Today's Christian Marriage

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Posted 8/14/11 at 3:11 PM | Edward Ridenour

MARRIAGE REDEFINED: Homosexuals Doing What Heterosexuals Have Already Done

Yep, a déjà vu experience. Biblical marriage is being redefined again. This time, though, it isn't heterosexuals doing the redefining - it is homosexuals. They are determined to have a piece of the farcical marital façade that is promoted and exercised by heterosexuals. This is what happens when you adopt and promote secular marital concepts and call them Biblical. We now have one fornicated union (homosexuals) joining along with another fornicated union (unqualified heterosexuals) rehearsing a secular civil concoction in the name of God, and both declaring a Biblically viable marital oneness. It is all self-deceiving vanity, of course.

Someone will probably say and ask, "Yeah, but secular and Biblical traditions have always promoted marriage between a man and woman and not between two of the same gender. So, how can you say that heterosexuals have redefined marriage?"

Okay, it is very simple, so bear with me.

Yes, secular marriage has traditionally been between a man and woman. However, secularly, it's just a tradition. Secularly, anyone can be married, as long as the tradition is changed by the present generation that wishes to do so, beginning a new tradition. All one has to do is observe and see who is really the force behind the push for homosexual marriage. It is the approval and help of heterosexuals - both religious and secular. There isn't a homosexual population large enough to succeed on their own in procuring approval of these so-called marriages, which have already been granted in certain states. FULL POST

Posted 7/17/11 at 2:10 PM | Edward Ridenour

MARRIAGE: A Christian Exclusive

In a true Biblical marriage (one that is God approved, and I don't mean by a covenant), no government or religious organization has any power or authority in the making of one or annulling one as well. It is exclusively determined and enacted by God and the Christian individual involved.

Note that I said "God and the Christian individual." The reason I said it this way is because true marriage belongs only to God, a Christian man married to a woman, or a Christian woman married to a man and no other.

Biblical marriage is strictly a Christian institution and is hallowed. It is separate from all other marriages. It is a Godly union to the Christian male or female - exclusively. This is so, because it consists of two human beings becoming one flesh by a God induced and God-centered conjoining, based upon their new creation and being attached to Him.

The purpose of this holy conjoining is for God to be glorified in this world through the Christian man or woman He created and in the heavenly depiction that their marriage emits. Through the Christian's commitment (I will address this shortly) exercised in their physical marriage, according to the order and instruction commanded (not suggested) in Scripture, they exemplify their commitment and order in their marriage to Christ as a member of His body – the church. FULL POST

Posted 7/11/11 at 8:22 PM | Joe Beam

Do Rich Marriages Have Problems Too?

“Our problem,” he said, “is that everyone in my life listens to what I say and does what I tell them. Then I come home and it doesn’t work that way with my wife. I don’t like that.”

She didn’t either.

The comment was neither unexpected nor unusual. In workshops for marriages in crisis, leaders often note that those couples in which one mate is very successful or earns quite a bit of money have unique situations that call for unique solutions. Sometimes the successful or high-earner spouse (we will call that one SS for short, and the other one OS or other spouse) is the husband and sometimes it is the wife. If both are equally successful or high-earners, the problems may exist, but usually not as intensely.

Of course, the same problems that potentially plague all marriages plague those of the successful or wealthy, and sometimes the problems that plague the moneyed also plague less well-to-do marriages, though often in less concentrated ways.

What type problems do those who help couples notice in affluent marriages? The following is not exhaustive, but occur often.

The SS feels unappreciated

One husband stated it, “I feel as if the only thing I’m loved for by my wife is that I bring home enough cash for her to have whatever she wants.” He felt that she did not love him for who he is but only for what he provides. She replied that she very much loved him and would continue to love him whether they had money or not. He smiled sarcastically. “Why do I hear only complaints when you don’t get what you want, and hear nothing as long as you do? There isn’t even a kind word or acknowledgment of my existence unless you or the kids want something from me.” FULL POST

Posted 6/7/11 at 1:55 PM | Joe Beam

How To End An Affair

You are not quite sure how you got yourself into the affair, and even less sure about how to get out of it. You are in love with your paramour but hate the sneaking and cheating. You vacillate between ending the forbidden relationship and giving yourself totally to it. You feel intense emotions for your lover, but even as you tell yourself - or your lover - that everything is going to be wonderful, deep within a small voice says that it will not be.

