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No matchmaking for me

One day I was in the bathroom, where we have brick step up to the shower. I was thinking about how one of my fiends seems to have been thwarted in love too many times, and I wished he'd find someone lovely to marry. I was only feeling sorry for him. I hadn't even got onto thinking up an ideal match. In the midst of these musings I bashed my foot into the step. My toes were so sore that I thought I'd broken them. It was painful to walk for days. One toe turned black, but it still moved so it was not broken (according to Mum). This happened about two months ago, and my toe still hurts sometimes. Every time it hurts I remind myself that matchmaking obviously is not my career.


Proverbs 31 Career Mum

The Proverbs 31 woman is rightly held up as an ideal for Christian women. When her roles and responsibilities are correctly understood this can be a great help. However, it is disturbing when people choose to use the Proverbs 31 woman to argue for the virtue or acceptability of being a Mum who is primarily focused on a career and thus leaves the training of her children and the running of her household to others. This view of Scripture comes from being saturated in a feminist culture, not from the text itself. We need to be very careful not to twist the Bible to fit with current feminist thinking.

I have heard women say things like "The Proverbs 31 woman is the equivilant of a modern real estate agent". I am sorry, but since when does managing your finances well so you can buy some property make you a real estate agent? It doesn't, of course. It makes you a person who bought a field. Likewise, the fact that the Proverbs 31 woman made clothing to sell to merchants does not make her the equivilant of a full time factory worker. It makes her a woman with a small business, which does not even take away from her home responsibilities much.

Kimi Harris wrote down some excellent thoughts on the Proverbs 31 woman some months ago in Knitting and Proverbs 31

some people have taken the Prov. 31 woman and made her an example of the modern career woman. It should be noted that she did most of her work at home with her family around her and that we are told in the New Testament to be “workers at home” (Titus 2). I don’t think this is a Biblical mandate for a mothers having careers and leaving most of the child raising and home keeping to others.

The principle is having busy hands serving your family. That can and even should look different depending on your family’s needs and your own skills and inclinations. Some ways of serving may bring in income, other ways may save money, other ways will just be simply meeting the daily needs of a family.

In reading Proverbs 31, it is legitimate to conclude that it is acceptable and sometimes wise for married women and mothers to engage in business. As Carolyn Mahaney wrote in Feminine Appeal, God does not confine women solely to unpaid work in the home: "Scripture provides examples of godly women who worked in other settings and earned extra income, but never to the neglect of their families and homes." Scripture places importance on the role of a married woman in caring for her family and home, above any income producing activities she may want to pursue. I am not at all saying that women should never pursue paid employment. I am saying that home and children are to be the priority for a married woman. In considering my own career options, even as a single woman, I want to take this into account. I am thinking of pursuing a Diploma of Education, so that I can earn more money per hour. Then, if I did need to work when I had children I could earn more with less time away from home. (This would also be good due to my chronic back pain).

I believe that most attempts to twist the Proverbs 31 woman into a full time career Mum are rooted in a lack of vision for what God intended when he instituted the roles of men and women. God did not intend our roles to be shackles around us. Read Psalm 128. This is a beautiful picture of the fulfilled family - a father who works hard and enjoys the work of his hand, a fruitful and home-centered wife, and the blessing of children. God intends these pictures to inspire and uplift us. This is a picture of the good life. Not dual careers and 1.7 children appropriately cared for by professsionals so we can get on with earning more money to buy more things. Instead, hard work in our respective roles, contentment with the simple things of life, joy in one another and in the children God gives us.

Susan has written a great post on the roles of men and women, focusing on the fact that without the joy and perspective of the gospel, the roles of men and women are ugly and twisted. Many people have only seen such ugly examples, so naturally they rebel and look for ways to reinterpret Biblical teaching on these topics. Unfortunately, in doing so they forsake the joy they could have had in a gospel-centered embrace of God's ways.

