Traditional Vows, part 1

trad vows1

 

When I was a younger Christian, I enjoyed modern worship, as it was very emotive. However, in the past 15-20 years, as I’ve gotten older, I find that I appreciate more and more the stability and meaning of older forms of worship and prayer. For me, there is a connectedness in the creeds that we say; after all, I am making the same confessions of faith as Luther, Wesley, Zinzendorf, Spener, Wycliffe and Hus. I sing the same faith that Watts, Newton, and Charles Wesley sang in their hymns. I find that standing in tradition helps to keep me grounded in my faith.

Which brings me to another tradition, the wedding vow. I know that it is all the rage to have couples write their own vows, but the more I have thought about it, I wonder if this trend is somehow connected with the degradation of marriage as a whole in today’s society. Think about it; marriage has lost its place as an institution, and even lost its definition. After all, the world tells us that all of the following are just modern permutations of marriage:

Serial marriage
Open marriage
Polygamous marriage
Same-sex marriage

I think we can agree that all these, and more, aren’t ‘redefining marriage’ so much as pummeling the very concept of marriage, reshaping into an unrecognizable mass of mess on the anvil of today’s perverted values. And I’m wondering if Christians aren’t somehow complicit in this degrading of marriage. Doesn’t our redefining the promises of marriage, rewriting the contract so to speak, indicate a desire to create marriage in our own image, rather than God’s? Continue reading

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Almost Finished!

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Rom. 12:15

Rejoice with me! Three month ago, I announced that I was taking a break from blogging in order to concentrate on a family project, the compiling of memories, stories, photos and recollections of my 88-year-old mother.

While the project is not completed, my task is pretty much done. Just this evening, I received, via email, a .pdf proof copy of the book from my son. My son works for a printer/publisher in Tennessee, and he undertook laying out my text and photos for the book. Scrolling through the .pdf my son sent, I was exhilarated to see what I’ve been working on for several years starting to take final form. I’m telling you, my week is made, and it’s only Monday!

After a final read-through and proof, we are going to be able to go to press this month, and Recollections Of A Storyteller will be in the hands of my mom and my brothers and sister.

CSL

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“I’m TAG-ged, But You’re Out!”

tagged

(Just a warning: lots of links. I mean, LOTS of links.)

I know that football is supposedly America’s favorite sport but I love to watch baseball. Baseball fans know that when a baserunner is tagged, he is out. But it hit me the other day that for many who find themselves in sexless marriages, it happens that when one spouse is TAG-ged, it is the other one who is out. As in, “out of luck.”

In my reading, whether it be other blogs or other forums, or even comments in response here on my blog, I see situations in which spouses are suffering in their marriage because of the attitudes, behaviors, and choices of their spouses. This goes both ways, with both husbands and wives being recipients of being TAG-ged.

TAG-ged?!? “CSL, have you been hitting the BBQ sauce again?” No. That just my acronym for a common marital affliction. In my readings, it seems that there are three common problems one spouse may bring into the marriage and it ends up wreaking havoc in the relationship. Continue reading

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“Forsaking. . . Thee”?

Just an odd thought: At what point in a marriage does it become acceptable for one spouse to rewrite the wedding vow from

I take you to be my lawful wedded wife/husband …, and forsaking all others keep myself only unto you,

into

… forsaking all others AND you, keep myself for me alone.

 

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Are You Married to a Sex Skeptic?

skiptic

Many years ago, I made the following observation: Sermonizing is the sin of the deadly earnest, no matter what theological colors you may be wearing. As I have aged, all that I’ve observed of the world around me convinces me that I was wonderfully prescient back then.

For example, if your theology is Global Warming, then you come at the debate with the fervor of an Al Gore, demanding that anyone who disagrees with you be locked up or sent to re-education camps. And if your theology is abortion, then “By Billy Bedamned Hangtree, keep your laws off my body! Sorry, Kiddo, it sucks to be you ‘cause Mama wants to shake her groove thang!” Continue reading

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“Silence Like A Cancer Grows…”

This isn’t going to be a long one, as I’m still working on Mom’s recollections, but I wanted to post about a new realization that occurred to me this past week.

As I’ve said in previous posts, I use my Twitter feed to keep up with other marriage bloggers connected with the Christian Marriage Bloggers Assn. (CMBA). Several that I follow on Twitter link to random posts from their archives, and even though these are older posts, I will scan them for the wisdom that they contain.

