Words from a Father

Husband of One, Father of Four

Tag: marriage

502. The Enemy of Your Marriage

Treat anything that attempts to separate you from your spouse as a great enemy. Defend your marriage, disclose the situation to your spouse, strengthen the bond between you, and declare your trust, affection, and faithfulness to your spouse right to the enemy’s face. Stop them in their tracks and let nothing come between you. Fierce love protects fiercely and trusts fully.

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485. Get To Know

You can’t get to know each other in a dark theater.

484. Comfortable Distance

Impropriety can masquerade in friendly clothes. Be friendly to your spouse’s friends, but keep a safe, appropriate distance, and always tell your spouse of any advances by another. It may feel awkward for a moment, but it is never something to hide. Your loyalty is always first to your spouse.

483. Keep Learning

Daughter, get as much education as you can. If anything ever happens to your husband, life will be up to you. Education is not your way out, it is your way forward.

Son, get as much education as you can. It is your job to provide the most security possible for your family. It is also your responsibility to encourage your wife to continue her education in case anything happens to you.

No excuses: Take care of her as well as you can while you are here; make sure she can take care of herself if you are gone.

This is modern-day chivalry. This is one way to honor your family.

474. Essay: Clearer Lines

For my drawing class I opted to draw the skeletons and the marble and plastic models rather than the nude model. I was prepared and more than willing to deal with the mockery and questions inevitably hurled my way from those steeped in a culture that no longer understands the concepts of restraint, dignity, and art. Here’s why.

Restraint

I believe it’s important to have boundaries for what you will and will not do. More important is knowing why you make those choices. For me, I don’t need to know intimately about any other woman than my wife. In fact, I doubt seriously that any marriage has been bettered by knowing more about another of the opposite gender than about their spouse. That’s how marriages are ended, not strengthened.

Dignity

I believe humans have immeasurable worth, both as individuals and as a distinct category of being.

Art

I believe art should reveal us to ourselves and invite us into the greater concepts to which we aspire: love, justice, mercy, truth, wonder, peace, selflessness. The greatest instances in the arts do not abandon us in the story at the height of displaying our selfishness, violence, or sensuality. They do not pursue those things for their sake alone, but neither do they erase all ambiguity, irony, and subtlety.

It takes precisely no talent to show a murder or nudity, but significantly more to hint at it without ever showing it in frame. (This is also how mystery and drama are well incorporated.) Even a cursory survey of seminal works reveals how the arts’ great pursuit is for the true, the good, and the beautiful.

I did not draw the nude model because that aspect of the assignment — the nudity itself — failed on multiple levels: it would not have brought me closer to truth, goodness, and beauty; it would not have revealed me to myself or invited me to “the aspirational perfections”; it would not have dignified the model, the medium, or myself; it would have short circuited my pursuit of artistic excellence; and it would have violated the boundaries and freedoms I now enjoy.

Clearer Lines

G.K. Chesterton said, “Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.” I would add that whenever art and morality intersect, those lines should be even clearer.

466. Without Reservation

Love and serve your spouse without reservation. Anything less will be sensed and resented.

463. Don’t Answer

Son, never answer any question that begins with, “If you were on a deserted island and you knew you’d never see me again . . .”

It is always a trap.

In fact, never answer hypothetical questions.

458. Anti-theist Rage

It is hypocritical for an anti-theist to rage about God commanding slaughter at a few defined instances in the Bible, yet they do not rage against the perpetual daily slaughter of innocent children by abortion.

457. Explain Pro-choice

A difficult moment for a pro-choice advocate comes when they try to explain to an eight year old exactly what it is they are supporting.

453. Don’t Ask

Son, don’t ask a woman if she is pregnant, ask your wife if she is.

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