Guest post: Some thoughts on marriage, part 2

This is part two of a two-part series of guest posts written by my friend Andrew. My friend Andrew has thought a lot of the issue of marriage and he and his wife have really done an amazing job. I thought we could all benefit by absorbing his tips and experiences.


Some Thoughts on Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Continuing on from my Part 1 post, here are a couple more things that I have learned about marriage that I don’t think I really understood before (at least not to the same extent) I was married:

Men and women are different…and that’s okay!

In general, men are logical and physical, and women are emotional and relational. Taken to the extreme, men can be cold and uncaring, and women can be led purely by their emotions and inappropriately compromising. By coming together in marriage men and women can really work together and learn from each other. In marriage, expect each other to be different, and expect to learn a lot from your spouse.

If I’m very frustrated, my normal reaction as a male is to kick something. Something like a steel door or a brick wall. If my wife is frustrated or overwhelmed, her normal reaction as a female is to cry. As a man, I only cry when something is really wrong…like my both my arms and legs were accidentally amputated. As a woman, my wife would only consider hitting something if the situation was really desperate. God made men and women special, equal, complementary…and very different.

Now that my wife and I have children, I have discovered just how much the difference between the sexes is innate, and not learned. Last week my wife took some food over to a friend of hers who had undergone an operation and was out of commission. She brought our two young sons with her, who played with her friend’s three young daughters. My wife later told me what she had overheard: Girl to her sisters and to my son: “Let’s play princesses. We can dress up in our princess dresses. You [to my son] can pretend to be a prince!”. My son’s reply: “I don’t want to be a prince, I want to be a tiger-shark!”

Two different people = different expectations.

Though it is obvious enough, it helps to realize and acknowledge that in marriage the husband and wife are two different people. Two different sexes. Two different backgrounds and upbringings. Therefore you should expect to have different ideas of what the different aspects of your marriage will be like. One spouse might expect to have three children because they came from a three child family, the other doesn’t want children. One spouse expects to celebrate Christmas Day with their family, the other expects to alternate. And so on.

This brings us back to two things that I have come to realize: One should enter into marriage with an open mind and realize that there are many ways to do things, and often it doesn’t really matter as long as husband and wife can agree on which way works for them. The other thing is premarital counseling – it will help you both to identify your expectations as well as areas that might lead to conflict in your marriage. By the way, it’s never too late to go for premarital counseling, even if you’ve been married for several years. And on that note, a word of caution: if you are having difficulties in your marriage please don’t harden your heart – seek help before it’s too late. Contrary to popular understanding, divorce makes things more difficult, not easier. Many church pastors are professionally trained to provide marriage counseling.

UPDATE: I spotted this related post on the importance of marriage on Hot Air.

Guest post: Some thoughts on marriage, part 1

The following post is a guest post from my friend Andrew, who has the best marriage of anyone I know. The post below is pat one of a two part series. Part two will be out later today.


Some Thoughts on Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

I (Andrew) have been married for 7 years now and thought I would share a couple of things that I’ve learned over this time that I really hadn’t given much thought about before.

Real commitment means no back door!

No one walks down the aisle thinking maybe this marriage will work out okay. Everyone thinks that their marriage will last forever. But with about one third of married couples getting divorced, you need real commitment and a ‘no back door’ policy to make your marriage go the distance.

My wife and I took premarital counseling before we were married. This is something I would highly recommend as it helped us to identify potential stumbling blocks before we actually ran into them. Pre-marital counseling is not about someone telling you what you should do. Rather, it helps you identify and work through things that commonly come between couples and things that might be areas of conflict specifically for you – e.g., finances, expectations, roles, in-laws, etc.

One of the things that my Christian pastor made very sure that my wife and I understood before he would marry us is that marriage is meant to be for life, and if you want it to be for life you have to make sure there is no ‘back door’. You need to both go into marriage with the understanding that this is a permanent arrangement and that there is no way out, no back door.

In my vow I made it clear to my wife that I was ‘in’ for better or for worse. It’s the ‘for worse’ part that you really need to be committed for. Every marriage will eventually experience some difficult times, and it’s during those really challenging times that your marriage will be put to the test, not during the easy times.

