Romance

Divorce

Divorce is a painful subject. That’s why I think I’d better say where I’m coming from up front—my parents were divorced, and someone I love dearly is on the verge of divorce as I write. I’m married, but there were times when I feared we were going to wind up in the courts as well. So there’s that. What do Christians think about divorce? As you know, there’s a huge spectrum of views and practices, ...

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...

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...

Pornography

Have you ever come across pornography on the internet when you weren’t looking for it? You’re not alone. Even 70+% of teenagers encounter porn online by accident. The internet’s anonymity and accessibility has led to a flood of pornographic production and consumption in our society. In 2001, it’s estimated that there were 70,000 porn websites; by 2005, there were 4.2 million. More pornographic vid...

Pornography Lies

My parents and I were attending a basketball game, sitting among a crowd in the nosebleed section. The row ahead of us was a group of guys, each somewhere in their late twenties. Directly in front of my mom, sat one of the guys, slouched in his seat, eyes far from the action on the court as he stared down at his phone. His thumb flicked slowly, stuck scrolling through images unsuitable for the pub...

Pornography lacks real consent options.

I don’t have a problem with pornography—in theory. I think sex between consenting adults is perfectly normal. I think people watching sex between consenting adults is also perfectly normal. I don’t think we can abolish the making or consumption of pornography, but I do think we need to change the way we talk about it. People are afraid to talk about sex for a number of reasons. It’s uncomfortable....

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...

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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