(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….?
In my last post, I addressed myself to husbands on the promise made in the traditional wedding vow. This week, I am going to examine the vow that brides made to their husbands, but this vow actually predates the Book of Common Prayer, which was the source of the husband’s promise to worship with his body.
But before I do, I’d like to expand on why I think this topic and these ideas matter. Last year, I wrote a series of posts on the Apostles’ Creed, explaining that the Creed is more than just something to recite, but is the basic confession of belief of Christians in all times and places, and that it is important for Christians to know what they believe.
And I found out that I was, in my own small pond, re-inventing the wheel. Just a couple of months ago, I came across a book by the late Charles Colson entitled The Faith, and I find that this book is a warning about an ignorant Church, not knowing what it believes or why. The kicker for me was that it was published in 2008, seven years before I started writing about the Creed. This sentence, from the first chapter, sums up the dilemma of trying to live as a Christian today:
How can a Christianity that is not understood be practiced?
And, I believe, the same goes for marriage… Continue reading
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:
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