Friday, July 27, 2007!

I've recently learned that the Catholic church does not recognize two Catholics as married unless they were married in the church by a priest. They may have been married in a civil ceremony or even in another church by another minister, but they will not recognize Catholics married in this way at all. Their marriages simply don't exist.

So, as I've come to learn this, I began to wonder if Coptic churches shared the same rules. Realizing that they are two totally separate churches, I also realize that they do have a few things in common. So, I asked my cousin (a Coptic Christian married to Mr. Free's Pentecostal cousin) if this was the case and, sure nuff, it is.

She also told me that, since she was divorced from her first husband, she is no longer able to sit in the first several pews of church, nor is she able to partake in some of the activities that go on during the service (I think she said communion, but she told me this a long time ago and I'll have to double check the details) because she is now hellbound according to them.


I'm not sure about Coptics, but any Catholics married outside of church can have their marriages convalidated by having a second ceremony in church and officiated by a priest. Unless and until they do, their marriages are not valid and they are seen as living in sin. Now, I don't mean to pass judgment or anything, but I can't help but to think of how wild this is. To me, this is a classic example of a church adding to the word of Yahweh. For nowhere in scripture does it say that a ceremony is even required, much less does it say where one must take place and that any man (priest or otherwise) must preside over a ceremony in order for it to be valid.

To their credit, however, they don't seem to put all of the emphasis on the existence of marriage on a contract like other churches do (except the Quakers and Amish, who we'll get to later).

Until I was about 12 years old, I was raised in the Catholic church. Went to Catholic school, mass, took communion...the whole nine. However, as I was thinking about this last night...and I'll have to verify this with my mother...I began to think about my own parent's marriage. I don't think they were married in a church. If I'm recalling correctly, I was told they were married in a civil ceremony while my father was in the service. If this is the case, then I'm actually a bastard (according to the Catholic church of which I am no longer a member) since my civilly married parents were just living in sin according to the church. At 40 years old, I'm just now figuring this out, lol.

Seriously, I don't mean to make light of this, but I just cannot understand how mankind has taken something so basic and pure, and managed to turn it into something so complicated and tainted. Marriage has been totally taken out of its purest realm and man has placed so many stipulations and false conditions on it until it's no longer even recognizable in its original form.



NOTE: To any Catholics or Coptic Christians reading this: I don't mean to bash...I just don't understand, nor do I agree. If you can explain this to me, using scripture, please feel free to comment or email me at

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Is Biblical Marriage A Constitutional Right?

Still thinking about the bill in South Dakota which led to the repeal of the Anti-Cohabitation law there. In a nutshell, before it was repealed, if two people lived together without being married, they were fine. However, if they said they were married, but did not have a state marriage license, they were criminals. Unfortunately, though, this law has yet to be repealed in a few other states.

The U.S. Constitution says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Now, some of us believe in straight biblical marriage where the state's permission is not needed. I've even met some who believe it would be downright sinful for them to involve the state in their marriage. My issue is, for those of us who practice our religious beliefs about marriage and do not choose to partake of secular marriage...for us to then be told that we MUST do so in order for that marriage to be recognized...well, isn't that prohibiting our free exercise of religion? Isn't that a violation of our constitutional rights? In my state, no such law exists that says two must partake of secular marriage, but in the states where this is the law, there seems to be a serious violation of constitutional rights going on.

Is it just me or can you see this too?



Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Legal Shacking

It has recently occurred to me that many legal marriages today equate to nothing more than legal shacking. For those of you who've never heard the term "shacking", it's also called living in sin...basically, living together without the benefit of marriage.

Now shacking is frowned upon by most religious folk. But it's not only the religious who condemn it. Many who've never stepped foot in a church or who rarely, if ever, open the pages of a holy book believe shacking to be immoral, unstable and outright stupid, especially for women.