Marriage is not about you! But it can help you grow!

Most of us automatically take care of ourselves first, me included. However, I soon came to realize that marriage is in fact about elevating your spouse and putting them first. It’s not giving 50% and getting 50%. It’s about giving 100% and expecting nothing in return. It’s about building your spouse up to be all they can be.

One of the painful benefits of marriage is that it will make you a better person. I say ‘painful’ because in marriage everything is magnified. If you have a disagreement with a friend you can just put some distance between each other and things will probably work themselves out. In marriage you can’t put distance between you and your spouse because they are always there. You have to deal with things. This is what makes you a better person, because you find out things about yourself that you didn’t realize before and you have an opportunity either to work on these things or to harden your heart.

For example, I always thought of myself as an incredibly patient person, but over time I have found that this is in fact something that I need to work on. In his book “Sacred Marriage”, author Gary Thomas suggests that the purpose of marriage is to make us holy, not (only) happy.

UPDATE: I spotted this related post on the importance of marriage on Hot Air.

Friday night funny: Obama’s plan to undo waterboarding damage

I have a double feature for this week’s Friday Night Funny.

First, Scott Ott writes about Obama’s new interrogation policy for terrorists. (H/T Scrappleface)

Excerpt:

Although aggressive interrogation techniques on three terrorists produced intel that likely prevented major attacks on American cities, most experts agree that there’s no way to know whether less vigorous methods might have produced the same results.

“In hindsight,” the president said, “it might have been better to gain the trust of men like Khalid Sheik Mohammed by speaking gently with them, and offering small gifts like Pop-Tarts, or Nair.”

Next, Frank J. Fleming writes about Obama’s plan to fix the national security mess, (7 years free of terrorist attacks), of the Bush administration.

Excerpt:

“We were shocked when we learned the full extent of the inappropriate techniques approved by the CIA under the previous administration,” White House press secretary Robert L. Gibbs told reporters. “That’s one of the reasons we made the memos public. We want everyone to know what was done, supposedly in our name, and that this administration does not condone such actions.”

The president plans to go even further, Gibbs said.

“It would be unconscionable for this administration to look the other way, just because those tactics achieved results. It was wrong to use them, and we should not benefit from their use,” Gibbs stated. “The president had directed that, since those tactics obtained information that prevented a major attack on Los Angeles, it is only right that we carry out the attack on ourselves.”

Did you miss last week’s Friday Night Funny: Media not sure how to cover Obama’s crime spree.

Happy Friday!

How the left abandoned argument for coercion and intimidation

Steven Crowder is funny and I hope that his video about bullying from the left this will encourage everyone who disagrees about these issues to be more civil about it instead of calling people names and intimidating one another.

I think it’s wrong to intimidate people who disagree with you, e.g. – by making them lose a beauty contest. Dragging people into court and making them lose their jobs, pay fines or publicly apologize, etc., just because they don’t agree with your view, is WRONG.

Let’s have everybody concentrate on winning arguments about issues, not on coercion, insults and intimidation.

UPDATE: I posted a while back on whether it should be illegal to publicly defend traditional marriage.

How childhood experiences shape our view of economics

Last time, we looked at how childhood experiences influence our views of religion. This time, I want to go over an article from the Cato Institute from the famous Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick. This article will give you insights into why leftist academics are against capitalism, and what specifically causes them to have that belief.

Here’s a blurb about Nozick:

Robert Nozick is Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University and the author of Anarchy, State, and Utopia and other books. This article is excerpted from his essay “Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?” which originally appeared in The Future of Private Enterprise, ed. Craig Aronoff et al. (Georgia State University Business Press, 1986) and is reprinted in Robert Nozick, Socratic Puzzles (Harvard University Press, 1997).

Nozick’s thesis is that the school environment encourages “wordsmith intellectuals” to be hostile to free market capitalism and prefer centralized systems.

