I almost titled this post “What Cause Should I Marry?” I have a reason not to but doesn’t joining and marrying have a lot in common?
Various types of marriage sport our language but each relates to being joined to someone or something. We most commonly think of marriage between people but there is the old complaint of a man being married to his job rather than going home to his wife. And there’s an expression I’ve used of people being married to an idea. Along with joining, marriage has connotations of commitment.
What cause should I marry?
I clicked a link posted on Facebook by an oversees friend I’ve never met. It caused me to think. Would you suggest I marry a cause of Anger, Tragedy, or Resentment?
I’ve been there, done that. All three. I’ve lived, seen, read, heard, fought – and counseled against – marriage to Anger, Tragedy, and Resentment. I’ve divorced each of these but sometimes people get back together with former spouses. Should I get back with either of these causes?
Perhaps you’d like to go to the site that spawned these thoughts before giving me advice. If so, here it is: http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2009/10/school-thy-feelings-o-my-brother
On the other hand, you might not need to; I’ll share part of the essence of what you’d find there:
In a day before seat belts in cars were common and probably before car seats for children were invented, an angry couple shared a ride in the front seat as their 18 month old sat between them. As the father’s vexation reached a tipping point, he reached for a toy on the seat and hurled it at a target but missed. Instead of striking his wife with the toy, he struck their child. The result: permanent disability and mental retardation.
This story is one example of how Anger can infect a family with Tragedy. Some people seem more faithful to the nature of Anger than to their vows of marriage to other people. So which partner are people with Anger really married to?
Or can they be married to more than one person or thing at a time? It seems so.
The New Testament speaks of bishops being the husband of one wife but also speaks of the church as the bride of Christ. The fact that bishops were, as part of the church, in a marriage with Christ – and that each bishop is in a marriage relationship with a woman – suggests at least two marriage partners for each bishop: a wife and Christ.
Is Christ a great cause to join – great choice for marriage? Many select other notable figures – and a variety of un-Christlike characteristics, such as those mentioned above.
Choosing A Marriage Partner
Some say it helps to observe a potential partner before committing. I’ve observed potential partners on TV newscasts. The potential partners that interest me most are in some ways three different Gods – yet sometimes said to be the same.
Three religions sort of claim the same Old Testament God of the Holy Bible: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. So at least they claim the same God (in a sense). But they don’t see the same God. If the three religions saw God the same, wouldn’t their believers respond to Him in the same way?
Cause and Effect
Don’t your feelings, attitudes and behaviors reflect experiences of God that you hang out with in your heart and mind?
If you’re going to advise me on whose cause to join or what ideas of God to develop, perhaps you should consider the effects of a few options. After all, every choice is a cause of some effect.
Shouldn’t we learn something about the effects of our options before choosing – rather than rush headlong into something just because someone makes it sound reasonable? After all, just about every bad idea people try is made to sound reasonable to somebody.
At the very least, we should take a look at public knowledge.
Seen On Newscasts
On TV, a reporter interviewed Black, Christian pastors after a spate of arson destroyed the worship centers of their several churches. These Christian ministers – those that hung around with Christ – were calm, confident, and committed.
Another reporter interviewed leaders of Jewish synagogues after a spate of arson destroyed their houses of worship. These Jewish ministers – those that hung around a concept of God that did not include the name of Jesus – were upset.
A third reporter presented responses of Islamic leaders after someone drew pictures of Mohammed. These ministers, who praise Jesus but not as God, also lack the peace of a Christian. Furthermore, many of their followers seem to lack the degree of lawful nature that Christians and Jewish populations typically have.
Narrowing the Choice
If Christians, Jews and Muslims have the same God in some way, each hang out with different understandings of Him. Don’t those differences seem to shape the believers in these religions differently?
From what we see on TV, Islam appears to bring many of its adherents to lawless violence, murder, and suicide. Hmmm. Anger and Tragedy. That doesn’t seem like my current preference. That leaves Jewish and Christian understandings for review.
In the face of arson, the Jewish representation looked affected with Anger. Anger destroys health, limits wealth, and never has one who has it feeling on top of the world. When the teachers of Judaism experience their God in such a way that results in such a health-risking emotion in the face of adversity, would you want to marry their understanding of God?
The opportunity to observe ministers of all three religions makes for an easy choice: Christian calm in the face of adversity is what I want.
Never mind the advice.
I’m giving my heart to Christ.
My divorces from Anger, Tragedy, and Resentment, were good moves. I’m not going back to any one of them. What about you?
Have you gotten to know Jesus in a way that gives you joy? I’ve got to admit that my journey into the arms of Jesus is not completed but but is still in progress. And I’m inviting you to come along.
And maybe you’ll let me come along with you in your journey. I hope so. You can help people by sharing.
It Is Your Turn.
Feel free to comment on this post or share what increases your belief that Christianity increases happiness?