This post, as counter-intuitive as it seems, is part of a series on covenant marriage. It probably won’t be clear why for one or two more posts.
How do you guarantee that you’re going to stick by your convictions and principles?
This January, you’ve probably seen plenty of articles talking about online services meant to hold you to your New Year’s resolutions. The most famous of these is Stikk which lets you set goals and pay forfeits if you can’t achieve them. Users often arrange to pay their forfeit to a group they hate, to try to guarantee they make their goal. The Secular Student Alliance is currently conducting a fundraiser in which participants donate to the SSA if they make their goal and donate to organizations they dislike if they fail (the Executive Director of the SSA has pledged to lose weight or donate to Campus Crusade for Christ.
That kind of scheme works for simple physical commitments, but, when I was little, I used to spend a lot of time worrying about how to keep myself moral when I got older. My concerns were the result of reading Louisa May Alcott’s An Old-Fashioned Girl. In a passage I can’t for the life of me find (my copy is at home), Alcott as narrator discusses how the giddy whirl of society wrecks many promising young girls and breaks their hearts and spirits. Reading and rereading the book, I counted myself lucky that I was extremely unpopular and thus couldn’t be seduced by the vices of society. After all, even the saintly Polly yields to the temptation of a pair of bronze boots. In my mind, these vices included drugs, sex, and vanity (particularly in the form of makeup and shaving my legs).
Luckily, when I got older, I found a better way to police myself…
Continued tomorrow in part 2