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Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by ~~Susita~~, Jun 15, 2008.
Shooting over their head.
Or just shoot his foot - that shouldn't murder him if you get him some medical help relatively soon
I was going to say rubber bullets...
On the more mundane level, there are several issues that cause continued irritation in live-together arrangements of any sort, married or same-sex roomates. You might examine your habits in these areas.
Neatnik vs messy and Sanitized vs dirt-blind
Together-constantly-possessive vs mutual freedom to pursue other friendships
Tight-wad vs spend-thrift
Add to that, as regards children:
Disciplinarian vs. "ain't he cute?"
For each of these factors a person might be rigid or open-minded. For example, I can get along with a wide range of people on the neatnik vs slob scale but I'm quite rigid as regards discipline of children. If the two of you are poles apart on one of the scales (it helps to think of it as 1-10) and you are both rigid on this same scale, you are in for a lifetime of conflict if you marry. Better to know it now.
I second Leslie's fine comment. After the romance and newness dies, my socks on the floor really got to my wife and my wife's insistance on doing the dishes after EVERY single snack got tedious. And she always wanted to tuck the sheets WAY WAY under the bed (my feet felt imprisoned) and I am definuitely a "no-tuck" man. It is these small things that remain after you finish staring into each others eyes longingly....
P.S. we have now found our happy place. My wife has adjusted to Third World squalor quite well too and I value her neatness to keep me and my house hygienic and healthy.
Some of these things you will need to be watchful of yourself..so that you don't turn a blind eye to things being led by your emotions..
Has he dated previously? If so, if your dad were to contact any of them what would they say about him? What would their parents say about him? If your dad were to call his friends what does he think they would say?
What is his view of marriage, a contract or a covenant? What does he believe the purpose of marriage is?
Does he carry any debt? If so, what are his goals to get out of debt?
What are his attitudes about money? yours?
Does he want children? if so, how many?
What are his lifestyle desires? Does he want to live in the suburbs while you want to live in the city?
are you able to laugh together?
Are you able to connect when you communicate?
How does he handle conflict? How do you handle conflict? Do either of you avoid conflict altogether?
How does he treat his mother? his sisters? How does his father treat his mother?
How does he/and yourself view love? as a commitment or a feeling?
Does he build you up?
How does he treat waiters and waitresses?
To have an authentic puritan courtship expirience;
1) ask you father to go to the local hardware store & buy a 4 or 5 foot length of 1"x10" pine board.
2) Then with the two of you standing (in your pj's!) a few inches from each other, have your dad place this board between you.
3) While he is doing this your mum can begin wrapping you two together with a long piece of cloth. (7 or 8 yards seems about right.)
4) Once the two of you are thus 'united" your mum (or sisters) can stitch up the cloth to keep you "united".
5) Now your parents can assist you both in laying down on a bed.
6) If in the morning the stitches have not been (completely) removed & you are both still willing you may be married!!
God bless you both!! & I pray that you recieve the desires of your heart.
Kevin, my first reaction was "oh my".
And then, well, it sounded better and better.
Very interesting. (BTW, I like your father. Sounds like a fine man!)
Sorry; I wouldn't trust myself in a situation like that.
P.S. Thank you!
Be careful not to dishonor one another before (possible) marriage.
If you do find yourself travelling and staying at the same location during courtship (not suggesting you do), make sure you get separate accomodations, even if it costs more money, even if seems inconvenient.
For those curious about this practice, it is referred to as bundling.
Bundling (tradition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
It was illustrated in the Mel Gibson movie The Patriot.
I would never have been married with the way I snore if bundling was part of the deal with my wife.
Having dad call might not be the best idea. Even if the courtee is in the right, let's he made a few bad judgment calls (but nothing improper happened) and he dated some skank. Do you think she would really say nice things about him? How do you know she wouldn't lie?
Or on a broader level: former "old flames" usually aren't unbiased. Now, if he dated mature girls in the church, that's a different story.
