Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Who is he?

At the risk of incuring the wrath of a large percentage of our population, I would venture an opinion as to why new marriage isn't working. Here it is in its simple splendor, we have blurred the image of gender difference. Not many men or women know what it means to be a man or a woman any more. We have lost the image of masculinity most of all. What does a man look like? I don't mean size or facial features, those do not seem to matter too much in the scheme of things. In the Rolling Stones song, "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" Mick Jagger sings, "He can't be a man because he doesn't smoke" (roughly quoted, I can't sing either). Is smoking the measure of a man? How about machoism, or sensitivity?

Years ago, when my wife was reading Harlequin romance novels, I read a few to see what the appeal was. I found out, fantasy! After reading a few, it was apparent that there was little deviation in the characters, settings changed, but the characters were fairly consistent. The male hero is a man in his late 20's - 40's. He is an individualist, handsome to ruggedly handsome, with a charming smile. Usually he owns property, has had his heart broken by another woman some time in the not too distant past. Above all, his most enduring trait is wealth, which translates to evident power of some kind or other. These are extremely popular pieces of fiction. Women like these characters and dream of them, but settle for realism.

Sometime ago I took an unofficial poll. I asked at least a dozen men and women the same question. "Many women and girls appear to be attracted to the Bad Boys, what is the attraction?" Most of the answers fell into the expected catagories, she can save him, rebellion against parents, etc. The answer that I believe is the most accurate is "It's the sex, if anyone tells you anything different, she is lying". I think my friend was being honest and what I believe she meant by that is that no matter what the Bad Boys are or are not, they are confident in their maleness. They exude a sensual sexuality that most women find attractive. Women are supposed to be attracted to maleness, just as men are attracted to femaleness; we are created that way. Our culture has essentially emasculated the image of manhood. Boys are not encouraged to behave as boys when they are little.

Most women today (some secretly) desire men that are masculine in their attitudes. He looks like responsibility, leadership, a measure of success, glad he is a man, and secure in who he is. He will take charge, but still be concerned for her welfare. He will stand up for what he believes and fight to protect what he is responsible for. He is not usually a good candidate to accept female leadership and will respect integrity, strength and courage.

My opinion, for what it's worth. Am I wrong?

My Faves

Dear Anon,
This list is not exclusive by nature, it is inclusive of my favorite sites thus far. I am not singling out I have read much on that site and learned much, but I am listing my favorites. I will post links to the sites and authors that I feel more compatable with. This is only reflecting my personal tastes, I can't be a clearing house for sites. Google does a much better job on that than I can. There is so much info on the web that it would be futile for a blog to try to list all the good sites. What are your favorite sites?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

To Anonymous

Thank you for your comment and for being the first to respond to this fledgling effort.

Let me first confess to not being the wisest or most knowledgable Nut to be hanging on the tree. That said, let me respond to your question. By the nature of the words , replenish and dominate are relative terms. To what level must we attain to have replenished and dominated the world? Anyone who flies has looked down on vast expanses of land in the USA and wondered where are all the people and even our domesticated animals are hardly dominated, just ask any cat owner. I think these purposes are still in effect, but there are other purposes for the union of a man and woman; these will apply to monogamous and polygynist marriages equally.
  1. Physical pleasure is not a result of the fall, but a part of the creation; possibly just because God likes us and to make procreation more likely. After all, after the terrible twos, there are second thoughts of having anymore children.
  2. Fulfillment of the natural traits (generally speaking) of each partner is enabled in the mutual relationship. His - protecting and providing, hers - nurturing and nesting (see the post "Different"), each contributing value to the marriage.
  3. Support for personal purposes, companionship.
  4. The marriage relationship is designed to portray in the human theater, the relationship between God and mankind. Everything we can know about God can be learned in a healthy human family

The second part of your question is best answered by saying, Gods instructions in Genesis 1 and 2 are not specific instructions to all individuals, but a declaration of His program and human involvement. Nowhere in The Bible are men commanded to marry, with the exception of the levirate marriage. We do not live in a perfect world, some people are better off not being married.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Same But Different

I found this article on another site and it spoke to a reality that has been denied for many years by our culture. This was written, not from a Biblical point of view, but scientific and socialogical one. Check it out. Long live the differences!

"We are now in the midst of a dawning realization, in business and society, that while men and women are of “equal” importance and value, they are not the same. In fact, brain research over the last 30 years or so demonstrates undeniably that men and women are quite different – physically, neurologically and emotionally. In studying the research, I’ve realized the powerful compliment in our innate differences. For instance, men have tunnel, binocular vision, while women have wide-ranging peripheral vision. Men’s brains are configured to be more logical and women are wired to be intuitive. The feminine inclination to be nurturing and inclusive is complemented by the masculine proclivity to be protective and territorial, and the list goes on."

Judith Wright
The Power of Femininity

A First Look

Genesis 2:18-25

This is the first look at human relationships, in the first book of the Bible. The best place to start any study is at the beginning. In this first look we want to see the basic, foundational truths that God has provided for us. Not all of His information on human relationships is found here or it would be the destination rather than the beginning (simple isn’t it).

1. Gods decision. The man should not be alone, vs. 18. Also see Hebrews 13:4. Marriage is part of Gods general plan for mankind.

2. Gods plan. “An help meet for him”, a general partner, vs. 18. This dispels the romantic myth of the one special person somewhere in the universe that is your perfect match and your destiny is to find him/her. Parents have arranged marriages for their children for millennia with greater than average success, proving that genuine love can grow where respect and commitment exist. See Ephesians 5: 25 where husbands are commanded to love their wives. See Titus 2:4 where the aged women are to teach the younger wives to love their husbands.
If spousal love can be commanded and taught, then initial love is not the only or best basis for marriage. One should only marry someone if they respect the person and are able to commit themselves to the marriage. Initial love will grow in that environment.
3. Gods operation. And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman. She was the same as the man, but with some differences, vs. 21-22. Long live the differences.

