Showing posts with label Marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marriage. Show all posts

Monday, February 26, 2024

Anonymous Asks (291)

“How should a Christian respond to being in a loveless marriage?”

People have different personalities and experiences, as well as different levels of character development and maturity, so it should not come as a surprise that we enter married life looking for different things. In general, men are looking for respect from their wives, and women are looking for love from their husbands.

I am getting that from a couple of places.

Wednesday, February 07, 2024

She’s Just Not That Into You

He’s Just Not That Into You was a 2009 romantic comedy that explored why relationships fail or succeed, and why a romantic pairing that appears to have “worked” for years suddenly stops working for one of the partners, whether it’s the man “falling out of love” with the woman or vice versa.

In the various couple-scenarios trotted out by the movie’s producers, it apparently never once occurred to them to introduce one in which the woman was on hormone-based birth control when she first became attracted to her future life partner, then stopped using the pill once they had committed to each other.

Maybe research into all “the pill’s” many side effects wasn’t quite there in 2009.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Anonymous Asks (284)

“Is it inauthentic or dishonest for two Christians to remain married when they don’t get along?”

It is simply a sad fact of life that not every Christian enjoys the company of every other Christian at every moment. Almost everyone grinds our gears in one way or another. As soon as the honeymoon is over (and sometimes before), you will find out things about your partner you didn’t know and don’t like. Put two very different believers under the same roof, bind them legally and spiritually to one another, and you have a recipe for persistent unhappiness when one or both behave unbiblically.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Canadian Common Law and the Bible

Ancient laws didn’t come with definition sections.

When you see some of the lengthy, arbitrary and self-contradictory definitions in modern legal codes, this may at first seem like a feature rather than a bug, but it still leaves the modern reader of the Law of Moses struggling with certain ambiguities, not least the ones concerning marriage.

This was not a problem for the people who lived under the Law of Moses in ancient times. They understood the sociocultural environment in which the law was given well enough to obey God’s commands without the need for the endless paragraphs of legalese modern lawyers generate like spiderwebs.

The bad news is that understanding the background of the law wasn’t their problem; keeping it was.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Divorce: What We Don’t Know

I’ve been thankful to see a few posts from Tom on the subject of divorce, and I’ve been encouraging him to research and write more. We, in the church, need information about this.

I’m afraid we’re not very wise on this. Time was when divorces were rare. Back then, what tended to happen is that if a person got divorced, they just left the church — end of story. Maybe one of the partners hung around … especially if he or she was presumed “innocent” in the event. But for the most part, divorce was just an uncomfortable subject, a Pandora’s Box that churches just didn’t want to open.

Monday, November 13, 2023

Anonymous Asks (275)

“Should a couple be financially stable before getting married?”

Anybody who reads here regularly probably knows I have repeatedly encouraged young men to get their financial house in order not just prior to marriage, but prior to getting into any serious relationship with a young woman. The reason should be obvious: if you find yourself without sufficient self-control and employability to manage your own finances, what business do you have inviting someone else to share your life with you?

And that’s before we even consider the cost of bringing children into the world and raising them together.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

A Better Second Fiddle

Back in 1939, theorist Kurt Goldstein coined the term “self-actualization” to describe the motive to realize what he called “one’s full potential”.

In Goldstein’s view this drive might take the form of creative expression, pursuit of knowledge or the desire to contribute to society in some personally-defined way. Goldstein believed self-actualization was any organism’s “master motive” and its most basic drive in life. Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory built on Goldstein’s concept and is probably the most familiar expression of it.

Among others in Christian circles, Rachel Held Evans seems to have bought into Goldstein’s theories.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Standing is its Own Reward

Nick is the son of a single mother.

His mother didn’t start out single. She gave birth to three children while married to a very talented but unstable (professing) Christian man. He left her for a younger, more attractive co‑worker in what looked to me (and to the rest of the world) like the stereotypical male mid-life crisis. It played out like the cliché of all romantic clichés, frankly.

It looked embarrassing. It probably was. I actually liked the departing father a great deal, and was deeply disappointed when I heard about what he had done and what had become of his family.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Anonymous Asks (229)

“Is it wrong for a Christian husband and wife to have separate bank accounts?”