First, let’s see what a wordsmith intellectual is:

By intellectuals, I do not mean all people of intelligence or of a certain level of education, but those who, in their vocation, deal with ideas as expressed in words, shaping the word flow others receive. These wordsmiths include poets, novelists, literary critics, newspaper and magazine journalists, and many professors. It does not include those who primarily produce and transmit quantitatively or mathematically formulated information (the numbersmiths) or those working in visual media, painters, sculptors, cameramen. Unlike the wordsmiths, people in these occupations do not disproportionately oppose capitalism. The wordsmiths are concentrated in certain occupational sites: academia, the media, government bureaucracy.

Nozick’s argument is that wordsmiths oppose capitalism because the free market doesn’t provide them with the rewards and adulation from authority figures that they received in their school years.

He writes:

Schools became the major institution outside of the family to shape the attitudes of young people, and almost all those who later became intellectuals went through schools. There they were successful. They were judged against others and deemed superior. They were praised and rewarded, the teacher’s favorites. How could they fail to see themselves as superior? Daily, they experienced differences in facility with ideas, in quick-wittedness. The schools told them, and showed them, they were better.

The schools, too, exhibited and thereby taught the principle of reward in accordance with (intellectual) merit. To the intellectually meritorious went the praise, the teacher’s smiles, and the highest grades. In the currency the schools had to offer, the smartest constituted the upper class. Though not part of the official curricula, in the schools the intellectuals learned the lessons of their own greater value in comparison with the others, and of how this greater value entitled them to greater rewards.

But what happens when these pampered wordsmith intellectuals hit the job market?

The wider market society, however, taught a different lesson. There the greatest rewards did not go to the verbally brightest. There the intellectual skills were not most highly valued. Schooled in the lesson that they were most valuable, the most deserving of reward, the most entitled to reward, how could the intellectuals, by and large, fail to resent the capitalist society which deprived them of the just deserts to which their superiority “entitled” them? Is it surprising that what the schooled intellectuals felt for capitalist society was a deep and sullen animus that, although clothed with various publicly appropriate reasons, continued even when those particular reasons were shown to be inadequate?

So, what economic system do wordsmith intellectuals advocate for instead of capitalism?

The intellectual wants the whole society to be a school writ large, to be like the environment where he did so well and was so well appreciated. By incorporating standards of reward that are different from the wider society, the schools guarantee that some will experience downward mobility later. Those at the top of the school’s hierarchy will feel entitled to a top position, not only in that micro-society but in the wider one, a society whose system they will resent when it fails to treat them according to their self-prescribed wants and entitlements.

Intellectuals can’t make money degreez in Marxist Studies, Peace Studies, or <Insert_Victim_Group_Here> Studies. And yet, they feel entitled because of their classroom experiences. So, the answer is to confiscate the wealth of the productive entrepreneurs and redistribute them to the intellectuals.

But there are further unrelated points I must add to this article.

What makes people less religious the more educated they become?

OK, if you watch the debate between Peter Atkins and Bill Craig, or Lewis Wolpert and Bill Craig, etc. then it’s pretty clear that these “intellectuals” have not rejected God for intellectual reasons. On the contrary, they rejected God based on the reasoning of a 12 year old and never bothered to look for answers since they were 12.

The real reason that more educated people reject God is due to pride. Specifically, they do not want to be identified as believing the same spiritual things as the masses. Their great education makes them feel pressure to please their colleagues by embracing views that are different from the benighted masses.

So, it comes down to peer-pressure. They simply don’t want to be different from their colleagues. They want to be able to look down at the benighted masses.

What makes researchers support socialist dogma and pseudoscience?

Researchers are funded by government grants. Grants proposals have to get the attention of government bureaucrats. Bureaucrats are always looking for a crisis that they can sell to the public in order to increase the size of government and regulate the free market.

Therefore, researchers tend to embrace whatever the latest Chicken Little crisis is, be it global cooling, global warming, or unsafe consumer products, etc. Grant proposals that open up opportunities for government to control the free market will get the most funding.

What makes government-run schools and media support socialism?

Again, government-run schools and media receive funds based on the size of government. NPR, PBS and the whole public school system can never be objective about anything. They must always side with government and against individual liberty. They also oppose competition from private alternatives like Fox News and vouchers.

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

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