In the middle of this heated debate over birth control and religion, it's easy to get the impression that Christians are anti-birth control, and so is God for that matter. Yet, as a mom, a person of faith, a married lady and a birth control lover, I don't see it as so simple.
Over time, my husband and I have learned how to come to an agreement on more things than just everyday household decisions. And we've learned that selfishness and stubborn attitudes make compromising nearly impossible. But don't get me wrong, it didn't all happen overnight. We had to make some major adjustments on both of our parts to get where we are today.
Today, one in two marriages will end in divorce. So, how can any couple, well-known or not, keep their marriage divorce-proof? In honor of the Academy Awards this weekend, here are five tips that have guided my husband and me through the years. Follow them and you're more likely to have a marriage like Oscar darlings Streep and Bridges, instead of one that would easily fall victim to the Best Actress curse.
At 19, Kylie beat out 10,000 other girls during the 2009 "Victoria's Secret Model Search" for a contract with the lingerie giant. She strutted the runway as an angel during the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, with the likes of supermodels Miranda Kerr, Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Doutzen Kroes. It was all she had ever wanted, but something didn't feel right. A young, newlywed Christian during this time, Kylie was beginning to read scripture more and more. As God's Word started to infiltrate her heart, she slowly realized that modeling lingerie wasn't in line with her beliefs. So when her contract was up with Victoria's Secret, she walked away. Now, at age 21, she's trying to be a role model for Christ. She's showing other girls that you don't have to be a sex symbol to be happy and accepted and successful. She's spreading a message of how our bodies are sacred, and meant only for our spouses' eyes. She's speaking out for modesty. And in a world where sex sells, it's a bold and brave message.
Call me a cynic, but nothing breeds disappointment and disillusionment quite like Valentine's Day. If you're in a relationship, then it's a day loaded with romantic expectations. If you're single, then you're likely to be dwelling on what you don't have and feeling lonely in the process. In addition, all parties—single, married, dating—will be suffering from a mild form of temporary amnesia. It happens every year. People tend to forget all the romantic gestures and moments they've experienced on the 364 days leading up to Valentine's Day, and all that matters is what happens on February 14, and February 14 alone. Call it amnesia, or tunnel vision. Both terms are rather accurate, and both require various coping mechanisms.
It was a quick wake up call to learn that my husband didn't feel I honored him--and then I set out to learn what honoring your spouse really means. In a world where traditional values pull us women in one direction and modern notions pull us in another, are we really still expected to submit to our husbands?
Before you start calling up wedding coordinators and venues, before you start looking for a dress and picking out a cake, put away your emotions long enough to ask yourself a few questions.
Writing about love is daunting. It really is. To paint an accurate illustration of the way I felt when I first began tackling this topic, I ask you to envision me—a skinny, uncoordinated white girl measuring all of 5’3”—facing off with Shaquille O’Neal on the basketball court. The entire scenario is silly and farcical, and that’s exactly how I felt trying to form accurate conclusions about love, a force that is much like a giant on a basketball court. It’s towering and intimidating and has the capacity to undo me. The challenge was intriguing, however, so I couldn’t say no.
Sometime last year I was riding in the car with my husband, and I saw his gym membership card hanging from his rear-view mirror. I leaned over and asked him, "When was the last time you used that?" He shrugged his shoulders and said he couldn't remember. That question got us both talking about the upcoming year and thinking about setting a few resolutions.
A number of Episcopalians have been unhappy with the denomination's recent liberal changes, things like a shift toward pro-choice views and acceptance of gay marriage, even ordaining openly homosexual bishops. In response, the Catholic Church is opening up a nationwide diocese to ex-Episcopalians who would like to join Catholicism as a group; a priest and congregation, so church leaders and members who are already comfortable with one another will have a chance to stick together. They will be expected to abide by the Catholic Church's governance, support their conservative views and acknowledge the pope. But since priests in the Episcopal Church have never had to practice celibacy, and many are already married with children, the Catholic Church is granting an exemption to their long-practiced celibacy code... but is it fair? And should it even be allowed in the faith?