For the record, I don't believe in shacking either. Despite my feelings about legal marriage, I hope I've expressed here that I'm not anti-marriage, but exactly the opposite. I'm for true, biblical marriage without unnecessary permission or approval from state government.

However, it appears to me that many people who have gotten married have only done so to legalize their shacking. Some of the very couples I've blogged about here hold a very loose interpretation of the institution of marriage. Because their interpretation so clearly embraces the idea of divorce and remarriage ad infinitum, it appears that marriage to some of them is nothing more than a legal way of shacking. When things get tired, when rough times hit or when something better comes along, they're out and on to the next. For some, I truly believe, they obtain a legal marriage for the sole purpose of social acceptance, but not with the idea of being with that matter what...until the end of their lives. Marriage, today, is quite temporary, in fact. So temporary that some have coined the phrase "starter marriage" or "starter wife" for one's first time plunge. The idea being that this may be the first, but definitely not the last.

Funny flashback moment here: When I was about 10, my mother called me in the house for a sit down after overhearing me telling my friends I planned on marrying at least 7 times just like Zsa Zsa Gabor (who I have no idea how many she's actually had, but that was a good number for me at the time, lol). My mom tried to explain to me that marriage was for life (this was after her divorce from my father and before her remarriage and eventual divorce from my step-father) and I pretended to listen and believe. However, until well into my 20's, I still believed that I would have multiple husbands. Meeting Mr. Free changed all of that, thankfully, and I've only had one husband and only plan to have one as long as we are both alive.

But, back to my point...

While so many frown upon marriage, real marriage, without a license, these same will embrace couples who have multiple marriages between them. Even the ones where it's a slim chance they'll even remain with their current spouses. These people are applauded while people who have vowed a lifetime together and are living it, but have no certificate, are shunned for so-called "shacking" (when they're actually married). Legal marriage is the thing to do, but with no long-term plans, or tools, for survival, many, unfortunately, amount to nothing more than legal shacking.

Me thinks we have a lot of this marriage and shacking stuff completely bass ackwards!

Just my opinion folks...


Friday, July 20, 2007

Rocky Roads

You'll recall me telling you all recently of a couple who are now separated almost 2 years to the day of their wedding. Again, both are Christians. I point this out, because some will have us believe that Christian marriages are somehow more blessed (a few even think that ONLY Christians are truly married in the eyes of the Almighty). Anyway, Mr. Free and I, along with another married couple, had dinner with the female half of this couple who is now legally separated.

At dinner, she opened up to us about some of the reasons why she has moved out of her home. While she would like to reconcile, it didn't sound like that was gonna happen any time soon without serious Divine intervention. According to her, she left because her husband had taken to calling her profane names and meeting his "buddies" for coffee at all hours of the evening, without her, and on a regular basis. She also talked about his family always being at their home who she has to constantly wait on even while she was recovering from a very serious surgery last year and his verbal disrespect of her taking place in front of his family. Apparently, all of these behaviors surfaced after he lost his job awhile back and have escalated into a full scale and constant battle between the two of them. Unfortunately, she is in counseling, but he refuses to attend and refuses to admit that any of this is his fault. Basically, she should make all of the changes as he calls all the shots (and names).

For the record, this woman isn't really the type of chick to suffer in silence either. Although the bible states that a husband is won over by a wife's meekness, I'm not sure meek is in her vocabulary when it comes to this type of behavior. You'll recall, too, that her cousin was just murdered by her husband a little better than 2 weeks ago (in fact, she was just home from the funeral when we had dinner together), so she's really not in the most tolerant mood when it comes to her husband's sudden Dr. Jekyll transformation (or is it Dr. Hyde?).

So, the other couple, Mr. Free and myself did our best at convincing her that their issues can be worked out. I think it helped a little to hear that each of us have had our own issues in our marriages and have learned how to clearly establish and teach healthy boundaries, but that it wasn't an overnight process. Regardless, however, none of us has thrown in the towel. We've had to ride some things out even for years before we've relented to better ways of being. The 4 of us spent a few hours listening, suggesting and then listening some more as this woman has much that is burdening her heart. We continue to pray for her and her husband's repentance and reconciliation and I'll keep you posted on their progress.