Modern banking practices such as accepting deposits and transferring funds didn’t emerge until the late sixteenth century. As such, we can hardly expect the Bible to address the subject of bank accounts.

As usual with such questions, this one comes down to motivation.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Anonymous Asks (224)

“Is it wrong to marry someone who is much older/younger?”

The Bible teaches Christians to marry heterosexually and in Christ. These are the issues with which every believer seeking a life partner should be most concerned. Further, sprinkled throughout scripture are clear indications of character qualities that make for happy marriages. A believer is wise to look for such attributes in a prospective spouse.

Beyond that? There are few moral limitations I can think of with respect to a partner, but that doesn’t mean there are no practical considerations.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Anonymous Asks (223)

“Does the Bible promote arranged marriages?”

If you are getting your moral direction from Hollywood, you might think the only legitimate basis for marriage is romantic love. If not romance, at very least a pragmatic consideration of one’s own interests is surely in order. For example, a woman in her late thirties who desperately wants children might be willing to settle for marriage to a man for whom she doesn’t have strong feelings, provided they are compatible in their thinking about the importance of family.

But does the Bible teach that something other than our emotions, intellects and will ought to be involved in the process, specifically the direction of others?

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Two Can Play That Game

Pearls of wisdom from Mary Kassian:

“A husband does not have the right to demand or extract submission from his wife. Submission is HER choice — her responsibility … it is NOT his right!! Not ever. She is to ‘submit herself’ — deciding when and how to submit is her call. In a Christian marriage, the focus is never on rights, but on personal responsibility. It’s his responsibility to be affectionate. It’s her responsibility to be agreeable. The husband’s responsibility is to sacrificially love as Christ loved the Church — not to make his wife submit.”

So it is “HER choice — her responsibility … deciding when and how to submit is her call”. So declares Mary Kassian.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

What Does Your Proof Text Prove? (18)

If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.”

Olympic hurdler and bobsledder Lolo Jones wants a godly husband, and she’s been asking God for one. So far, no success.

“Where are you God?” she wrote recently on Instagram. “Your word says John 14:14. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. I’m asking God to please honor the desire of my heart. Your word says two are better than one. Ecc 4:9-12”

Thursday, January 06, 2022

Wedded Blitz

Every summer, couples line up to tie the knot.

There was a time in my life when it seemed like every summer weekend was occupied with somebody’s nuptials. Now, however, like most middle-aged men, I’m quite content to leave that to the younger set, and if I’m roped into one or two such ceremonies during a summer that’s about my limit.

Friday, October 08, 2021

Too Hot to Handle: How I Didn’t Meet Your Mother

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Rod Dreher says nobody meets their spouses at church anymore.

Catholic, Protestant, whatever: some Christian folks are making the case you’ll have better luck finding a spouse in a bar or restaurant, through friends or online than you are going to have finding a man or woman in your own local church worth partnering up with for life. And Dreher agrees.

That’s quite a claim, IC. Where did you meet your wife?

Immanuel Can: At church, first. But we didn’t get interested in each other until we started working together, serving the Lord at a university. My experience may or may not be indicative, though.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

They Shall Become One Flesh

At work a few weeks ago, the old phrase “one flesh” came up in conversation. I can’t remember how exactly, but I think it had something to do with the low priority modern married couples often place on the husband-wife relationship in comparison to the parent-child relationship. Sadly, we all know people whose emotional attachment to their children or parents greatly exceeds their loyalty and commitment to their own partner.

In our highly atomized age, the concept of two individuals becoming mystically united seems exotic, even unrealistic, to many. So what does it mean? Does “one flesh” merely refer to the sex act itself? Does it refer to the cooperative production of the fruit of marriage, children? Can two people really function as one person?

Monday, March 08, 2021

Anonymous Asks (135)

“Do Christians need a marriage license?”

