Surrendering Marriage

June is a good month for surrenders. On June 25, 1940, France capitulated after Germany’s lightning defeat of Allied armies. The armistice that took effect that day ceded more than half the country to foreign occupation, and relegated the rest to management by those Frenchmen willing to collaborate with Germany — supposedly to preserve some shred … Read more

The Failure of Our Gay Marriage Arguments

Unless you’re willing to assert that homosexual behavior is immoral or unnatural (or both), you’ll have a hard time making an effective case against same-sex marriage (SSM). It won’t be impossible, just exceedingly difficult. Perhaps you’ll be able to reinforce the convictions of those who, like yourself, are already opposed to SSM. But you won’t … Read more

Marriage Is Heading off a Cliff

For the first time in history, less than half of Americans now live in married-couple households. The new finding by the Census Bureau reflects the most profound change in the nature of American society ever to have occurred, yet practically no one talks about it. Only 48 percent of American households are made up of … Read more

As the Family Goes, So Goes the Economy

  According to a New York Times editorial this week, “As Housing Goes, So Goes the Economy”. It is a call to the United States government to intervene in the housing market which, nearly two years after the housing bubble burst, is still in trouble and will not, says the Times, fix itself. That may be … Read more

Nicholas Kristof Fails Sunday School

  Nicholas Kristof doesn’t appreciate the Bible being used to support conservative moral positions with which he disagrees, so it must have been an exciting moment when he unwrapped Jennifer Wright Knust’s new book, Unprotected Texts: The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions about Sex and Desire. Knust, an ordained Baptist minister and assistant professor of religion at … Read more

Twenty and Engaged

With my 21st birthday just a few weeks away, it is expected that I plan a blowout party with copious amounts of alcohol, as my friends compile a list of 21 dares for me to complete while downtown — you know, kiss 21 guys, dance on a table, take a birthday shot, etc. Instead, I’m … Read more

Just In Case

The last thing I wanted to do on a Saturday morning was discuss my husband’s death with 20 women. Not that he had died; neither had theirs. But, encouraged by him, I signed up for a workshop on what to do if suddenly widowed. Leading this sobering examination was a woman whose fate had been … Read more

On Finding a Husband: A Conversation with Amy Bonaccorso

For Catholic convert Amy Bonaccorso, the path to marriage wasn’t an easy one. After running the gauntlet of the modern dating scene, she finally found her husband… but not before having several preconceptions about dating and marriage shattered along the way. Noticing that there was little in the way of practical guidance for modern, devout … Read more

The Test of Intimacy

My wife Alice and I were married on an August morning in 1964 in a Presbyterian church just south of Richmond, Virginia. As our wedding reception drew to a close in the midday summer heat and we prepared to drive off to begin our married life in Austin, Texas, Alice’s mother took me aside and … Read more

Marriage and the New Morality

Two men wearing tennis whites walk out on the court. Opening a folding table and chairs, they sit down and start to play chess. An attendant rushes up and says, “Sorry, gentlemen, this place is for tennis. You can’t do that here.” Looking up with a scowl, one of the men snaps, “This is how … Read more

Five Ways to Talk to the Left about Same-Sex Marriage

As hard as it is to express the truths about abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research to Democrats, it can be even harder to talk about homosexuality. Many people wrongly equate opposition to same-sex marriage with opposition to racial equality during the civil-rights movement, applying the emotional power of race issues to homosexuality. The … Read more

Marriage and monogamy unnatural?

Do we need a book telling us that monogamy isn’t natural, because our ancestors 8,000 years ago didn’t mate for life? Apparently so. A new book called Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha has just been released in the U.S., and while I haven’t read it, … Read more

Home Is Not a Place

It was a cool fall day ten years ago when Dan, my husband, pulled our banged-up Volvo station wagon to the side of a country road and waved his hand toward the nearby woods.     “This is it!” he beamed. I looked. I saw trees.   “Here?” I questioned him. “Right here?” He pointed to … Read more

The Paycheck Pushback

The paycheck — that plucky, stubbed, cashable contribution to a family’s daily sustenance — has become a problem to every adult woman. It’s a challenge to earn it, and it’s a challenge to live without it. This reality can pervade and put pressure on even faithful marriages, where husband and wife have discussed their priorities … Read more

How Not to Prepare for Marriage

Things got a little heated around here last week on Zoe’s post about marriage and annulments. In response to the news that Pope Benedict was asking marriage tribunals to tighten up the annulment process, Zoe suggested that we should be taking marriage prep more seriously at the same time — with an eye toward obviating the … Read more

Love, Honor, and Take for Granted?

“Tell me,” the wife of one of my husband’s friends began a recent phone conversation, “that you do not start your husband’s car for him every morning.” “Oh, of course not,” I told her. “Only on cold mornings I do.” Astonished silence met my ears. The discussion that followed reminded me of one that took … Read more

10 1/2 Reasons to be Chaste

The temptation to have sex before marriage is as old as marriage itself. More than 1,600 years ago, St. Augustine, grappling with his desires, cried out to God, “Give me chastity . . . but not yet!”What is chastity? The word is often used to mean simply abstaining from sex, as if it were equivalent … Read more

The Meaning of Marriage

What does a word mean, if it can mean anything? Is there a difference between a word meaning anything, and one that means nothing at all? This isn’t merely a semantic problem if that word is “marriage.” When I maintain that the definition of marriage has been all but lost, I intend both senses of … Read more

Managing Men

My mother-in-law once asked me disapprovingly, “Why are you so direct and confrontational with your husband? You should know by now he doesn’t like it. It’s no way to get what you want.” She added with a twinkle in her eye, “You know, dear, I have everything I always wanted in life — but I … Read more

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