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Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Musings: Procrastinating... Tomorrow.

So, umm... this week is exam week here at UNC. I've been super productive! *cough* Hence the current blogging...
Last night we had our last college gathering to celebrate the release of Summit Worship's Jesus In My Place CD! It comes out today on iTunes. People, seriously, just do yourself a favor and get it. It's wonderful!
I also got to take engagement pictures with this handsome man this past weekend. It was pretty awesome. Also, pretty awkward. I felt like I was in laughing therapy.

Photographer extraordinaire, Joey: "Just laugh!" 
Miles & I: "Hahaha... ha. Ha."
Joey: "Bend forward so it looks a little more natural."
Miles & I: *bend slightly* "Hahaha..." (still awk.)

I'm anxiously awaiting getting to see them!! *fingers crossed for a preview*
So far this weekend/today, I've seen lots of time with my biffle, Laurenie. We've been studying, chugging coffee, and eating purportedly delicious "healthy" cookies (key word: purportedly). This cookie above was a definitively delicious and warm Starbucks cookie. Exam calories don't count though, right?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Real Marriage Nuggets O' Wisdom

As you, loyal follower, are probably aware of, I went to the Real Marriage conference with my fiance and two wonderful friends this past weekend. It was awesome.

Prior to the conference, I listened to some of the RM sermons as well as read parts of the book, so some of the information was the same, but let's be real, Mark Driscoll is pretty much hilarious so hearing the same joke twice was fine by me. Most of the wisdom I felt like I gained was from Grace, Mark's wife, during the Q&A sessions.

Here are some wisdom nugs from the conference:

Nugget 1: There are 3 kinds of marriages:
  1. Back-to-back: back to back marriages aren't good, in fact, they're kind of awful. Generally couples with this type of marriage have separate activities, separate beds, separate bank accounts, etc. They don't even really enjoy each other, and they sure as heck aren't friends.
  2. Shoulder-to-shoulder: this kind of marriage is your run-of-the-mill, not too shabby (but not too great) marriage. These couples are task oriented. They're focused on ministry, children, other family members, etc. all before their spouse. This is the life-happened-and-I-woke-up-fifteen-years-later-to-realize-I-didn't-know-my-spouse kinda marriage. This is the most easy to fall into marriage. Ultimately an idol is holding this type of marriage together, and often when that idol is removed, the spouses go their separate ways.
  3. Face-to-face: In a face-to-face marriage, the husband and wife are friends. They are constantly growing in their friendship with Jesus and their friendship with each other. (That's what I'm talkin' bout.) 
 Nugget 2: ask good questions
  • "How are you doing?" is a face-to-face question
  • "What are you doing?" is a shoulder-to-shoulder question
Nugget 3: sanctification
"A spouse doesn't change you, they reveal you." Marriage is sanctifying. Relationships in general are. (Aaaamen to that.)
They used an analogy of two cups, one representing each spouse. Your spouse doesn't determine what's in the cup or change what's in the cup, but they can bump against your cup and see what comes out. (Can you say, "convicting?")

Nugget 4: Marriage gets better or it gets bitter.
To borrow the words of my pastor's wife, you aren't "dealt" a good marriage or a bad marriage. Its a dynamic relationship that you work on together.

Nugget 5: how to fight
Dr. John Gottman, a marriage researcher, can predict (with 91% accuracy) whether or not couples will get a divorce based on these four factors during conflict:
  1. Criticism that attacks the person not the problem. (a.k.a. "You always do this!" or "You never do that!")
  2. Contempt that is rooted in disgust. This manifests itself in a parental tone.
  3. Defensiveness where the guilty person refuses to repent.
  4. Stonewalling (where one person shuts down or walks away)
Nugget 6: sin or mistake?
Agree to ground rules before fighting: Has your spouse committed a sin or simply made a mistake? 

Nugget 7: conflict isn't bad because it's real, heartfelt, and sanctifying
"If you never fight, you probably aren't having heartfelt conversations that often lead to disagreement." (Real Marriage)

I didn't even get to half of the little bits of wisdom I took away from the weekend because there were lots! I know Mark and Grace have gotten a lot of flack for their book. I know every Christian doesn't get warm and fuzzy insides when they hear the name "Mark Driscoll." But their book isn't a hard and fast rule book that's all about sex (in fact, only half the book is about sex). It's got good principles for friendship, and more specifically, the most intimate friendship - marriage!

