Fear Of Whales

Archive for the ‘Sex & Dating’ Category

Marraige As The Last Resort

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One popular mantra in christianity today is “What if Jesus really meant that”

It’s a powerful question, when applied tho things like “Sell all you have and give to the poor” or “Judge not lest ye be judged” or “early in the morning while it was still dark Jesus went to a quiet place and prayed” Assuming that Jesus wrote the Bible (as a functional member of the trinity speaking through the Holy Spirit to the Biblical authors) the prospect of taking seriously some of the least popular elements of Biblical teaching is both dangerous and revolutionary.

But one verse I have never seen this applied to is 1 Corinthians 7. Let’s take a look:

Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. But this I say by way of concession, not of command. Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that.

But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

Oh That’s right! I’m here to make friends with this one!

What if the Bible, really means what it says here? Are we even willing to admit that’s a possibility?

I think it is. and I think that though understanding it may require an Aspergers-level ability to ignore social norms,this passage may be the most romantic thing ever written into any holy book.

“Don’t get married” says Paul “Unless you absolutely have to, then go ahead” he then goes on to say “And then have lots of sex”

It reminds me of that scene in “A Beautiful Mind” where Nash is trying to hit on a girl, and he’s a mathematical genius but he just can’t figure out how to talk to women so he ends up saying

I don’t exactly know what I am required to say in order for you have intercourse with me. But could we assume that I said all that. I mean essentially we are talking about fluid exchange right?

Husbands, try this line with your wife tonight:

“Well Honey, I need it!… So Satan won’t tempt me for my lack of self control”

tell me how it goes

…But if we can ignore the social awkwardness that this writing presents to our culture and consider the meat of the point, it’s actually very good… It’s more than good, it’s beautiful.

I wrote in my last post that when my car died it felt similarly to when my past relationships ended. Well apparently I wasn’t authentically in love with those girls!!! Hopefully if there’s a woman out there for me, I’ll care about her more than my truck! That’s the one you marry.

“Wait until you can’t bear it any more, Until you can’t live without her when the thought of being apart makes you feel as if you’re on fire… well then at that point, ‘it’s better to marry than to burn”

Do you think it’s “true love” because you cried when she dumped you and “You never cry”. That’s nothing. Maybe when you can’t breathe, then we’re ready to start thinking about marriage.

But absolutely not before.

Written by RyanGaffney

February 1st, 2011 at 12:01 am

A Humble Proposal to Reform Our Dating System

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I wrote previously, and hopefully humorously, about some of the problems with our current conceptions in the church regarding dating. Essentially we’ve made it way way too complicated, resulting in way way too much pressure being put on an interaction which, to my mind, should be fun. Since I’m not one to criticize without providing a better alternative, here is an explanation of how I do it. I think it makes good common sense.

A typical first date (a movie and a unique dinner) will cost me $50 for both of us.

If It’s worth $50 to me to get to know you better for an evening, I’ll probably ask you on a date. Unless of course I’m concerned that you will misinterpret that gesture and it will lead to social awkwardness. Unless you are so repulsed by me that the prospect of spending the evening with me is not worth a free dinner, you should say yes.

A second date is usually much cheaper (maybe a picnic lunch and a walk) averaging maybe $20 for the evening. For this reason, if the first date went even alright, I’ll probably invite you on a second. At this point in our interaction there is absolutely no commitment implied or intended. We may both be dating other people at the same time, that’s fine, if not, that’s fine too. If it doesn’t go that well, I might even recommend that one of my friends take you out, that’s okay, we’re not getting married anytime soon at this point.

By the time I’m asking you on a third date It’s safe to assume that I like you, I want to kiss you, I’d like to see this go farther. My idea of a third date could cost $100. I may still be interested in other people at this point and unsure about where I stand in your book, but if you got this far it’s a safe bet that you are the most interesting girl in my life at the moment. If you are totally uninterested, you might consider at this juncture turning down the opportunity rather than letting me waste my time, But more than likely you are at least a little curious and it’s worth it to me for a chance to impress you.