As Susan says:

One cannot talk about headship rightly apart from the gospel. Without the gospel, headship is an ugly truth; with the gospel, headship is a glorious picture. To properly understand Ephesians 5, one must first read Ephesians 1-4. After reading Ephesians 1-4 and then reading Ephesians 5, including the verses that charge husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church, I cannot feel cheated, torn down, or demeaned by my call to submission. I am to aid my husband as the church aids Christ. What a beautiful mission! My husband, though, is to act as a type of Christ to me and our household! Wow.

What a beautiful role given to the man, but what a heavy responsibility, and a responsibility I would not snatch from any man. That is obligation; that is a set of very big shoes to fill. Unless a man can speak of women's roles in light of the gospel and his own call to serve his wife as Christ, than I must stand with the feminists and find his writings to be demeaning and void of any real esteem for women. The husband and wife roles of Ephesians 5 are beautiful because they are complimentary. Either, without the other, is ugly; together they are a beautiful picture.

You can read the rest of Susan's post here.

I've wanted to write about this topic for months. However, I avoided it because it is an emotive one for me and I don't want to rant. I hope this has been inspiring rather than overly harsh, and that it turns you to God's word to evaluate current trends and feminist-influenced philosophies in the church.


Tahune Airwalk

Way back in my holiday from work (or vacation if you are an American), I visited the Tahune Airwalk with some friends. You can check out the web site here. As usual, it has taken me over a month to post pictures - seven weeks, to be exact! Here they are . . .

Sam, Dave, and Genevieve beside the Huon River.

Genevieve and I overlooking the place where the Huon and Picton Rivers meet.

Beside a very big tree. We went late in the afternoon, and it was getting dark by the time we left.


The meaning of work

In her book Creed or Chaos (1949) Dorothy Sayers argues that the modern tendency identifies work as gainful employment. “The fallacy being that work is not the expression of man’s creative energy in the service of society, but only something he does in order to obtain money and leisure.” A surgeon told Sayers that “nobody works for the sake of getting the thing done. The actual result of the work is a by-product; the aim of the work is to make money to do something else.” Sayers argues we should work with our whole hearts for the work’s sake, as an expression of the divine image of creativeness in us.

I agree with Sayers that it is not helpful to define work only as the activity we do in order to receive money to do other things. It reduces the value of work to the amount of money it can be exchanged for. The person working ceases to care whether or not his or her actual work is producing something good. There is nothing wrong with working only for money. It is often necessary. However, there is something wrong with believing the only meaningful work is that which can be exchanged for money.

Defining work as that which can be exchanged for money also excludes many valuable types of work that are unpaid. One example is motherhood. Some feminists have identified unpaid work as drugery, while paid work is somehow more fulfilling. G. K. Chesterton nails this assumption: "Nine times out of ten, the only difference is that the one person is drudging for people she does care for and the other drudging for people she does not care for. " I never like to say that ____ does not work. I prefer to say that ____ works at home. The work prioritized at home may well be more fulfilling, and more useful, than paid work outside of it.

When I completed my degree, I only had about 1 and a half days paid work each week. However, this was not the only work I did. I cooked, wrote, did house work for my mother, sewed, took care of Esther while her parents worked, and completed other unpaid work. I was busy all the time, and wondered how I would fit in everything I wanted to do! My unpaid work was, to me, just as meaningful and useful as my paid work. I am now completing paid working up to my capacity, three days a week. Any more of this would be very difficult to manage with current back pain levels. Due to completing this amount of paid work, I have cut back on important unpaid work like cooking. I am sure that everyone can identify with this tension, especially those who work full time.

Most people have to complete paid work to support themselves, and so unpaid work will be limited. However, we still don't have to fall into the trap of thinking only paid work is meaningful. We can learn to value work for what it produces, how it expresses our creativity as God's image bearers, and how it furthers our mandate to take dominion over the earth, rather than solely on the basis of the pay check. Some paid jobs contribute little to the true goals of work, while unpaid work may further God's kingdom. In chosing paid work, I try to think hard about whether or not this work is truly something that is valuable in itself or if I am just doing it for the money. I would not volunteer to work in my present job, so I am doing it for the money, but at the same time I believe it to be valuable work in both a temporal and an eternal sense. I value it not only for the pay check, but also for what it produces.


