In the first chapter of The Bible, it says that God created the entire world and then formed one man named Adam. Shortly after that, he gave this famous declaration in Genesis 2:18: "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Thus, God created a woman named Eve, and thus Christians throughout the centuries have viewed this story as a beacon of hope that God might one day make a person for them to love and build a life with. Of course, the primary difference between Adam and all of us today is that Adam didn’t have any other women to choose from. He didn’t have to sift through millions of profiles on match.com, or question whether or not the girl he had been dating for the past three months was technically "the one." On the contrary, the woman he was meant to marry was pretty darn obvious. Fast forward thousands of years later to a time when 7 billion people inhabit the planet, and things suddenly get a lot more complicated.
Religion is just the first in a long line of other deal breakers. "You are not called to missionary dating," Christian writer Max Lucado writes. Then he advises, "Marry someone who loves God more than you do." So, not only do I need a guy who calls himself a Christian, I need one who walks the walk—I need a guy who helps me love God more fully. Need more deal breakers? I've got 'em.
If you've heard the term Natural Family Planning (NFP), it's probably almost a certainty actually, that you were given some bad information about it. As someone who has practiced NFP with my wife for around six years, I know I've heard more than my fair share of misguidance from family, the media and even priests. Sometimes it's honest confusion or simply a passing along of misinformation, but other times it's a blatant attack on a somewhat mysterious practice that many in our culture chalk up to some form of crazy desire for 20 kids or an exercise in Pope-worshiping. Despite what critics say, Natural Family Planning can be good for your marriage.
I stood there in my sweatpants, a bit disheveled, wanting to cry out, "No! You and I belong together!" But that was my need, not his. He walked off, his Bakugan backpack shining in the sun, without turning his head. I tightened my jacket around me. He caught sight of his friend, and slung his arm around his shoulders, a gesture that seemed more mature than he was. They disappeared into the school, laughing, tilting their faces towards one another. And just like that, the cord was severed.
If you were to scan the news headlines over the past few months, the primary message you would glean about men in America would be this: They are failing. Failing to become adults; failing to be financially independent; failing as fathers; failing as husbands. It’s enough to make a girl like myself throw her hands up in the air and vow to be single for the rest of her life. Yet, the more I read, the more I start to wonder: whose standards are we going by here? And what if all these statistics about men in their 20’s and 30’s living lives of self-indulgent abandon, delaying marriage, and being neglectful fathers aren’t nearly as black and white as they seem? What if there’s more going on beneath the surface, and what about all the men who don’t fall into those categories? The ones who are involved fathers, devoted husbands, and successful career men. Isn’t it high time we gave them a little bit of press?
Another celebrity marriage has gone by the wayside. Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony are no more. Now that the media hubub has died down, there are certain things we might be able to learn and apply for our marriages. You would think that after a while, there wouldn't be anything we could learn from a celebrity divorce. But its not true. I think we can always learn something, so we don't have to repeat mistakes of others! Not that I wish harm on anyone or any relationship - that isn't the case at all. Just that when bad things do happen, we can observe, learn, and try not to let things creep into our own relationships that might be problematic.
The argument against contraception is that it undermines the primary goal of marriage: to create a family. But I disagree. Contraception does what natural family planning tries to do, it just does it more effectively. Contraception gives couples choices and allows them to build a stronger relationship which will result in a stronger family, when the time is right. I have a daughter of my own now and I am amazed at the way she's changed our lives and our relationship. Seeing my husband in her and seeing my husband with her, does make me love him more than I ever have. But having a kid has also made my relationship more difficult.
To be honest, in the beginning, I wasn't sure about writing this piece. I usually don't mind giving my opinions on a range of topics, especially involving Christianity. However, this issue is far more complicated than anything I've ever been able to verbalize. But I decided to do it, to write about homosexuality just after New York's historic vote to legalize gay marriage, because I think the Christian view on the subject is widely misunderstood.
There are plenty of things from the 1970s that should remain in the 1970s: disco, the polyester leisure suit, and "open" marriage. Unlike disco, there are some people who think that open marriage, championed in the 1972 book (written by Nena and George O'Neill and titled, of course, "The Open Marriage") should come back.
When blogging, how much should you reveal, and how much should you keep between you and your spouse? Sue O'Lear wasn't sure how her husband would respond when she hit Publish on a personal post. Julia Spira, author of The Rules of Netiquette, weighs in.