Tater Takes on a Marriage Quote About Becoming One

I saw the following quote on Facebook this weekend. It was directed at Christian couples on the topic of “becoming one”:

“Separate bank accounts, individual political views, clashing parenting styles, and private friends is not “becoming one.”

I am going to make an effort to coherently give my opinion on each of these areas.

Separate Bank Accounts:  I have mixed feelings on this one. I can how separate bank accounts could be both good and bad for a marriage. It could be good in a case where the only major difference you have is on how you spend your money.  In a perfect world, you would just say you could compromise and come closer in your  ideas of how to spend your joint money.  This is not a perfect world and we are not perfect people. If a separate bank account can help a couple get along better and avoid major money arguments I think it would be a good thing. The bad side is that a separate bank account could lead to suspicion and distrust, especially if it comes later in the marriage. It could lead someone to think there are nefarious reasons why their partner suddenly wants a private bank account.  I think the bank account thing has to be a couple by couple decision. One size does not fit all.

Individual political views: This is an odd one. Are you saying that one person has to change their political beliefs in order to make a marriage work? I don’t think “becoming one” means giving up your personal beliefs. Are you saying that you should never marry someone who has different political views than you?  I can see this in extreme cases. If you are strongly anti-gun you probably shouldn’t marry a gun owning NRA member. If you feel so strongly about an issue that a disagreement would be a deal breaker hopefully you know where the other person stands before you marry them. In general, though, individual political views are not a bad thing. Becoming one does not mean you become less of a person.  You should still be able to have opinions and views that are different from your partner’s.

Clashing parenting styles: I can mostly agree with this one. You have to be in agreement on how you are going to raise your kids. You can’t have one parent undermining that other when it comes to raising and disciplining your kids. Again, this is something that should have been discussed before marriage. It shouldn’t be a surprise if your partner is for or against spanking. Again, though, there are going to be differences. Even if you agree on the basics of how to parent, you each are going to do it a little bit differently than the other. Even if you become one, you are still not going to be robots. There will be differences. I agree that the overall parenting style should be similar, but it can’t be exact.

Private friends: Again, it depends on what they mean by private friends. If the private friends and people who your partner doesn’t know about and you are spending time with them without their knowledge that is likely a red flag. Why would you keep that from your partner unless you are hiding something? If your partner doesn’t want you to ever meet their work friends, but they are going out with them on a regular basis, there might be reason for concern. If you’ve met these friends and your partner is going out with the alone because you don’t want to go, that is a different story. I think it is healthier to have some couple friends instead of each person having their own individual friends. I have friends I spend time with on a regular basis without my wife, but she has met all of them and knows when I am going out with them. This is normal behavior.

In general, I think it is not a good idea to try to fit each couple in to a standard box. Everyone is different and every couple is different and what works for one won’t work for another. Also, unfortunately, there are churches out there that think women are not equal to men and a lot of this is a way to make sure they are kept in their place. You marriage should be patterned in a way that works for both of you.


Things That Should Be Obvious

Apparently, I did have a fresh post for today. Some random, obvious thoughts below.

Sexual harassment and sexual assault should not be a partisan issue. I don’t care what your politics are, you should lose your job and be considered unqualified to serve in office if you are guilty.

Supporting an alleged child molester for Senate because he is a Republican is bad. Being a Christian pastor and doing so is even worse.

Nazi’s are bad.

Someone wishing you Happy Holidays is not religious persecution.

Someone saying Merry Christmas to you is not violating freedom from religion.

There is no “War on Christmas” If there is, judging from what I saw in NYC and the commercials on TV, Christmas is winning.

Shoplifting is bad. American students shoplifting in China is stupid.  Saying you should have left them in jail because you didn’t feel appreciated enough makes you an asshole.

It is not OK to hate someone because they are of a different race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc, etc, etc.

OK. That’s all I’ve got. Feel free to add some more in the comments.


What the Duck?

Yesterday in Facebook trending topics I found articles about the guy from Duck Dynasty speaking at an event. During the speech, he told a story which was basically the plot of a snuff film about an atheist family being raped and murdered. I’m not even sure what point he was trying to make with the story. Non-Christians don’t know that murder and rape is wrong? Non-Christians deserve to be murdered and raped? Christians are safe from murder and rape? If anyone has a clue what exactly his “snuff parable” means, please let me know.

What I do know is that this is not the person Christians should be holding up as an example. We spend so much time talking about doing what Jesus would do. Jesus loved. Jesus healed. Jesus taught us to love our enemies. To do unto others as we would have them do unto us. He ate with sinners. He spread his message without spreading hate. It seems these days that many Christians would prefer to laud the loud and the hateful and/or the modern day Pharisees who care more about rules than people. We won’t reach the world by telling the world stories about murder and rape. We won’t reach the world by telling them what they have to change before we will love them. We will reach the world through love.

Want to do what Jesus did? Love.

Ray Boltz and the holier than thou’s

There has been a lot of buzz on the blogs recently regarding this article in the Washington Blade regarding Christian artist Ray Boltz coming out as gay.  Of course, many Christian blogs are denouncing him and I have seen comments from people saying they want refunds in all his CD’s they have purchased.  Unfortunately, many Christians seem to need a group they are allowed to hate to make themselves feel better.  My position has always been that even if you believe homosexuality is a sin, that does not mean you can condemn the homosexuals.

I use the story of Jonah in my middle school boys class to illustrate my point regarding this issue.  Many people focus on the fish part of the story, but there is much more to it.  Jonah as told by God to go to Ninevah to deliver His message.   Jonah ran away from this task because he hated the people of Ninevah and did not want them to be saved.  God sent a storm ,Jonah admit sit is his fault and is thrown overboard.  The fish that swallows him is actually a good thing and saves him from drowning.  While in the fish, Jonah gives in to God and consents to go to Ninevah.  After preaching the Word and Ninevah and seeing the people repent and be saved, Jonah was angry.  He tells God this is why he did not want to go, because he knew God would save them and he didn’t think they deserved it. 

It doesn’t take long for the boys in my class to get to homosexuals when I ask which group would the their(and the church’s) Ninevites.  Somewhere along the way we have forgotten the fact that God views all sin the same and have decided their sin is worse than ours.  Not only that, we are repulsed by their sin and stand ready to expel them from the church as soon as we discover it.  Through all of this, we have the nerve to act like we care to know the answer to the question What Would Jesus Do?  What Jesus did is illustrate love for mankind even through their sin.  I also believe he said “Judge not, lest you be judged”  and also to not point out the speck in your neighbor’s eye while ignoring the beam in yours.   We could all stand to live by these guidelines.  “Christians” who are all about hating others for their beliefs are the reason so many people have a bad opinion of any church these days.

I’m not questioning religious belief with this.  All of this still applies if you believe homosexuality is a sin.  This sin is no worse than the sins you commit every day.   Would you want me to denounce you and call for you expulsion from your church because I found out you lie  or cheated on your wife?  I think not.