Wattles & mobiles

more spring time beauty

Another sign of spring coming is the wattle flowers out everywhere. I enjoyed looking at them during some of my two and a half hour bus rides between Hobart and Launceston.

learnt to text

Another thing I've been doing on the bus is sending text messags. I learnt to send them last week, so it is a novelty for me at the moment! I don't know why I never did it before. I have hardly used my mobile since my aunt gave it to me in January, because the company it is with has poor reception in Tasmania. However, this doesn't matter with texts. My friends must sometimes feel themselves to be the recipients of messages about nothing in particular! I'm sure I'll get over it soon! It is better than email for me in Launceston, since I don't have a personal computer here. However, I think that like the internet mobile phones could become very addictive!


God and Government

Currently the Australian Democrats, a minority political party in Australia, are running a survey titled God and Government. Jonathan Field wrote this response, in which he makes some good points about politics and Christianity. I asked if I could use it as a guest post, and he agreed. Thanks Jonathan! I know Jonathan mainly through the internet, but we have met once! He lives in Melbourne, Victoria.

I just got back from the USA where I studied the separation of church and state (amongst other things). Most of the "founding fathers" of the USA were Christians who unashamedly used their Christian perspective to shape their newborn nation's laws. These are the same people who had already decided there would be a "separation of church and state". In other words, whatever they _did_ mean by "separation of church and state", they did _not_ mean that politicians should divorce themselves from their personal religions beliefs. In fact, they _expected_ and _intended_ that parliamentarians would vote according to conscience/religion at times, and they expected and intended that the American people would choose, by their vote, which set of philosophies/beliefs would make their laws.

In Australia, MPs should make whatever laws they believe are best for our nation. Whatever their religious or philosophical persuasions, MPs should seek the betterment of the people of our country. An MP who is convinced by his religious beliefs that one law or another is bad for the people of our great land, should vote against such a law.

The people of Australia are responsible for keeping the MPs in check. We the citizens cast the votes that determine which philosophies dominate parliament. If we strongly disagree with an MP's agenda, we vote for another candidate who seems more suitable.

If enough Australians vote for enough MPs of similar philosophy/religion, that philosophy/religion will increasingly find expression in the laws of the land.

If enough Australians voted in enough MPs with some weird philosophy - e.g. that all persons born on 29th February are dangerous and must be executed - then, to the detriment of our nation, that bodgy philosophy would eventually find itself enshrined in law, and the death of innocents would ensue. In a purely democratic state, the only protection against such absurdity is the will of the people, reflected in their vote.

In short :

1) MPs should vote as they see best for Australia. If, for example, they have a religious basis for believing that rape is wrong, they should not hesitate to legislate against rape. The fact that their views are shaped by religion is irrelevant. If the Australian public disagree with the laws that an MP's philosophical or religion persuasions promote, they simply vote for another MP.

2) The Australian public should vote for whom they see fit to best lead Australia. They should not do so just because an MP claims to be affiliated with one or another religion. But it will so happen that those with similar religio/philosophical beliefs will have a similar view of what is best for Australia. (Decriminalise rape? Decriminalise cocaine? Allow abortion?) When an Australian citizen finds an MP who's ideas of what's best for Australia are similar to that citizen's own ideas, the citizen should unashamedly and without hesitation vote for that MP. And so on the one hand a voter should not vote for someone just because that person claims to be of the same or similar religion, but on the other hand a voter should not _refrain_ from voting for someone just because they _are_ of the same religion.

Jonathan sent this in as a comment on the survey. Good on you for taking the time, Jonathan! In the email in which his comment was contained, he also added the following:

"there is such a thing as legislation without an underpinning religious philosophy. Humanism is a religion. It's mantra "There is no God but man" sounds suspiciously like Islam's own "There is no God but Allah", and it's dogmatic assertion that "We are scientific - those who disagree are simply unscientific and religious", translated into plain English, is simply the Humanist's way of saying "Ours is the only true religion".

