Thursday, May 26, 2011

Whispers of Lucifer: The lips of a PhD, part I

Having lots of letters behind your name and being held in high esteem by your colleagues and peers does not exempt you from saying silly things. That's one reason I appreciated non-science guy, Kirk Cameron, calling Dr. Stephen Hawking on the carpet for his assertion that there is no heaven, and I added my two cents on my other blog, Ripples Across the Pond. So when a PhD joins Cameron Diaz in saying marriage is dead, rubes like me need to stick up a paw, clear our throats, and disagree.

Dr. Keith Ablow's resume garners immediate attention. He co-authored a best-seller with Glenn Beck. Yeah, that Glenn Beck. He's a member of Fox News' medical A-Team. Name a talk show and he's been on it. So when he talks, people listen. That's why when he speaks contrary to God's word, we need to have a response as to why he's off his rocker.

In his article sounding the death knell for marriage, he brings up some very good points and draws some very bad conclusions. How do we respond to these things because husbands will be attacked on each of these points? Let's dive in. He starts like this.
Well, I’m not certain marriage ever did suit most people who tried it. 
Yikes. Where to begin? Let's try, "Marriage isn't a suit to try on but a commitment to make." It's a vow unbroken before God and man, an institution created by God for the good of his creatures. He makes marriage sound like brussel sprouts. I tried 'em. I hate 'em. Period. In no uncertain terms. I guess I'm not suited for brussel sprouts. That's not marriage! Marriage is a day by day promise that I make to my bride regardless of her conduct toward me. I love her.

He continues,
From what I hear in my psychiatry office, and from what I hear from other psychiatrists and psychologists, and from what my friends and relatives tell me and show me through their behavior, and from the fact that most marriages end either in divorce or acrimony, marriage is (as it has been for decades now) a source of real suffering for the vast majority of married people.
In case he'd missed it, labor causes suffering, too, but in the end, it yields a baby. My son gets his wisdom teeth out this afternoon. Guess who's going to be suffering, but guess whose teeth will thank him in the decades to come? We have this deluded notion that suffering is bad. An athlete must suffer great physical duress if he is going to attain the pinnacle of his sport. Watch the NHL or the NBA playoffs going on right now and in a matter of moments you'll understand that everyone of these gents have busted their heinies to get to this point. Ah, but the rewards of success! Anyone who thinks the fruits of a good marriage are to be attained without toil is delusional and likely pretty bummed about his marriage.

What else?

As a healer, I can’t help looking askance at anything that depletes energy, optimism, mood and passion to the extent that marriage does. It is, without a doubt, one of the leading causes of major depression in the nation.
Depleted energy? Dude, that's life! Optimism? Mood? Passion? Get your head out of the Hollywood sand! Optimism is a choice. Glass half empty? Glass half full? Your choice. Is what has befallen you a blessing or a curse? Your choice! What's your mood? Are you grumpy? Your choice. Frisky? Your choice. If I merely reacted to stimuli in the world around me, I would be a machine or little better, a plant. But I am a volitional human being created in the image of God and therefore I have choice.

Your marriage in the passion pit? Bubba, it's your fault. Make your marriage passionate. Lead your bride. Rekindle the embers of your first love. As the pages slide off of the marital calendar, that initial passion, what the Bible calls eros ("erotic"-- get it?), wanes and must be worked at. Nobody feels the same kinetic energy when they hold the hand of their bride of fifty years than the day they first touched. If and when they do, it is because they have worked at it. You want passion in your marriage? Then be passionate.

Here's the big problem with Ablow's ideas. He believes marriage to be passive. It all should just happen. God calls us to love our wives. There is no greater action word than that.

Like everything in life and like everything worthwhile, marriage is hard!  There will be "real suffering." Certainly it will deplete your energy, sometimes in a good way. From time to time, it will bring discouragement and depression. But the good it will bring to you and your spouse, the blessings it will lavish upon your children, and the strength it will give to our communities and our nation are without measure (Galatians 6:9).

A great marriage comes about because man and woman will have persevered through the storms and trenches in obedience to God and his word because they trusted that he knew what he was doing. The years of commitment bring about a deeper friendship, fellowship, friskiness and fealty than can ever be after a few weeks of smooth seas.

Stay the course despite the mad ravings of a renowned PhD. It takes a while for fruit to grow, but grow it will and sweet will be its taste.

More dismantling to follow...

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