Marriage: It’s not all about you

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It’s time for a long-overdo post addressing a controversial, relevant topic.  Marriage, specifically, homosexual marriage.  The recent Supreme Court decision over SCOTUS stated that a homosexual marriage recognized in one state must be recognized in all states.  In this post, I will not address the unconstitutional nature of this decision (violates the 9th and 10th amendment, in summary: individual Constitutional State laws cannot be overridden by the Federal government, and all rights not given to the Federal government are reserved for the individual States), and instead address the issue of marriage itself.

I am approaching this topic with a bias (for all you skeptics who like to make comments about bias), I am a Christian who believes that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, but I am going to use as much logic as possible and examples, historical and Biblical, in this post.

I realize that the title of my post will immediately cause one to be defensive of their motives for getting married, for who gets married with selfish motives?  According to many many people, Christian or not, marriage is a partnership, right?  This is true, marriage is a partnership, but it is a special and sacred partnership.

The history of marriage starts with the Creation of the world.  God, the Creator, desired to create an organism (for lack of a better term) in his image, one who could create, have emotion, have intellect, and desire relationships.  Therefore, he created man, “in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them,” (Genesis 1:27).  Instead of speaking this new creature into existence, as he had for everything else, God got down in the dirt, and formed man from the dust, breathing life into his nostrils, (Genesis 2:7).  God then placed man in a beautiful garden and gave him the special job of naming all the animals and cultivating the garden (Genesis 2:8, 15, 19).

This man, God named Adam.  At this point, God had not created woman, because God wanted Adam to learn something.  As Adam was naming the animals, he noticed that they came in pairs, male and female.  He also noticed that there was not another creature like him, no creature fit to work with him, (Genesis 2:20).

Why had God not given Adam a partner?  God wanted Adam to realize that he needed a partner, to desire a relationship.  “So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.  And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man,” (Genesis 2:21-22).  When God brings the woman to Adam, Adam is amazed and full of joy at this perfect partner.  Adam and his wife, Eve, enjoy the first marriage, completely without shame or dishonesty, (Genesis 2:23, 25).

A few observations from this passage.  First, relationships, especially marriage, are necessary for a society to thrive.  Adam and Eve worked together in the garden, and would eventually parent children that would marry and have their own families and populate the earth.  Secondly, Eve, the woman, was created from Adam’s rib, symbolizing her status as Adam’s partner and equal.  Eve was not created from Adam’s head, symbolizing dominance, or foot, symbolizing servitude, but from his side, a very carefully planned action by the Creator.  Finally, God did not make another man for Adam, but a woman.  This is significant in two ways. One, that God’s creation was not complete with a man, but with man and woman, woman is necessary.  Two, that though Adam and Eve were created equally, they were created with different roles and functions which compliment each other.

God created marriage for several good reasons.  Marriage was created for the procreation of children and the pleasure of the married couple.  Marriage was created to secure the family.  there are several reasons why marriage was created, but the most important reason is that it reflects the Unity of the Trinity, and this is why marriage is sacred.

Our culture has believed many lies about marriage and the family, but the biggest one is this, that marriage is about being happy.  While happiness should come with marriage, it should not be the focus of the marriage.  This sounds completely crazy in our world, but it is true.  Making happiness the focus of the marriage will ruin the marriage.

Two hard truths for me to accept as a romantically minded girl who grew up watching Disney movies were that there is not “One” out there for me and that romance is not everything.  One does not have to feel that special spark to marry someone, and there is not one person alone who can give one the perfect feeling.  While this principle seems super unromantic and boring, it actually helps marriages last.

Why does the principle of “no one true love” make marriages last?  Because feelings change.  One could feel the “spark” from another person and think that because he/she felt that it means that he/she is supposed to be with that person.  All cares are tossed to the wind, and the romantic relationship begins.  The couple lives happily ever after, right?  Wrong.  What happens when that romantic feelings fades, or one partner lets the other down?  Does that mean that he/she is not the “one” and that its time to end the marriage and move on?  That is what Hollywood would have us believe.  However, this is just not realistic.  A couple that can work through the hard days will have a better relationship afterward.  Yes, there are circumstances when one partner is abusing the other, but could that be because the relationship was initially based on a “spark” instead of on something more foundational, like trust?

That is my reasoning why feeling romantic about another person does not justify marrying them, no matter how “in love” one is.  True love is demonstrated by sacrifice, its not just a feeling.  The idea of getting married for love is actually a very modern one, and not a completely perfect idea.

For thousands of years of history, marriages were arranged.  In many pagan cultures, these were not good arrangements for the wife, who was often much younger than her husband, and usually one of several wives.  In cultures such as Mesopotamia, the husband could send his wife away just with the charge of adultery.  A man could accuse his wife of adultery, and even if the charge was false, the woman was executed.  This was a tragedy, but it was not because the marriages were arranged, but because the people who practiced this were immoral, and evil.