It might be, that for any of a number of reasons, our third date doesn’t look like that and we just grab coffee or something. That means I’m not sure how I feel. It’s a bad time to ask me. Either it will level out into a real third date and beyond, or it will slowly devolve into a friendship (or there will be some hysterical crying and throwing things at my car, but we’re not going to go there)

After a while, if things are going well, it will get to the point where we are going on dates at a steady pace. This is called “going steady” or being in “a relationship”. If you are seeing anyone else, now would be the time to stop (with one of us or the other). If you’re not sure whether or not we’re at that place, check facebook. It’ll say “In a relationship” with you in my profile.

Simple enough?

Written by RyanGaffney

October 9th, 2010 at 12:01 am

On Dating

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Pictured: "Christian Dating"I feel, that in the church in particular dating has become terribly overcomplicated to the great detriment of many of our relationships. For the sake of all Men, I’d like to make a few things clear

-The bible has passages that apply in virtually every situation, but it has nothing specific to say about dating. Don’t tell me it does, they didn’t have dating back then. Any idea you’ve developed from scripture about how dating ought to be done is subject to interpretation.

-Despite being a man, and the future spiritual leader of a household, I am regrettably unable to project the will of God for the rest of our lives by the first date. I’m sorry, I just don’t know, That’s what dating is for, if I knew who God wanted me to date, woo and marry. I’d just let her know and marry her

-Interpersonal relationships, especially romantic ones are very complicated and unique. When we find ourselves in an awkward and complicated position that seems sort of romantic, don’t ask me to “Define The Relationship” if you don’t have a word for what kind of relationship it is neither do I, we’re figuring it out, drink your coffee!

-Some relationships however are easy to define. For instance: If you like a boy, and he likes you, you two spend inordinate amounts of time together, talk about your feelings, make plans to go places alone together, and leave groups to go hang out just the two of you, there’s a word for that. It’s called “dating” It doesn’t make it more somehow more holy if you call it just being friends, there’s a word for that too “lying”.

-Nobody has ever been able to explain to me how a relationship that can be terminated at any time for any reason by the single consent of either party can be considered “committed”. There are only two kinds of committed romantic relationships I know of. One is marriage, and the other is the period that comes just before that after I promise to marry you called “Engagement” You’ll know if you’re in either. There will be a ring.

-The word “courting” seems to change definition depending on which Christian girl I’m talking to. But I’m pretty sure whatever it is I’m not interested. Either it’s essentially the same as dating, or the same as engagement, only more Christiany… Please refer to This Post, on how changing things to make them Christian is an ancient heresy.

-I haven’t read that book that you did about dating, and chances are I wish you didn’t either. I get really sick of Christian women telling me they want me to lead them, and this is exactly how they want me to lead them and into what.

-You do not ever owe a man anything for spending money on you, that is his choice. Prostitution is illegal in this country, If a man expects something in exchange for dinner he deserves to be both disappointed and dumped. More than likely however, you’re just over thinking it, If a christian guy asks to take you to dinner, that’s probably exactly what he wants, just smile and enjoy the free dinner, it it turns out he wanted anything other than your company it’s his stupid mistake.

Did I miss anything?

Written by RyanGaffney

October 6th, 2010 at 12:43 am

Protecting the Sanctity of Marriage.

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Mawwaige!Would somebody please explain to me how having a battle with the federal government in the courts about the interpretation of the constitution is supposed to protect the sanctity of a God ordained institution between men and women?

Seriously, use the comments section and explain it to me, I just don’t get it.

How can we possibly say out of one side of our mouths that marriage is a sacred institution which God alone is in control of, while at the very same time saying that if this or that bill passes it will be ruined?

It seems to be that the only way we can truly interfere with marriage in the church would be to allow ourselves to become convinced that what the government has to say actually has anything whatsoever to do with who is and who is not married in the eyes of God!

So on one side we have the holy institution of marriage, a part of what Lutherans call the “Right Hand Kingdom” a Godly practice undertaken by two people who love each other and form a covenant to death. And then on the other side you have the civil institution of marriage, a part of the “Left Hand Kingdom”, wherein two people decide to file with the state in order to garner certain benefits and hold all assets jointly until they file for divorce.