4. Adams observation. Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; they shall be one flesh. Adams declaration is, since woman is taken from man, they are one physically. The union that results when a man and woman come together physically (sexually) is what God first intended for marriage. No official, no rite, no outside pronouncement can further sanctify what has already taken place between the man and woman, vs.23-24.

5. Marital status. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. They were physically, sexually intimate and had no guilt or shame, vs.25. Some writers and religionists would have us to believe that sexuality is sinful. If God created and instituted the practice, then it cannot be bad.

Marriage Defined

God brought together a man and a woman for a specific purpose. God assigned the man a task and the woman was brought into the world to assist the man in his task (help meet). He was complete; she was not necessary to make him a whole person. Her role was to be one like him and join him in a physical union that would further aid in accomplishing his God given task.

This is a foundational look at the first marriage. I will add to this view other information that will rest on this foundation. Let’s be careful to not inject our own prejudices or assumptions that we pull from conventional thought.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Research information

Some books I have read that are available on line: these are well done and accurate works.

Thelyphthora – volume 1 by Rev. Martin Madan

Thelyphthora – volume 2

Hagar by Mercer Davies

The History and Philosophy of Marriage by James Campbell

Chapter 10 from A Treatise On Christian Doctrine: Compiled from the Holy Scriptures Alone by John Milton

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A New Look...

“A New Look At Old Marriage” has come about because of my being forced to investigate an event in my life that I knew to be experientially true, even though it went against everything I had been taught and believed all my life.

What I discovered was a body of truth that seemed to exist in a parallel universe. This body of truth was clearly in the Bible, but had been cleverly distorted by centuries of interpretation and the insertion of pagan ideologies. Slight deviations had altered the plans and purposes of God tremendously. I am talking about our concept of what God teaches in His Word, the Bible, concerning what is approvable to Him as marriage.

Before anyone closes the page, please hear me out. It will not be a major investment of time for you to read, study, investigate and understand what I am putting forth here. I am kindly asking you to do this before you close this blog and your mind to the possibility that we have been misled and missed a very important aspect of marriage that could bring happiness to many hearts, security to many families and comfort to many lonely souls.

I am referring to the fact that monogamy is not the only form of marriage permitted, taught, approved and blessed of God in the Bible. This is the case in both the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. The other form of marriage demonstrated in the Bible is polygyny (one husband with more than one wife at the same time). Many people mistakenly call this polygamy. This is where I fear many will turn the page or close the site. Keep the page and your mind open a bit longer, so I may explain how what we see in the cults and fringe religious groups is not what is being taught in the Bible. Let’s take a “New Look At Old Marriage”.

There is solid evidence that shows the deviation from the Bible picture of marriage began in the second and third century A.D. Rather than reinventing the wheel and rewriting that which has so ably been done I will state the truth and refer to the original works from the late 1600’s and 1700’s to the present day. There is a wealth of material available to anyone who is willing to admit that the state of marriage in the last century has been going downhill rapidly and is willing to investigate as to why it is happening.

Please read along with me and see if you cannot find a thread of truth here that will lead you to reinvestigate what God’s Word says about marriage. Never, never be afraid of the truth, but flee from error.

Monday, May 19, 2008

In the beginning

Why take a “New Look At Old Marriage”? The most obvious reason is that new marriage isn’t working. Divorce is rampant. Sleeping around and shallow relationships are all too common and leave so many people with emptiness, loneliness and insecurity. Broken hearts and emotional pain cover the land, both of adults, but also children. Marriage itself is a good thing, but we have gotten off track and therefore end up at a different destination than expected. I am a Christian and a Pastor of four decades of experience and my experience tells me that we are not getting it right.

God instituted the first marriage and followed up with instructions on how it should work. This blog will look at marriage as it is revealed in the Bible and then compare that information with modern practice. I will not dispute the accuracy of the Bible; it is my source and authority. I believe God inspired it and God provides the Holy Spirit illumination of its truths.

One does not have to be a Christian to implement the principles that will be discussed; they will work for anyone. Gods’ results follow the implementation of Gods truth.

I assure you, some of the truth revealed here will surprise and maybe even shock you. I will mess with your traditions. Tradition is no good if it transgresses the Word and Will of God. Bottom line is, I don’t care what your traditions are or mine for that matter. What I do care about is, “What Does God Say”!

There are two forms of marriage presented in the Bible, monogamy and polygyny. It is not my program to promote one over the other, but to show how both are acceptable to God and how that reality, casts a different light on marriage itself.

I will include links to other sites that deal with these issues as well as publications found online or in bookstores that will do a better job of presentation than I may. I may or may not agree with everything that someone else says or writes. I supply these links to further expose you to truth and ideas that will stimulate your thoughts as mine have been. I will leave it up to you to investigate, think, search, consider and maybe even pray to see what is true. You must find truth for yourself. It is my job to inform. It is yours to discover truth and decide what to believe. I refuse to be responsible for what you believe. After all, everyone has the right to be wrong if you wish.

I invite your comments. Agree or disagree, but let’s do it courteously, kindly and respectfully, oh yes, let’s also support our point of view with evidence. Please do not be upset if no one is convinced by a well intentioned “well I think”.

My goal is to help strengthen existing marriages and show Gods plan for those considering marriage.