Marriage


… Trust me on this — you really do not need to read through those academic research papers. Here is a summary: The ‘scholarly consensus’ is that children and parental happiness just do not go together. According to the data, parents are less happy than non-parents, parents of infants and toddlers are especially not happy, single parents are less happy than married parents, and mothers are less happy than fathers. Except, that is, when it comes to single fathers, who are the most unhappy of all…

Christians must see children as gifts from God, not as projects. We should see marriage and parenthood as a stewardship and privilege, not as a mere lifestyle choice. We must resist the cultural seductions and raise children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and understand family life as a crucible for holiness, not an experiment in happiness…

And when it comes to happiness, we must aim for something higher. Christians are called to joy and satisfaction in Christ, and to find joy in the duties and privileges of this earthly life. Every parent will know moments of honest unhappiness, but the Christian parent settles for nothing less than joy…

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A couple of reports that may be of interest:

“What helps us the most to thrive, as individuals and as a society?  Money or marriage?  Assets or relationships?

Here’s what we know:  A large body of research suggests that the status of our marriages influences our well-being at least as much as the status of our finances.

But consider this puzzle. Why do we so carefully measure and widely publicize our leading economic indicators, and do everything we can to improve them, while rarely bothering to measure our leading marriage indicators, or try to do anything as a society to improve them?”…

The US Marriage Index Report

The UK Marriage Index Report

ROME, NOV. 4, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Children need more than ever the presence and guidance of fathers in family life. According to a recent collection of essays, a significant body of scientific research clearly documents the vital role a father plays in the formative years of a child’s life.

The book is titled “Why Fathers Count: The Importance of Fathers and Their Involvement with Children” (Men’s Studies Press). Sean E. Brotherson and Joseph M. White, the editors and authors of the first chapter, set the tone for the book with an overview of arguments regarding the importance of fathers for children. The presence of a father has a positive impact in many ways, they note, as children with fathers have fewer behavioral problems, obtain better academic results, and are economically better off…

The relationship between spouses and its impact on fathers was examined in a chapter authored by University of Arkansas professor, H. Wallace Goddard. When couples have a strong relationship they can use their differences to complement each other, and draw on each other’s strengths, and there is a much greater likelihood that both mother and father will be good parents, he argued.

Goddard also noted that in many ways the contemporary dating culture does little to prepare future couples for the commitment needed to nurture and protect a marriage. A culture that overemphasizes romance and quick fixes, he pointed out, does little to prepare couples for the inevitable difficult periods that every marriage goes through…

Citing various research sources on family life, Brotherson went on to explain that the more connection a child feels with his parents the more likely he or she is to trust others and enjoy stable relationships with peers and adults outside home. A close-knit family relationship is also more effective in protecting children from problems such as depression, suicide, precocious sexual activity or drug use…

“Strong families are built on the foundation of strong marriages. Strong societies are built on the foundation of strong families,” the Pope continued. He then urged that governments acknowledge, respect and support marriage, in which a man and a woman join together in a lifelong commitment. An undertaking indeed vital for the flourishing of future generations.

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BERLIN, July 30, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Booklets from a subsidiary of the German government’s Ministry for Family Affairs encourage parents to sexually massage their children as young as 1 to 3 years of age. Two 40-page booklets entitled “Love, Body and Playing Doctor” by the German Federal Health Education Center (Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung – BZgA) are aimed at parents – the first addressing children from 1-3 and the other children from 4-6 years of age…

Canadian author and public speaker Michael O’Brien who has written and spoken extensively about the crisis of culture in the West spoke to LifeSiteNews.com about the shocking and extremely disturbing phenomenon. It is, he said, “State-encouraged incest, which in most civilized societies is a crime.” The development is, he suggests, a natural outcome of the rejection of the Judeo-Christian moral order…

“The wiser and deeper position of most civilizations recognized that children need a period of innocence,” commented O’Brien. “Now the state, the Germany state, is encouraging destruction of this state of innocence,” he added. “This is consistent with the materialist philosophy that sees all moral norms and all truths about human nature as repressive. Pleasure and their distorted concept of freedom are their only guiding principles.”…

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See also, an update on the story today (July 31):

Germany Pulls Booklet Encouraging Parent-Child Sexual Massage, but not Child Song Book

TORONTO, June 27, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Same-sex “marriage” among Canadian homosexual couples is getting less popular, and now the majority of homosexual couples that obtain a marriage license in Canada are foreigners, says a recent report by Reuters.

