Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Making Relationships Work

Sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox of the University of Virginia gave an excellent Veritas Forum lecture on how to have a happy marriage. Wilcox is a Christian but all of the advice he offers comes from current sociological research and not from the Bible or Christian teaching. Not surprisingly, the research turns out to be very supportive of a general Christian worldview. Wilcox is not the most gifted speaker and he annoyingly begins every answer in the Q & A session with, "That's a good question" (20 times in 20 minutes is way too much). The quality of the audio is also horrible but, in spite of all of these drawbacks, the following points give some needed direction for those who are dating as well as to those already married.

The "Dos" and "Don'ts" of Dating

1. Don't cohabit, or have casual sex.
2. Don't put off marriage.
3. Don't rely on "chemistry."
4. Don't marry a stonewaller or a nagger.

1. Do look for commitment.
2. Do look for a virtuous man or woman.
3. Do rely on the advice of friends and family.
4. Do seek out someone of a common faith.

The "Dos and Don'ts of Marriage

1. Don't seek a 50/50 marriage.
2. Don't be unfair or selfish.
3. Don't be intimate with members of the opposite sex who aren't your spouse.

1. Do strive for emotional engagement.
2. Do appreciate complementarity.
3. Do have friends who share your faith commitments.

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