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Marriage Is Not For Our Happiness, Or Is It?

Marriage Is Not For Our Happiness, Or Is It?

One of the greatest problems today plaguing marriage is the idea that one gets married to boost their own happiness. It’s this faulty understanding that has led to the rise of divorce, and even homosexual marriage which champions the idea that, “If it feels good, do it.” However, the purpose of marriage isn’t to make us happy.  If you asked a random person on the street (or social media) what the purpose of marriage is, they would say self-pleasure. Perhaps they wouldn’t say this in so many words, but in their actions and ways of speaking about romance and relationships, this definition becomes clear.  But no where does the Bible describe pleasure or happiness as being the end purpose of marriage. God created marriage, and described it’s purposes in the Bible, so if it’s not in the Bible, then it’s not one of the purposes of marriage.  So what are the purposes of marriage? While there are many, I think they can all be summed up in the following 3 categories 1. First and foremost, marriage is supposed to reflect the relationship of Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5:23-25) 2. Companionship (Genesis 2:24, 1 Corinthians 7:2-3) 3. Raising godly children (Genesis 1:28) Happiness, or pleasure, is not one of the purposes, and yet (and perhaps this is just me since I study marriage as a hobby) it seems like the “marriage isn’t for our happiness” idea has been beat to death, and I’m kind of tired of it. Is it just me, or have you heard this message too much too? If you perhaps haven’t heard the idea that marriage doesn’t equal... read more
Marriage Can Only Ever Be, One Man, One Woman, For Life

Marriage Can Only Ever Be, One Man, One Woman, For Life

Let us forget for a moment all the evidence that children are better off when raised by a mom and a dad. Let’s throw out for now the reality that redefining marriage actually abolishes marriage. Let’s pretend the Bible doesn’t actually clearly state that homosexuality as a sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Let us ignore all of these defenses for traditional marriage. With all the common arguments removed, can we as Christians still say that marriage can only ever be one man, one woman, for life? Yes we can.  – The reason we can is because of what the actual purpose of marriage is. Our problem is we have forgotten what marriage is actually about.  – More than 40 years ago when no-fault divorce became acceptable, the definition of marriage changed in America. Today, we believe that marriage is just about the happiness of two adults. Therefore, most of the appeals for homosexual marriage stem from emotion. “How could you prevent two people who love each other from being together?” Two people can “love” each other all they want, but that doesn’t make a marriage.  – Unfortunately, when we as Christians promote the idea that marriage is just for our happiness, we are unintentionally lending false credence to the Homosexual position. Suddenly, the argument becomes about allowing happiness for some, and denying happiness for others. That hardly seems fair or very “Christian”.  – The purpose of marriage is to reflect the relationship of Christ and the church, and this is a relationship that can only be reflected by a man and a woman, not two men or two women, or more than two people.... read more
Is Your Relationship Just a Business Contract?

Is Your Relationship Just a Business Contract?

No one marries for love anymore today. Alas, the vast majority of relationships today are mere business contracts. Huh? Uh…Reagan, I think you need to check your calendar. This is 2016! Love has been liberated in the Western world. Marrying for love is the only reason people marry. People marry for any other reason unless they are part of a cult, and abusively forced to against their will. When you think of a relationship leading toward marriage that is “just a business contract,” what comes to mind? Well, probably something like what was mentioned above. Either an uber-conservative cult, or maybe the archaic systems of arranged marriage, betrothal, and courtship from days gone by. We recall from history when marriages often very much were just business contracts. Kings would have their children marry in order to form a political alliance between their two kingdoms. Other families married for status, or land, or wealth. It has become so cliche to watch movies today that take place in the medieval era that feature a romance plot where one person or another is being forced to marry someone against their will. What a tragedy! “But I don’t love him!” we will hear a character say. “I don’t want money! I want to marry the man I love!” Touching. I wonder, though, just how historically accurate are these plots? If arranged and forced marriages were so common, and marrying “for love” so alien, then probably most people saw being forced to marry someone they did not “love” as normal, and expected, just as today we expect everyone to go to college after they... read more
How Do I Know If I Am Ready for Marriage?

