

CONTEST DETAILS

  • What: Marriage for a Lifetime wedding essay contest
  • Requirements: Bride and groom must agree to undergo premarital education. Must agree not to serve alcohol at reception. Couple either agrees not to have premarital sex or at least acknowledge it’s preferable not to. At least one of the couple must live in DeKalb, Newton or Rockdale counties.
  • To apply: Submit 600-word essay to the Mature Project, Rockdale Medical Center, 1412 Milstead Ave., Conyers, GA 30012. Deadline: Oct. 31
  • More information: 770-918-3659

Related posts: Living Together Before Marriage Series

How to Make Your Wife Treat You Like a King

A public lecture was once advertised under the title, “How to make your wife treat you like a king.” The lecture hall was absolutely packed out, with men from all sections of society waiting to hear where they were going wrong. Finally, the speaker stood up to address the packed and expectant gathering. “Gentleman,” he said to them, “the answer to the question being posed is every simple. If you want your wife to treat you like a king, there is one thing you must do: treat her like a queen.” (J. John, Ten, p. 118)

HT: Unashamed Workman

Power Cut/Electric Marriage

Albert Mohler’s reflection on the recent power outage in Louisville, Kentucky reminded me of this (very sad) poem by Steve Turner.

“POWER CUT/ELECTRIC MARRIAGE” – by Steve Turner

When the lights
            went out
and the sounds
      died down
and the pictures
      stopped moving
there was nothing
left to say
      between Mr and Mrs.
Both forced within
the same dull radius
of candle flame
their silvered anniversary
barely showed a glint.
The stereogram had
now stopped its mad
                  singing.
There was no hot
coffee in which to
drown the need for
            conversation.
Television did not
feel bright enough
to play gooseberry
            that night.
Sheltering together
within the dull radius
                  of flame,
quartercentury lovers
wonder if it’s still
possible to be friends.
And on the night
electricity walked out
of their lives
there was nothing left to do
                        but sleep.

(Source: Steve Turner, Up To Date, pp. 28-29.)

I first read this Turner poem probably back in college days (early 1980’s). I found it incredibly sad then, and it has haunted me ever since.

Click here for more poems.
Click here for poems by Ray Fowler.

Living Together Before Marriage Series

Here are links to all four posts in the Living Together Before Marriage series:

What If We Already Lived Together Before Marriage?

Living Together Before Marriage Series:
    ● Statistics on Living Together Before Marriage
    ● Scriptures on Living Together Before Marriage
    ● Living Together Without Sex
    ● What If We Already Lived Together Before Marriage?

“What if we already lived together before marriage?” This is a question I am sometimes asked when presenting the scriptural and statistical reasons for not living together before marriage. If the Bible says not to live together before marriage, and statistics demonstrate a high correlation of undesirable outcomes for those who do, what if you already lived together before marriage? Is it too late for you? Is there anything you can do? The answers are: “No, it is not too late,” and “Yes, there is something you can do.” God reveals himself in the Bible as a God of grace, and even when we fail, we can still trust God to help us.

First of all, as far as breaking God’s commands in this area, we must understand why God gives us his commands in the first place. God gives us his commands to protect us from harm and to lead us in the way that is right. So even God’s commands are an example of his love and grace to us. However, God’s greatest expression of love and grace was given at the cross. When we break God’s commands, we sin against God, but God offers us forgiveness through his Son, Jesus Christ. When Jesus died on the cross, he paid the penalty for our sin. When we confess our sin to God, putting our faith and trust in Christ, God forgives us and cleanses us. So if you lived together before marriage, the first thing you should do is simply confess your sin to God and put your trust in Jesus Christ who died for your sin.

Secondly, as far as the statistics go, people who have lived together before marriage often wonder, “Is there a way of avoiding the undesirable outcomes reported in the statistics?” There are three things we should try to grasp here.

  1. The consequences of sin:  We should understand that even when God forgives us, we still often suffer the consequences for our sin. The repentant thief may still have to spend time behind bars. And the couple that lived together before marriage may struggle with certain issues in marriage as a result.
  2. The challenges of marriage:  We should also understand that every marriage poses certain challenges. Obviously, we should try to bring as little baggage into a marriage as possible, but we are all sinners, and so we all bring the consequences of various choices into our marriages. And that brings us to the third point, which is:
  3. The power of prayer:  I believe that any couple that puts Christ at the center of their marriage and asks God to help them can overcome the particular challenges they face in their marriage, whether those challenges arise from living together before marriage or from some other wrong choices they made along the way. It may not be easy, but God will help you if you ask him.

What if you already lived together before marriage? Confess your sin to God, put your trust in Christ, and ask God to help you. God is a God of grace who will pardon your past and help you in the present. He’s got a pretty good future waiting for you, too!
______________________________________________________________

Well, that concludes this series on living together before marriage. I hope you found the series helpful and encourage you to pass the posts on to others who may benefit from the material. As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome. If you haven’t done so already, click to subscribe by email or feed reader so that you don’t miss any future posts.

Link to all the posts in the series:  Living Together Before Marriage Series