It's not that I deny the power of faith. Faith is an incredibly important part of my life, but I know that faith is no panacea for any relationship. According to a study conducted by the Barna Research Group, couples who profess faith in God are just as likely to divorce as any other couple, and of this segment born-again Christians have the highest rates of divorce. Shocking? Not for me.
According to SmartMarriages, about 70 percent of couples get married in a church. Yet, how did marriage and religion become so closely intertwined? Despite what you may think, marriage didn't start off as a $30,000 religious ceremony. If the Bible is to be believed, the first marriage took place without a $10,000 dollar Vera Wang dress. The bride and the groom were in the nude and consummated their union by hanging out with a snake (not a double entendre). After being kicked out from the Garden of Eden, Adam's descendants had complicated marital relationships often involving more than one wife and several concubines (I'm looking at you King Solomon).
This week it was reported that Elisabeth Moss officially filed for divorce from her husband of less then a year Saturday Night Live actor Fred Armisen. Nobody knows for sure why the two split, but it's rumored that Elisabeth, a Scientologist, was more interested in the religion then her own marriage. Is Scientology toxic to relationships?
My family wasn't the only one caught up in this idea of courtship. In the wake of the publication of I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris, a whole generation of Christian conservatives were booting modern dating out the door. There were rallies and conferences where we jammed out to Christian music and cheered when a speaker said things like, "Dating is of the devil!" or "No kissing before marriage!" We sighed when we heard stories about a couple sharing their first kiss on their wedding day. We weren't just pledging our virginity, we were pledging to stay away from dating, hand-holding, kissing and the opposite sex. We were pledging to prepare ourselves to be good wives by staying submissive to our parents until the day they handed us over to our husbands.
Every year, countless couples consult books, therapists, friends, and websites for advice on maintaining happy relationships. At least two recent studies suggest, however, that couples approach a more divine source of answers: God. Scientists say that couples who pray together are less likely to cheat on each other, and more likely to experience satisfaction in their relationship.
The Huffington Post recently published a short piece on Book 22, an online sex aid shop for married Christians. The store's name Song of Solomon, the Bible's famously erotic twenty-second book. We weren't sure what to expect before logging on — essence of frankincese and myrrh massage oils? Dildos shaped like the staff of a shepherd? The possibilities are endless, even borderline sacrilegious. The Best Sex Toys for Couples
How much does your religion guide your attitudes towards the opposite sex and your decisions on your choice of a partner? As a South Asian Muslim, my faith has shaped my attitudes towards men, dating and marriage from a young age. Since I was ten years old living in Westchester County, NY my mom has been drilling this mantra into my head, “You are a Muslim and you will not date.”
Andrea Syrtash gives advice to a Hindu woman who has fallen reluctantly in love with a Muslim man.
Love. Sex. Boys. Girls. The same problems and frustrations again and again. We've been there countless times, wondering when we'll find that ONE, that perfect person we want to stay with forever and ever. Even in a relationship, we reach a point where the person we're with doesn't feel as special as he or she used to. What if you could guarantee a spark that lasted—no matter who you were with—and a happier life to go along with it? The ancient teachings of Buddhism suggest that we can do just that if we transform our relationships into spiritual partnerships. If we use our relationships to make us wiser, kinder and more compassionate, we can actually change how they function. Whether you're in a relationship or seeking a new one, here are 10 methods for building a spiritual partnership.
How to bring up religion without scaring him away.
Recently Bristol and mom Sarah Palin made a headline-grabbing appearance on Oprah where one of the bigger headlines came out of Bristol's vow to abstain from sex and remain celibate until marriage. Whether you see this as a sincere vow of a teen mom humbled by the grown-up situation she's put herself in, or a as a publicity stunt aimed at boosting her and her ambitious mother's conservative image, celibacy is a movement that is gaining attention in both the teen and adult worlds as a lifestyle choice.
The Unification Church was founded by a Reverend Sun Myung Moon. As the church gained steam, he began matchmaking and setting up mass weddings. The matches found nice spouses for decent people and provided a means to create generations of multi-ethnic offspring. But the Rev. Moon is 90 and some changes are going to have to change. Or the world may end and we're making a big fuss about nothing.