Reflection: Plus One, Married

Going from a single person to a married person is a big change. Craig and I got married almost two years ago now. I will always cherish our first apartment. It was very small, but cozy. We had hardly enough room for the couch we bought, but we somehow thought getting a puppy would be a good idea (Which, we didn’t end up doing).

I talk a lot. We were suddenly around each other even more than before, and I always stressed if there wasn’t a conversation happening. I would think, oh man, something must be wrong because no one’s talking… And I felt perfectly comfortable around him, but something about the silence crept over my skin in an uncomfortable way.Plus One, Married

A lot has changed since then. I don’t mind quiet. And we do have a puppy now (He just turned one a few months ago). To me, the best part of being married is having a special someone to share life with. Never did I imagine I’d be living in Arizona, miles and miles away from where I grew up. I never thought I would get to experience as much as I already have as a married person. I’d probably still be living in Wisconsin or Minnesota if I wasn’t married, perhaps still working at the job I left when we moved to Kansas, barely a week after we married.

Whether you’ve been married for one year, ten years or 50 years, I think Jason brought up important points we often forget. I remember saying my vows, but I guess I didn’t entirely know what they meant at the time. I wasn’t focusing on the words, and I never have until recently. Continue reading

Reflection: Plus One, Singles

It’s so true. There’s always been an invisible pressure to get married if you’re single in church world. Because if you’re single, you’re somehow wrong. Two is better than one. Man isn’t meant to be alone, etc.

Even when I was in high school, I felt like everyone in our youth group was dating. Our leader had gotten married very young. Everyone seemed to yearn to be like them. They didn’t want to be the odd one out.

Outside of church world, I think people believe the idea of being single is awesome. No strings attached. You can do whatever you want. You don’t have to be faithful. At least, that’s what the world seems to say.

None of this is good. Doing whatever you want with whoever you want isn’t ok. Sex outside of marriage is a sin as it says in the Bible. Being single doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It’s just as Jason was saying in his sermon. God is the only person who can complete us. No human is going to be able to do that. It’s important to follow Jesus closely no matter what our relationship status is. Plus One, Singles

A lot of the people I knew back in Wisconsin got married very young. Everyone has a different idea of what “very young” is. I think closer to 30 is the average age most people get married now. Something like that. People used to tell me they didn’t want to wait to get married because sex was too important to them. I’ll be honest – I thought that was silly. All I could think was sex wasn’t a good enough reason to marry someone. Sex isn’t everything. And marriage is about way more than sex. I think most married people would agree when I say marriage is much more complex. That’s why I always thought “it is better to marry than to burn with passion” was strange. But God hates sexual sin. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get married to be able to experience sexual intimacy with someone. And for the people who told me they didn’t want to wait, they certainly didn’t tell me it was the only reason they wanted to get married. What’s sinful is acting on desires that are wrong outside of marriage.

I think we all fall into a trap of believing another person, job, experience, etc. is what will finally fill us up. It doesn’t matter if you’re single, married, divorced, have a huge family or a small family… I think we’re always chasing something we think will make us feel complete. It could be sex, money, power, status… but whatever it is, we chase it. We make it our everything. We devote ourselves, sometimes obsessively, to getting it. God falls back. We don’t pursue him in the same way. I think it’s easy to lie to ourselves and say we are, and if not that, believing God wants us to achieve that other thing because it’ll make us happy. And God wouldn’t want us to not have that thing we desperately want… Continue reading

Reflection: The Foolishness of Easter

Easter on April Fools’ Day is an opportunity for great discussion. It’s like Jason said…Easter is often considered one of the greatest hoaxes of all.

While I was thinking about the sermon, I thought to myself, I’ve heard this before. Where have I heard this before? Where have I heard things about Easter being a hoax?

Before I tell you, I want to mention something. We know the resurrection of Jesus is essential to our faith. And Jason said this is the part that’s hard to believe. We don’t see people come back from the dead. That doesn’t happen. But what about the part about Jesus dying? Some people wonder if he even died. If he could have somehow escaped the cross alive.

I watched Sherlock Holmes the other day. It’s the movie with Robert Downey Jr, the first movie. Not A Game of Shadows. If you haven’t seen it, there’s a villain who appears to know how to use black magic. He fools and scares everyone into believing he has mystic sources of power. His biggest “feat” is apparently coming back from the dead. At least, that’s how he made it seem. But he never died. He was hung, but had help surviving the hanging from another person who made sure his weight was distributed with a hook so his neck wouldn’t break. The villain was proclaimed dead because he had no pulse, but it turns out he used some sort of plant to give his body temporary paralysis. Something like that. The moral of the story: He was a big fake. EasterQuote

Here’s what’s interesting. Some people think Jesus did something like that to escape death on the cross. So where did I hear this? About Easter being a hoax? I read about it in “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel. It’s an excellent book if you’ve never read it. Strobel is an incredible journalist. Coming from that world myself, I find his work even more impressive. He went out to investigate the evidence for Jesus, and one of the topics he looked into was the death and resurrection of Jesus. Continue reading