Though there are plenty of reasons the divorce rate of the religious is the same as the non, one of those reasons has to be the way Christians tend to over spiritualize their search for a potential mate. After being in full-time ministry for over 10 years now, I have seen enough of the effects of divorce to call this way of thinking dangerous.
Though I believe God knows who we will eventually marry, I do not believe that he chooses the person that we will spend the rest of our life with in marriage. If he did, the divorce rate would be lower for Christians. Here are some of the dangers I see in believing in the concept of “The One”.
1. It Kills Common Sense
I’ve seen well-meaning people make very stupid decisions about who they date and eventually marry because they they believe this is the person God has sent to them. Since this person already had God’s Stamp of Approval, they accept them almost blindly.
2. It Extends Bad Relationships
When a person puts this kind of pressure on a relationship it becomes necessary for the person believing to accept things they wouldn’t otherwise for fear that they will lose it. If they lose “The One”, then their chances of marital bliss is lost forever in their minds.
3. It Shuts Off God’s Will
When we decide for ourselves what God has chosen, we effectively stop listening to God in that area. Some people put God’s label on their own choices. This limits how much friends, family, spiritual leaders and even the God Himself can argue against it.
Thought I don’t believe there is a “The One” out there for everyone. I do believe there are right kinds of people… but even a right type of person can change and become the wrong person. That is why it’s important to keep your God-given eyes open. Use the common sense you were given. Trust that God has great things for you… and be open to the possibility that you don’t know what those are and when they will come. Allow him to guide you every step along your path rather than deciding which direction he wants you to God and heading off without looking back.
Hey, a quick question:
Would any of you be interested in purchasing prints of any of the GLN Comics you’ve seen here?
I’m considering making prints available for sale on the GLN website of comics present, past and future.
Let me know in the comments.
Update: Prints would range between $6-$9 plus shipping.
I got angry the other day. I took it out on my wife by blowing up about something stupid. After a while she came back and wanted to talk. I didn’t. I was mad about something specific… but for some reason I didn’t want to talk about it.
Though it was one of the hardest things I’ve done recently… I walked in after a few moments and blurted out the real issue. I felt childish, stupid, over emotional and completely unmanly… but I was honest… and it helped.
1. It gave my wife a reason for my anger.
2. It helped her understand my reaction.
3. It opened the floor for discussion.
4. It humiliated me and humility drives away anger.
This a very risky post… talking about my failures… but failing is the only way I learn. Any great advice you get from this blog, or any of our podcasts was learned in pretty much the same way… through a trial of some kind.
I’d like to get a feel for who’s reading and listening to Geek Loves Nerd.
Results are anonymous… but feel free to leave explications or whatever in the comments.
It’s a simple idea really. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner. This year I took my wife on a Shopping Date.
We started off by going to dinner at the place of her choice. Then we went to various stores and purchased things I knew she would like. I already had a list… I just took her with me shopping so she could pick out exactly what she wanted. She ended up with two books, a candle and a full length mirror. I offered ice cream… but she was full from dinner.
The benefits are plenty:
- Spending time along with husband
- Kids-free time
- Guilt-free spending (I saved for it)
- No guesswork on my part
We’re still going to do the cake and presents thing for the kids. I’ll take them to Walmart and let them pick out something… but I think this is going to become a new tradition. She loved it!
“My kids treat myself and my husband very differently. They seem to respect him more… he only has to say things once to get what he wants from them. They seem more needy and whiny around me. Any advice?”
That sounds a lot like what goes on in our own home. Our two have two different behavior patterns based on which parent they’re around. This seems pretty typical across the board. Kids even do this between parents and teachers for instance. I know of a few kids who are terrible at home, but are the best students a teacher could ask for. I’ve given this a lot of thought and have come to some conclusions as to why kids are different around one parent verses the other.