And these two things, though they often coincide, have absolutely nothing to do with one another. the fact that they are both called “marriage” is an unfortunate circumstance. But considering the word “bow” can mean anything from a decorative knot to a device used to play a violin I should think were more than able to overcome the idea that the same word might have two different meanings.

This is a lesson I really wish we would learn well as a church, it affects more than our theology of same-sex marriage.

Consider the number of young couples, who being sexually tempted, remember the words of their youth pastor, and decide to get married. And so they file with the state and have a left handed ceremony, but fail utterly to comprehend the significance of a lifetime covenant of sacrificial love with one another. I call it “Premarital Marriage” and it is notably more damaging and immoral than premarital sex, what it essentially does is create two problems out of one, where now the couple is not only sexually active prematurely, but also married in the eyes of the state, causing problems with bitterness, divorce, and children.

And speaking of divorce how many couples in the church today have broken their covenant before God to love one another in sickness and in health? How many married couples hate one another? How many supposedly unbroken homes exist where husband in wife sleep in separate beds, separate rooms, or separate houses because they can’t bear to look one another in the eye? Ans what is it that’s gone wrong with a church that tells such couples not to file for divorce, because that would be a sin?

That is the same perverted logic that causes catholic school girls to become pregnant at 15 because they thought using a condom while having premarital sex with their boyfriend would be immoral. At the point where you hate one another, you’re already divorced. The paperwork just makes it easier come tax time.

Now just to be clear: I’m against divorce, and against premarital sex, I think young couples should get married, and older couples should seek reconciliation in their marriages, but I also think that if you are not going to do that then you might as well be honest about it in the eyes of the state and make it easier on yourself.

So in closing consider this:

When you fall in love, and promise one person that you will be theirs and they will be yours as long as you both shall live, and when you have a wedding in Paris at Notre Damme presided over by Billy Graham himself and doves descend into the sanctuary as a sign from heaven above that even The Father God is celebrating your union on this day, remember that even on that great morning there will be couples plotting the murder of their spouses in their heads, teenagers driving to Vegas, to “make it legal”, former strippers marrying 70 year old millionaires for their money, and a whole host of illegal immigrants marrying for citizenship. But none of that will matter. You will be joined in the eyes of God with the person you love and the US government could do nothing to tarnish that in a million years.

And neither can Adam and Steve.

Written by RyanGaffney

September 20th, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Not Exactly My Fault

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I was going through my phone tonight. Particularly the notepad app where I store little tidbits of information that I don’t want to write on scraps of paper lest I lose them. Contact info, driving directions, ideas for books, those sorts of things. Once in a while I write down a lesson I’ve learned or a thought to ponder, so as I went through my phone tonight, I got an opportunity to remind myself of things of some life lessons I’d forgotten.

One note I found was about a time a little over a year ago when I was at the Dallas airport with Don, on my way to a gathering of evangelists who specializes in apologetics so see if I might have a future in their organization. Don was, and persists to be one of the kindest and most sanctified men I have ever known, and he had mentored me for a year or so in his ideology of ministry, this trip was a sort of a culmination of that.

As we were waiting for the layover in Dallas I got myself distracted and lost track of time. When I eventually returned to the Gate, Don was there waiting for me, with a smile on his face, to inform me that I’d missed my flight, and that he had waited so I wouldn’t have to fly alone. Then he rescheduled our flights and took me out to dinner.

That however, despite being awesome, is not what the note was about. I had written it down to remind myself how I felt afterwards, as we continued to travel. It was a tremendous amount of personal responsibility.

I had caused Don to miss his flight, and in so doing, I sent us into a contingency plan, after that, No matter what went wrong, I felt it was at least partially my fault. If I hadn’t of missed the flight we wouldn’t even be here.

And I realized. Isn’t that always the case? No matter what you do or where you are, or what goes wrong in your life, In some ways it was only able to happen because of you and the choices you’ve made to impact the world. If things were different, things would be different.

In my phone The line in the note said:

“This helps me take responsibility for things which aren’t exactly my fault”

What a lesson! How often am I accused of something falsely and I curl up and get defensive and look at everything else that caused it. The fact is everything might have been different if I had done different things, and I can own that. And if there’s even a low percentage of responsibility that’s mine, well then I have to admit that if that percentage weren’t there, it probably wouldn’t have happened.

