Cheat Sheet On Marriage

When “Marriage” hits the fan, as it appears scripted to do, when the U.S. Supreme Court hands down the decision in June or July, when the predictable reconfiguration occurs to adopt same-sex unions, you’re going to need a cheat sheet.

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The avalanche of data- historical, civil, judicial and practical definitions of marriage- seems to be exceeded only by the cultural forces against traditional marriage. Into this sophisticated mess, you better have your answer well-thought-out. Simple, short, powerful. Let me offer a sticky note, from which you can edit and create your own:

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P – Pleasure has been surgically removed from procreation and repackaged by itself. This has led to an endless drop-down menu of sexually deviant options. Once removed, pleasure has no generational future because it avoids procreation. Porn, masturbation, contraception, hook-up, abortion, same-sex. They all create a work-around to God’s original design.

2 – “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27). The intentional blurring of gender (male and female) has produced a wild menu of over 50 categories to choose from. But the beginning was very, very simple. It involved 2

P – Procreation is the inseparable result of a conjugal relationship between husband and wife, providing the future and structure of society and ensuring the stability of child-rearing.

Robby P. George says it this way:

Do you believe, as I believe, that the core social function of marriage is to unite a man and woman as husband and wife to be mother and father to children born of their union? Do you hold, as I hold, that the norms that shape marriage as a truly conjugal partnership are grounded in its procreative nature- its singular aptness for the project of child-rearing? Do you understand marriage as the uniquely comprehensive type of bond- comprehensive in that it unites spouses in a bodily way and not merely at the level of hearts and minds- that is oriented to and would naturally be fulfilled by their conceiving and rearing children together?

To think that we’ve arrived at a place of societal suspension, where we actually have to think through what marriage is, where we must define, defend and demand it, is almost in itself….unthinkable. But so it is.

What does your cheat sheet say?

 

Sexperts

It wasn’t all that complicated. Just check one or the other right?

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Then, a lot happened within a short time:

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Now it’s complicated.

When gender was distinctively masculine and feminine, the rules of engagement were finely tuned and everyone operated within those boundaries and expectations.  But take a 20-year-old girl and put her on a college campus today where she literally crosses paths with guys all day long:

  • Is she to live expectantly, in awareness of her femininity?
  • Should she dumb down her gender until casual becomes….really casual?
  • With marriage and dating out of favor, should she defer vulnerability until she’s a senior?
  • How should she navigate the two preferred girl options for self protection: 1) hook-up target or 2) man-hater?

What isn’t complicated is that you’re needed more than ever. Call it customized coaching: 

I’m hearing from several girls, either outright or implied, the desire for focused female identity development, relational mentorship from older & wiser female “sexperts” if you will. Especially those females who’ve navigated the single/dating/engaged community in their mid-to-late 20s. (29-yr-old Audrey)

What is a Sexpert? Are they charged with staying up to date on Facebook’s custom gender options (currently over 50 to choose from)? Do they carry around a small booklet of definitions and characteristics so as to always appear relevant?

“…at the beginning, the Creator made them male and female” (Matthew 19:4)

Sexperts understand something about masculinity and femininity.

Two

2

They promote God by exploring the created expressions of being made in His image: male and female. When sexperts cross paths with those who are younger, they forge the type of relationship that allows the learner to gaze into the mystery. They enter the eye of the storm together where motion stops, where knowing God is risky business, where spiritual life is transferred in gender flavors.

They hang out.

They rub off.

 

Screwtape’s Formula

In the digital information era- the overload of all things in-coming and in-forming, our greatest challenge will be content filtering. And it makes sense that if the problem remains the human condition, then no amount of technology can cure the technology onslaught. Our eyes as the gateway, dictated by our soul, will determine our in-formation.

C.S. Lewis captured the tension in his brilliant Screwtape Letters.  The senior devil, Uncle Screwtape, instructs his nephew:

“…we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure,” he writes, “to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker, and least pleasurable. An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula.”

You might want to work off a two-column chart for a week, sticking it in your Bible and reflecting over it in prayer. As technology continues to express our human condition, it’s a good exercise to ask:

1.  What activities do I enjoy that bring contentment? They always yield a therapy of sorts and don’t need an increasing amount of attention.

2.  What activities am I drawn to that used to require one hour but now require two? In what way is there a diminishing satisfaction for an increasing craving?

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I’m reminded of God’s simple invitation:

“Why spend money on what is not bread and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.” (Isaiah 55:2)