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David Lipe on Marriage

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

This morning I was able to attend a lecture given by one of my instructors from my days at Freed-Hardeman, David Lipe.  I thought I’d share a quote for those of you that are familiar with his wisdom and wit:

Getting married is like dying–once you do it, you’re supposed to stay that way.

Although it may not be original with him, another saying that Dr. Lipe is fond of is,

When your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall!

Brings back memories.

Parents That Stay Together

Monday, November 12th, 2007

My daughter does this new thing when we’re sitting in church. She’ll sit between my wife and me and hook one arm around my arm and the other around my wife’s. Then she pulls us together as close as she can. It’s a cozy arrangement for her, and I have to admit that I like it too.

When I think about how she intertwines our three bodies together in this way, it reminds me of an important principle related to parenting. New parents are tempted to make their lives about the kids. This is easy to do. Children are helpless creatures–especially the babies–and require a lot of attention. But if the children come first, mom and dad lose touch with one another. The next thing they know, they’re having trouble. At best, their marriage is strained. At worst, their marriage ends.

The best thing parents can do for their children is love each other. Kids want this more than anything else. Maybe that’s what my little girl was trying to tell her parents yesterday morning in church, I don’t know. Just in case, I better plan a date with my wife soon.

Television Vows

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

Sooner or later a television sitcom about a married couple will do an episode where the main characters renew their wedding vows. You don’t have to watch re-runs very long to catch one of these shows. I saw one the other day. The vows recited in that episode were as sappy and empty as others I had seen on previous occasions. They went something like this:

We met ten years ago, and you were selfish, needy, and high-maintenance. At the same time, I could see through all of that to a sweetness that I believe characterizes the real you. That’s the part of you I fell in love with. I’m still in love with you today.

I’m not saying this is the exact script for all TV vows, but it’s a good representation. It’s informal, irreverent, shallow, and sweet. Worst of all, it does not contain a promise.

According to the dictionary, a vow is “a solemn promise, pledge, or personal commitment.” Every marriage should begin with vows because it is important for a couple to pledge love, dedication, faithfulness, and honesty to one another. Without a commitment to these virtues a marriage cannot survive.

It is not surprising to see a perversion of wedding vows on television. After all, no other outlet has done more damage to traditional family values.

The frightening thing is that this trend is creeping into actual weddings. A number of preachers these days encourage young couples to write their own vows. I don’t have a problem with that, as long as the preacher reserves the right to amend the vows when they fail to include the pledges I mentioned above. The preacher has the responsibility of starting marriages off on the right foot. Shallow, meaningless vows lead couples in the wrong direction.

If you’re looking for marital advice, the idiot box is the wrong place.