(This is the fourth of a four-part series; here are the links to part 1, part 2 & part 3.)
Over the last three posts, I have been attempting to answer the question of how to quantify refusal. As a reader said, it takes only one act of adultery to break the marriage covenant, but surely one “Not tonight” does not constitute refusal, thus violating the marriage covenant.
Since Jesus addressed divorce in the cultural and historical context as a rabbi, I went back to rabbinic writings to find out how the rabbis of Jesus’ day addressed the topic of refusal, and I discovered several things:
- the rabbis believed sex to be a right and responsibility of marriage;
- the rabbis even went so far as to list the amount of sex a wife would be entitled to;
- The rabbis viewed sexual neglect as a violation of the marriage covenant deserving of non-support (after one month) and divorce (after one year.)
And what was incredible to me was that… Continue reading
(This is the second of a four-part series; here are the links to part1, part 3, & part 4.)
In my last post, I started addressing a question or two put to me by a reader asking if it is kosher to consider sexual refusal as a valid reason for divorce, a la adultery. After all, he correctly noted, it only takes one act to commit adultery, whereas refusal is a long-term situation. At what point does it become “sexual immorality,” he asked. In fact, he asked that question again in response to my One Coin, Two Sides post:
There is a slight problem with the abandonment is equal to adultery argument in my opinion. The act of adultery along with sexual abuse (may as well throw that in for good measure) is sustained by a single act. A single act of adultery would be grounds for divorce and a single act of sexual abuse could mean a lengthy stay in jail. Now clearly a single act of refusal, even though it may be a break of the marriage covenant, wouldn’t even raise an eyebrow in most circles.
So when does refusal become abandonment and then possibly/maybe grounds for divorce,1-day, 2-weeks, 3-months, 9-months….?
(This is the first of a four-part series; here are the links to part 2, part 3 & part 4.)
And, I’m back. I guess. I think. Maybe. Anyway, here I am today.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I follow quite a few marriage bloggers and writers on Twitter, and recently, divorce has been a trending topic among them, with an increase in the number of posts and tweets encouraging Christians to continue to hold on to their marriages for the Kingdom. I can understand that, by the way. Back in December, Michelle Weiner-Davis, of Divorce Busters, sent out a tweet stating that January was Divorce Month, and recommended that New Year’s Resolutions for starting divorce proceedings be abandoned. Continue reading
Just a quick-hitter this week.
If you’ve read much of my blog, you will have come across the above title any number of times; it’s become one of my mantras. Just a few minutes ago, I read an article that came out last week from the Chicago Tribune, telling of a survey done by the Pew Research Center.
The take-away from the Pew study was supposed to be that shared chores was that the key to a happy marriage. The survey of 35,000 adults showed that 56% of the respondents said that “shared chores” were very important to a happy marriage. In fact, that was the headline of the Pew Center’s article. Continue reading
This is my last post on Mark Twain’s Diaries of Adam and Eve, and while Eve’s observation about how it is preferable to be alone rather than unwanted was an eye-opener (Diary post #3), I love the way that Twain developed his two characters, and gives insight into masculine and feminine psyches. Yes, your cuddly Curmudgeon is a throw-back, and for that I make no apologies, so if someone wants to take me to task for not being grounded in the 21st century — oh well, and shuckydarn. Continue reading
I’m writing about some of insights I observed as I re-read an old favorite, Mark Twain’s Diaries of Adam and Eve.This is just a short one, today, with seeds of a rant that I will hint at, but probably not develop at this time.
In my last post, there was a hint of a problem beginning to raise its head in Paradise. After Eve started naming and labelling everything around them, Adam says, “My life is not as happy as it was.” Continue reading
And now for something completely different on this blog. Extremely different.
To my mind, one of the greatest commenters on the human condition (and all-around great curmudgeons who ever lived) was Mark Twain. A veritable quote machine, it’s quite possible that he was America’s first superstar. Yes, his books are classic literature; of course he defined classic literature for us as books “which people praise and nobody reads.” For me, one of the plusses about Twain is that he truly pissed off the Moral Majority of his day with the book Huck Finn (come to think of it, he still does.) Louisa May Alcott was on the committee that got it banned from the Concord, MA, library.
But lost in all the humor and quotes is the fact that Twain was a keen observer of humanity. Oh, he could engage in wondrous verbal slice-and-dice in his writing and speaking, and could make jokes at the drop of a hat, but behind the mask was an understanding of people: their foibles, their pomposities, and their cussed humanity. Continue reading
(In this post, I use abbreviations for common terms; see sidebar.)
In Bad Teaching: “As Christ Loved The Church”, I wrote about how the Church has screwed up Paul’s teaching on LYWLCLTC™, and I think I demonstrated that what passes for marital advice today based Eph. 5:25-31 is just so much codswallop.
Yes, husbands are enjoined to love their wives “as Christ loved the Church,” but this biblical statement has been heated in the fervid minds of teachers and shaped into a cudgel with which to browbeat husbands into a meek submission to wife and children in the name of Christ. Husbands are enjoined to be more Christian than Christ ever was.
And recently, I have come across a couple of statements by husbands who tell of this same teaching appearing in yet another guise in their lives. Continue reading
It should come as no surprise that I follow several marriage bloggers on Twitter and via email notification. After all, I am a marriage blogger, and it’s always good to hear what others are saying. (And there is always a good chance that something I read will trigger an idea or two for me to write about, so it’s a win-win for me.)
In doing this, though, I find that I am something of the oddball when it comes to one topic, not necessarily in agreement with the accepted wisdom that these bloggers share. Now, because these writers are all great writers, speakers and teachers and I esteem their wisdom highly, I can’t fault them for hewing to the accepted party line on the importance of marriage and the evils of divorce. After all, it’s Christian orthodoxy, and even atheist Michelle Weiner-Davis, of Divorce Busting, is on board.
And yet, like so many of the teachings I have been given down through the years, I am finding that an absolutist stance is untenable. While many want to see marriage as an untouchable icon, I believe that scripture doesn’t back up our attempts to deify it. Continue reading
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,
… forsaking all others AND you, keep myself for me alone.