One thing that really stood out to me in our conversation with her was that she said that she really didn't feel she was ever truly married. Now, I was at their wedding (and it was a beautiful occasion!), but throughout all of the fanfare, the vows, the witnesses, the blessings, she said that she never felt that her husband left his mother and cleaved unto her and she doesn't believe they ever became one. I think this was the first time that I'd ever heard a Christian who'd gone through all of the legal steps of secular marriage say that they still didn't believe they were married in the true sense of the word. I found this admission quite interesting. I've since wanted to ask her if she felt this way during the good times or if she was simply realizing this in retrospect (hard times have a way of adjusting our vision sometimes). They say that hindsight is 20/20.

The point of mentioning all of this, however, is to point out that marriage is not a perfect state of being. It is an ever changing situation and one that takes a lot of constant effort to maintain. In this day and age, many of us didn't grow up with strong examples of happy marriages. Heck, many of us didn't even grow up with examples of unhealthy marriages. Marriage just didn't exist, period, in a lot of our experiences. How are we then to learn how to even be married?

I asked my idealistic 18 year old, if he personally knew any married couples that he felt he could learn from and emulate when he eventually marries. He made reference to Mr. Free and I, but we were honest in pointing out that, though we're on the right track now and it's a blessing that he's experiencing our transformation, it might not be the best idea to go about things the way that we did. For about the first 12 years of our relationship, it was a rocky, ROCKY road between us. Sure, we hung in there and for the last 4 years or so, with a lot of repentance and a ton of work, things have been on a constant upswing, but we did everything bass ackwards in the beginning because we didn't know the first thing about relationships or marriage when we first got together. We had no role models or direction and we were both very self-centered instead of Christ centered and then spouse centered. So, while we had to gently remind him not to go about things the way that we did, we asked him if there was anyone else, besides the new and improved us (lol), that he felt he could look to and learn a thing or 2 from. After much thought, he couldn't think of a single marriage he'd want to emulate. How sad is that? He knows many married couples (both in his own family and all of his friend's parents are married too), but not one that he feels is a strong example of marriage.

I've asked this question many times of other people of all ages too and have received similar replies. For those who do know married couples, they're quick to admit that they don't know any that seem special or that stand out as role models for the institution. So, why, in this society, do we continue to get married if it doesn't seem to be a blissfully happy, peaceful state of being? Some will say that we do it for the children. But with more and more children being raised in single parent homes or homes where there's constant strife between their parents, obviously the strategy of doing it for our children isn't working. Others will say that we do it because it's the right thing to do. Okay, so if it's the right thing to do, why do we abandon it so easily and quickly? I'm not suggesting that divorced couples don't give their best efforts at making it work, but the sad fact is that no matter what they do, they've still managed to come up short and end up in divorce court anyway.

So why do we marry? If more than 50% end up divorced, doing the single parent thing or live out miserable existences just to say that they're still married, what's the point?

Now, lest anyone get the wrong idea, I'm 100% pro-marriage. I think it's the most honorable institution around. It is the most blessed of unions and it is definitely the Almighty's intention for men and women. I'm just asking questions here and would like us to really think about why we do what we do if we're ill-equipped to make it last.

According to my son, we do it because we're in love and love will conquer all. Sound familiar? Ask any divorced couple you know why they married or if they shared similar sentiments and ask them how far these ideals got them. I don't question this to be negative, just to point out that many start out with the same ideal, but, sadly, end up in the same divorced state.