When together with your lover, you feel an amazing blending of ecstasy and peace.

When alone, you feel guilt-ridden. Sadness and shame surface sporadically because you have not defeated your feelings of guilt about what you are doing. Instead, your own morality and integrity have tunneled deep inside you to war with your soul.

Your conscience wants to end the affair while your heart finds incredible fulfillment in the illicit relationship.

Earlier you tried a few times to end the relationship, but each time your willpower faded and your emotions drug you back. You felt responsible for your lover; you feared that he or she would be decimated or get sick or lose everything if you went away. At times, you feared that if you ended the relationship, your lover would be so distraught that they might destroy you, your reputation, your family or your finances. Though you wanted to do the right thing, ending the relationship was too difficult emotionally, mentally, or physically. With time, you gave up the idea of ending it and it evolved into the situation that now controls you. FULL POST

Posted 5/30/11 at 2:24 PM | Edward Ridenour

MARRIAGE: A CHURCH CONUNDRUM

There was a recent report by The Christian Post saying,

"In an interview with World Magazine, Focus on the Family Chief Executive and President Jim Daly said that people in their 20s and 30s were especially likely to support same-sex marriage. Daly was asked by the magazine how evangelicals were doing in their efforts to support traditional marriage, in comparison to the success they have had advocating against abortion.

He answered: 'We're losing on that one, especially among the 20- and 30-somethings: 65 to 70 percent of them favor same-sex marriage. I don't know if that's going to change with a little more age – demographers would say probably not. We've probably lost that. I don't want to be an extremist here, but I think we need to start calculating where we are in the culture.'"

Mr. Daly is right about losing the argument against homosexual marriage. Also, to me, what is even worse is the age group supporting so-called homosexual marriage. If homosexuality has progressed as far as it has with the more conservative older generation, what will the status be when this new generation become old. If ever right teaching on marriage is needed, it is needed now. FULL POST

Posted 4/29/11 at 10:27 AM | Joe Beam

Stay Married or Divorce?

"She's pregnant by her lover. But she says she has come to her senses, loves me, and wants to save our marriage. My family practically hates her and wants me to divorce her and have nothing else to do with her ever. I don't know what to do."

Call him Jim. Call her May. Every year situations such as theirs are repeated more times that one might imagine. One person does wrong, consequences arise, penitence hits, and the straying spouse begs for forgiveness and reconciliation.

Jim's case illustrates a pinnacle of marriage problems; May is carrying her paramour's baby. If Jim takes her back, what happens to the baby? Do they keep him? Do they put him up for adoption? In a stressful time like this they might even ask if May aborts? Do they give him to his biological father?

Tough questions, but essential if they consider reconciliation because May is pregnant. Weeping, worrying, or wanting things to be the way they used to be does not change that.

Most times the cases are not quite as severe in consequence as that of Jim and May, but they are almost universally bad. An affair but no disease transmits, no babies germinate, and no physical evidence remains. Or some kind of addiction rather than involvement with another person; gambling, porn, alcohol, or drugs. It might be that one verbally, mentally, or emotionally abused the other. The similarity is that the actions of one cause the other to want out of the relationship. FULL POST

Posted 4/15/11 at 3:03 PM | Joe Beam

Dealing With A Controlling Spouse

She could not look people in the eye as they greeted her. Head down, shoulders slumped; she headed to the nearest open seat and quietly slid into it. Her husband was a study in contrast. Confident, gregarious, he firmly shook hands and made polite small talk before striding over to sit beside his wife.

Years before she had been a decorated officer in the military. A leader of men and women. Shrinking violets do not earn those positions, so it was obvious the woman in that seat was only a shell of the woman she used to be. When anyone tried talking with her, she clasped her purse to her chest with both arms, glancing up only occasionally. If asked a question, she spoke briefly and timidly.

Abused? Yes, but perhaps not in the way you think.