Should MPs divorce themselves from their religious beliefs when legislating? The very idea is absurd. That murder, rape, or child molestation is "wrong" is an inherently religious idea. Whether you claim it to be so because the majority believes it to be so (in which case your God is Man or Mother Nature), or whether you claim it to be so because there is a separate god or gods of some kind - in either case, the ideas are inherently religious, stemming out from one's understanding of the nature of reality and the origin and purpose of the universe generally and of humankind specifically.

We need to raise our voices more strategically, more frequently, more voluminously, and help reshape the philosophy of this nation."


Winter, autumn, or spring?

In Tasmania, the seasons blend together somewhat. It is winter, but autumn leaves still hand on some trees and the signs of spring begin appearing in mid-winter July. I love the seasons, even if they sometimes blend together! I am rejoicing in the coming of spring.

I took this picture yesterday.

These tiny flowers were blooming in my garden at the end of July. I'm glad I came home on the weekend two weeks ago, or I'd never have seen them. They were dead when I went to look at them last night.

A couple of weeks before I took the picture of the crocus, I captured Esther looking well matched with the last of autumn . . .

With the first signs of spring, I am reminded of the greatest gift I am anticipating in the spring . . . twins! They are not due until early December, but twins are induced before full term usually so they should be born in November! I can't wait to post a picture of myself holding them both!


Books, books, books

Here is my One Book Meme. Thanks for tagging me to do this John. I love books, and I'm always reading far too many. The best one I've read recently is Humility by C. J. Mahaney. I'm currently reading it for the second time, and I recommend it to everyone!

1. One book that changed your life:
The Bible

2. One book that you've read more than once:
The Family at Misrule by Ethel Turner

3. One book you'd want on a desert island:
How to find and prepare desert island food by natives of every different desert island in the world.

4. One book that made you laugh:
Texas Angel by Judith Pella

5. One book that made you cry:
Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery (or whichever Anne book it is where Ruby dies - I cry every time I read that part!)

6. One book that you wish had been written:
Why eugenics is evil, racism is wrong, faithfulness in marriage is a duty, and it is a great idea to have babies by Margaret Sanger

7. One book that you wish had never been written:
The Koran

8. One book you're currently reading:
Milly-Molly-Mandie Stories by Joyce Lankester Brisley

9. One book you've been meaning to read:
The Pleasantness of a Religious Life: A Puritan's view of the Good Life by Matthew Henry

10. Now tag four people:

Yvonne James -
Mike Jolly -
Natasha -
Deb -



How kindly God has thwarted me,
so that I might learn to glory in disappointments.
Robert Murray McCheyne

A couple of weeks ago, as I travelled in the Huon valley in Tasmania at sunset, I was amazed at the beauty of the country. The green-blue hills had snippets of pure white cloud clinging between their peaks. Above the sky was golden. I was listening to the hymn "Oh Lord of Hosts How Lovely". This hymn speaks of the beauty of heaven, the loveliness of God's dwelling place. As I looked out over what God has given me here and now, I marvelled over how much more lovely heaven will be. An unimagineable state of perfect contentment, perfect worship, perfect peace, perfect beauty.

I believe that when life on earth is a struggle, as it usually is at times, we are more likely to look to heaven. I well remember after one particularly difficult medico-legal appointment for my back problem, expressing to Mum the joy of the hope we have beyond this life. As I said to her, imagine going through this with no hope after this life! I know that one reason why God gives me so much physical pain is to remind me of heaven. To remind me of the loveliness of the life beyond. Of the life where there is no sickness or pain. Nor, wonder of wonders, will there be any tears. No tears over relationship problems, physical pain, discontentment, frustration, or anger. No tears at all. When I think of how much more my pain makes me long for heaven, I am reminded that there are reasons for it and God is working what is good. When God thwarts me, it is always kindly. It is always to make me look to him, and to the life beyond this one.

My friend Christina has written a beautiful song about heaven. I love it very much. I often listen to it over and over again.