Kurt Russell is 70. Goldie Hawn is 75. While working on a movie together in 1983, the two actors spontaneously spent the night in a hotel room (details thankfully not disclosed) and have gone on to live under the same roof — by all accounts faithfully — for the last 37 years, producing two children over their years together. Both were previously married, but their current very deliberate non-marriage has outlasted both their original “legitimate” unions combined, has soundly beaten the U.S. average marriage duration by almost 30 years, and seems to have made them both a good deal happier than any previous relationship. Neither Kurt nor Goldie expresses any desire to legalize the successful partnership they currently enjoy.

As a Christian, would you want to publicly critique that? I sure don’t, not with the limited information I have about it.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Too Hot to Handle: Woman Overboard

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Last week we discussed the “new normal” — that almost 70% of divorces are now initiated by unhappy wives — and suggested a number of possible reasons for a phenomenon that is growing not just in the world but in our churches: young women brought up in Christian homes, most or all of whom have made professions of faith, seem increasingly able to walk away not just from their husbands but from their families, often to raise the children of their new partner.

Tom: We talked about the Internet and the work environment, IC, and the family-associated problems of over-protection and legalism.

But let’s leave the family for a moment.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Too Hot to Handle: Abandoning Ship

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Men have always done it mid-life — some men, anyway, though thankfully Christian men did it somewhat more rarely.

We met the “right” waitress, secretary, serving wench or married woman bathing on a rooftop and bailed on our wives and families. We did it to find happiness (or at least firmer skin or, for a time at least, a cheerier disposition). We did it to demonstrate we were still virile and desirable. Or we did it for some other perfectly scrutable male reason that we wholeheartedly believed was unique to our own experience.

Tom: It took them a while to catch up, Immanuel Can, but thanks to feminism’s influence, women are doing it too, and they’re doing it with a vengeance. Almost 70% of divorces are now initiated by unhappy wives.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Anonymous Asks (128)

“Should God choose our mate?”

That’s an interesting question, and I think the answer may have a bit of both yes and no in it. Obvious comeback: If he did, how would you know? What would that look like? What evidence would you need to feel confident God had stepped into your personal circumstances and ordered your future living arrangements?

There are definitely Christians who think this is precisely what happens; perhaps not in every case, but at least in those where a man commits his way to the Lord in prayer, or a woman seeks God’s will for her in the matter of marriage. I will not argue with anyone who feels that way, but again, that’s all it is: a feeling.

Unless of course you can produce evidence ...

Sunday, December 13, 2020

A Flashlight in the Eternal Sun

It has been pointed out that when God gave Eve to Adam, it was for eminently practical reasons and not merely on account of the typological significance of being “one flesh” with a complementary created being. So the primary purpose of marriage is often taken to be companionship — “It is not good that the man should be alone.”

Companionship is indeed of great importance, but we should not miss the point that this gracious gift was provided by God with a specific end in view — helping, and helping in a way that was appropriate to Adam’s needs.

It is logical to ask ourselves what exactly Eve was intended to help with.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Divorce: What We Don’t Know

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Anonymous Asks (73)

“Is born-again virginity possible?”

Infogalactic says, “A born-again virgin is a person who, after having engaged in sexual intercourse, makes some type of commitment not to be sexually active again ... whether for religious, moral, practical, or other reasons.”

Like many ideas floating around evangelical churches today, the concept contains elements of both truth and error.

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Why Didn’t Jesus Marry?

It’s the fiftieth anniversary of the Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Webber rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar in 2020. Bet you didn’t know that. I had to look it up.

For readers who weren’t around in 1970, this pithy summary from GotQuestions is pretty much on-the-nose: “It is an attempt to rewrite history. It makes the traitor Judas Iscariot a victim and reduces the Lord Jesus Christ to a burnt-out celebrity who is in over his head.”

I never saw Superstar back in the day, but a few of the older guys in my mid-’70s youth group loved the soundtrack and played it to death at our basement get-togethers. The experience was musically painful and theologically teeth-grinding.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

The Other Side of the Story

One thing you will likely notice as you read through the Bible’s books of history is that they are not saturated with editorial comments. That is to say the Holy Spirit did not prompt the writers of scripture’s various histories to pass moral judgment on many, even most, of the events they recounted.

There are several notable instances in which he did.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Wedded Blitz

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

That Wacky Old Testament (14)

Yesterday we looked at the sometimes-controversial fifth chapter of Numbers, in which God gives instructions about how a jealous husband should deal with a wife thought to have committed adultery.