How Do I Know If I Am Ready for Marriage?

The last post in this series explored what the goal is for marriage (a husband specifically, since I am a man). My last article detailed what it is I should be aspiring to be as a future husband.  – This post is for exploring how I know when I’ve “made it” so to speak. The only problem is I’m never going to “make it” this side of eternity. As the common expression goes, “you’ll never be ready for marriage.” Well…if I’ll never be ready, then how do I know if/when I should get married? –  I have never really liked the expression, “No one is ever ready to marry.” Even if this is true…it’s not a very helpful statement. This statement seems to imply that because no one is ever ready to marry…anyone who is anyone can get married at any time (provided it is legal of course). This extreme doesn’t seem right either. –  Thinking more, however, I came to the realization that it really is true that none of us can ever be fully ready for marriage, but I think I can explain why in a more helpful and Biblical way. The reason why no one is ever ready for marriage is because marriage was created for perfect people. It was created before the fall, and therefore, the intent and purpose of marriage can only be perfectly fulfilled by perfect people. We can only perfectly reflect the image of Christ and the Church if we are perfect, because Christ is perfect, and He will make us perfect when He returns for us His bride. Marriage requires perfection,... read more
Husbands Should Submit To Their Wives

Husbands Should Submit To Their Wives

I wrote a blog post awhile back entitled, “Submission: The Biblical Call For Wives To Make Sandwiches for Their Husbands”. While such a title is tongue-in-cheek, there is actually some real practical truth to this title. As we are informed in Ephesians 5:22-24:  “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.” This passage fits so nicely with this blog series because it is full of military language. The word that is translated to “subject” or “submit” in other translations is the Greek military term “upotassw” (hoop-ot-as’-so). Upotassw means to subordinate; reflexively, to obey: be under obedience (obedient), put under, subdue unto, (be, make) subject (to, unto), be (put) in subjection (to, under), submit self unto. When used in a military context, upotassw means “to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader”. In non-military use, it was “a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden.” So what does all this mean practically? Well, it means that a wife should “submit” to her husband as though he were her commanding officer. She should follow his leading. Therefore, if we really believe what the Bible is saying here, and Paul is saying wives should be subject to their husbands this way in everything…then yes, if her husband tells her to make a... read more
Mission Marriage (New Series)

Mission Marriage (New Series)

I’m back! I am finally writing new content for my blog. I actually have been writing new blog posts for several months now, but am just now beginning to release them. For some of you this might be good news, for others, bad news. You are welcome and I’m sorry to those whom it may concern. I’ve written quite a bit about how we as unmarried folk who believe God is calling us to one day marry should be preparing for marriage now. I’ve written about how we should love our future spouses now, and not wait until we are actually married. Well, I think I should probably put my money where my mouth is. So, I’ve decided to start a new series talking about what I am doing to try and prepare myself for marriage. This is kind of scary for me, because I’m not used to really talking about myself so much on this blog, and also because I will suddenly have a lot more accountability. No slacking off! Additionally, even for those of us who have the gift that Paul had for singleness…we are all still being prepared for (or should be preparing for) our future marriage to Christ (more on this in future posts). While some of us may not participate in an Earthly marriage, we the body of Christ are destined for a future marriage, and preparation needed for that eternal marriage is very similar to the preparation needed for a temporary marriage. I’ve decided to title this series “Mission Marriage Mondays” because I will be detailing my “mission” to become “prepared” for the... read more
I Promised Myself I Would Never Get Married

