Lies at the altar?

Monday, June 19, 2006

My computer was attacked by viruses last night. My sweet husband spent the entire night trying to rectify it for me. He managed to get rid of most of it except for this particular one which is so elusive that it kept over-riding the anti-virus software. As a result, I spent night in front of the TV while he was working on it and almost the whole day today computer-less, while the IT Department in my office tackle the elusive one.

What I happen to catch on TV while the viral war was at hand, was Oprah. I am not an Oprah fan but I do not mind checking out once in awhile what’s currently in on the American’s platter of life/thought Oprah-style.

The issue on last night’s show was marriage. It featured Lance Armstrong’s ex-wife who felt that being a wife eroded her lifestyle and own identity. It featured a writer-psychiatrist who wrote a book entitled Lies at the Altar. It featured 2 women who are about to get married doubting if they should be getting married. I suppose I watched the show (I missed the beginning and did not bother to watch the ending) with quite a frown.

I agree with the fact that communication is crucial to a marriage, before and after. I agree with being open and working at knowing more of each other but to put it in the way that Oprah has, I am not comfortable.

Oprah commented that she did not get married because she is not willing to give up herself for another man. She portrays an almost incredulous look at the idea of women who do. And yet she confirms that she is not against marriage. Go figure.

I thought it quite sad. Granted, marriage is not easy. It takes a lot of out men and women alike. But it is the very model that God has chosen to depict his relationship with us. Paul in Ephesians uses the analogy of the husband-wife relationship to describe the relationship between Christ and the church, though he also doubles up the passage as a household code.

Eph 5:22-33 (ESV)
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.
"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."
This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

I recognise that this biblical passage attracts a lot of attention, negative and positive. But reflecting on what Oprah is professing, my question is aren’t we all in submission at one time to another to someone, somebody or something? It is how we submit that matters. We are in submission to our country, to the laws that govern us, to our people around us in a “social-code”, to the organisation we work for that happens to take the majority of ur time. Wouldn’t these shape us an demand change in us to comply with their demands. So is the same in a marriage.

Maybe I read her wrong, I hope I did. I just did not like the way that it was presented. Lies at the altar?

Maeghan
Picture by Mike Goodwin

You Might Also Like

12 comment(s)

  1. I don’t watch Oprah myself. I actually don’t get the hype she has some amazing PR people. One thing that she fails to bring into her reasoning is the fact that she had a hard childhood involving men and that she has been with the same man for several years. With a past like hers she has issues with men and with being with the same man all these years she has submitted a time or two because that’s how we keep the relationship together. We give to one another.

    Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

    The very word submit seems to make us think that we are giving in and up and that we are down trodden we have made it a bad word. I submit to things on a daily basis. It wasn’t intended to be a bad word.

    Lies at the Alter. Hmm I think it might have been because we do tend to see only love and wonderment in our mates at that moment. Then one day you wake to find that snoring, lump, with bad breath is the man you’ve said you want to spend your life with. :-}

    I'm glad to find someone else who isn't an Oprahist. (Millyism)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lies at the altar?

    I am in sympathy with the title, though I don't know what the book says. My wife divorced me primarily because of lies she told at the altar. If the book analyzes what lies are told there, and why, and how to minimize them, then I am on board.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Codepoke,
    I am not about the lies at the altar. My take is that the vows are just not kept - not that we knowingly lied at the altar.
    Yes, why dont you try reading the book and give us a review :)

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1401302564/qid=1150853025/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/102-5442109-7532958?s=books&v=glance&n=283155

    They were talking about the 28 questions that one have to ask before committing to a marriage. I am really curious what they are.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Milly,
    I couldn't believe it when my husband told me she gave away cars in one of her shows! I keep wondering what the audience expect before every show and how they feel after the show if they leave with nothing tangible other than Oprahism.

    Lies at the Alter. Hmm I think it might have been because we do tend to see only love and wonderment in our mates at that moment. Then one day you wake to find that snoring, lump, with bad breath is the man you’ve said you want to spend your life with.

    That is exactly what we have vowed to do. It is the meeting and joining of 2 souls, the acceptance of one another as neither one is perfect. My husband's snoring isn't so bad anymore :) got used to it already after 11 years!

    ReplyDelete
  5. My take is that the vows are just not kept - not that we knowingly lied at the altar.

    I'm sure you are right, but in my case the lies were made whether knowingly or not. It was only a couple years into our marriage that she announced I needed to start planning my life after our divorce. She told me then that she was probably not in it for the long haul. And she claims now to have known all along that she really was not a Christian. So I question whether maybe there are more lies told at the altar than we know.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Codepoke,
    Yeah, in a sense I get what you mean. Not keeping vows would make those vows into lies.
    I am sorry about your divorce. I have yet to read your posts on the subject, which I had wanted to. And when I do, you'll know :)

    I have a good friend who is divorcee who is still unsure about the matter of remarriage. I couldn't much discuss it with him as much as we do discuss other stuff like his recent attention on justification and reconciliation (we attend the Romans class together), because I am not certain about my position on divorce. So a reading of your posts should enlighten me some.

    ReplyDelete
  7. IMonk's 8 part series on the subject is quite helpful. He looks at it a little more objectively, and covers the points more clearly. I was happy to find we basically agreed, though.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Here's his last article, with links to all the rest.

    Divorce

    ReplyDelete
  9. Maeghan,

    Lies at the altar

    Well, I'm not much on Oprah, so it doesn't surprise me to hear her bash the institution of marriage, while proclaiming her support for it.

    Quite frankly, I can't imagine life without my wife. It is even hard for me to remember my life before we were married: it's as if we have always been married.

    Codepoke is right, I believe that few enter into marriage with the intention to lie, but many don't pay attention to their vows. They are sacred and need our attention.

    As far a watching our mate change, I go back the the 'for better or worse' clause.

    Anyway, as usual, really great stuff.

    God Bless
    Doug

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hey Doug,
    I can't imagine life without my wife. It is even hard for me to remember my life before we were married: it's as if we have always been married.

    Your wife is so lucky to have you :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Maeghan,

    Your wife is so lucky to have you

    I would have to say it is quite the opposite. ;)

    God Bless
    Doug

    ReplyDelete