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In Praise of Slow Courtship (and Country Music) Part I

I’d like to take a few moments to praise dating slowly (and country music). Please allow me a few clarifications: I’m not advocating you kiss dating goodbye and I am not calling you back to a premodern state of chaperones, parlors, and carriages. Rather, I am coming against the haste of the modern Christian march to marriage and advocating for…

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Danger in “The One”

When we’re young (and often as we age), we dream of how some day “the one” will sweep us off our feet, be our absolute “soulmate,”and make us blissfully happy forever after. It’s what our romantic comedies are all about—that one person we’ve all been waiting for. Do a simple internet search, and everyone is thinking and writing about it.…

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What is a Woman’s Highest Calling?

She sat across from me in my office, trying to decide what to do next—grad school or get married. And then she said it. “Well, a woman’s highest calling is to be a wife and mother…” I was a little taken aback. At the time I was single, in my mid-thirties, completing a PhD. If she was right, I’d not…

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Unequally Yoked

When I was dating, there was a lot of thought about finding my equal. . . No, not my equal. In fact, I was looking for my superior, for that was what I was told I needed as my “spiritual head.” (never mind the fact that “spiritual head” is not actually a biblical phrase, or that “head” often means “source”…

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Romantic Comedy Mythology

Dear Movie Producers: You have really messed up my understanding of romantic relationships. I am not a movie buff, but I like movies, and am deeply affected by what I see. Honestly, I have a hard time separating movies (and books, for that matter) from reality. I feel like the actors and characters are my friends, or myself, and that…

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Marriage: There Are No Ideals

My Christian subculture tells me that the best marriage is one where the husband and wife lead ministry together. Anything else is somehow sub-par. Following this, I always wanted to marry a pastor. I thought it would be the ideal life—we’d minister together and God would be glorified. Then I dated a pastor, and it’s not all it’s cracked up…

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On Graduation—Completing and Beginning

Each year, I walk down the aisle in cap and gown, then watch and cheer for the graduating class. As I look out at the sea of young and not-so-young faces, I think about what lies behind and what lies ahead. Graduation is called commencement—it’s a completing and a beginning. I’ve completed and begun a few times in my life:…

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Masturbation in Theology Class

Just last week, I was waxing eloquent on the theological meaning of our human bodies, the impact of physicality on spirituality and vice versa, the importance of listening to our bodies and giving them what they need. . . And then it came up. By “it,” I mean a question about masturbation. She raised her hand and asked, “If we’re…

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The ART of Marriage

I’m only 3.5 years into my marriage, so really not far, but would you allow me to share some thoughts on what I think helps? I’m sure I have a lot more to learn, but I think we function best when we realize that marriage is an ART. Yes, ART as something beautiful that never feels done (and honestly, doesn’t always feel…

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