Now I can say it “I’m sorry about that”

I got out of a relationship a few months ago and I was totally exhausted. My girlfriend and I had been fighting to make it work for months, and both of us are really good at fighting. She became generally unsatisfied with me and I felt there was nothing I could do to change that. Anything she asked me to do or change or improve about myself that I succeeded in doing, in my mind only reminded her of 10 more things she needed fixed about me.

As a result when it finally ended, I got this breath of fresh air and self justification. I felt, and with considerable support, that she was simply unsatisfiable, and that no matter what I did to please her it would not have been enough. After all I had bent over backwards in many ways and it didn’t seem even to help, let alone solve, the problem.

I felt perfectally justified to say “It’s all her fault. If she would have been satisfied by anything I would have found it, I would have climbed any mountain for her, but even if I had she would have just coldly told me that she wanted me to climb a bunch more. There was nothing I could do, It’s her!”

There was another note in my phone tonight.

It read: “Plumerias, Gladiolas, Jasmine, Garden Roses”

Those were her favorite flowers.

There was a time in our relationship (or, as happens to be the case, a time just before our relationship) when I was so enamored with her and excited to surprise and please her, that when I happened to overhear her mention her favorite flowers I wrote it down so I wouldn’t forget.

Shoot man. I barley got her flowers at all near the end. When I did I got her regular roses. She liked garden roses, with the vines. I forgot!

Something somewhere in me that was there in the beginning of the relationship left. I stopped caring enough to surprise her with flowers. I started to feel imposed upon by her.

And it’s true that forgetting about flowers, that my losing that lovin’ feeling isn’t what finally killed the relationship, but it’s also true that if things were different, things would be different.

So now I can say it “I’m sorry… It could have been different if not for me”

And I hope I can learn to be sorry more often for even those things that aren’t exactly my fault

Written by RyanGaffney

September 4th, 2010 at 11:51 am

Nerd Girls

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http://www.spyjournal.biz/files/Rebecca_TalkNerdyToMe.jpgAt camp I was able to offer a valuable lesson to someone who had never heard it before. I thought that if she hadn’t heard it then maybe ya’ll would benefit from it also, so here’s the story:

While sitting at the pool I heard Chris call out to another kid from the deck “Quit being such a nerd!” It caught my attention, so I asked for more details

“What’s wrong with being a nerd? I’m a nerd”

“Nobody likes nerds”

“Are you kidding me? everybody likes nerds, and I’ll tell you something else, nerds get the girls. Girls date the popular kids, they marry the nerds”

“What?”

“You ask any counselor here ‘Would you rather marry someone who was popular in high school, or a nerd?’ I bet you every one says they’d take the nerd”

“No Way!”

So we conducted a experiment, Women were interviewed by a number of different parties, and although we found many Jr. High girls of dissenting opinion we could not find a single woman volunteering who would not prefer to marry a nerd.

As the conversation progressed about nerds I could feel public opinion about my people swell in the pool area, Chris himself began to aspire to become a nerd, more interesting than that was the response of Paige, who had been listening nearby.

“Can Girls be nerds?” she said

“Oh absolutely girls can be nerds, and I’ll tell you what else, a nerd-girl can get any nerd-guy she wants”

“What do you mean?”

“Well when you’re young, the popular kids don’t like the nerds and they can’t get a date, but when it gets switched and women start wanting nerds, nerds don’t start wanting cheerleaders. A nerd might settle for a hot cheerleader, but he’d probably rather have someone cute and smart who plays video games”

This blew the minds of Chris and Paige, but I wonder how commonly understood this rule is in general.

Velma is the catch on Scooby Doo, not Daphne. The fact that Natalie Portman graduated Harvard is way hotter than that Scarlet Johansson posed nude for Vanity Fair. And I don’t know or care who Gucchi is but I do care who Soren Kirkeguard is and if you do too you are head and shoulders above any girl who keeps a dog in her purse when it comes to attractivness.

Written by RyanGaffney

August 12th, 2010 at 10:11 am