You can listen to the Real Marriage series here and purchase the book here!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Which Old Testament Laws Still Apply?

I've often wondered what the purpose of the Old Testament is and how much of it still applies (and have even taken a class on this question this semester). Some think it's just to show us how to be "good people," offering up exemplary individuals to model your life after. Some think it's a rule book. And others see it as pointing completely to Jesus.

I believe the entirety of the Old Testament points to the New Covenant God made through Jesus Christ as he took on all our sins and rose again, victorious over death, proving that God wholly accepted his sacrifice. That being said, I don't just straight up chuck the Old Testament.

Aside from pointing to Jesus, the Old Testament has lots of laws that we still follow. Not murdering? It's generally advised. Do not covet? While difficult at times, it is sinful. Not eating shell fish? Ehhh... That's where it gets a little sticky. Camping outside of my house once a month? Like, in a tent? Let's be real, that's definitely not going to happen.

While reading Real Marriage by Mark & Grace Driscoll, I stumbled across this wonderful categorization of OT laws, which states which laws apply and which ones don't:
  1. Ceremonial laws - these laws refer "to the priesthood, sacrifices, temple, cleanness, and so forth, [and] are now fulfilled in Jesus. These laws are no longer binding on us because Jesus is our priest, temple, sacrifice, cleanser, and so forth." 
  2. Civil laws - these laws pertain "to the governing of Israel as a nation ruled by God. Since we are no longer a theocracy, we believe these laws, while insightful, are not directly binding on us." Romans 13 refers to non-theocratic governments and how all authority is in place because God allows it to be and therefore, as followers of Jesus, we should submit to governmental authority.
  3. Moral laws - these laws forbid "such things as rape, stealing and murder. These laws are still binding upon us, even though Jesus fulfilled their requirements through His sinless life."
 The New Testament states over and over again how Jesus has fulfilled the law. And he has! Praise the Lord. We are no longer bound by a sacrificial system, because Jesus was the ultimate, eternal sacrifice. We don't have to be represented by a priest because Jesus is our High Priest, the ultimate intermediary between us and God the Father. While the Law has been fulfilled through Jesus, all of it, in its entirety, we still uphold moral laws in order to mirror our understanding of the Gospel.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Pastor's Perspective on Birth Control

My godbrother contacted me about my first post about birth control, which really got the ball rolling on me wanting to write about it more. Jonathan is super wise and knowledgeable on lots of things, including birth control! He is an associate pastor at my home church, First Baptist Church of Welcome, and often counsels couples on this subject. Let's hear it for my first ever guest post and Jonathan! You can access the original post, which is presented verbatim on his personal blog. (drumrolllll...)

I am going to try to put in as few words as possible some helpful thoughts on birth control, to add to the discussion taking place, and I am very honored to do so.  Many of you will see this as part of Liz Nicholson's blog, which you can access here.  I am going to be trying to build off of some of the things that she has said in this discussion.

My wife and I have walked through most of the methods listed below, and have had to at times repent of either our ignorance, or trusting poor information given to us about how these things worked.  Often those who work in the offices that prescribe these medications do not have a full understanding of how they work, or a biblical definition of life.

Biblical Picture:

The link that Liz posted to Mark Driscoll's sermon is an excellent discussion of a lot of the theological issues surrounding birth control.  You can read the transcript more quickly than listen to the sermon if you are crunched on time, but it is worth a read if these topics have interested you.  He deals with a lot of the misconceptions about birth control that people come to by misunderstanding biblical stories like Onan, and commissions like "be fruitful and multiply."

He also deals very effectively with legalism, something that can be at the center of this issue as much as a concern for life. How you plan your family is a very important discussion.  It is sinful to be so trite with bringing life into the world that you do not adequately prepare for supporting a child/children once they are here.  Check Driscoll's sermon for a helpful discussion of this.

I want to hit quickly on 2 biblical passages that are at the center of this discussion.

1. Psalm 139, among several others like it, speak clearly of life which exists in the womb from the very beginning.  The medical community tends to define life at implantation (when the egg has implanted into the uteran wall), versus conception (when an egg has been fertilized).  This is not an effective definition logically (simply geography, not substance), or biblically.  David writes of God that he "saw" his "unformed substance", and that his "frame was not hidden from You."  Much of the Psalm is a declaration of hidden life in the womb.  So one of the major questions in birth control is when life begins.  Scripture points to this not being a question of trimesters, but from the very beginning.