1. Moms and Dads provide needs differently.
In our home Mom is the primary provider of food and care. Dad is the primary provider of fun and chores. The kids don’t typically come to me when they’re hungry. They don’t typically go to Jenn when they’re wanting to be thrown up in the air or tickled. That results in a different set of behaviors automatically. Approaching Mom when they’re hungry feels and looks a lot different than coming to Dad for some fun.
2. Moms and Dads discipline differently.
In my home I tend to be the primary disciplinarian. I tend to be a bit more demanding as I expect my children to respond the first time I request something. Jennifer is a bit softer and seems more willing to put up with excess whining or complaining. Kids know which parent they can ‘get away’ with such things and which they can’t.
I don’t believe you’re ever going to get kids to act exactly the same around each parent… nor would you want the to. Kids need both types of parents and the differences they provide. I find that Jennifer and I balance one another out quite a bit. Without her influence, I would tend to be to tough and demanding. Without my help, the kids might just run all over her. That being said, there are some things that should be consistent between parents.
1. Kids Should Equally Respect Both Parents
In our home it is my job to make sure my kids understand that my wife is to be respected and obeyed as much they do me. I literally had to sit down with our daughter and explain my relationship to her Mother and how much I love her… and that treating Mommy right is more important to me than the way my daughter treated me.
2. Kids Should Equally Obey Both Parents
Moms and Dads can get more consistent obedience from their kids by establishing constant expectations, limits and consequences. Kids act differently between parents because expectations and limits are different. Face it, if you spank… Dad’s spank harder… mom’s spank more. It’s different and garners a different behavior.
Sit down with your spouse and share what works and doesn’t work about discipline in your home. Share tips and tricks that you use to get what you want from your kids. Establish minimum requirements for behavior so that you both will know when to step in and correct behavior. Set up a series of escalating consequences for bad behavior that you both will follow. When discipline is consistent, behavior is consistent.
For more information on discipline check out an 8-part mini-series I did called Proper Discipline in Children’s Ministry. It’s written for children’s ministers… but the concepts apply at home even more than in the church setting.
I’ve never been able to idolize any human being who came across as perfect. I can’t believe in something that I know isn’t real. That’s why I like my heroes to be imperfect. If they can be human… and still be awesome… that is something I can hope to achieve.
I have to believe that our children need the same type of example from us. So many times though, we parents feel that if we’re not right 100% of the time, then we lose somehow. We’re not sure what we’ll lose… but it’ll be gone and we’ll miss it and that is that!
The problem is, thinking back to my own childhood, I knew when my parents made mistakes. I made decisions, pacts, and judgments based on what I understood at the time. If they tried to gloss it over, or pretend it never happened, or even worse, make like it was right… it had the opposite effect they were hoping for. I lost respect for them and swore, once more, never to be like them.
The solution to this issue is difficult but simple. When we screw up as a parent or spouse… we need to admit it and apologize. Our kids see us when we’re acting stupid… and they need to see what happens as a result. They need to see us humble ourselves. They need an example of how to fail. We’re afraid to show weakness… but it takes guts to let it show. It takes strength to be weak.
The other day I got mad with my wife. I was loud and annoyed. Like a flash in the pan it was over… but there were my kids at the breakfast table looking at me. My daughter asked what was wrong. I told her that I got angry with Mom… but I was wrong and shouldn’t have been loud. She learned that this wasn’t acceptable or typical behavior. It wasn’t the norm… and wouldn’t be the norm. Dad was wrong and would correct the behavior. Emotional scarring averted.
It’s not the only time I have had to apologize to her. Once I was mistaken in a discipline situation. Mom had told her one thing, I didn’t know about it and told her another. Tears and confusion followed. I went to her room and told her what had happened… that she wasn’t in trouble… and that I was wrong and very sorry. You could see the hurt melt away from her eyes. Again, emotional scarring averted.
Apologizing is powerful. It sets an example. Creates accountability within the family. Helps kids see a direct link between the standards you have for them and the benefits as an adult. Mostly though, it makes you real. It turns around a negative and makes it a positive. It bonds your kids to you rather than pushing them away.
The goal with apologizing is to do it as much as necessary, but as little as possible.