The confusion this chapter produces in modern women reading it for the first time is really quite entertaining. Brought up to believe unquestioningly in “equality” of every possible sort, they quickly look around for the parallel chapter in which a wife could take her husband to the priest and have him tested for adultery. The less-experienced Bible students are shocked to find it doesn’t exist.

The world was a different place in those days, especially in the nation of Israel. Some things have changed. Some have not.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

That Wacky Old Testament (13)

The “bitter water” test found in the fifth chapter of Numbers is the source of a fair bit of confusion and debate.

There are arguments that it legitimizes abortion, arguments that the test couldn’t possibly work, and of course we can’t forget the obligatory fussing that the test was unegalitarian because it was not applied to men.

That makes the chapter worth a little more attention, surely.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Mopping Up the Mess

Kate’s husband Sam cheated on her. For just shy of three years. One night, confronted with Kate’s suspicions, he breaks down in tears, blurts out the truth and begs for Kate’s forgiveness. He abruptly terminates his illicit relationship, confesses his infidelity to the elders of their church, and resigns from his responsibilities teaching Sunday School and administering the church’s financial affairs. Several months later, Sam is living in a motel while he and Kate go through marriage counselling.

Kate knows she is responsible to God to forgive her husband, and she is working hard at that. Her question is whether forgiving Sam means she must take him back, not just as partner in life but as her spiritual head. Several of Kate’s church friends have strong opinions about this. They insist she should do it, and do it as soon as possible.

They say she has not truly forgiven Sam if she won’t take him back.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Anonymous Asks (18)

“How do you know when you’ve found ‘the one’?”

There is a relatively modern disease out there in the world called oneitis. It’s as visible as dermatitis, at least as distracting as tinnitus, and it can probably do a great deal more damage than either in the long run.

The idea is that there is one person on the planet who is a perfect match for you; one who completes you, and only one, in the absence of whom you will never quite be completely fulfilled. Ergo, oneitis. It’s a common Hollywood trope and the subject of romance novels, but it does not come from the Bible, I can assure you.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Drawn Away

“But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith.”

It’s not just young widows who need to worry about being drawn away from Christ by worldly passions, and it’s not just women more generally. The symptoms and objects of earthly desire vary from person to person, but the unshakable conviction that the grass on the other side of the fence is somehow greener than the grass on my side is a lie of the devil we must all contend with.

Here, the specific passion in view is not anything evil. In and of itself, the impulse to marry is not abnormal or unhealthy. Everybody wants to know and be known, to feel secure, to have someone to care for and to care for them.

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The Commentariat Speaks (14)

Wherein Jill destroys my most recent post by condensing it to a tiny fraction of its length and adding all the stuff I should probably have written in the first place:

“I think we do have needs for human connections that our spouses can’t be expected to satisfy. That is the joy of same sex friendships. A husband may be willing to reassure you once that your haircut wasn’t a disaster; your woman friend is willing to talk about it until you feel okay.”

Sometimes Avoidance IS Purity

Aimee Byrd has a new book out entitled Why Can’t We Be Friends? The subtitle, Avoidance Is Not Purity, pithily advances her thesis: that because evangelicals view ourselves as “time bombs on the brink of having an affair — or of being accused of having one,” we miss out on the joys of friendship between the sexes, fail to give expression to our “siblingship” in Christ, and are a less-than-optimal testimony to the world.

For a thesis, maybe it’s not the worst idea ever. But it’s right up there.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

On the Mount (13)

Divorce in Western societies is epidemic; that much we know.

Statistics vary and are interpreted variously, but we can probably agree without too much debate that the number of divorces both in the world and throughout our churches is way, way too high; in 2014, 0.32% of the total U.S. population got divorced.

Surprisingly, that is trending downward. It was 0.4% annually at the dawn of the new millennium.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Too Hot to Handle: How I Didn’t Meet Your Mother

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

A Fistful of Jell-O

Too many times, trying to get a handle on complex disagreements within the Body of Christ is like trying to grab a fistful of Jell-O. And not the cubed, wobbly, gelatinous sort either. More like the runny, near-liquid stuff that races away across the tabletop or squirts between your fingers when you finally catch up with it.

