Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Homosexuality and Marriage. . . my perspective

I know that today is a big day in the courts for the topic of equality in marriage for non-traditional couples.  However,  I have actually spent a lot of time over the past year thinking about homosexuality in general and what the Bible really says about it.  I have always been taught that homosexuality is wrong, and I have always believed it based on what I have read in the Bible.  However, I think it is good sometimes to take a step back from the beliefs we take for granted and to ask ourselves, "If I were to pursue this issue from a completely blank slate, what would I think about it?"  So, I began to ask myself, "What do all the Christians who believe homosexuality is sanctioned in the Bible have to say about it?"  I pondered.  I read.  I prayed.  I talked to others.  I realized along the way that one of the motivating sources for me in this pursuit was that I do not want to be closed-minded (or maybe more importantly, be seen as closed-minded).  I think that the idea of closed-mindedness is one that is particularly looked down upon in current culture.  I wanted to be open and accepting to others' ideas and ways of thinking about things.  So, I tried to entertain the thoughts on homosexuality and the teachings of Christianity being reconcilable.  Long story short, I ultimately realized that as much as I want to be open-minded, I just can't ignore some of the things the Bible has to say, and I feel that I was really seeking God's voice in this.  I couldn't ignore his voice, above all things.  As much as I wish there was a way to make homosexuality okay in regards to the teachings of the Bible, I just can't find truth there. 

That being said, you would think that I would then be opposed to the legalization of same-sex marriage.  However, quite the opposite is true.  The argument for the conservative Christian view is generally that it violates the structure of what God intended marriage to be: that it was made for one man and one woman.  Anything else is an abomination.  However, let's consider what our country's secular view of marriage is, even if only the traditional union of a male and female.  You need look no further than Hollywood or even your non-christian co-workers/friends to get an idea of what marriage means today (here are only a few):

Marriage should make you happy.  If it doesn't make you happy, you should find something else that will.  (Eat, pray, love)

You know you should get married when you have never felt this way about someone before.  This person fills you with joy.  Your feelings are trustworthy, and will always give you direction as to how you should pursue a relationship.

Marriage is part of the American dream.  If you're not married, something might be wrong with you.  Why does no one want you?  You must make yourself as attractive and available as possible so that someone will want to marry you.

It's okay to keep some things from your spouse.  If you cheat on them, and they never find out and you are really sorry, it's okay not to tell them.  What they don't know won't hurt them.

The most important part of marriage is how you portray yourselves as a couple to the world.  If you have enough money, are attractive, and have beautiful children, that will all be more important than your actual relationship with your spouse.

I could go on and on about how our society's view of marriage is skewed.  But here is the core idea:  marriage is actually a very selfish act if you have not first found a right relationship with Jesus Christ.  ONLY He can fill you.  If you seek to fill yourself with another person and how they make you feel, you will be sorely disappointed.  It is no different than seeking happiness in a drug or success in a job or your favorite activity.  So the core issue here is not, "Are you marrying someone of your same gender or of the opposite sex?"  But rather, "Have you entered into a relationship with Christ?"  Only those who know Christ will be able to pursue a marriage relationship that is truly what God intended.  He intended marriage to show us more of what our relationship is to Christ.  He intended marriage to teach us how to serve one another.  I think he also delights in the joy we find in another human being.  However, I think the ultimate purpose of marriage is to make us more Christ-like.  After all, that is the goal of every obstacle or situation we face in life as a Christian.

So, rather than being concerned that this bill will pass and that the state of marriage will slip into a deep moral depression in our country, I think we should be grieved that it already has!  A poor conception of marriage has long since been used by Satan to wreak havoc in peoples' lives.   Regardless of what our country chooses to legally recognize as a marriage, people who do not know Christ will ALWAYS enter into it with a poor understanding of what its true purpose is, whether or not they are gay. 

I feel like most Christians just feel that "this is not right!"  Marriage is between a man and a woman!  How can you allow it to be otherwise!  However, the simple union of a man and a woman hardly can be counted as a true Christian understanding of marriage.  It is so much more.  Our first concern should be peoples' hearts.   The legalization of gay marriage does nothing to change how I will love, pray for, and reach out to all my friends who do not know Jesus. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pregnancy Update: 13 weeks

I just finished typing this post, and then it somehow got deleted!  So frustrating!  I don't want to re-type everything, so here is a quick summary:

Everything is still going well.  The nausea has stopped, but the fatigue is worse than ever.  I rarely feel like I have the energy or motivation to clean or cook or anything.  Thankfully, the weather is nice right now, so I have taken the girls outside on a walk and to the playground the past few days.  I can't wait for all the winter weather to be done and gone!  I have been craving red meat, fruit (especially citrus.  I can eat lemons by themselves), salads, and dairy.  I also get the occasional craving for something strange- like nachos from taco bell.   Two weeks ago, I had gained 2 lbs.  I have no idea how much I will gain total.  I asked my doctor what to expect.  He said that since I gained 30-35 lbs. my last pregnancy, that it would be great if I gained around 40 lbs. or even fewer this time.  I guess he is not real big on lots of weight gain!  I had read somewhere that, for an ideal twin pregnancy, you should gain 26 lbs. in the first 26 weeks.  He did not really agree with this idea though, saying I should try to keep the weight gain down right now since it will come on a lot more quickly later.  I guess he just says this since some people take pregnancy as a license to eat whatever they want whenever they want.  I wish he would seem a little more laid back about this topic, but oh well.  He is a great doctor, and I am thankful to have him care for me during this pregnancy.

I wanted to post some ultrasound pictures and one of me and the growing belly.  I didn't really post pictures like this the last few pregnancies.  I wanted to document it a little more this time, especially since it is twins.  It will be funny to compare my size this time around to old pictures of me at the same gestation.

These are the inner membranes that encase the babies.  There is a small divider between the two of them which will remain there the entire pregnancy.  The outer membrane, though, is one and the same, which makes it easy to tell (if you are a doctor) they are identical.

The two littles at 9 weeks.
The two littles at 11 weeks.  This picture looks kind of funny, but you can tell they are growing!

Baby #1 at 11 weeks.  Head on far left.  You can see a little hand close to the face.  Do they suck their thumbs at this point?

Baby #2 at 11 weeks.  It is easier to see the facial profile here.  You can see a little foot sticking up on the far left.
Me at 13 weeks.  Taking pictures of yourself is always a challenge.  Do you smile or not?  If you do, it looks wierd because you are smiling to the side.  Anyway, you can see a little pooch there!  Although, I think it was already kind of there before I was even pregnant.