What is sacred? What subject would I say is a "holy ground" kind of space. What would you say?
The older I get, the less I consider sacred ground. Most of my beliefs I won't even fight you over, cuz I don't think they are very important or central the immovable, distinct, and essential core of who God has made us to be. I don't think they are central to the Gospel or redemption or God's image kind of relationships, so they aren't worth much argument for me.
But there are 2 things I find myself caring a lot more about lately:
- parenthood- especially fatherless homes
- the integrity of the marriage covenant
But something has to change! (warning: rant now to follow.)
I had a student -who I hadn't seen in a while- drop in our high school men's small groups last night. While I was setting up and waiting for the pizza to arrive, he flippantly told me that he was going to get married and that his girlfriend was pregnant. At first, because of his tone and facial expressions, I thought he was joking. But after further questioning, it turned out he was telling me the truth. I asked him if why he was getting married. He said, "I don't know" and laughed. I asked him if he was prepared to be a Dad. He smiled and laughed again and said, "Yeah, man, I'm ready for a little mini-me to run around."
I punched him. Yep. I did. We have a long history. Long enough that I should have hit him harder. I almost kicked him out of small groups that night for the simple fact that he was flippantly entering into 2 of the hardest and most sacred relationship covenants in life: unconditionally loving a spouse and raising/providing for a child - all of which have been made in the image of God. I would love to have celebrated his not aborting his child or stepping up the plate of responsibility if I could have gotten any remote sense of awareness on his part at the journey he was about to embark on. But there wasn't a hint of it.
As the pizza was being delivered, the 20 something delivery boy overheard our convo and my initial response and proclaimed to the student, "Don't get married. It sucks. I've done it twice already." I wanted to punch him too.
I was pissed. I'm no perfect husband or father... far from it... but I have to draw the line somewhere.
And while we're on the subject of pissed and drawing lines. If I could destroy any television or movie set in the world, I'd drive my truck straight through the set of the Bachelor and Bachelorette. I'm so completely and totally against this show. I'm sick of the gossip, the deception, the appearance of "good" dating/marriage ideals, and the constant chatter among the believers in my world who watch this @#$&!!!
It's a mockery of marriage.
- The show is pre-arranged gang dating that...
- leads to the bachelor or bachelorette having sex with at least the final 2-4 contestants and...
- then eventually he or she pics one of the finalists to.... get this....
- propose the faithful and unconditional covenant of marriage to...
- which evidently they believed was going to be fostered in the environment where for the last 30 days no one has been faithful to anyone...
- which results in at handful of those who really thought they might marry said bachelor or bachelorette to be mortified that they didn't "win" because the "perfect man or woman" for them, just left the building with some other lucky soul.
- oh... and which ultimately results in guess what?... They are 1 for 17 in producing a marriage that is still together. Hello? Yeah, it doesn't work.
Every single value I have about marriage and family is undermined in this show... it flies in the face of every single dating series I've ever taught and every single verse I can think of about marriage and sexuality in the Scriptures.
For the love of a few things holy, I'd like to declare the mind bogglingly hard covenant tasks of marriage and parenthood sacred ground! I think it's high time we started treating them as such.
I personally have a long way to go before I win any husband/father of the year awards. If that's you too and you want to join me in this monumental task of honoring God in that role, then I'm all in.