2. Genesis 3:16. The Lord says to Eve that he will "greatly increase (her/all women's) pains in childbearing."  I don't believe that this statement only meant labor pains.  Human beings are incredibly inefficient at reproduction, and medical science shows that at least 50% of fertilized eggs (with no interference from BC or otherwise) miscarry.  Many are so early that it is not detectable for the mother, others occur later during the process.  Too many couples, including my own household have faced the pain of seeing an image with no heartbeat, and wondering what could have been done to prevent it.  Feeling the hopelessness of the curse from Genesis 3 in the midst of miscarriages, birth defects, infertility, and on and on the list goes.

*Incidentally, we know that Adam and Eve were not in the garden very long before their sin because Cain is not born until after they were expelled, and there would have been no complications in their fertility before.

Medicinal Birth Control:

Much has been given about NFP (Natural Family Planning), and Liz has written very effectively on that.  I would agree with what she has said, but also add a word of warning to those who practice it that they had better be prepared for the possibility of children, since NFP is based on a number of different hormonal signs and circumstances that can vary, be inconsistent, or be unpredictable.  For some couples it is easier than others, because some women's bodies are easier to read than others, but to the married couple who cannot support children for any number of reasons, be careful in banking on NFP by itself.  Even the average insured couple can plan on paying between 5-15 thousand dollars for a baby just to be born, let alone caring for it and providing for it.

In the rest of the discussion, for the following medicinal forms, the central question is "how do they work?"  Within that question, is whether these devices "prevent" conception (fertilization), or whether they are designed to destroy a fertilized egg (these are often referred to as abortifacients).

"The Pill" - Often referred to by simply that name, this is one of the most common forms of medicinal birth controls.  The Pill is designed in either pill form, or inserts such as the "Nuva Ring."  A certain amount of hormones are released, to essentially fool the woman's body into believing she is pregnant.  When her body believes she is pregnant, the hope is that no eggs will be released, and thereby no fertilization will take place. The more research that is done on the pill, the less indictment there seems to be for the pill being abortifacient.  That is why I always try to point people towards books like the ones below, done by William Cutrer, a pastor, practicing OBGYN, and Seminary professor.  His research is more up to date than men like Alcorn (who I highly respect, though his writing on birth control is often where Christians get their somewhat dated information).  The Pill seems to be a question mark at best, and a conscience decision for anyone.  It is not a sin issue for someone to take or not take this based on what we know.  The Pill is also available in what is called a "progesterone only" form, where the only effects of it are suppressed ovulation (keeping the woman from releasing an egg), and not hardening of the uteran wall.

Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) - An intrauterine device is inserted and meant to be left in for a period of up to (if I remember right) around 3 years.  It is sold in the USA under the name "Mirena."  The research on IUDs seems to show that what they do is not prevent fertilization (though they sometimes claim to), but rather prevent the egg from attaching.  They are very effective at preventing pregnancies (even though they do so unethically) which is why they are growing in popularity in the USA.  They have been around for several decades elsewhere in the world.  Eggs can still be resilient, and implant in very hostile environments.  If an egg implants with an IUD (IUDs still only have somewhere around a 95% success rate at preventing pregnancy) it will be a tubal pregnancy (in the fallopian tubes) which is unsustainable, or a uterine pregnancy which cannot be sustained because of the presence of the IUD.  Leaving in, or removing the IUD will destroy the baby.

Morning After Pill - This pill and some others that work similarly are forms of birth control that are given orally after intercourse has taken place.  It is intended to flush out any fertilized egg, and is the most blatantly abortifacient form of birth control that there is.

One subject which I have not dealt with are the ethical concerns of different fertility treatments that are out there, which have many similar problems that Christians need to educate themselves on before attempting them as to the positives and negatives of different options.  I would refer anyone wanting more information on the ethical questions of the issues surrounding infertility to The Infertility Companion by William Cutrer.  Anyone who would like more information on contraception, I would encourage you to check out Cutrer's The Contraception Guidebook.  Both are well done and great reads.  Sadly there are few well-done and current Christian books on either subject.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Musings: Real Marriage Tour!