The ancient Hebrews also practiced arranged marriage.  However, because of the laws of Yahweh, the God of the Bible, these marriages lasted much longer and were much happier than many in other cultures.  The eighth commandment states, “You shall not commit adultery,” (Exodus 20:14), but in the Hebrew law, if a man or woman committed adultery, unlike in other cultures where typically just the wives were punished, both the proven adulterer and adulteress were put to death.  All other sexual immorality was also punished by death.  This is because God considers marriage sacred.

In the New Testament, Jesus points again to marriage as God created it, “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.  Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate,” (John 10:5-9).  In this verse, Jesus talks about how special marriage is by saying that a marriage is a man and his wife becoming one flesh, and that a marriage should not be separated.

Finally, I believe that marriage between a man and a woman is special and Biblical because it reflects the relationship between Christ and the Church, (Ephesians 5:22-33).  This passage also describes the roles of the husband and wife in correlation to the Church and Christ.  The best marriages have Christ at the center, with the husband and wife serving each other, praying for each other, and sacrificing for each other.

On side note, although marriage is not for everyone, God commands that everyone who remains unmarried remain celibate.  In fact, the apostle Paul preferred to be single, because he believed that he could do more ministry that way. (1 Corinthians 7:25-40).

In conclusion, I believe that according to the scriptures, the only true marriage is that between a husband and a wife.  Marriage is a sacred covenant and should not be entered into lightly.  Romance is not everything, although it is part of the pleasure of marriage.  All in all, the unity of the marital relationship is something created by God to reflect the unity of the Trinity, thus it is sad to see it lose its value in divorces, adulteries, and other sexual immorality.  However, there is always healing for the broken, so even if a person has had a broken sexual past, he or she can find redemption at the cross, with Jesus’ sacrifice of love for all.  That is the greatest example of love in history, and it was done for every person who ever lived or will live.  That day, love won.

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Too Modest?

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I once asked a few of my girl friends, “Can you be too modest?”  All the girls agreed that yes, one can be too modest.  They thought that one could be too modest by being covered up from head to toe.  This, they explained, was too modest because at that point a girl is drawing attention to herself, at least in American culture, by being so covered up.  However, by drawing attention to herself, is a girl being truly modest? I disagreed with my friends, I believe that one can never be too modest.

Dictionary.com defines modesty as, “the quality of being modest; freedom from vanity, boastfulness, etc.”  The definition that I want to focus on is “freedom from vanity.”  True modesty is humility. Typically when people think of modesty, they think about girls who wear full-length, hideous dresses.  This is sad because it distracts from the fact that true modesty is undenyingly beautiful. Modesty is beautiful first in a person’s heart.

The only human being who was truly modest was Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  Though no other human beings are perfect, when a Christian is following hard after Christ, he or she can lose herself and be humble. When that Christ-like humility flows out of one’s heart and into one’s words and actions, people notice.  When a boy or girl talks to others in a humble manner, others are attracted to Christ.  Denying oneself for someone else is another expression of that modesty.

Finally, our clothing should be modest.  If a person is truly humble, he or she will want to glorify God in his or her dress.  This means dressing beautifully and modestly.  Do not sell yourself short, but do not purposely dress to impress either.  Think of your brothers and sisters in Christ when you dress, because honoring Christ should be your first thought and honoring your Christian brothers and sisters your second.

There is my opinion on modesty, hope it made you think!

Emma

The Tragedy of Feminism

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A relatively recent movement in American history has been that of the feminists.  While there have been some good things that have happened as a result of this movement, many things that have happened because of this movement are tragic.

Because of the early feminist movement, women gained the right to vote and the right to a higher education.  Clothes have become more comfortable, with pants becoming the norm.  In modern day, women from the Middle East have started to come out from oppression and find a voice, though facing much persecution.  Furthermore, feminists have attacked human trafficking, which is a wonderful thing.

However, the feminist movement has brought tragedy with it.  Through fighting for equality, feminists have decided that they should be equal to men in all ways.  Same role, same ability, same lifestyle.  As a result of this philosophy, the family has suffered.  Men and women no longer take the roles of husband and wife, but as mere business partners.

Feminists have lost sight of who women were created to be, in fact, they are trying to make women take on the roles of man.  That doesn’t mean that they want women to look or talk exactly like men, but they do want women to have the same role as men.  In reality, they are saying that the best woman is a man.  Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of being a feminist?

God created women to be beautiful life givers, and helpers.  Women are equal to men, not in their roles, but in their purpose.  Yes, men were created to be leaders, but that does not mean that they should oppress women.