The city of Toronto, which hosted the claimed “million-strong” annual Gay Pride March on Sunday, has one of the largest homosexual populations in Canada. Despite this fact, however, the demand for same-sex marriage licenses has drastically declined. Last year, the city issued 107 licenses to Canadian homosexual couples, whereas this year it has so far only issued 1…

After homosexual “marriage” was first legalized in 2005, there was a rush of couples who wanted to be “married”, many of them in order to make a public statement that homosexuality is acceptable. Since then, however, the overall number of Canadian same-sex couples getting “married” has declined to a mere trickle…

Homosexual foreign couples have often used Canada as a springboard to gain recognition of their homosexual “marriages” within their own countries, which may explain why foreign couples are continuing to pour into Canada to obtain a marriage licenses. In 2006, for example, Irish lesbian activists Katherine Zappone and Ann Louise Gilligan filed suit against the Irish government for not recognizing their Canadian “marriage”. They argued that their rights were being violated and that they should receive the same tax law provisions as a married heterosexual couple…

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June 25, 2007 (MSN) – … Earlier, delegates had deciding that blessing same-sex unions would not conflict with the Church’s core doctrine. But the final motion — that clergy should be allowed to perform such blessings — was defeated…

Speakers at the annual meeting were torn over the issue and debated whether to even hold the vote this weekend.

“Sin is still sin, and to bless sin would be a disaster to our church,” Rev. David Parsons, a minister for 28 years, warned attendees ahead of the vote.

“Jesus Christ is my one and only saviour, this Bible is trustworthy, and I urge you brothers and sisters to listen to it.”

Others were more supportive of the blessings.

Archdeacon Karl McLean, a colonel with the Canadian Forces, said the church should bless same-sex relationships that are monogamous and committed…

Canada’s Evangelical Lutheran church, which is also meeting in Winnipeg this weekend, rejected same sex blessings in a vote held Saturday.

Pratt said the issue would be a source of continuing debate among clergy, despite Sunday’s vote…

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1. The two-sexes prerequisite is no little “detail” in Scripture but a core value in sexual ethics. The universal witness of Scripture to a male-female prerequisite for valid sexual unions-the flip side of which is the witness of Scripture against every form of homosexual practice-is no little “detail.” It is a core value among Scripture’s sexual ethics. It is a value held:

a. pervasively, that is, within each Testament and across Testaments; b. absolutely, that is, without exception; c. strongly, that is, as or more offensive than adultery and the worst forms of consensual adult incest; d. counterculturally, that is, in opposition to broader cultural trends.

As such, retaining the Bible’s position on this matter renders the church faithful, not frozen. Violating this foundational stance is not “dynamic,” as Thorp claims, but profoundly disobedient…

3. Jesus himself is Thorp’s main obstacle for discounting a two-sexes prerequisite. What was the basis for Jesus’ unilateral amendment of the Law of Moses that eliminated the right of men to more than one wife? Here the matter becomes embarrassing for Thorp’s position, for Jesus cited as his justification God’s creation of “male and female” in Gen 1:27 and the marriage standard of a “man” and his “woman” being joined together in Gen 2:24-two texts that Thorp seeks to circumvent by endorsing homosexual unions.

Jesus’ declared these two texts as constituting the foundation for his limitation of the number of parties in a sexual bond to two. In other words, the �~twoness’ or duality of a sexual bond is predicated on the �~twoness’ or duality of the sexes. Eliminating the significance of the latter for defining appropriate sexual bonds leaves the church without basis for a monogamy principle. God’s creation of two primary sexes is the foundation for prohibiting additional persons beyond two in a sexual bond, whether concurrently (polygyny) or serially (repeat divorce/remarriage). The union of the two sexes into one makes a third party both unnecessary and undesirable.

That was Jesus’ opinion, which should have considerably more significance than Thorp’s opinion or that of any bishop who also seeks to contravene Jesus’ view. Since Jesus lifted up Gen 1:27 and 2:24 as normative, with proscriptive implications, for all matters of human sexual ethics, it is not surprising that when Paul indicts homosexual practice absolutely in Rom 1:24-27 and 1 Cor 6:9 he has these same two texts from Genesis in the background. He simply shows himself to be a good disciple of Jesus…

5. Same-sex intercourse radically offends against God’s intentional creation of humans as “male and female” (Gen 1:27) and the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman (Gen 2:24). Genesis 1:27 links God’s image imprinted on humans with the complementary sexual differentiation of humans into male and female. Although animals are similarly differentiated, only in humans is that differentiation connected with being created in God’s image. This suggests that what humans do sexually can affect either negatively or positively the stamp of God’s image on them. It also suggests that, while male and female each have individual integrity as God’s image, the union of male and female brings together complementary expressions of the divine image into a full-orbed sexuality. Entering into a homosexual union disregards the sacred foundation on which Gen 1 predicates sexual activity and dishonors one’s God-given sex by merging with a person of the same sex as though that person were the complement to one’s sex.

Genesis 2:21-24 give a beautiful illustration in story form of the inherent complementarity of a man-woman sexual bond and so the implicit, inherent discomplementarity of a same-sex sexual bond. Woman is drawn from the “side” of the human (a better translation than “rib”). She is the missing part, sexually speaking, to a man-the missing sexual complement if one is seeking a sexual relationship with another. Man and woman may be (re-)joined into one flesh because the two emerged out of one flesh. This is a lovely picture of the basic point that men and women are each other’s sexual “other halves”-not two males or two females.

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