Posts Tagged ‘Life’

Staying Married

June 25, 2014

That’s what a lot more people are doing than previously expected.

At least according to one researcher.  Shaunti Feldhahn is a Harvard-trained researcher,  Christian (I think), and author.  Her latest research into the popularly cited statistics on marriage in America (half of all marriages end in divorce) is pretty eye-opening.

First, no such statistic exists.  She states that this figure was based on projections during the 1970’s, based on the growth of divorce in those years, of what the divorce rate would be today.  But in fact divorce rates have dropped and have, according to Feldhahn’s research, never approached the 50% mark.  She estimates that perhaps 25% of first time marriages end in divorce, and that the overall divorce rate in America for all marriages is probably around 31%.  

However if the couple is Christian, the rate is even lower.  Perhaps in the single digits, but likely not more than 20% across all marriages (first-time or otherwise).  She links this phenomenon to the issue of hope.  Christians should have hope, and this helps them to weather the ups and downs of the marital relationship better.

It will be interesting to see who – if anyone – steps forward to attempt to debunk her research.  Her credentials appear strong, and I’ll be curious to see what happens next in the media.

Burial Beliefs

June 24, 2014

This past Saturday I presented a talk at our church on planning for your memorial.  Pretty perky sounding topic, eh?  It’s appropriate for an older congregation like mine, but the topic is eminently pertinent to everyone.  I tried to make this clear by simply emphasizing the obvious – barring a divine return, we’re all going to die.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  We don’t know how or when, but keeping this rather important fact in mind throughout life is a really, really, really good idea.  We’re not to obsess over it, but we dare not forget or ignore it the way our culture would prefer us to.

I touched briefly on the topic of cremation vs. burial, indicating that there is no strong Biblical endorsement of any particular funerary practice.  What matters is that we treat the body as a gift of God, a gift that foreshadows the body we will once again enjoy when we are raised from the dead on the day of Jesus’ return.  As such, the rationale behind the decision on how to deal with our dead body is probably more important than the particular decision reached.  In short I don’t see a problem with burial or cremation.  But I alluded to the fact that there are evolving burial practices that I do have a problem with.  

Then an acquaintance on Facebook posted this link.  Red flag statement?  “Bios urn transforms death into life through nature.”

Now, let’s not be silly here.  There are plenty of folks whose bodies have disintegrated over time, become part of the soil and undoubtedly absorbed into the local flora and fauna.  From dust we have come and to dust we will return – it’s not just an Ash Wednesday mantra, it’s reality.  However, it’s a side effect.  From dust we have come, but dust is not what we were originally destined to return to.  And the life that comes through death for the Christian has nothing to do with becoming part of a tree or a shrub or an animal or some other Lion King sort of circle-of-life silliness.  Our hope for life is linked to the life of Jesus of Nazareth, the life He demonstrated to hundreds of people after he was executed and buried.  He is our hope for life, and any other source of hope is a pretty dismal alternative.  

That being said I don’t take issue with wanting to be environmentally friendly.  Embalming and all the other things we do to put off the natural decay of the body strike me as highly unnatural.  Pumping dead bodies and therefore eventually the ground with toxic chemicals makes no sense to me.  But the reasonable alternative is not the hope that our dearly departed will now be a tree.