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Category: Marriage & Family



When I first heard – a few years ago – that my grandfather had terminal cancer and only three weeks to live, I asked for help. I asked God to heal my grandpa. And then I took it back. Apologized to God for being selfish. Told him how much I loved my grandpa. Thought for awhile on some of my favorite memories: Grandpa teaching me to bottle-feed a calf, helping him move sheep, walking through an old barn together, his laughter on the phone as he told about teaching Grandma to use an ATM, his pride in a perfectly-browned turkey, his whistle. I asked for a chance to say goodbye.

I believed then – and still do – that God was present in my remembering, that he helped me to know what to pray for, how to ask. My grandpa didn’t get better, but for a long time, he didn’t get worse either. And we visited. And he laughed and I laughed, and we both told stories. And then, about five months later, my grandpa fell asleep. And stopped breathing.

When I heard the news, I remembered: on the phone, a few days before, we’d said goodbye.

I believed then – and still do – that God was present in my remembering

The Perfect Match

- In the womb of the shadows - #silverfalls #silverfallsstatepark

The Internet is full of advertising. I just saw a banner for, which claims to have more marriages per match than any other dating service. But I’m skeptical. The entire site, which describes itself as a Christian ministry to singles, was started by Neil Clark Warren, who also wrote the book Date . . . or Soul Mate: How to Know if Someone is Worth Pursuing in Two Dates or Less. And he’s made it clear in his many books and public appearances that he believes dating is a waste of everybody’s time.

On the average, Warren says, a single person will go on 100 dates before he or she marries. Statistics show that only one in four marriages are happy. Therefore, he concludes that 400 dates will produce four marriages, and only one of those marriages will be happy.

“This society has such a hard time getting marriage right,” he says. “Seventy percent of us have experienced a broken home, either from our parents’ or our own failed marriages. If only we could get society to understand that it doesn’t have to be that way. If you find somebody matched with you, you can have a perfect marriage.”

Here’s my issue with Warren: He promises something that might not be good for us — efficient and compatible matches. But successful relationships aren’t about compatibility. (Anyone can be compatible. It’s a skill, not a trait.) Relationships are about commitment, respect, sacrifice, patience, self-control, mercy.

Besides all that, I’m not sure we can completely trust anyone who is making money off his own advice. That’s called conflict of interest. And all too often, that kind of guru turns out to be a huckster.

He promises something that might not be good for us

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