Late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel staged a hilarious hoax one night. He had parents present their kids beautifully wrapped junk—a dirty sponge, an old rag, a vegetable, which no kids wants. Each gift was met with tears and angry outbursts; not one child could say: "Thanks." Acceptance was out of the question.
For too many people today, marriage is approached much the same way. We don't accept our spouses for whom they are, and as a result, they can sometimes seem like bad gifts. One look at the high divorce rate in this country tells us that many continue to try and return or exchange their spouses much like unwanted Christmas gifts.
To have a successful marriage, we must act in the opposite way. Instead of looking for the return receipt, we should instead be seeking out ways to discover the value of our spouses. This begins with acceptance. Acceptance can heal an ailing marriage because it invites you and your spouse to be yourself—your best self. more >>
Rev. Garland Hunt addressed the growing perceived threat to traditional Christian marriage in a speech on Thursday.
"God created marriage; therefore, he's the only one that can define it," Hunt said at the Family Research Council event in Washington, D.C. "Contrary to popular opinion, actually the Supreme Court is not the final arbitrator, so we're lining up with the final arbitrator [God]."
The Supreme Court announced it would take up the case and hear arguments about whether states can ban same-sex marriages. The court previously decided to allow same-sex marriage in California in a landmark decision, leading the way for 36 states to allow same-sex marriage. more >>
For most of her life, former stripper and prostitute Annie Lobert sought a man to swoop into her life and rescue her from the hardships of growing up in a broken home, just like in the fairy tales. Now the founder of Hookers for Jesus, a ministry for sex workers, Lobert says too many women are placing their hopes for love and security in the wrong place.
Jesus Christ, she said, is the ultimate knight in shining armor, able to rescue them from a life of sin and transforming lives and relationships.
"What us women need to understand [is] if a man can't do what you ideally think he should do, [it is because] God is the only one who can do that for you. Jesus Christ is the only one who can ultimately be your ultimate romantic interest and I'm not talking about sexually. I'm talking about that intimate love bond that we have that heals all wounds, that heals all insecurities, that heals all the things that we think our husbands should do and be," she told The Christian Post. more >>
As I stumble through the awkward limbo of single, yet soon-to-be-married, I've tried to read every resource tagged within the "marriage," "love," and "relationships" genre. This, and the fact that I was desperate to escape the zillions of online articles dissecting Fifty Shades of Grey from every possible angle (though I'm grateful for their messages), prompted me to download a copy of Pastor Andy Stanley's new book on romantic relationships to my Kindle. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Geared towards the young, unwed, and culturally savvy, Stanley explains in the introduction that his purpose for writing The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating (Zondervan, January 2015) is to "increase your relational satisfaction quota." What does that mean? Red flags started to rise. Still I pressed onward with hopes of encountering helpful gems of wisdom and Christian counsel over the next 200 pages. After all, the author is the Evangelical pastor of the largest church in America.
I'll start with the positive. more >>
Texas pastor Matt Chandler, of The Village Church, says the way singles date these days is "goofy" and that he plans to teach his three children to go the "traditional dating" route.
The Mingling of Souls author told The Christian Post, "The way I define it in the book and the way I'm hopefully going to impart to my children, the way we want to do it as the Chandler family is that I think that dating is that period of time of where you're working through and seeing … is this person for me, is the reputation there, is the character there, can I see myself spending my life with them."
The Chandler family way is a return to "traditional dating," where the father of three – two girls and one boy – described as, "You go out in a group, you're getting to know one another, it's not this kind of intense, so do you want to have kids over coffee – that's not dating." more >>
"Fifty Shades of Grey" premieres on Friday, Feb. 13, and two Christian authors have offered an alternative with their own book Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy and the Longings of a Woman's Heart.
The book, Pulling Back the Shades, was written by Dr. Juli Slattery and Dannah Gresh, and is meant to encourage Christian women to look for a deeper, "spiritual" sexual fulfillment by turning to the Bible. The book sold out in its first release on Amazon, and the authors have said that any woman who wants to receive a free copy of their guide can mail them their copy of Fifty Shades.
"The 'Fifty Shades' phenomenon has done for women what internet port did for men: fuel its use and normalize it," Slattery told Daily Mail. "It's time to add the Bible's view on sex and intimacy and the spiritual road into meeting a woman's deepest human needs and wants." more >>