I would disagree with those who say that you are incapable of making this decision. You are responsible for making it -- it is you who must say "I do, I will", and you are the one who must live with the consequences of your vows. This doesn't mean you don't need help, and I am glad you are conscientiously taking advantage of the wisdom of your dad and others. I second the common sense advice of Jacob, and the really godly, loving advice of Mr. Plauger; certainly we cannot accurately foretell outcomes but I believe that if you follow that kind of advice, God will bless you with a good husband.
I would encourage you that your dad can't be 'made' to be more authoritarian than he is: he can graciously agree to help you enforce your own convictions, but if they are not his own, it is still your own convictions you are following. Ask him for his opinions on specific points where you know him to be wise, but again, he probably can't be made to have opinions he doesn't have. He sounds like a good man who wants to help you find a good husband; be grateful that he isn't simply using this situation as an opportunity to push his own preferences over yours; and don't expect him to be the courtship model dad.
As regards some of the other opinions expressed-- I don't believe anyone on this board is guilty of these things but some of the expressions make me nervous. I've seen a mentality elsewhere, that the dad can use his authority in this area to make sure his daughter never sees the whites of the eyes of a young man who disagrees with him about something as trivial as dogs, and who is such a doormat that he can made to do anything -- build all the dad's barns and develop his property for free -- for the daughter's hand. This is an abuse of dependency that I hope no one would inflict on a small child, let alone a reasoning adult who is supposed to be capable of vowing their life away. In such situations, it is a complete myth that the daughters emotions are engaged and the father's are not, therefore he is qualified to judge. Besides the noble protective instinct, there are the rather ignoble though perfectly understandable emotions that arise when another man who is not a doormat but someone with his own convictions and authority, who disagrees on points that may irritate dad but are not necessary to godliness, with a completely different personality than dad's, comes along and attaches the daughter in a way dad never did. Many courtship materials I have read seem to incite the dad to gratify these ignoble emotions and abuse his authority in the situation by trying to make sure his daughter marries someone who is merely an extension of his personality and authority. This is extremely unkind to the daughter and absolutely disrespectful of a brother in Christ.
Moreover, if two people are incapable of making this decision then they are incapable of living with the consequences, and unready to be married. More than likely they will make their own decision anyway. However I want to ask on what basis a dad does more than beg and plead with a daughter not to be attracted to and marry unsaved young men? If this is the kind of man she is attracted to, what does that say about the state of her soul? Is the dad really going to be unkind enough to some believing young man to try to force the unwilling daughter together with him, when the dad would not wish a girl with such values to be passed off on his own believing son?
My own dear dad wanted me to marry a micro-denominationally approved and enthused fundamentalist etc., convictions I had already examined and could not desire in a husband. He tends to be more emotional than my mom and I knew he was having a difficult time letting me go at all (I'm the eldest daughter), and to someone different in convictions than he was, and whose personality was not the one he would have chosen (my dad's personality is very different from mine). If I had laid down my reason, assuming myself incapable of making a decision I had to live with, Ruben would not be my husband now. Rather I stuck it out through my dad's initial displeasure and he did consent happily later on. I knew my dad's reasons for disapproving, and knew they were not in keeping with the things he had taught me to value most. That is the two cents anyway of a very happily married woman, with a great Christian man for a husband and for a dad.
Thanks Heidi. There is a taint of hyper-patriarchalism that floats around reformed circles and I am glad to see a corrective applied.
P.S. Call me a heathen, but my wife's father is an unbeliever and I would have married her no matter what he said. Also, I informed my father that I was marrying my wife and did not ask his permission (I was an adult at the time and geographically away and in the military). If he had not agreed with my choice I would have taken his advice and weighed it heavily, but I was my own man at that point.