My thoughts are that we do it because we're taught that it's the right thing to do when we're in love. When we're in that state of mind, we also tend to think that we can conquer anything together and that these feelings will last forever. Then, when unforeseen rough times hit (as they ALWAYS do), we're at a loss to figure out how to get that loving feeling back and how to move forward as one. In my own experiences with this, I've learned that you have to hang in there even when you're not "in love" and find new ways to fall back in love with your spouse. This cannot be done alone, however. Without Christ at the center of your marriage, I seriously doubt any lasting positive change can take root and flourish.

I've also learned that the D word has to be permanently stricken from our married vocabularies. And, since it's not an option, my personal opinion is that, unless you want to live a miserable existence until death parts you, it's best to learn ways to work on happiness together. Divorce being completely off the table, forces you to look at alternative ways of finding peace...and alternative ways DO exist and they can last for a lifetime.

In the meantime, I continue to question, to study, to pray for the state of marriage overall. And, whether you're contemplating marriage in the future, whether you're at a crossroads in your own marriage now or whether you're just about to step out of your marriage and go your own way, I hope you'll question, study and pray on the institution too. There's much to see and much to learn when we deal realistically with all that marriage entails. It's not a fairy-tale folks, but with proper consideration and care, it truly can be the best thing to ever happen to you.

Stay tuned...


Thursday, July 19, 2007


It hasn't even been 2 full weeks since the last wedding I attended. Yet, the bride and groom are having second thoughts...and fights...and giving ultimatums. The groom's mom has already told him he can have a room at her place if it doesn't work out. Did I mention this is his 3rd trip down the aisle? Did I mention that his mom, on their wedding day, told me she was still waiting on Mr. Free and I to take that trip? And did I mention that I told her we were already married, but that we'd have a ceremony for the public to witness at a later date? Did I tell you she appeared totally confused by what I meant? Not her fault, she's a lovely lady whom I really like, but like most, she's grossly confused about what marriage is.

But anyway, back to the newlyweds...

On their honeymoon, they got into a huge altercation. Personal property was destroyed. Why? Oh, I don't know, but somehow they agreed that they would just go their separate ways for an evening. Let me repeat that in further detail. On their 3 day honeymoon, they agreed they would go their separate ways for an evening out on the town. Did I mention in my last post that she is a missionary at her church? Anyway, the agreement was that she'd enjoy the company of some exotic caribbean men and he'd do whatever it is that newly married men who aren't devoted to Christ do when their wives give them a few hours of freedom while she soaks in the sights of the caribbean chocolate. Somehow, this agreement led to women flocking all over him while he was alone (one even gave him the key to her room) and when he and wifey reunited, a HUGE argument ensued. Crazy, I know. But they're married, folks. It's official. Preacher, witnesses, certificate, the whole shabang. I saw the very conservative, Christian pastor "pronounce" them husband and wife (as though he'd actually been given the heavenly authority to do so) with my own eyes. They both even signed a marriage certificate (even though the groom signed with a last name that isn't legally his, just as he'd done with one of his two previous wives).

Now, back at home, he's moved in with her, but she won't give him a key to the house. She also sleeps fully clothed on the opposite side of the bed. He has given her 30 days notice to either shape up or he's shipping out.

Of course, I know that most newlyweds go through their adjustment issues and that most are not nearly as severe, but I didn't make this up. This is 100%, unadulterated drama (even though I've left some of the more sordid details out). And, while I don't take pleasure in detailing this, I do so to point out that all that's legal is not marriage.

Yes, I have an agenda. It's a personal one and I own it.

I contrast real-life stories like this one to prove my own little truth even if no one else is listening. For many, many years Mr. Free and I have been shunned, lectured, rebuked and our relationship belittled all because we don't have that little, meaningless thing called a marriage license. The strength of our union is ignored. The bond between us unrecognizable to most as a marriage, because we don't allow the State to validate what we believe only the Almighty has authority over. So, couples like this get all of the respect and reputation of marriage by our well-meaning Christian family and friends, even though their relationships in no way mimic the actual meaning and description of marriage as prescribed by the bible that Mr. Free and I endeavor to live each and every day for the rest of our lives together.