For my birthday, my sweet fiance got me tickets (+ the greatest popcorn maker ever) to hear Mark and Grace Driscoll speak at their Real Marriage conference in Lynchburg, VA!
We have really great friends that came too, which made the weekend twice as fun and laughter-filled! Thanks for coming, TJ & Lauren!

Once again, this weekend was full of adult-like moments. I purchased (read: my daddy purchased) two hotel rooms. I checked into a hotel. By myself. What is this world coming to?! I might as well have a 401k. Lauren and I had to balance out being "real" adults by staying up ridiculously late having pillow talk, 7th-grade-sleepover-style.
It was super fun and insightful! I am so thankful we received some wise and practical counsel to prep for actually being married! Woohoo!
 "I just loooove the way Mark Driscoll speaks to men." (If you haven't seen Sh*tuff Christian Girls Say, run to YouTube. Like, now.)
We ended the weekend by eating sushi - which was a first for Lauren! - and watching The Notebook, per TJ's request.
Unsure, indifferent, and a thumbs-up to sushi in Chapel Hill!
The weekend was overall pretty fantastic. The conference itself was really great! Mark and Grace shared tons of wisdom nuggets, which, never fear, friends, I too will share with you soon! :)

Birth Control: My Own Experience

*Boy discretion is advised* 

Part of the reason I'm so passionate about birth control is the fact that I've taken pretty much everyone in the book. From multiple types of birth control pills to the patch to the ring, I've been on them all at some point. I started taking birth control in middle school strictly to regulate my seriously crazy periods. Up until this past August, I had been on various types of aforementioned hormone-based birth controls since the 7th grade. When I went to my "lady doctor" in the 7th grade, she gave no indication that there were alternatives to the Pill. That being said, I definitely think it was okay for me to be on it. I wasn't having sex, so it was being taken in a strictly medical sense. Taking birth control for regulative and other medical purposes is not a part of my discourse on birth control. I know women who have to be on the Pill because of their struggle with Polycycstic Ovarian Disorder (PCOS). For them it is a medical necessity.

Soooo around my sophomore year of college I started getting more and more curious about how the Pill/hormonal birth controls work. I wrote people who thought the Pill was abortive off as somewhat crazy and kept taking the Pill (once again, for regulative reasons), all the while feeling somewhat convicted about taking it for the future. Around the same time I developed Fibrocycstic Breast Disorder and "needed" to be on birth control (it's really not serious at all and BC is only mildly effective).

Then this past summer I did the City Project, a two month long, super wonderful project through my church in which I got to meet and network with a lot of awesome, godly families. TCP allowed me to learn about birth control from godly women who were both knowledgeable and willing to talk about intimacy/BC and answer my plethora of questions on the subject! Many of them did Natural Family Planning along with another barrier contraceptive (usually condoms) for fertile times of the month.

Late this summer I decided to go off the Pill as somewhat of an experiment to see what my body would do. Praise the Lord my body has finally regulated itself! I'm so thankful! After doing a little research about NFP, I can now easily identify when I'm fertile and when I'm not. I love knowing what is going on with my body & being able to celebrate how God designed my body seriously every month! If you're one of my close girl friends, you can attest to this, because I seriously talk about it every month. Sorry I'm not sorry.

For me, NFP isn't the "Christian option." It is, however, a way of praising God by capitalizing on his design for the female body. The design of the female body is totally praiseworthy! Plus, if I can not take a pill every day for any ailment/issue, I'm gonna take that option! Alsoooo, having no sexual appetite (which is a side effect of hormonal based BC) is kinda the last thing on earth I want to happen when I get married. The reason I want to do NFP isn't because I'm a super-Christian (whatever that means...) or because I think taking the Pill is crazy sinful, it's really a culmination of celebrating God's design of both the female body and sex, and knowing how my body works and reacts to hormonal birth control.

This is just my own experience, and every one is totally different in terms of convictions and physiological responses. Pray about it. Check out resources. Know your own body. Then make a decision about it, making sure it aligns with Scripture!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Birth Control: Let's Do This.

First of all, thanks to everyone who read/commented/liked my blog post about NFP and the Pill. I was totally encouraged, excited, and edified (alliteration!) by the response it received. Some of the feedback I received prompted me to write another (errr multiple) post(s) in response for the sake of clarity.