Thy road is a narrow one
Hard to follow, hard to run
And my goal I cannot see
It is far away from me
I press on in hope of glory
In hope of lasting life
Heaven's highway is my road
Heaven's country is my goal
This road has a heavy cost
I am broken, I am lost
Lord send help I be besige
or my goal I'll never reach
Jesus comes all clothed in glory
Bearing hope and giving life
I have found the surest rest
Carry me upon your breast

His road is a lovely one
It is walked by God's own son
When I find the way too long
He sustains me with his song
Jesus' presence is my glory
All my hope of lasting life
Heaven's highway is my road
Jesus' glory is my goal
His road is a lovely one
It is walked by God's own Son
When I find the way too long
He sustains me with his song
Jesus' presence is my glory
All my hope of lasting life
Heaven's highway is my road
Jesus' glory is my goal

Check out Christina's web site to read about her, listen to snippets of music, and order CDs. This wonderful song is from the "Christina's World" CD. Christina has been travelling internationally playing the harp and singing. She was also recently featured in Australian Country Style (July issue).

Other posts on the topic of suffering include:

A guest post from my Mum

9-7-99 in the providence of God
Memories of Friends
Let God’s Mercy be Joy to You
God’s Mercy to Me
Kindly Thwarted


On Marriage

Warning: ridiculously long post ahead! I would have cut it up into several posts, but the computer will not allow me to cut and paste while using blogger and I've written it all now! I have lots of section headings, so you may want to read a bit and then come back to the next section later. I won't be posting again for a few days.

The situation

The other day the lady I board with told me she thought it would be good for me to meet her next door neighbour. She has only talked to him over the fence, but she figured he might be a good person for me. I am not sure why . . . perhaps because he is young and possibly single? I wonder if this sort of desperate match making is a sign I'm heading toward the age where everyone is always trying to get you to "meet" Mr. x, y, or z. I love to meet new people, but I prefer it if they have more to recommend them than "he seems nice to talk to over the fence."

This year I have spent more time laughing about being single, and probably more time crying about it, than ever before! I wonder if those two things - laughing and crying - are related? I have had more discontent moments in the past few months than any I remember for a long time. I find this very frustrating in myself, because I strongly believe in being content in whatever state you are in. Believing I should be content and being content are two different things! I have also felt like I'm heading toward the sort of discontented single thoughts that I've been quite intolerant of in others in the past, which is most disconcerting! Plus I get scared I am just too weird for anyone to want to marry. What is coming over me, that is what I want to know! Is it the weather, the location, the biological clock?? Hopefully I'll recover soon.

With marriage, or the lack of it, on the mind I figured it is a good time to publish some of my thoughts on the topic.

I'm no expert

Firstly, I'd like to say that any wisdom you find in this blog post is solely a result of the Holy Spirit's work in my life. I feel like one of the most unwise people imagineable in these areas.

In the past I've only had ridiculous and sinful relationships, of which it is safe to say I have no good memories. I have not gone out with anyone since I was 18. (Going out is a common term for being boyfriend/girlfriend or dating over here in Australia - I'm not sure about the USA). I am now 24. The relationships I did have basically involved going out with whoever wanted me and happened to be around. I was very insecure, and just wanted to have a boyfriend. None of these relationships lasted long, but they have left me with little purity. At the time, I thought similarly to the young people Nickey described in her comment on this post. She wrote: I have been scanning some articles lately and apperantly, many of the “chaste” youth of today have a Clinton-defined view of sex and believe they are free to do anything they please except v* intercourse and remain pure virgins. This attitude certainly can not make for a healthy marriage, no matter what age that comes at. For months after my salvation I continued to believe this, and continued to behave as I had done before. I now deeply regret all those relationships, as purity certainly does not survive in such circumstances.