Her husband had never hit her or used his physical presence to intimidate her. No spousal rape or sexual domination. In fact, he had no idea that he abused her at all. He considered himself a good man that would never be so evil as to harm a woman. In fact, he was the type that would go to the defense of any woman being threatened physically.

More than that, he seemed not to notice his wife's public timidity. His view was that she could hold her own and gave as well, if not better, than she got when they clashed. When she argued with him via email, she was forceful, angry, and articulate. She did the same aloud when they were alone. He held that perception of her to the degree that the behavior others saw seemed not to register with him. He saw a brawling, selfish witch. Others saw a frightened woman drowning in her own lack of confidence and esteem. FULL POST

Posted 3/18/11 at 1:14 PM | Joe Beam

Who Cares What Your Kids Pray For?

It isn't unusual to overhear conversations like this. One lady told another that she should NOT stay in her marriage for the sake of her children. She offered the usual: make yourself happy; why should you be punished to stay with that guy just because he fathered your children; over time the kids will be better off. She added more but these generally covered the subject.

In those conversations, certain facts seem never to appear. Consider the indications of scientific research.

Divorce can affect children for many years, well into adulthood

In 2006 Family Process published a scholarly article by Ahrons. She wrote about binuclear families. These are extended families, separate households that result from divorced spouses marrying someone else, as well as the families formed by their children when they eventually marry.

Of the negative consequences, she wrote, "...173 grown children were interviewed 20 years after their parents' divorce...The findings show that the parental subsystem continues to impact the binuclear family 20 years after marital disruption by exerting a strong influence on the quality of relationships within the family system...Of those who experienced the remarriage of both of their parents, two thirds reported that their father's remarriage was more stressful than their mother's. When children's relationships with their fathers deteriorated after divorce, their relationships with their paternal grandparents, stepmother, and step siblings were distant, negative, or nonexistent." FULL POST

Posted 3/8/11 at 5:14 PM | Joe Beam

What is Intimacy?

She interrupted my talk to tell me that I should say the word differently to make its meaning clear. Instead of intimacy, I should say it into-me-see.

She had a great point.

The Dictionary defines intimacy as "a close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group." In the social sciences we think of it as closeness, openness, vulnerability, and transparency. Pronouncing it into-me-see does a great job of giving the meaning in the way the word sounds. It is letting another person look deep inside you.

The difficulty is that most of us don't have a person, much less a group of people, with whom we can be so open. We learned early in life that people tend to accept us when we meet their criteria for acceptance, and we learned to paint pictures of how they want us to be rather than showing who we really are.

Yet we crave being known as we truly are and loved nevertheless. No criteria. No pretending. Just love me as I am.

A couple weeks ago a friend was interviewing me before an audience several thousand teenagers. In the course of our conversation, I tried to make it clear that we do strange – sometimes very bad – things in our effort to feel that someone loves us as we are. Without realizing it, I referred to the title of an old hymn that I haven't heard for decades. I said to my friend, "I want someone to love me just as I am." FULL POST

Posted 2/10/11 at 11:41 AM | Edward Ridenour

SEX EDUCATION OR MARRIAGE EDUCATION: Which Should Be Taught?

In the state of Nebraska, legislators are scrambling about wondering what to do with the "high rates of sexually transmitted diseases, including the human immunodeficiency virus, among youths in Douglas County," according to an article written in the Omaha World Herald regarding the statements of Nebraska Senator Brenda Council. "Since 1995, the county's rate of Chlamydia infections has outpaced rates in both Nebraska as a whole and the United States. If you look at the population that's being infected in Douglas County, you're looking at 13-, 14-, 15-year-olds, Council said, adding that too many young men rely on medical treatment for sexually transmitted diseases rather than using protection such as condoms."

Even though the school system has been teaching sex education for a long time, it is miserably unsuccessful. Now, Senator Council wants to introduce the teaching of "the benefits of abstinence" into the mix of the smorgasbord of sexual educational solutions, which includes "instruction in the proper use of all contraceptive methods approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA has OK'd a variety of devices and medications, among them the "morning after" pill that prevents pregnancy after intercourse." Others say by adding this, it will send the wrong mixed message. FULL POST

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