Has anybody read Doug Wilson's "Her hand in marriage," which is practically a book on biblical courtship. Last summer, we went to visit friends in Moscow, Idaho who were very fond of Mr. Wilson and his church and gave a copy of the book to my parents. My dad read it, and was all excited to apply all those new "principles." Then, a few weeks later, I begun to read on FV and warned my dad that Mr. Wilson is involved in a serious controversy over a number of false teachings he has been promoting with other pastors. So then my dad took a more critical or moderate perspective on the book. Has any of you got an opinion on it?
P.S. That "bundling" tradition is indeed amusing, but I don't think it was a central tenet of puritan courtship, especially as it was used by people of the prevailing culture of those days, and not by Reformed Christians specifically. Some puritans would have probably been radically opposed to it.
On a broad, principle level Her Hand in Marriage is awesome.
Onto what Heidi said,
While your father's input is valuable, you are the one getting married, not him. Secondly, courting is not rocket-science. In some situations, as long as you two are in a safe, honorable environment, you will figure it out.
There will come decisions where either you two will disagree, or agreeing you will still need extra help from mom or dad (in some ways Mother, or a trusted lady from church) would be more appropriate.
1. Where will yall live?
2. Financial support?
3. How many, if any, kids?
4. Theology--will they be baptized paedo or credo?
5. Views on sex, birth control, etc.
That is the hard stuff where your elders (familial or church) comes in. And don't make it "wooden." Don't force everyone to have a checklist to talk of at dinner. It will be easier on everyone to let these issues "flow." You have time. No hurry. That is the beauty of courtship.
Well let us remember that some puritans were better than others (cough cough Richard Baxter on justification). Also I'm going to copy this page to my hardrive in html format so I can use this. I'm asking a girl out (courtship can't work b/c her parents are non-christians like mine) in two weeks if God doesn't kill me first. Also I want to get your opinion on this. Would you date a non calvinist/reformed guy? And does that opinion aply to both genders? Just curious.
That's a valuable question to ask. Does "marrying in the Lord," mean that we must marry within the Reformed Faith, or can we be more open to other mainstream evangelicals. After some careful reflection, I personally came to the conclusion that it may be fine for a young Reformed man to court a non-Reformed girl, provided that she be not opposed to the doctrines of grace, and that overall she lives an exemplary lifestyle. The reason is that most Christian girls are not overly concerned with doctrinal issues. Doctrine is simply not a major part of a girl's psychology, (except for the odd one). Girls and women are typically more concerned about family, devotional and practical issues, and are more easily influenced by different winds of doctrine than men in general. Consequently, if a girl can be convinced of the doctrines of grace by her caller, she will have proven herself able to submit to the spiritual guidance of her future husband. Thus, there is no problem with courting a good evangelical girl, so long that somewhere along the line you can trust that she is submitting to your spiritual guidance. My friend actually just got married with a girl who was not a calvinist when they first met. He told me that it did not take long before she got to agree with limited atonement, then he got her to start attending the PCA church where my friend goes, and soon enough she was totally in love with the Reformed Faith.
However, the opposite is a nope. A girl who has Reformed convictions should only be willing to court with a young man who is already Reformed, since it is not in her duty to be a spiritual leader to her man. If the man does not already possess good doctrine, even if he has good devotion, he is not fit to become the spiritual leader of a Christian woman. There are however a few cases of girls being able to "draw" a evangelical young man to Calvinism, but for the most part the issue is riskier. Either way, a Reformed man or woman should not marry an evangelical who will not submit to the sovereignty of God. I don't have much time to prove this, but I'm sure many of you should agree.
Links and Downloads Manager - Christian Walk Links - Religious Courtship -- Daniel Defoe - The PuritanBoard
Aaand here's a picture of us! Doesn't even look like me, but oh well. This is II Lieutenant Joshua Carlson.
You guys look great together. God's blessings on you both.
I second the comment above. Thanks for the visual! You two look great!