I definitely wasn't trying to make any blanket statements about how only real Christians use Natural Family Planning and all them heathens on the birth controls are goin' to hell. Not at all. My intentions were to simply get the ball rolling for 1) women to think about birth control and their bodies, 2) explain my own personal convictions, and 3) give resources for both men and women to check out, like Mark Driscoll's balanced, systematic sermon on birth control and Sharon Miller's article about the female body and hospitality. Both of these resources are fantastic (as well as many other of Miller's articles, as she and her husband practice NFP); by presenting them, I assumed readers who wanted further clarification would seek out those resources. Buuttt you know what they say about assuming things.

So, I'm going to do a series on birth control/the female body! Woohoo! Posts will range from theological to ethical to down-right practical (boy-discretion-advised). And I'm going to feature my first ever guest blogger! And I'm hoping my sweet fiance will weigh in on all this girl talk, because in reality its not all girl talk - its a subject men need to be well-versed in too!

I'm going to try to keep it real without getting too detailed/technical. I'm a TA for Biology 101 here at UNC, so I have to stand up in front of dozens of students and talk about all things sexual. At first, the mention of the reproduction chapter made me blush, but now I can pretty much stand in front of anybody and talk about the path sperm take and say "gonads" without giggling. (Let's be real, people, that's a feat.)

Hooray for awkward processes! Let's do this.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Natural Family Planning, Jean Skirts, & Sketchers

Hey, remember that time I wrote about courting? Yeah, I thought so. This post is kinda similar in that I'll be dispelling myths of jean-skirted, Sketcher-loving women who do Natural Family Planning.

First of all, most people don't know what in the world NFP is. Natural Family Planning is a method of avoiding pregnancy that relies on a woman's natural signals and hormone cycles in order to determine when she is and is not fertile. Instead of pumping your body full of hormones, it uses the cycle of hormones already raging in your body to let you know when intimacy is a go and when it's not so much.

In order to really understand NFP you have to have basic knowledge about hormonal cycles, temperature fluctuations, etc. and be willing to track it.

I won't stamp the pill and other hormonal birth control methods with the condemning "it's abortion" stamp, but I will say for me I feel extremely convicted about taking the pill. Knowing how it works both in my own body & in a textbook setting, I think it would be sinful for me to be on the pill, not because the pill is inherently sinful, but because I have heavy convictions about it for myself. If you take the pill and don't feel convicted, live in grace & keep on taking it! If you take the pill or are on other hormone-based contraceptives, know how it works. So many women are totally okay with popping a little pink pill everyday without even reading a pamphlet on what it's doing to their body.

Basically, the pill has 3 methods of working: 1) preventing ovulation, 2) making the female reproductive tract super acidic, 3) thinning the uterine lining. The first method is typically not controversial. Preventing ovulation is a pre-zygotic barrier, meaning it prevents contact between the egg ('cause its not available to be fertilized) and sperm. The second and third methods are however controversial and heavily talked about because they act in a post-zygotic manner, meaning potentially after fertilization has taken place (and thus are considered by some to be abortive).

NFP takes all the guess work out of birth control by using your body's own hormones, rather than artificial ones. NFP celebrates the female body for one of it's God-given, beautiful purposes: to be hospitable to life.

If you're curious about different levels and methods of contraceptives, check out this awesome sermon by Mark Driscoll!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Recipe Review: Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Squares

I found this recipe on (surprise!) Pinterest and gave it a try this morning. My friend Sarah came over for breakfast. We talked about Jesus and babies, so it was pretty much perfect. 

These oatmeal squares were really delicious & healthy too! I tweaked the recipe, per yoush. It's against my religion to follow a recipe to a T. I used two bananas instead of one, added more cinnamon than it called for, and substituted applesauce for the brown sugar. I also added about 1.5 tablespoons of sugar just to make sure it was sweet enough. 

Try them out! Here's the recipe from Gingerbread Bagels.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Musings: The Dreaded "A-Word"

 This weekend I went to Bald Head Island with my family. It was fuunnn!
 We drove golf carts around.
My brother went fishing.
We rode on a ferry. I left the beach by myself to make it back to Durham. I had to get my bag, pay for parking, etc. all by myself for the first time ever.
We found pretty things in pretty boutiques.
We went to the beach.
My skin didn't like it.
My goofy fiance got his cap and gown.
We went to a GoUrban meeting and got t-shirts. They're funny 'cause they're true. Durham isn't for everyone, but its awesome.

