Scaffolding

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“Masons, when they start upon a building,
Are careful to test out the scaffolding;

Make sure that planks won’t slip at busy points,
Secure all ladders, tighten bolted joints.

And yet all this comes down when the job’s done
Showing off walls of sure and solid stone.

So if, my dear, there sometimes seem to be
Old bridges breaking between you and me

Never fear. We may let the scaffolds fall
Confident that we have built our wall.”

– Seamus Heaney, “Scaffolding” in Opened Ground: Selected Poems 1966–1996

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Amazed at the Hubris

“Just who do we think we are?”
“The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment… The Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are?”
– Chief Justice John Roberts

“[The majority] has discovered in the Fourteenth Amendment a ‘fundamental right’ overlooked by every person alive at the time of ratification, and almost everyone else in the time since…”
“But what really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial Putsch. The five Justices who compose today’s majority are entirely comfortable concluding that every State violated the Constitution for all of the 135 years between the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification and Massachusetts’ permitting of same-sex marriages in 2003. They have discovered in the Fourteenth Amendment a “fundamental right” overlooked by every person alive at the time of ratification, and almost everyone else in the time since… These Justices know that limiting marriage to one man and one woman is contrary to reason; they know that an institution as old as government itself, and accepted by every nation in history until 15 years ago, cannot possibly be supported by anything other than ignorance or bigotry. And they are willing to say that any citizen who does not agree with that, who adheres to what was, until 15 years ago, the unanimous judgment of all generations and all societies, stands against the Constitution.”
– Justice Scalia

For more see Top 10 Quotes from the Dissenting Judges on Same-Sex Marriage

A Lifelong Flame

“Many marriages built on emotional chemistry that ignore the importance of shared values do not last. After the flames of passion fade, they are left with a mate that doesn’t want what they want or value what they value.

For those who chose mates based on shared values and commitments, the chemistry is more than just a flare which quickly goes out. It is a spark which is fanned into a lifelong flame.”

– William M. Struthers, Wired for Intimacy (Downers Grove: IVP, 2009), 168,

photo: A Askew

The Decision to Marry

“The decision to marry somebody isn’t about maintaining an emotional high. It’s about making a wise decision. The wisdom of that decision is based on choosing someone to marry that you will love not only in their strengths, but you’ll be prepared to love and minister to in their weaknesses. Then, conversely, a wise decision is choosing somebody who will love you not just in the fun moments and in your strengths, but will minister to you and love you in your weakness. That’s a [wise] decision.”

– Winston Smith in a 9marks interview on Premarital Counseling, Pornography and Marriage.

photo: quan ha

On Defining Marital Love

“Real love means unconditional commitment to an imperfect person.”
– H. Norman Wright, The Premarital Counseling Handbook (Chicago: Moody, 1977), 146.

“Love is a learned emotional reaction… One does not fall in or out of love; one grows in love.”
– Leo Buscaglia, Love (Thorofare, N.J.: Slack, 1972), pp. 61-62.

photo: PV KS

Marriage: Profound But Not Ultimate

What strikes the reader is both that this is a ‘one flesh’ relationship, and also that it is a ‘one flesh’ relationship. A ‘one flesh’ union is unparalleled in human relationships, which argues for the uniqueness of the marital bond – a point already established. But, additionally, any union defined in terms of flesh must be acknowledged to be less than ultimate in nature. It extends for the full length of this mortal life, but it cannot transcend this life. Marriage, therefore, is the deepest human relationship, but not even this relationship qualifies as a final experience… There comes a day when every married man, stripped of everything he cherishes in this life, must let go even of his beloved wife’s hand. Marriage is profound, but not ultimate.

Ray Ortlund, God’s Unfaithful Wife, New Studies in Biblical Theology, Ed. D.A. Carson (Downers Grove: IVP, 2002), 23.