Cloth Diaper Marriages

by Mark Gungor

When my kids were babies, we had cloth diapers.  Disposable diapers were available at the time; we just couldn’t afford them.  No, we did not indulge in those fancy throwaway diapers; we had the good ol’mess’em and clean’em later diapers.  You put them in a diaper pail, a delightful little plastic container where a lovely, pungent brew of baby poopies would slowly stew until you got around to washing them so they could be reused.  Now, don’t misunderstand me, I do not miss cloth diapers. God bless the person who invented the disposable diaper! (I know, I know, they are bad for the environment—landfills and all that—but cloth diapers were bad for the environment where I lived, so I welcomed the invention of throwaway diapers.)  But I do have a problem with throwaway marriages—relationships that are tossed aside because they get some “poo” in them.

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Men Don’t Like to Work on Relationships

by Mark Gungor

When a man falls in love with a woman, his thoughts go something like this: I love her, she’s great—in fact, she is perfect.  I love her just the way she is and I hope she never changes.  It was this thinking that inspired Billy Joel to write the song “I Love You Just the Way You Are.”  On the other hand, when a woman falls in love with a man, her thoughts are generally something like this: I love him, he’s great, but he really needs some work.  This is a disaster in the making.  Divergent expectations always lead to conflict.

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Disappointment

by Mark Gungor

At the beginning of every relationship, there is a high level of hope and desire that causes it to run on autopilot.  But over time hope and desire begin to erode when disappointment enters.

There are dozens of ways we can disappoint one another in a relationship as close and intimate as marriage.  From I thought it would be different to actual differences in upbringing, values, habits about money, personality, motivation, work ethic, and sex drives, we have the makings of marriage wars.  Sometimes people come across offensively because they are reacting to pain from the hurts that they have experienced in the past, and they are just trying to protect themselves from being injured again.  Wounded animals do not act predictably when you approach them; neither do emotionally wounded humans.

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Idol of Happiness – Part 2

by Mark Gungor

Last time we began looking at the Idol of Happiness in Part 1.  I discussed how often people won’t do the right things in life simply because those things don’t make them happy. It’s common in our culture for believers to mistakenly believe the notion that “God doesn’t want me to be unhappy.” This is especially true in marriage. For many Christians, marriage has some kind of get-out-of-jail-free card attached to it.  They seem to think the radical, difficult parts of Christianity (to love, to serve, to forgive, or to sacrifice, pertain only to those outside of one’s marriage.  Loving, suffering, turning the other cheek, forgiving are all wonderful Christian concepts, but one shouldn’t have to do that in our own marriage.  That would be way too much work.

“But stay in an unhappy marriage!?” you protest. I’ve had people try to reason and argue with me about why they were bailing on their wives or husbands and justify it one way or the other based on the presupposition that God would not want them to suffer. “Come on,” they’ve said to me incredulously.  “Are you actually saying God would ask someone to stick in a marriage that makes them unhappy?’

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Idol of Happiness – Part 1

by Mark Gungor

Many Christians have turned happiness into an idol.  I’m not suggesting God is against us being happy.  The Scriptures say, “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord.”  So when does happiness become an idol?  It happens when we exalt our concern to be happy above the very concerns of God himself. We live in a culture that says, “Above all else be happy; do what you want to do; satisfy yourself; look out for number one; do your own thing.”  The Bible teaches that the husband should love his wife.  We reason, No problem—as long as it doesn’t interfere with my golf game, my fishing time, or my hunting trip. Because I need that.  After all, God wants me to be happy, right?

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