Good luck nailing that down.

A long-time reader pointed me to this blog post by Barbara Roberts at A Cry for Justice, which might well represent the quintessential runny Jell-O story.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Reading With One Eyeball

Sometimes people get the obvious so wrong you can’t help but wonder if they’re doing it deliberately. Or maybe somebody just poked them in the eyeball.

Mary Kassian was at the meeting of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood twenty-five years ago when the word “complementarian” was coined, so she’s probably not the worst choice to explain it what it means. She attempts to do that here.

My reaction? I’m not so sure it means anything good.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Too Hot to Handle: Not Going to Nashville [Part 2]

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

The Nashville Statement is a significant evangelical document. It’s an attempt by big names such as John Piper, R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, Russell Moore, James Dobson and others to formulate a written response to Western culture’s post-Christian “massive revision of what it means to be a human being”, especially as that revision relates to sexuality and marriage.

Significant though it may be, in our next few installments we’ll be discussing why, here at ComingUntrue, we’re Not Going to Nashville.

Tom: We stopped after Article 1, Immanuel Can, in which God designed marriage to be a lifelong covenant with a variety of useful purposes.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Too Hot to Handle: Not Going to Nashville [Part 1]

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

The Nashville Statement is a significant evangelical document. It’s an attempt by big names such as John Piper, R.C. Sproul, John MacArthur, Russell Moore, James Dobson and others to formulate a written response to Western culture’s post-Christian “massive revision of what it means to be a human being”, especially as that revision relates to sexuality and marriage.

Significant though it may be, in our next few installments we’ll be discussing why, here at ComingUntrue, we’re Not Going to Nashville.

Tom: Anyone who reads here regularly will be well aware how much I dislike creeds, statements of faith and formal declarations. I won’t be signing this one, IC (big surprise there). All the same, I think a bunch of the usual suspects have done a passable job of distilling the convictions of a large swath of Western Christians into as few words as possible, whether or not we agree with everything they’re saying or precisely the way they expressed it. For that reason alone, it might be an interesting exercise to work our way through it and discuss what we like about the way it’s been framed, and what we don’t.

Sound like a plan?

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Sometimes Burning is Better

My mother had all but given up on being married when she met my father. At very least she had determined to walk with the Lord and serve him with a whole heart whether or not she ended up doing it alone. Or so I remember hearing the story told.

My father, to the best of my knowledge, wasn’t really looking for a wife when he met my mother. He was busy preaching and teaching and seizing whatever opportunities to serve that the Lord put in his way. My take on it is that he was seeking first the kingdom of God and found to his delight that some other things got “added unto” him along the way, so to speak.

With such ambivalence about actively pursuing marriage on both sides, it’s a wonder I’m here to type this today. They might well have missed each other. And yet ... here we are.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Letters from the Best Man (7)

The following is absolutely fictional and increasingly common. There is no Brad and definitely no Jill, in case that is not obvious. There are, however, way too many people in their position.

Dear Dorothy,

I haven’t had much of a chance to work through what you shared with me in your email, nor an opportunity to pray about it the way I intend to, but I figure it’s better to get back to you sooner than later.

You’re right, I must confess: I never in a million years expected to hear from you. I’m almost positive the last time we saw each other was at Brad and Jill’s wedding, which makes it over a decade now. And I agree: discussing my best friend’s failing marriage with his mother-in-law puts me in almost as awkward a position as it puts you to discuss your daughter’s current relationship problems with me. I expect neither of us will be at our best as we are both working with understandable biases and with only partial information. But I think if we are careful and Christian about it we may be able to do some good for two people we love without breaking any confidences or meddling in their lives.

Deal?

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Calls and Feelings

Two weeks ago I posted some thoughts on the “gift of singleness” that didn’t conveniently fit into an earlier post (the one in which John Piper gives advice about marriage to a single mother).

There was another interesting thought-thread associated with the woman’s question, and since Piper hasn’t addressed it, I think it’s time to take a whack at it. It’s this statement I’m referring to:

“Now, as I attempt to wrap my head around the overwhelming task of raising this boy into a man by myself, I do not feel called to marriage.”