Travelling to the altar

I have read several books on courship vs. dating, etc. My faourite is Boy Meets Girl by Joshua Harris. However, I have not read it for years. I also have friends who hold strong views on these things. However, I can't say my views are clear cut or that they fit into a box. Here are some of the principles I believe apply:

1. Relationships should only be entered into if both people are considering marriage. Going out is a time to consider whether or not you are compatible and want to make a life long committment. It is not just a time to hang around aimlessly! I am not suggesting that I need to be confident the person is "the one" before I go out with them. Nor am I suggesting that I want to discuss marriage on the first date (or even the second, third, or fourth)! I am suggesting it would be foolish to go out with someone whom I know I could not marry, even if I like them. I also believe it is important to end the relationship as soon as possible if, after I know the person better, it becomes clear that I do not want it to lead to marriage.

2. Listen to others. It is a good idea to ask others about how they see your relationship, and whether they think a person is good for you. Courtship principles strongly emphasise involving your parents in the process. I think this idea has a lot of merit. However, it also does not have to follow a certain pattern that is often prescribed in those books. My father is not a Christian, and he has no intention of taking an active role in helping me with relationships. Therefore, the best I can do is listen when he does comment. I also find that at times I need to be very discerning about what he does have to say. My father and brothers can be very harsh at times. As I said to a brother once after he told me I was "spinster material" (and I think he was actually serious!) "I'm so glad my father and brothers don't determine my destiny". While it is good to listen to others, it is important to put what they say in the perspective of faith and God's word.

3. Be yourself. I wrote about this here. I want someone to like me for who I am.

4. In a relationship, set clear standards with regard to physical contact. I am sure I would need this!

5. Don't expect things to be perfect. Some people seem to think that if they can only hit on the right method of courtship, it will all be beautiful. They think that they'll be able to avoid hurts and sail to the altar. However, there is no method that guarantees this. Relationships are risky.

6. Know someone as a friend first. I would want to be friends with someone long enough to have a fairly good idea of what their life's vision is and what their habits are before considering courtship. I am not sure how long this would take - it would depend how much I saw the person, and in what situations. I expect that it would take a couple of months at least. There are some things you cannot know about a person before going out with them, no matter how long you have known each other.

Considering the type of person you are looking for

The kind the Bible says

I once asked my sister-in-law what kind of man she thought I should marry. She answered: “The kind the Bible says”. What a great answer! It was one I had never considered before, even though it seems obvious now. The Bible gives ideas about what a godly man or woman looks like. For example, Proverbs teaches that it is best to avoid women without discretion and men who are angry. Titus two teaches that the qualities of sober-mindedness in a man and discretion in a woman are to be desired. I could go on and on . . .

No one is going to perfectly fulfil Biblical ideals. The key is humility. A humble person recognises the authority of God’s word in these areas, and sees his or her own weaknesses and sins. A humble person is teachable and willing to repent. This is why, in my opinion, the number one characteristic for a person is humility. With humility, all other changes are possible through God’s grace. Without it, your partner will continually ask you to change whilst being unable or unwilling to see personal sin.

I believe my first priority should be to seek God to change me in conformity with his will, not to see if others measure up to my ideals. Frankly, when I think about what is required of a godly wife I feel completely inadequate! It is only through God's grace that any of this can be achieved.

Purposes of marriage

In addition to different attributes God gives that indicate a godly man or woman, the Bible also tells us the purposes of marriage.

* In the first few chapters of Genesis, God tells us that man needs a helper in his dominion mandate. The dominion mandate is linked to having kids. As John MacArthur wrote in The Battle for the Beginning, a man specifically needs a helper to be able to multiply since he obviously can’t do it on his own (Genesis 1:28). I think MacArthur emphasised this because he wanted to point out that men don't just need a helper to do the dishes! As well as helping a man to have children, a wife is to be her husband's primary helper in his life's mission. She is to do everything she can to make his life easier and more productive, and to help him grow.

* God wants human beings to have companionship (Genesis 2:18).

* God instituted marriage because “He seeks godly offspring” (Malachi 2:15).

* Marriage fulfils sexual desire lawfully (1 Corinthians 7).

* Marriage is the relationship in which to enjoy sex and romance (Song of Songs).

