Tag Archives: marriage

Date Rose Collaboration

Date ideas can be hard.

After one of our first fateful dates my wife Tara and I decided that we were both artsy folk, that it would be fun to do some drawing together.

We grabbed a large drawing pad, a few different pencils and laid down in the living room of her large victorian home. We looked for an object that both of us would have fun drawing, that would allow our differing styles to flourish.

We found it.

A rose.

We giggled and flirted as we drew. We would comment on how different our styles were. Tara would criticize her version relentlessly as I would try to convince her voraciously of her innate talent.

Thank God that she kept those drawings, strewn on that large piece of paper.

11 years later and we are married, we’ve collaborated on many works of art; the two best ones are named Josiah and Malachi.

Years ago Tara decided to frame our work. It it is one of our most cherished earthly possessions.

The personal treasure hangs in our stairwell.

I see it every morning and I smile.






Your Spouse MUST have Access to all of Your Online Accounts

A few days ago I had an opportunity to teach a seminar on Social Media for a group of teenagers. I am constantly stymied at how the internet, along with all its tentacles of apps and connectivity, is plugging into our lives and bit by bit; piece by piece is taking over.

The smartphones that many of those teenagers own are almost the equivalent of that person’s soul being carried around outside their body, protected by an Otterbox case. If you think that I’m wrong try to take a cell phone off of a kid. One time when I had to confiscate a phone from a student who was abusing it, she ripped open the back of the pink envy phone, covered in sequins and glitter, pulled the battery out and put the shiny grey item down her pants so that nobody could access the deep recesses of her inner being……or her photo reel, while it was in the possession of adults.

As I was talking to the group I made many controversial statements (as is my custom) however one elicited a response that I wasn’t ready for.

When I firmly stated “In the future, when you get married, your spouse MUST have access to all of your social media accounts at ALL times” many of the middleschoolers mouths fell open in flagrant disbelief, as if I had asked them to cut off an arm or gouge out their right eye.

I have seen far too many marriage relationships get wrecked by old high school sweethearts who creep into their lives through late night messages, promising an escape from the mundanacity of monogamy and before they know it they are rendezvousing with their old flame in some seedy motel outside the view of the community, while their spouse rocks their newborn to sleep wondering how that business meeting went so very late.

A few days ago my wife and I got matching iPhones, an event that’s been long overdue. At the advice of a trusted friend we decided to share the same iTunes account and thus EVERYTHING on our smartphones. We share the same calendar and contacts. In the middle of the day, after iCloud has synced I am pleasantly surprised to find pictures of my boys playing on the couch together, or odd pictures of my Pug wearing wigs or glasses; pictures that I did not take. There is even an app that allows us to know where each other’s phone is on a digital map at all times of the day or night, just by clicking a button.

Somebody told me that this was creepy; I however believe that it’s how things ought be in married life.

If I need to hide it from my wife, I shouldn’t be doing it.

We are one flesh in the eyes of God; it would do us well to live as such online as well.

The Offense of the New Alternative Lifestyle

I was recently asked to be a chaperone at a local High School dance.  When I arrived at the school the teacher heading up the volunteers passed out papers detailing our various responsibilities.  One of the parents asked that the term “no inappropriate dancing” be more specifically defined.  The short answer given was “no twerking.”

Ah yes…..Twerking, the nefarious disease that is ravaging the landscape of high school dances all over this once great country.  A dance move that has become exponentially more popular since the escapades of former childhood star turned shock princess Miley “defiler of foam fingers” Cyrus at the MTV VMAs a few months back.

Think about the word:  Twerking.  Before learning what it truly was it elicited images of drug use, rabid convulsions,  and oddly enough Twitter, in my mind.  I would find out that it was an evil far more terrifying.

Thank you Miley for bestowing this “gift” upon us.

Today I saw that my favorite pastor’s daughter turned contemporary sex symbol Katy Perry had recently collaborated with Miley; however it wasn’t for a poppy new hit single.  It was and image harkening back to the days of Katy’s song “I kissed a girl and I liked it.”

Yup.  Miley and Katy kissed……


I’m honestly neither shocked, nor angry, nor surprised, nor hurt.  For better or worse I am indifferent.  I’ve come to expect these things in my newsfeed.  It’s just so…..normal.

Then I saw an article that piqued my interest: “David Wise’s alternative lifestyle leads to Olympic gold.”  I began to read about the 23 year old husband and father:

“At such a young age, Wise has the lifestyle of an adult. He wears a Baby Bjorn baby carrier around the house. He also attends church regularly and says he could see himself becoming a pastor a little later down the road.”

My heart leapt for joy!   When did living as a devoted, religious, married young, father become alternative?  Can we “boring” Christians start claiming the title “alternative lifestyle”?  Have our ways become so alien that we are legitimately alternative?  As somebody who has lived most of his life on the outside of contemporary social protocol I am delighted.

Can I feel rebellious as I am changing diapers and cleaning up vomit while listening to John Piper preach through the book of Romans (I only have 149 more hours to go)?

A few years back I performed the wedding of a very young couple.  Both loved Jesus ardently and after a decent period of dating they asked me to marry them.  “Unfortunately” they were both only 21.

I was thoroughly shocked to hear all of the doubt and criticism thrown their direction.  You would have thought I was officiating a wedding between 13 year olds.  People were legitimately upset; they were far too young and hadn’t experienced enough of life yet.  Family members pulled me aside to petition me to not do the wedding.  They hadn’t even lived together yet!  Had they dated enough other people to even be sure they wanted to be together?  What if boredom sets in later and they cheat on each other?  What about finances?  What if they had a kid?

I am pleased to report that their crazy idea has worked out thus far.

I can’t help but wonder if the “alternative” is where Christians belong.   Isn’t there something intriguing to the idea of avoiding the normative?  What if Power, Money and Sex aren’t our idols?

There may be more authenticity in being on the outside.

I for one enjoy feeling like a rebel.