Mr. Pope, Marriage Is Not Forever

What happened to 'til death do us part'?

How to better minister to Catholic families experiencing separation, divorce and other problems when the church’s teaching holds that marriage is forever.

Pope Francis asserts marriage is forever at start of family meeting

Going by engagement and wedding announcements I’ve seen over the years, many Christians also believe that marriage is forever. Even plenty of Mennonites hold that view.

If that belief has a Biblical foundation, I don’t know what it is. Do you? Read it all

I Flunked Song of Solomon 907

I wrote it for ninth graders and overshot the mark.

You may know I’m writing Old Testament lessons for high school freshmen. Recently I got to the sole lesson on the Song of Solomon.

The instructions I had were quite elementary:

The lesson focus is that last sentence.

In addition to those mandated parameters, I had these of my own:

  • Make it practical for ninth graders.
  • Avoid eye-rolling stretching to make the passage point to Christ and the church.

Well, I finally settled on using these passages:

  • Song of Solomon 2:4 (85)
  • Song of Solomon 4:1-7 (176)
  • Song of Solomon 5:10-16 (143)
  • Song of Solomon 7:10 (107)
  • Song of Solomon 8:6,7 (217)

The numbers in parentheses tell you how many words I dedicated to each passage.

I began and ended the lesson with these paragraphs respectively:

Song of Solomon is a difficult, much-debated, little-understood book. Perhaps it describes a real-life romance. Perhaps it’s more a poem or play to instruct and encourage husbands and wives. Perhaps it’s an intricate allegory illustrating God’s relationship with His people. Perhaps it’s some combination of those. This lesson, though, will help you consider several portions of the Song of Solomon from three different angles: pre-marriage guidelines, marital principles, and spiritual truths pertaining to Christ and the church.

Nothing shall be able to separate us from divine love (Romans 8:35-39). As the church is secure in Christ, so the church must secure her love for Christ alone (Matthew 24:12; Revelation 2:4). We should let Him know in thought, word, and deed that we are His alone.

Considering the parameters I had, I was enamored with what I submitted. Well, that’s too strong. Maybe infatuated. No, not that either. Pleased, anyway.

So much for feelings. I received instructions to please rewrite the lesson. :mrgreen:

(Oh, you’re wondering about the 907 in the post title? Well, 101 is so predictable, passé, and/or blasé.)

Today I started that process by reading through Song of Solomon. Alas, now I’m less optimistic than when I started. 😯

Do you have any passages to suggest (that fall within the above parameters)?

Love: The Proof Is in the Pudding

That love you profess -- Is it curdled and barf-worthy?

Love, the proof is in the putting

Love puts its object first.

When you tell him, “I love you,” you’re saying you put him first.

When you declare your love for them, you’re committing yourself to keep putting them ahead of yourself.

Love puts aside selfish self-interests and self-centered self-absorption in order to do what is best for another.

Love puts a premium on the good of another…and without complaint or self-pity pays that premium.

Love puts its best into benefiting the other. Read it all

Widow to Widow

That is, DIL to MIL

I’ve heard portions (at least) of this said or sung at weddings, by the bride to her groom:

Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee:
for whither thou goest, I will go;
and where thou lodgest, I will lodge:
thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried:
the Lord do so to me, and more also,
if ought but death part thee and me.

Pretty touching stuff. And meaningful. And even appropriate.

But what if those words were said or sung at a wedding…by the bride…to her mother-in-law? 😯 Read it all

What Marriage Isn’t

In the opinion of five people on the US Supreme Court

In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.

That’s what the Defense of Marriage Act, Section 3 claimed for almost 17 years.

And what humanity claimed from the beginning of time.

And what God declared from eternity.

And what the Supreme Court of the United States today said isn’t so.

Well, what five members of that court said.

Actually, just one that mattered (if you want to look at it that way). If one of those five had voted differently, the outcome would have been different.

I wonder how those five propose to define marriage.

On what basis would they say these aren’t valid marriages:

  • Three or more people without regard to gender?
  • Two people sharing one or more spouses but not married to each other?
  • An adult and a teenager?
  • Two adult siblings?
  • Any two adults without regard to marital status or family relationship?

And how is denying such arrangements not a manifestation of bigotry, hate, phobia, and so forth?

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil — God says so.

Well, here’s another book for your consideration: Reforming Marriage

Above all, love God!