Recently one came through from Forgiven Wife, and while the post was excellent, as usual, one of the comments brought me up short. A man who had been refused for some time told of being vulnerable to temptation to stray and admonished wives to at least attempt to be there for their husbands. He finished with these words, which have been rolling over in my mind for several days:

Doing nothing is not an option: actions speak louder than words but IN-ACTIONS scream in the ear every minute of the day!

The accepted shibboleth is that while a wife may have contributed to her husband’s weakness, “Hon, he chose to sin, you did not make him sin.” It’s a nice comfort, but I’m contrarian enough to wonder if the guy went over the wall, didn’t she at least give him a boost?

Be that as it may, this guy’s last sentence has been in the back of my mind, and now I think I know why. Two seemingly unrelated phrases come together to help me comprehend the importance of what he was saying.

1 – He referred to the common adage that “actions speak louder than words”, and tied that to the reverse of that, inaction, and suggested that inaction also conveys a message.

2 – I’m a product of the 60’s, and one of my favorite groups was the folk duo of Simon and Garfunkel. They had many a monster hit, including Sounds of Silence, which showcased Paul Simon’s abilities to create vivid poetic images. As the song nears its conclusion, there are two lines that go:

But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells
Of silence

As Christians, we put store in actions; after all, it was James who said, “Show me your faith without deeds, and I’ll show you my faith by my deeds.” (2:18) And there’s that popular line that says, “If you were accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict?” As I said, we put a great store in action. Is this husband correct to turn it on its head and, in effect, say “Your inactions demonstrate that you don’t love me.”

If actions speak louder than words, don’t inactions make any protestations of love merely echoes in the “wells of silence”? After all, “what you are doing (not doing) speaks louder than your words.”

Just a thought………
CSL

oh, here’s a link to a Disturb-ed cover of Sounds of Silence. Powerful.

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Guys, Are You Listening?

A Hubs, last year: “I’d rather just masturbate than go through the hassle of initiating.”

Same Hubs, a year later: “We’re getting a divorce.”

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May 29, 2016 · 2:59 pm

Two Surprises…

There is a story that I’ve read where a son writes a letter to his folks telling them that he is gay and that he’s coming out of the closet, that he is going to announce this to the family’s church on the coming Sunday. Then, on the second page of the letter, he tells them that he is NOT gay, but that he got an F in Algebra. He concluded with, “Seems rather insignificant now, doesn’t it?”

I will admit that my ‘surprises’ are insignificant as well, but still, well,… They are my surprises, none the less. Continue reading

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What Is Better, Anyway? pt. 2

better

In my last post, I commented on how refused husbands could relate to and apply the wisdom and knowledge that Chris Taylor, of Forgiven Wife, poured into her blogpost, “I Promise, I’ll Do Better.”

The first part of her post dealt with questions she recommended that a recovering refuser think about asking her husband in order to be intentional in rebuilding their marriage. She told how after discussions or fights about intimacy, she would say to her husband, “I promise, I’ll do better,” but not know what ‘Better’ looked like. I suggested that when refused spouses are given that amorphous promise, they start thinking about what ‘Better’ would actually look like. So, in this episode I want to present a couple of thoughts on her further suggestions about planning and communicating with your wife after your discussion.

Continue reading

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Two Black Holes

readers respond

This is going to be short (well, by my lights, anyway), and certainly won’t answer any questions. But if it prompts someone to action, then well and good.

In response to my last post, one reader wrote a comment and included this at the end of his comment:

In my reading of many of the marriage blogs by wives, I’m starting to think, a lot of the lack of desire in wives for husbands, is a symptom of lack of respect, and appreciation for what the husband does and is.. All the comments about only wanting sex, to me as a man, is very disrespectful. As if my desire for my wife, is perverse or sinful.

And as seems to be the custom of my commenters (my readers are perscipacious, if I do say so myself), he put his finger squarely on something that I’ve been thinking about for a couple of weeks. Oddly enough, I’ve even run some thoughts by Wife. The fact is that while Christian marriage bloggers and writers (I include myself) deal very earnestly with trying to help husbands and wives to improve their relationships and their marriages, there are two specific target audiences that seem to have little to no support at all. These two audiences I refer to as the Black Holes of Advice. Continue reading

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