By Jesse Jost
Johnny Reid sings about a question that is burning on the heart of a boy: “How will I know it” when I find the right person for me to marry? The song gives the very insightful answer, “You’ll just know it.” And then Reid confirms that every time the young man kisses or loves his partner now, “He just knows it!” If only it were that simple.
The choice of who you will marry is, to use a Latin phrase, decisionus giganticus. Especially if you believe, as I do, that God wants marriage to be permanent. Not only is it an irreversible decision, it is one you must make with huge unknown factors. How will job stress, career moves, chronic health issues, children, accidents, change this person? How well do you really know this person? How well do you have to know him or her before you commit for life? With so many uncertainties and the stakes so high, we crave signs of confirmation, physical or spiritual, that we are doing the right thing.
In this article I want to explore “what is a successful marriage?” How can we find God’s will for us in all things romantic? How much of the decision-making process should be based on discerning signs and interpreting feelings? What constitutes a healthy exploratory relationship? The scope of these questions would make a better book than an article, so bear with me in the length. I’ll try to be concise. Continue reading…
By Jesse Jost
Maybe it’s my German/Syrian heritage, but I seem to be drawn toward minefields, not the kind that blow off literal limbs, but the issues that stir up deep feelings and controversy. It’s not that I like conflict. I am far too much a sucker for human admiration to want to needlessly anger people. But I believe that God has a design for the way we should live our lives and interact with our fellow masterpieces of creation. I also believe that Satan, God’s sworn enemy, has his sights on corrupting our behavior in a way that maximizes human suffering and tears our social fabric. I also believe that the way we dress affects our relationships with others and ourselves.
A factor that complicates this issue of dress is that we are sexual beings. God made us in such a way that we can be transformed into creatures that are obsessed with sex. This thing of sexual arousal is quite a fascinating quirk of human nature and an amazing gift. Without the switch that turns us “on” or “off”, think about how different life would be! If we were stuck in the “on” position, normal human interaction would be very difficult, there would be no mental space left to create, or worse, discover new food flavors. We would be restless animal maniacs, always braying, never content. Conversely, if we were stuck in the “off” position, much of the wonder and passion that makes life so thrilling would be never known. So we have this switch, but it gets even more complicated. What turns this switch on and off is different for men and women, not to mention each individual. And the switch being turned on does not always send the same charge. Continue reading…