Archive for March, 2010

I observe and believe that (un)sanctified bitching sessions are more deleterious to the health of a marriage than such things as, say, an innocent cup of coffee with a safe friend of the opposite gender at the workplace cafeteria.

Those in the Evangelical protestant world do not (not really) need me to hash out what an (un)sanctified bitch session is; nor to revisit how it can be disguised as a bible study, Christian fellowship, etc.

I am not saying such things as that a lady must not find a safe place to vent; that she live in isolation, etc. Nor that she cannot talk about the things in her life. A married lady has, in fact, biblical instruction about the purpose of meaningful fellowship in the church.

The point is that when a churchy lady comes home worked up by her church lady friends into a self-righteous mote-finding expedition she is doing something far more serious than tearing her house down with her own hands. She is, in fact, doing something far worse for herself. She is positioning herself for spiritual blindness* that will allow for even greater misdeeds.

Here you will find a posting at the SingleMind blog which helps illuminate my point.

*Can men do something like this? Yes; of course.

If your fellowship’s idea — as it is actually practiced, not as it is described in press releases — of discipleship is to make you into cultural and affective clones of each other or of some one man, then reject this.

I am brewing a more particularly expressed book review for “Love and War” by John and Stasi Eldredge. However, I wanted to get my thoughts out there about this work since it will be awhile before I can give it the attention it should receive. I have a few niggling complaints with it; inasmuch as by default Eldredge seems to buy into the “married = adult” meme; and is perhaps not as fully expressive as I would like him to be of the idea that women have old natures as well, and that we live in an age and culture where masculinity is suspect; including in some parts of the church.

That having been said, this is one of the finest books of advice on Christian marriage that I have seen in a long time. When I get around to further commentary on this work I will post it in this space. I have given a copy to my son (recently married!) and his bride.

It so happens that I have a degree of skill on the ballroom dance floor.* The dance-naive world has heard the phrase “it takes two to tango” and has grafted onto this a variety of associations that were not originally intended… this is usually expressed as a kind of arched-eyebrows and a wink that expresses something like “well, they both knew exactly what they were doing.” As a meme this is acceptable, but there are those who thus conclude things that are not concludable; but I leave that aside. What the dance-sophisticated understands from this phrase is that while it takes two to dance, it only takes one to stop dancing.

Read this book for insight into helping yourself and your mate keep dancing.
*On a good day with a skilled partner I am only a talented amateur in my chosen forms.

The Ghost Demographic

Posted: March 24, 2010 in Other people's writing

I link here to a post at Crosswalk by this man. He indicates a plan to make further posts on singles and the church, and as they relate to the single Christian man I’ll be following this to see what we shall see.

Pastoral tip #10

Posted: March 24, 2010 in Commentary, For pastors

A single Christian man is not a child by virtue of his singleness; nor is he your child. This is all kind of a crashing non sequitur, of course; but I bid you, pastor, to not consider your own opinion very highly about how you really deliver on this. Find some devious or straightforward way to hear what the single Christian men in your fellowship really think of your behavior towards them. If you are in a leadership capacity, remember that you bear some responsibility for the words and actions of the undershepherds alongside you. If you find that you don’t have many single Christian men to start with (but you vaguely remember some coming through) you might ask yourself this question retroactively.

Ask her if she thinks that any of her experiences in churches, schools, and life have conditioned her towards conflict with men. Remember to listen.