One particular thing that feminists pressure women to do is to go have a life outside of the home.  Women have to go to college, get a high paying job, and not be hampered by children.  If women stay at home and make their house beautiful and take care of children, they are demeaning themselves and their potential.  This is vastly different from what the Bible says.

Proverbs 31 outlines what makes a woman beautiful, inside and out.  This woman is multi-talented within her home, and is a help to her husband, not just a house-keeper.  She obviously not a slave, but enjoys her job as a wife and mother.

The feminist movement is tragic because it pushes the idea that women are not good as they are, that they need to do things that God has not created them to do.

Truth?

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For thousands of years, philosophers have been trying to discern what truth is.  In the 20th century, science and logic were the foundation for truth for Western Europe and the United States, before that, truth was taken from the Bible.   In modern day 21st century America, there is a claim that truth is relative.  In this post, I would like to explore what life would be like under each type of truth and the consequences of it.

If truth is relative according to post-modern thought, then truth comes from the mind of man.  This is a frightening concept.  Each person would have his or her own set of morals, and two things which are contradictory would both be true.  For example, Billy says that it is wrong to murder because it hurts someone else.   Bobby believes that one’s actions are not necessarily wrong if they hurt someone else.  These men have two different philosophies and beliefs about truth.  Bobby does not think actions matter at all, because he believes that there is no divine person who judges him because of his actions.  Billy believes murder is wrong because he believes that it is wrong to hurt another human being and he believes that he will be judged for his actions by a divine person.  Imagine the chaos if every person in the world had completely different views about what truth is.  No one would get along, and there would be complete anarchy or complete tyranny.  Furthermore, how could a deity exist in a world where man invents truth?  One man could invent a deity for himself, and another would believe that no deities exist.  Who would be right?  This type of world could not exist for long, for man would eventually destroy himself.

If truth is completely based on science and logic according to modern thought, then truth comes from what man can observe.  There would only be a deity if a deity revealed himself to man and morals would be based on what is found in the natural world.  The origins of the universe would be determined (in a perfect world) by what humankind would observe for himself.  All spiritual things would be denied, for the spiritual world cannot physically be observed.  Man would be the ruler of the universe.  Most likely, mankind would get progressively better until man became superhuman.  At the end of time would be a perfect Utopia, where all living people would flourish.  Furthermore, nothing would happen to man after death, he would just rot in the ground.  The problem with this thought is that man would have the ultimate authority, and man would determine what truth is.  This would evolve into post-modernism, where all truth is relative.

Finally, if truth is determined by a deity, such as in the Bible, then truth goes beyond man.  The universe would have been created by this god or gods.  The god(s) would determine morals based upon his/their character(s).  The end of the world and the fate of humankind would also depend on the god(s).  This is different depending on the religion.  According to the Christian religion, God is a good, loving, and just God.  He has set the rules of what is wrong and what is right, and the punishment for doing wrong.  Because no human could ever attain God’s perfect standard, God came to earth in the form of a man and endured the punishment of mankind so that those who trusted in his sacrifice would not have to suffer.  According to Islam, a Muslim must work to get to heaven, and follow the seven pillars of morality.  In Judaism, because God is perfect, the Jews must follow the law and make atonement to God when they break the law, some Jews believe that the Messiah has already come, Jesus, other believe that God has not yet sent a savior.  Those are just three of the many religions, and the description of each is very simplified.

Personally, I believe that YWH, Jehovah, created the universe by the power of his word.  Because man is imperfect and could never be “good” enough to earn eternal life in heaven, God sent his only begotten son, Jesus to save mankind.  To see my full explanation of the gospel, go to my post, What Every Young Woman Needs To Know.  I also believe that someday this earth will be destroyed and God will create a new, perfect Earth, like He says in the Bible.  As to whether or not man has free will to choose God, I believe that in the hardness of the human heart, we would not freely choose God, so he has to send his Spirit to open our eyes and accept His gift of salvation.

I hope this post wasn’t too long!

Emma

What if Jesus Said: “No Offense.”

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The other day, my family was having a conversation at the dinner table, and we joked about what the Bible would sound like if Jesus had used the phrase, “no offense,” and other American attempts to keep people from getting upset by what he said.
Here are some of the “padded” Bible verses with some of Jesus’ more offensive statements.

  • “You brood of vipers. No offense, but who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”
  • Let’s say hypothetically: if your foot causes you to sin, you should, hypothetically, cut it off.”
  • No offense, but you are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in truth, because the truth is not in him.
  • I won’t mention any names, but everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.”
  • No offense, but it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

These are just a few examples of how ridiculous it would be for Jesus to say “no offense.”  Hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any more ideas, please comment below.