Am I bitter, no. I used to be, but now that I understand the brainwashing that our Christian, legal and social traditions (and that's all it amounts to...tradition) has done to my loved ones, I can't be upset. I am, however, passionate about my beliefs. And, as long as situations like this arise, I'm not gloating about the demise of someone else's relationship, but I will use it to compare and contrast my own until others begin to see the hypocrisy in seeing legal marriage, by itself, the end all and the be all of the institution.

I may be shouting from the rooftops in a ghost town, but at least I'm getting it off my chest.

In Him,


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Wedding Weekend

This weekend, I went to the wedding I said I wouldn't go to (shut up, lol, I felt like hanging out with Mr. Free, so I went. Plus, we only made an appearance and then went to Saturday service at a church we fellowship with before going to see Transformers. Good movie, btw).

Anyway. Why did the groom marry the bride under a last name that wasn't his? You'll recall this is his third marriage and her second, but why did I find out that he also married both of his former wives under different names as well? There's more triflingness to this whole event, but I won't go into all of the details. I trust that you've already gotten a whiff of this mess already.

Funny thing, and really the reason for this post, is that when the groom's mom hugged me after the ceremony (which I'll blog on later), she commented that this was her son's third one and that she prays this one "sticks". Okay. She then told me that she was still waiting for Mr. Free and I to "do it" (i.e. get legally married via a ceremony). I told her that we were already married, by Spiritual definition (true definition), but that we will have a ceremony in the near future just so that everyone can be an "official" witness to our marriage. She gave me the most puzzled look for a split second, as though I were delusional, and then softly said, "Oh, okay". I really like his mom (not wild about her son, but that's another story) and didn't mean any disrespect, but I am just so weary of people not "getting it". Here, she's sitting on the front row witnessing her son's third marriage (which already has issues) as well as she's on her own third marriage (hence all of the different last names her son is using), but Mr. Free and I have been together so long that we were present at her son's first wedding 15 years ago, have raised a healthy adult son now in college, have built a stable home and are focused on being together for the rest of our lives.

In short, her son is continuously making and breaking new marriage vows, but Mr. Free and I are actually living ours. Who's married, again? Do people actually believe that Elohim will not honor marriage as He stipulates it in the bible unless it's legal? Isn't that making Him subject to government (a government, btw, who has changed marriage laws numerous times since the inception of our country)?

Ridiculous. Patently ridiculous.



10 Commandment Mnemonics

Heard an interesting way to recall all of the 10 commandments. Associate each number with a picture in your mind like this:

One = Run...visualize Yahweh or Yahushua running for a finish line, coming in first and saying, "You shall have no other El (God) before Me".

Two = Shoe...visualize Yahweh beating a handmade idol to pieces with a shoe saying, "You shall not make any idols" (Oh, btw, I'm paraphrasing these... check your bibles for the actual wording...though I suspect they may be paraphrased too, lol)

Three = Tree...visualize cutting into a tree and hitting a "vein" (makes no sense, but just imagine it, lol) and sap oozing out of the tree. Hitting the vein reminds you not to use the name of Elohim in vain.

Four = Door...visualize a door with 5 deadbolts on it. You're shut in behind the door and not coming out until sabbath is over. This is: Keep holy the sabbath day.

Five = Dive...visualize you're about to make the world's greatest dive and your parents are there to cheer you on. You let the crowd know that you'll be making the dive in your parents' honor. This is: Honor thy father and thy mother.

Six = Stick...visualize beating a murderer with a stick and telling him, "Thou shall not kill"

Seven = Heaven...visualize someone trying to get in to heaven, but being shut out and they are told it is because they're an adulterer. This is: Thou shall not commit adultery.

Eight = Gate...visualize a beautiful gate you'd like to have in front of your home. You don't want to spend the money to buy it, however, so you steal it. You guessed it: Thou shall not steal!

