Relationships

Family

Family. It’s in the news. It’s on your mind, most likely (how many people don’t have family problems?). What is this thing “family”? And what does Christianity have to say about it? Christians understand families as something God created—an institution among humans that has been around from the beginning. They are (generally speaking) something that human beings benefit from, just as we do from fo...

My husband has a mistress.

My husband has a mistress.  He is not alone in this—most of us do. That’s right, these days the cell phone is quickly becoming the harlot of the 21st century. It’s not breaking news that the cell phone is amazing, yet has some pretty obvious setbacks. For me, this has come at a cost to my relationship. I knew this issue wasn’t just a fleeting feeling when I started to feel jealousy toward my husba...

We want independent kids…right?

I drove down the country roads crisscrossing Indiana and Ohio, my friend looking on a map while we tried to figure out where we were in the middle of the Heartland. We were just two high school students nearing the end of our junior year, and we were hopelessly lost. No cell phones, no GPS, and just our adolescent map skills to get us to the youth retreat that we were headed to. We had promised ou...

I ain’t afraid of no ghosts! I think…

To this day, I’m still not really sure what happens to people after they die. As a small child growing up in a Presbyterian church, I was told people go to heaven if they follow the golden rule. After all, rewarding good behavior makes sense as a toddler. However, as a teenager, I started to question this assumption. Like many people who experience college, I had the chance to talk with others who...

Why Cohabitation Won’t Work for Me

I love having a roommate or two. It’s the best. When I was about 12, I used to dream of living on my own. I would draw floorplans of the condo I wanted to live in. I think I even asked my parents to build me a shed in the backyard (they said no). I just wanted a space that was all my own. Then I got to college and I was put in a single dorm room the first year. It was rough. I like making new frie...

What makes cohabitation work?

Living with someone before marriage makes sense to me. There’s only so much you can know about someone when you aren’t forced to share the same space. Many of the questions cohabitation answers are practical ones, like, “Who will make sure we have milk?” “Will I have time to myself?” “Can we agree on a toothpaste?” Turns out my boyfriend and I can’t agree on a toothpaste and so we each have our ow...

The Lies We Tell Our Kids

It’s not intentional, really. We want to believe it’s true when we say that they can be and do anything they want when they grow up. We want to believe that there’s some relationship between that idea, and the need for them to perform throughout their teen years as if their lives depended on it. We want to believe that there is no conflict between our urging them to “follow their dreams̶...

“Paging Dr. Noah”—My Cancer and My 3-Year-Old

In November 2015, I was diagnosed with stage 4b non-Hodgkins lymphoma. If you’ve never been through something similar, I’ll let you in on a little secret: when you find out that you have cancer, you think you’re going to die the next day. In that moment, all I could think about was how much I didn’t want to leave my son alone. How much of this would he even be able to understand? He had turned thr...

Does marriage still have a place?

I have always wanted to get married. Growing up in the south, there was only one path to adulthood: meet someone in high school if you can, surely by college, graduate, and get married. But I didn’t meet anyone in high school. I didn’t meet anyone in college. I worked so hard at meeting people after college, it was basically a part time job. I joined dating websites and emailed, chatted with, and ...

Marriage and the Prom Fantasy

Ah, the promposal. Over the last couple of years I have watched a growing number of cute, silly, and sometimes romantic prom proposals pop up in hallways and classrooms. Usually, a boy comes up with a creative way to ask the girl of his dreams to attend the quintessential American rite of passage, PROM, but occasionally, the roles are reversed. Apparently this trend started in the early 2000s, wit...

Marriage vs. Tinder

As someone who doesn’t identify with a particular religion, I don’t typically think about sex in terms of premarital and postmarital. In my mind, sex is sex and marriage is marriage. However, I can’t help but notice the ambiguity at the intersection of premarital sex, millennial hookup culture, and the ongoing quest to find a mate. There used to be one clear path to happiness. You found someone to...

Cohabitation

General consensus seems to be that cohabitation* is the new normal in America—and at face value cohabitation and marriage look pretty similar. Doesn’t it make sense to check for compatibility, save some money while you’re in a serious relationship and/or learn from the mistakes of your divorced parents? Barna shows that most of us think so. So why does Christianity persist in recommending a differ...

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