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Marriage: Sex, Obedience and Love in Salvation

http://ow.ly/1Xf7Os

If you are married or hope to be married this book is for you; if you’re preparing for marriage or tending to your marriage you will definitely want to read this text.

Marriage and Family LifeOn Marriage and Family Life is a collection of sermons by St. John Chrysostom on various biblical texts that teach about marriage and parenting. He speaks of marriage’s role in controlling lust: that sexual relations is more a reason for marriage than having children. He presents a very insightful viewpoint on the issue of wives submitting to their husbands, and husbands being the head of their wives. St. Chrysostom outlines what kind of bond marriage is, and what is meant by that bond. He then gives an explanation on the overall goal of marriage and provides guidance on how to choose a mate. He also teaches on parenting and what parenting teaches us about God and our relationship with God.

This text is my favorite work on marriage: what it is and how to fulfill its obligations. St. John was given the name Chrysostom (“golden tongued”) because of his way with words…he had the gift of gab, and could communicate difficult theological concepts in simple ways. This point is made clear by his explanation of marriage.

I enjoy how St. Chrysostom explains marriage and the relationship between husband and wife. He does it in a way that is true to the Gospel and uplifting to both men and women.

His arguments and positions are so compelling that women will gladly embrace the command to submit to their husbands (yes, I said gladly). And husbands will rethink their position on their “headship” over their wives. Overall, both husbands and wives will have a much better understanding of the mystery of marriage being an icon of Christ and the Church.

“Wives, be subject to your husbands as to the Lord,” has been a passage that has caused many arguments. So much so that pastors tend to gloss over that passage when doing marriage counseling. Or, pastors hold such misogynistic and chauvinistic views that a completely warped interpretation akin to slavery is passed on to couples. Yet, St. Chrysostom advises that husbands achieve the “subjection” of their wives “through affection, kindness, and…great regard…” For as he says, “…one’s partner for life, the mother of one’s children, the source of one’s every joy, should never be fettered with fear and threats, but with love and patience. What kind of marriage can there be when the wife is afraid of her husband?”

Here is a view of marriage to consider! And, if St. Chrysostom is right, here we find the key to rebuilding Society. What do you think? Marriage is a sacrament, and therefore bears witness to a deeper and mysterious grace. But, does marriage have that kind of world-changing/revolutionary power?

If you are in the Orlando area, join us for Bible Study on Thursdays at noon and 6:30 pm. Alternatively, our series on marriage will be made available in late February. In the meantime, check out St. John Chrysostom’s guide to a thriving relationship: On Marriage and Family Life.

I Will Know & Receive Jesus when I See Him

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To Be, Or Not To Be (Honest)…That’s the Question!

Now, lemme preface these postings. I realize that what I say might have a tendency to cause some to think I’m referencing them. Sometimes I may be, sometimes I mightn’t be. Yet, at NO TIME is anything that I say meant to be a slight to any female out there! Much of my material is not of any recent nature. Much of it is. Yet, I am simply finding a way to share some of my musings: it might help me, it might help you, it might help another…it might help us repair the Black family, for as Minister Farrakhan said: “the new century must be the century of family!”

By the title and the topic to be explored, you’ll know why I had to submit such a preface. We men tend to be somewhat matter of fact. Much of what we say has no underlying meaning. The running code is: say what you mean and mean what you say. Yet, for some reason our words and intentions seem to become twisted and all of a sudden we’re faced with an upset sister. Brothas, holla if you hear me!

To be, or not to be (honest)…that’s the question!

I was talking with one of my brothers about this. It’s a vicious dichotomy in which we exist. People in general, lie (and I know sisters will say brothers…brothers will say sisters – but I say people). Lying is such commonplace in our society – it comes naturally. And, since it comes naturally everyone expects it.

But, relationships cannot thrive without open and honest communication. And, herein lies the tension. We all “want to be” open and honest. But, like Jack Nicholson said in A Few Good Men,

You Can’t HANDLE the Truth!

So, what to do?

In efforts to be open and honest, a brotha may tell a sister something. You tell her because you want her to know…trying to deposit some trust in the bank. You think you’re doing something notable and praiseworthy. Then WHAM!!! You get slammed by the attitude monster! 😉 All of a sudden, you find your self thinking: “Damn, I wish I didn’t even open my mouth.”

To be, or not to be (honest)…that’s the question!

My Dad always raised me with this instruction on women. He would tell them, don’t ask me any question you don’t want to know the answer to because I’m not going to lie. Then again, he’s in his 70s and came from a time when Blacks were confined to their own neighborhoods and weren’t preoccupied with chasing individualism.

Where can we be free to take off the mask? Or, must we always live our lives exchanging one mask for another? It’s like before speaking, we must think: does she really need to know this. It’s like we are forced to be secretive…but then penalized for being secretive. Sisters wonder why their man doesn’t like to talk…well, it’s safer to remain quiet! If we’re quiet, we’re not forced to lie and we’re not forced to tell you a truth you can’t handle.

Now sisters, you can get mad a me for saying this. Sure – “we take those!”

But, what does that solve? Does that make your relationship any better? Does that help your particular situation? I’m just telling it like it is…

If you want a solution though: create an environment where your man feels safe to be himself. We spend the whole day in Black Face, shucking and jiving for the man – showing those pearly whites. We don’t want to “Mantan it up” with you too!

Chris Rock joked…We men sometimes joke around and say how nice it would be if we came home and our wives greeted us by asking us to sit down and taking off our shoes. (Certainly, being in them high heels all day sisters could use the same!)

But, as I think about it how much greater would it be if when we came home your woman walked over to you, greeted you with a kiss, and proceeded to remove your mask: “honey, you’re home. Feel free to be yourself.” Damn. Now, that’s a fantasy for you!