“Feeling called” may be a very common evangelical trope, but ask yourself this: Exactly how biblical is it?

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Gift of Singleness

This is the first of two extended lines of thought that wouldn’t fit conveniently into my post from two days ago. You may remember that one: John Piper was giving advice to a single mother who wondered if she should be looking for a husband.

A couple of common evangelical catchphrases were bandied around in the exchange and caught my attention. First, Piper referred to the “gift of singleness”. Later, the young woman declared she did not feel “called to marriage”. You have probably heard people say things like that. You may have said them yourself.

Both phrases sorta-kinda employ the language of the New Testament, but both do it in ways that can mislead us if we’re not paying attention to the way they are used.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Shooting from the Lip

“Pastor John” Piper is answering his mail again, which nearly always ends up, well ... interesting, to say the least.

This time he’s responding to the single mother of a three-year-old boy who wants to know whether the Bible teaches she should be looking for a husband.

Piper is rarely reluctant to engage with questions the Bible doesn’t directly answer, and this one is no exception.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Letters from the Best Man (6)

The following is absolutely fictional and increasingly common. There is no Brad and definitely no Jill, in case that is not obvious. There are, however, way too many people in their position.

Dear Brad,

I was just thinking of you this morning, and voila! there goes my email notification. Funny how that works.

Your question is not exactly a surprise. Still, I wasn’t about to bring up the subject until you did. But you’re nine months into your separation from Jill and as you say, it looks as if she will almost surely file for divorce at the one year mark. While you’re a long way from considering remarriage at this point, I agree that it makes sense to get your ducks in a row, so to speak, about what the scriptures say concerning the end of a marriage before emotions cloud the issue.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Letters from the Best Man (4)

The following is absolutely fictional and increasingly common. There is no Brad and definitely no Jill, in case that is not obvious. There are, however, way too many people in their position.

Dear Brad,

Firstly, I’m so glad to hear that your elders are comfortable with you breaking bread with God’s people despite the conflicting stories about your marriage breakdown. That’s most encouraging and speaks well of them, I think.

Secondly, no, I’m not really all that surprised to hear that Jill has not yet given you legal notice of pending divorce proceedings despite what she said in the letter she left behind.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Letters from the Best Man (3)

The following is absolutely fictional and increasingly common. There is no Brad and definitely no Jill, in case that is not obvious. There are, however, way too many people in their position.

Dear Brad,

Your question about participating in the Lord’s Supper during your separation from Jill is a good one, especially as the weeks pass and your wife shows no signs of coming home or even of being willing to talk things through with you.

Still, perhaps the answer is not quite as complicated as you are making it.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Divorce: What We Don’t Know

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Letters from the Best Man (2)

The following is absolutely fictional and increasingly common. There is no Brad and definitely no Jill, in case that is not obvious. There are, however, way too many people in their position.

Dear Brad,

Glad to hear that Sunday did not go as badly as you thought it might. I’ve been praying and will continue to do so.

As I mentioned in my previous email, the elders accepting your resignation from teaching Sunday School is normal. Don’t take it personally. They haven’t heard Jill’s side of the story yet, and they never will if she doesn’t come back to church. Suppose they had refused to accept your resignation out of some kind of misplaced loyalty, then later discovered that Jill really left you because you had an affair at work or something insane like that? I know you didn’t, but these things do happen in the real world. They are being responsible to the Chief Shepherd and doing their jobs. The truth will come out in due course, trust me.

Meanwhile, you’ve done the right thing and the Lord is honored in it.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Letters from the Best Man (1)

The following is absolutely fictional and increasingly common. There is no Brad and definitely no Jill, in case that is not obvious. There are, however, way too many people in their position.

Dear Brad,

I am so deeply, deeply sorry to hear that you and Jill have separated. Standing up for you was a privilege and an honor. It’s been … what, almost a decade? But I still vividly recall that crazy, way-too-lengthy conversation we had in the Four Seasons lounge after the wedding rehearsal when everybody else had gone to bed, and I haven’t the slightest doubt that when you took those vows before God and everyone you love, you meant them with all your heart.