Nine = Vine...visualize a bear swinging on a vine and landing on a court's witness stand. This is: Thou shall not bear (get it?) false witness against thy neighbor. (Silly, I know...but it helps, huh?)

Ten = Hen...visualize a hen who just laid an egg. She's laying on that egg and won't move because she knows everyone wants to steal it from under her. This is: Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's goods or wife.

Now, I understand that Catholics and Protestants number the commandments differently, but I find this to be helpful in recalling the Protestant numbering so that, "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." Joshua 1:8

Hope this helps you too.


Saturday, July 7, 2007

Organizing the Soul

Lately, I've been feeling like there's just way too much random and unorganized information crammed into my brain. Someone once said that the problem with having an open mind is that someone's always trying to fill it with something. In my case, the "someone" is me. I'm always wondering about Spiritual things, especially pertaining to Christianity. This leads me to question and study a lot of different beliefs within Christianity which only leads me to more questioning.

For the past few weeks, however, I've wondered if I'm taking in too much information. I know it doesn't sound possible, but when you're questioning traditions and even challenging your own belief system, sometimes it can be a bit much to process all at once. And since I don't want to end up one of those kooky people that's so wrapped up in Spiritual things that they end up not living in reality (lol), I've been really trying to organize my thoughts and find balance before trudging ahead.

This morning, I realized that this is sorta like when you are cleaning a very cluttered room. In the beginning, you're very motivated to get it done. But towards the middle, when you've pulled everything off of the shelves, out of closets, etc. and are attempting to sort it all out, you can sometimes have the overwhelming feeling of, "Uh-oh, this room now looks messier than when I started!" With time, though, if you just sit down and sort each item at a time-- deciding what's worth keeping and what you need to let go of (even stuff you REALLY like, but has no real purpose), you slowly whip the room back into shape.

So, I'm sifting and sorting. Aside from questioning myself about this whole marriage issue (and then questioning myself about WHY I'm questioning myself, lol), I'm also looking at other traditions and beliefs like Sabbath vs. Sunday, the sacred names (Yahweh and Yahushua), the Trinity, Paul's teaching vs. the Christ's teachings, do I still call myself a Christian if I don't believe all of the things they say I should (?), etc.

In my 15 years of being a Christian, there's a lot of "stuff" to take out and really look at. It's a journey, but one led by the Holy Spirit and one that's totally worth it.




(Author Unknown)

A few months before I was born my dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in our family. Mom taught me to love the Word of God, and Dad taught me to obey it. But the stranger was our storyteller. he could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries, and comedies were daily conversations. he could hold our whole family spellbound for hours each evening.

He was like a friend to the whole family. he took Dad, my brother, and me to our first major league baseball game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars.

The stranger was incessant talker. Dad didn't seem to mind, but sometimes Mom would quietly get up--while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places--go to her room, read her Bible, and pray. I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave.

You see, my Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt an obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house -- not from us, from our friends, or from adults.

Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four letter words that burned my ears and made dad squirm. To my knowledge the stranger was never confronted.

My Dad was a teetotaler who didn't permit alcohol in his home--not even for cooking. But the stranger felt like we needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often. He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished.

He talked freely about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I know now that my early concepts of the man/woman relation- ship were influenced by the stranger.

As I look back, I believe it was the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time, he opposed the values of our parents, yet he was seldom rebuked and he was never asked to leave.

More than forty years have passed since the stranger moved in with us, but if I were to walk into my parent's home today, I would still see him sitting there waiting for someone to listen to his stories and watch him draw his pictures.
His name? We always just called him.......TV.

"Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn't have in your home. " ~David Frost~

Friday, July 6, 2007

Deep...Serious Trouble

A dear friend of mine lost his cousin yesterday. Her husband shot and killed her before shooting himself (he's still alive, but in critical condition). Please pray for the family.