This weekend made me feel old. It might've had something to do with the fact that I drove to the beach and back by myself. Or it could've been because Miles & I were the only couple among single people at our GoUrban meeting. Or I could've felt old because my fiance is about to graduate and get a real job, Lord willing. Or it could've been because two of the cutest girls ever asked me if I was a teenager on Sunday. I think the last one got me.

3 year old Kate: Are you a teenager?
Me: Ehh, no. Not really.
K: Are you a mommy?
Me: No, but I will be one day.
K: Well then what are you?!
Me: I guess I'm an adult.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I Ain't Wearin' No Head Cuverins.

A few weeks ago, I got a text message that read something like "Why don't you obey the Bible and wear a head covering?!" from Miles.


I was super confused. What in the world was he talking about? I knew he was joking, but I really didn't even know where he was getting this whole head covering idea from. After talking to him some more, he said it was in 1 Corinthians 11. I checked it out, gave it a good twice-over. Still confused.

For the past two weeks or so, I've been going through the book of 1 Corinthians. Lo and behold, today was the day I came across the previously neglected head covering passage. I pulled out my handy dandy ESV Study Bible and got to work. Once I read the commentary, it all made sense! Allow me to share...

     Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God. (1 Corinthians 11:2-16 ESV)

Here's some helpful information/context about the passage:
  • In first century Roman society, a woman's head covering was a sign of marriage. Not wearing a head covering was a sign of infidelity and promiscuity. Imagine if your pastor's wife got up one Sunday morning, sans wedding ring, with a short, distasteful skirt and low-cut shirt on stage to pray. Just guessing, but that probably wouldn't go over too well. In the same way, Paul is saying women should cover their heads (their "glory," given by God) out of respect for their husbands and ultimately God.
  • Great for Romans in the 1st century, but what about us today? Take it away, ESV study notes: "In cultures where women's head coverings are not a sign of being married, wives do not need to cover their heads in worship, but they could obey this command by wearing some other physical symbol of being married (such as a wedding ring)." 
  • Why does this head covering deal only apply to women? Why are men specifically commanded not to cover their heads? (Let's be real, it's easy to cop an attitude with Paul on this one. Just wait and listen.) Roman men would occasionally take part of their toga and pull it over their head when worshipping pagan gods in Roman temples. Paul tells the men of Corinth not to cover their heads because that was a pagan act of worship.
  • Paul ends the passage by saying "all things are from God," meaning men and women, harkening back to Genesis 1:27: "God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." 
I was super tempted to ignore this passage, say it didn't apply to me, and write it off. In my mind I was thinking "I ain't wearin' no head cuverin'." I'm sure many have glanced over these verses and said Paul was just a chauvinist woman-hater. But, look! So many good things that are applicable today in 2012 just came from that passage! So before you go hating on men or Paul or cutting out passages from your Bible a la Thomas Jefferson, dig into the passage and see what God has to teach you. The Bible is like a lion - don't tame it in a cage, unleash it!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Read This, Watch That: Joy Eggerich

I recently stumbled upon a blogger/vlogger named Joy Eggerich. She's awesome, pretty much super awkward, and really wise. Her parents have a marriage ministry and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. She is a researcher that seeks to help out young people (18-35 year olds) with relationships and preparing for marriage.

She has tons of videos, all of which are hilarious in some way, so check out her YouTube channel.

She blogs over here at Love and Respect Now.

She's super practical, yet offers some solid Christian theology. Aaaaand she's obsessed with unicorns. Check her out!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My "10 Foot Tall" Man

This past summer I got lots of relationship advice. Some was wonderful, some was... interesting, as personal opinions and varied experiences often make for.  

Today, friends, count yourselves lucky, because I'm sharing with you one of said gems in the sometimes awesome and always awkward realm of relationships...

"Your husband should be 10 feet tall."

Obviously, this isn't meant to be literal. Although, let's be real, marrying a 10 foot tall man would be welcome chlorine to my vertically challenged gene pool.  

When I first heard this proverb, I was confused, then, with some explanation, enlightened. Ladies, in your mind, your man should be so incredibly wonderful that he seems 10 feet tall. A man that is "10 feet tall" is one who is easy to look up to (punny!) and easy to follow. He's a protector. He garners respect. His presence is never overlooked. There's so much of him that you could brag about his good qualities for hours on end. In essence, you're marrying up big time (hence the hyperbolized analogy).
Bottom line: ladies, make sure your man is super tall. I know mine is :)