I Promised Myself I Would Never Get Married

When I was little, I vowed never to get married. Love was all mushy-gushy, and unmanly. I couldn’t get married and look like a softy! After all, girls made no sense, weren’t good at sports, and of all the colors in the rainbow, they had to like pink. Pink! No, I would never get married. – I was told by adults “That’s what they all say” and that, “You’ll want to when you’re older.” I scoffed at these remarks. These people had no idea how dead-set I was against getting married. Yet at the same time, a sliver of fear would creep into my mind. What kind of trauma could possibly make me want to get married as I increased in age? I would not let this happen. I promised my 5 or 6-year-old-self that I would not get married, no matter how much I may want to in the future. Image was everything, and I was too tough to ever desire the mushy-gushy. – I grew up. While my thoughts and feelings toward marriage and females slowly evolved and changed over time, the end result was the same. I didn’t want to get married. The idea of being tied down to a family was very unappealing. I liked the idea of being alone and on my own my whole life, and it was much more appealing than having to deal with the responsibilities of marriage. It was a very selfish mindset. – I had also become quite accustomed to being different. Love was so cliché. I didn’t want to fall in love and be married like everyone else.... read more
You Changed Your Relationship Status; Let’s Throw A Party

You Changed Your Relationship Status; Let’s Throw A Party

We’ve all seen someone change their Facebook relationship status to “in a relationship” before. Typically, this change is accompanied by a cozy picture of the happy couple. (Aww!)We also have all seen the common reactions that go with it: – “Congratulations!” –  “I’m so happy for you!” –  “Aw, you guys look so cute!”  – This is so great, right? Two people committing to love each other no matter what and agreeing to spend the rest of their lives together. It’s so beautiful when two people get in a relationship! – Wait, what? In a relationship? Not married. Not engaged. In a relationship? What does that even mean? – What are we congratulating people on when they get “in a relationship”?  – I have lots of relationships. I’m in relationships with a lot of people and no one has ever congratulated me. Why not?  – Well, obviously, being “in a relationship” doesn’t mean any old relationship, it means a special (generally exclusive), romantic relationship. And apparently, being in such a relationship is enjoyable and better than being single; therefore, we congratulate people and tell them we’re happy for them when they enter such a relationship. –  But should we really be congratulating people when they enter an extramarital romance? – Why do we celebrate extramarital romances before marriage, but not after marriage? –  The only difference between these two kinds of extramarital romances is that in the one case you are married to someone else, whereas in the other case you are not…or are you? –  Most people get married at least once in their life. If you are... read more
Don’t Worry; I Won’t Touch Your Daughter

Don’t Worry; I Won’t Touch Your Daughter

I wrote another guest post over at The Long Way To Go! Consider it an update/conglomeration of my hugging articles. – Hello, my name is Reagan Ramm, and I don’t hug girls. I know, I know. I’m a terrible person. You see, this because I a morbid and irrational fear of touches or being touched. I am a socially awkward and damaged person who needs help getting over the trauma of my past to be able to touch and be touched again… Umm…no. Not exactly. Contrary to what some believe, I do not refrain from hugging the opposite sex because I have Aphenphosmphobia, or because I am a cold-hearted person. Within some Christian circles, physical touch is very common. I, and many others like me, are not so comfortable with this, and here are a few healthy reasons why.   Click here to read... read more
Love Is Manly

Love Is Manly

When I was growing up, I always thought of love as girly. Our culture portrays love with big red hearts, warm fuzzy feelings, and physical displays of affection. These are all things girls are generally more easily drawn to. Girls like to draw little hearts on their school books, and more readily enjoy romance in movies or books. “Love” and being “manly” seemed to be diametrically opposed. This is a big reason why my young self vowed to never marry.  – Love in our culture is shown as being soft. Being nice. Not hurting anyone’s feelings. This is the kind of love that comes more naturally to females.  – Certainly, this feminine side of love is real, and important. However, this is not all love is. Love is also masculine. Love isn’t always elegant, nice, or pleasurable. Love is sometimes harsh, tough, and uncompromising. Love is manly.  – This of course doesn’t mean that all women are tender whereas all men are hard and uncompromising. On an individual level, people—men and women—differ and vary quite a bit. In general, however, there is a distinction. There are two sides of love, one side women more readily express, and the other side men more naturally express. We all need both.  – However, in the church today—and the culture as a whole—the masculine side of love is often ignored and even demonized. Frequently, this “manly” side of love is criticized as being “unloving” or “un-Christ-like” and this is because we only see the feminine side of love as being legitimate. It’s just fine to tell men to “get in touch with your... read more