Susan, one thing to put on that list that should be "above" romantic attraction is this: friendship, I am VERY serious, my wife and I have had our bumps, but during times of any strain, it is the fact she is my "best friend" that gets us through stuff. And there will be "stuff" even in the best marriages. I was talking to a friend about this, like me, he and his wife were friends before dating and romantic attraction, and finally marriage, he once told me, "We have lasted because when we have an argument, or are stressed with each other, I take her hand look her in the eyes and say "Let's just be friends for the rest of this day." and everything cools down." Susan, I hope I am not throwing cold water on "romantic" attraction, it is important. But REAL marriage is not like the stuff you see on the old romance films. It is two people (even if both are Christian) who have moments of being selfish, being moody, whatever. And you are with this person a LOT under the same roof. So in putting together your list for what you want in a husband put friendship WAY up there. I am happy you found a fellow Susan,he better be nice to you, or all you PB friends will do a beat down on him. Grace and Peace.
Haha, thanks Tex. That reminds me of when I was little - I'd just had one of those little girl arguments with my best friend when I asked my mum, "Mom, who's your best friend?" She smiled and said, "Your dad." So yes, we definitely do value our friendship by focusing on other things aside from the physical. We both agree we want Christ as the center of our relationship, so we do things like pray with each other before we go to sleep (usually over the phone since he's stationed in Arizona).
Also, I think he tried joining the board but I'm not sure if it let him? Mods?
Besides spending time with my daughter and the young man together I will also spend time with him alone. In spending time, i don't mean just being present, but interacting.
I will also go with him to meet his parents, siblings, etc. I think much can be gleaned by how a man is raised and by the way he treats his family...especially the women in his family.
I would visit his church with him and speak with his pastor.
I would interact with the young man's life in many areas:
I agree. Makes it harder to find a husband, but essential. My dad (who is Reformed Baptist) would not insist on this at all, but I am pretty sure I would.
Unfortunately, I think some women -- perhaps through misguided maternalism -- like to be with men who are spiritually weaker than they are.
Be careful, Susan.
It's important not to have much physical contact quickly in "courtship." I would set boundaries here, early. Discuss them, pray about them. This is for Christ's honor. It is also for your protection and his.
It is very difficult on a temporal level to find two Reformed Christians who have similar maturity and are yet compatible- not impossible, but rare. Pray for this specifically, constantly and I can only believe God will give you the desires of your heart.
I would be looking for someone who is at least as spiritually mature as you are and is a least "trending" Reformed. This is not a biblical mandate, only my opinion, and is pragmatically based.
The man is accountable to lead spiritually, the woman to submit to that. As fallen creatures, nobody wants to do their job. We are very good at inventing excuses for not doing what God requires. So, understanding that, it will be easier in one way (not that everything else will be perfect) if you start out with a man who is at or beyond your level of spiritual maturity, because he is supposed to lead in this. I can't make a Scriptural case for this, only an analogy to principle, and wishing to spare you from some difficulty that you otherwise can avoid. That way you can move on to the really important things like whether you can eat at restaurants on Sunday, do you tithe off the gross or the net, or deciding whether Dr MacArthur is really Reformed or not.
I second friendship. I hang out with my fiancee' more than anyone else. She's just about the only person I hang out with after three and a half years. I know when we're old and wrinkly it won't matter.
That reminds me of a comedy bit I heard, the summation of which is immediately applicable past its comedic application; that is, physical impefections can be "fixed" these days, but you can't fix stupid. If you can't stand a person for their personality, it's probably a bad idea because the rest goes south over the years.
Nevermind, I broke it off. Apparently, he's attracted to women with flat hips and skinny legs, so my hour glass figure is not "attractive" to him. He had the gall to write an email asking me to "work on your lower body" when I ride my bike 40 miles every day and already work out a lot... Needless to say I'm disgusted. Totally didn't see something like this coming, but whatever.
So... I'm single. *wink wink*