* Couples can minister together and open their home for hospitality and other church activities. The New Testament records couples doing this.

* Marriage displays Christ’s relationship with His church (Ephesians 5).

There may be other purposes that I have studied. Before I married someone, I would want to be in agreement with him about what God's purposes for marriage are. If we were not in agreement, I think the marriage would not be on a strong foundation of God's word.

Roles within marriage

The Bible also has much to say about the roles of men and women within marriage. Due to the pervasive influence of feminism in the church, many people reject God ordained roles. They are offensive to the egalitarian mindset of our time. From my study, I believe the Bible makes several role distinctions. Men are to lead, and carry the responsibility before God for the spiritual welfare of their wives and households. Women are to submit to this leadership. Men have the main responsibility for financial provision, while women have the main responsibility for day-to-day childcare and domestic concerns. This does not mean husband should never assist his wife with household duties, or that a wife should never pursue paid employment. It is simply an indication of who holds the central responsibilities for these things. As with the purposes of marriage, I would want to be able to agree with a man on the roles within marriage before agreeing to marry him.

Personal convictions

In addition to these core things, most of us have personal theological or practical convictions that should impinge upon our choices. These will vary from person to person. For example, I see a belief that the Genesis account is literal history as foundational to my faith. The doctrine of God’s sovereignty is also important to me. I would not consider marrying someone who did not share these beliefs. I also have strong beliefs against hormonal birth control, due to my research on this matter, which I wrote of here. Therefore, I would not want to marry someone who wanted me to use this type of birth control. I could list a few other things, but I’m sure you get the gist! If I knew, for example, that a person was a theistic evolutionist I would not even considering going out with them. It would not matter how much I personally liked them.

Personal preferences

As well as personal convictions that are so strong they are faily non-negotiable, most of us have preferences about what we'd like. Some people love going on long hikes, and really want someone to do that with. If so, someone like me with a serious back problem is not going to be ideal for them. I have some preferences related to children. I'd like to have at least four kids (biological or adopted), and I'd like to adopt at least one child from another country. However, these preferences are not on the same level as convictions. The events of life itself could dictate that preferences do not occur, even if both the husband and the wife are in agreement.

Deciding what is important to you

One of the reasons I wrote all this is because I thought it could help others think through deciding what is important to them. You may differ from me in what you think the Bible has to say about the purposes of marriage, or the roles with in it. You likely have different convictions and preferences that you would rate as most important. The most important thing is that you know what you believe, and base your beliefs on the Bible.


After all this, you have to actually like the person . . . or preferably fall in love! If that all seems impossible, as it does to me often, remember that we serve a big God who loves to see his people happy and functioning effectively for his kingdom. Compromising on his word, or on things that are deeply important to you, is not what he desires. I often pray that God will show me what is truly important. I don’t want to have ridiculous standards, and I don’t think that I do. However, some things I believe are not the norm and it requires faith to believe that God can provide someone who feels similarly or at least does not oppose my views.

I hope this explanation of some of my thoughts on marriage has you thinking, and looking to God’s word. I also hope that you will share your thoughts in the comments section, as I would love to receive any wisdom you have to offer! I know I need it!


Cataract Gorge

In Launceston, one of my favourite places to visit is Cataract Gorge. These pictures were taken way back in May, but as usual I did not have time to upload them until now! The Gorge boasts the longest single span chair lift in the world. The first two pictures were taken while I was on the chair lift.

When I go to the Gorge, I usually walk around the basin, including over the bridge pictured here. It is only a short drive from where I live, and a wonderful place to walk.

The Gorge is home to many peacocks.

Early in May the colours were spectacular. I am a great lover of autumn, so I was thrilled that God enabled me to visit the Gorge for the first time just when the leaves seemed at their best!

I visited at just the right time, because on my second visit the leaves were all gone!

My third visit to the Gorge was with Mum and Dad. They look very cute here, don't you think?

I will soon loose count of my visits to the Gorge, I am sure, because I keep going there for my walks. I am blessed to live close to such beauty.


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