The last time my friend saw his cousin alive was at his sister's wedding 2 years ago. Sadly, his sister is also getting divorced. She called my friend yesterday for help in getting her things from her home. Her husband, according to her, has threatened her. He says he wants his money back for the wedding and all of the bills he paid during their marriage before she gets her stuff. My friend's sister and his now deceased cousin had both spent the last few weeks swapping stories on their troubled marriages and now one is dead and the other is fearful. All four of these people are (were) devout Christians, are educated (the deceased had a Ph.d), have professional careers and are over the age of 40. I say this because many believe that solid faith, education, maturity and stability are among the greatest ingredients for a successful marriage. Clearly, this alone isn't enough.

First, the Macy and Wes incident and now this. Marriage is in trouble, people. Deep...serious trouble. It's no wonder few want to do it these days. All of these couples were once loving, affectionate, happy people. I know this isn't the story of every marriage, but you have to admit it's a common theme. Maybe not the violence, but the emotional drama and the breakups are all around us. I'm sure you know of a few yourself. It's sad when we know more divorced people than we know married ones.

After getting the news of the death and the death of another marriage, Mr. Free and I had a little convo about how we believe that a lot of people who are "married" today are, in fact, merely shacking, but holding a contract. Society recognizes them as married and they have the paperwork to prove that, at least legally, they are, but the mindset is not too much better than people who are living together without marriage. Not too many are willing to stand for better or worse, feast or famine, till death they do part. It's more like a convenient arrangement until one or both get tired of one another and then they're out and on to the next. Beyond the wedding ceremonies, the witnesses, the contracts and the rings, I see little difference.

On a better note, I spoke with Wes this morning and he and Macy are working on reconciling. He mentioned that some family members (namely, my Aunt LaVerne) aren't going to be happy to hear this. He says he's trying to get his life right, though, and that he's living for God. I reminded him that, if this is true, our Father's plan is that marriage is honourable in all and that he can't let any man (or meddling auntie) put his marriage asunder. He also started on how Macy has to leave drugs alone in order to be with him and that if she does crack again, he's out. I told him that they were both fighting a battle with drug addiction to which he, quite indignantly, told me that he does not have a problem...he's over his addiction and this is now her issue and her issue alone. (sigh) If you recall, I blogged before on how Wes takes this attitude every time he's on a "drug break". I wasn't trying to burst his bubble, but I had to remind him that just yesterday he told me how he had been craving crack and went out to get drunk on the 4th of July holiday just to keep from getting high! For him to get on the phone with me and, in front of his wife, swear he's clean while she's still a drug addict is beyond ridiculous, but hey... He's been off for 3-4 weeks, so we'll see what happens next. I'll pray for them and continue to encourage them, but I especially hope he stops putting her down (which is a large part of their marital issues) and realizes that if one of them has a problem, they are one flesh and both have a problem. In this case, even more so since he's been on crack since before he even met her!

Mr. Free and I have had our issues and still have issues we're working to overcome (or learn to live with), but one thing I'm grateful for is that we're a team. We've raised a great son in a faith-filled, stable home environment and are looking forward to growing old together FOREVER. We've had times when we absolutely, 100% were NOT feeling each other and did NOT want to be together, but we've stuck it out and learned that, if we work at it, we can overcome those feelings and learn to enjoy each other again as we grow in our relationship. We also know that our covenant is not merely with each other, but with the Most High. Therefore, even when we don't want to, we MUST do right to honor our commitment, for to not honor it would be to dishonor the One who brought us together. It's been a few years since we've gone through anything major, but even in those times we knew that we had to deal fairly and lovingly with one another even if it was a sacrificial effort to do so. Divorce simply isn't an option. It just isn't. And, since it isn't, we're constantly having to learn new and creative ways to keep it loving, exciting and, above all, TOGETHER.

My sincere prayer is that we can be an example to others and that the world will wake up and realize what a treasure marriage really is. My heart aches every time I hear of a new divorce. Sadly, it's been aching a lot lately too.

Let's get it together, shall we???