What’s missing in our conversation about marriage decline

In all the conversations around the decline of marriage I wonder if we are paying enough attention to the old-fashioned concept of sacraments. Christians have traditionally understood marriage as more than mere contract, more than mutual agreement, more than partnership. The church understands marriage to be a sacrament. That is to say, though not exclusively, a dispensation of God's grace for the transformation of the recipient. The endgame with sacraments is union with God by growing in … [Read more...]

Marriage problems? Pat Robertson blames ‘hard-nosed,’ ‘awful-looking’ wives

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Oh, yes he did. After a 17-year-old boy wrote and said his dad was more interested in video games than mom, Robertson speculated about why. "It may be your mom isn't as sweet as you think she is," he said. "She may be kind of hard-nosed. . . ." When Robertson's long-suffering cohost asked how he could blame the mother, he responded, "It's easy to blame the mother" and continued: You know, a woman came to a preacher that I know -- he's so funny -- and she was awful looking. I mean, … [Read more...]

Our ordinary, fascinating lives

Our ordinary lives, fascinating and wild

The Scripture says that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made." The psalmist uses the phrase to talk about our origins, how we were "skillfully" formed by God. I think we can view the sentiment as more than that, however. I think we can take it as an invitation to view all of a person's life as fearful and wonderful. "Marvelous are Your works," says the psalmist, and that includes us, not only our conception but our whole lives. God not only makes us but also sustains us. Our development … [Read more...]

The romance of commitment

The romance of commitment

Men are justifiably famous for lacking commitment, enjoying irresponsibility and freedom as long as we can reasonably stretch it, and oftentimes several yards past that. One manifestation of this artful dodge is that marriage ages have gone up and up in recent decades along with the cohabitation stats. … [Read more...]

How marriage works on you

How Marriage Works on You

I've written in the past about the mystery of marriage, how it transforms its participants. That's part of its very purpose, to conform us to the image of Christ and deepen our communion with God. I've still got a long way to go and, as they say, results may vary, but here are three positive ways that marriage to Megan has begun to change me. 1. Learning to love better The more circumstances require you to love like Christ, the more like Christ you become. That's the hope at least … [Read more...]

The sanctifying power of marriage

Icon of the wedding feast at Cana

When I think of marriage I think of grace, particularly the phrase “grace for the moment.” Marriage requires grace every moment if it’s going to be what God desires it to be. Thankfully, God extends his grace to us through marriage. Historically speaking, the church has always recognized marriage as a sacrament. This is important to understand when speaking of the mystery of marriage, as Paul does in Ephesians. The words “mystery” and “sacrament” are synonymous. The first is … [Read more...]

The lost mystery of marriage

The Mystery of Marriage

Ask a person what they think about marriage in society today, and they’ll probably say that the institution isn’t looking too pretty. Yes, the divorce rate has steadily declined over the last thirty years in the U.S., but so has the number of people getting married in the first place. More and more couples are choosing to live together unwed, while domestic partnerships and gay-marriage initiatives challenge the traditional purpose and place of marriage entirely. Various versions of … [Read more...]


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