Feature Article – “Reflections on Marriage” by Marlin Detweiler
Educational Helps – by Laurie Detweiler
Reflections on Marriage
Later this year Laurie and I will celebrate 30 years of marriage. Like you, we are frequently asked how long we’ve been married. Some time ago I picked up on and began using a joke as an answer that I first heard from an employee here at Veritas Press. The answer goes like this, “We’ve been happily married for 25 years . . . and 25 out of 29 isn’t bad!” My wife, tiring of my attempt at humor, determined not to take it sitting down and chimed in, “No, more like 22.” I believe that was the last time I used that joke.
Marriage is a great blessing and challenge all at the same time. But, like the saying goes, “If it was easy, anyone could do it.”
This summer two of our four boys will be married. Travis, son #3, is tying the knot on June 11th, and Parker, son #4, on July 16th. Their fiancées are each wonderful, and we are delighted to add them to our family.
You may not be able to imagine your children moving into adulthood and getting married. It will not likely surprise you that we once felt the same. They grow up—and fast! This space is frequently used to remind us that our job as parents is to raise our sons and daughters to live faithfully coram deo while we seek to train them to go from being totally dependent on us to totally independent of us.
At this point nothing seems more independent of us than getting married. They are in a very real way setting up their own households. Consequently, it is timely to consider what makes a marriage succeed. Recently, our pastor addressed this very issue. Some of what he said follows.
In marriage—the closest human relationship we can experience—extending grace is also the most important practice we carry out. We easily fall to the temptation of having expectations of our spouse instead of extending grace. Closely related is our tendency to judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their actions. When we make these kinds of judgments we are far more likely to extend grace to ourselves and not to others. We must be diligent to listen to our spouses, to understand them, and to love and honor them. Extending grace and thinking the best of others and what they mean by what the say and do is never more important for a happy and fulfilled life than with our spouse.
Couples become parents. Yet, it is the parents and their relationship to each other that really sets the tone for the home. If a husband loves his wife as Christ loves the church, and a wife honors and respects her husband, how likely do you think it is that the children will not be nourished (in every way), loved, and cared for? The tone of a marriage will set the tone of the home for children and for guests. Getting the marriage relationship right will put many other things in their proper place.
Men and women are different. These differences are sometimes obvious. Physical differences fall in this category and need no elaboration here. Other differences include emotional ones and other more subtle categories. It seems that a failure to recognize these differences and their impact on the marriage relationship cause great frustration and a breeding ground for failure. My wife was six months pregnant with our first son when I was mystified by her distant demeanor one evening. When the distance turned into tears at bed time I was left with the only and obvious choice of asking what was the matter. All she needed to do was ask me what day it was for me to realize I had forgotten her birthday. There are two reasons I have never since forgotten: I don’t want to feel like that kind of heel again, and it was a very expensive birthday, albeit belated one, in the final outcome.
A male friend, feeling the same level of being forgotten, would have likely been direct with me or not made issue of it. That’s how guys relate. A women relating to another woman would have asked, even begged, to know what was wrong at the first sign of distance, not needing tears to be moved. Ah, the difference between men and women.
Could it be that God made us different in this way to make marriages better? Whether you are a man or a woman reading this, I expect you have been in more than one conversation with your same sex about how you just don’t understand the opposite sex. Maybe understanding isn’t the issue. Maybe it’s as simple as loving and respecting them enough to not have to understand.
Two people becoming one flesh is not like mixing milk and Nestlé’s Quik. It’s probably more like oil and vinegar as a salad dressing. Two very different substances that need constant attention to be used together successfully, but what a wonderful combination they become.
Before starting Veritas Press, I was in the real estate investment business. One of the things I learned therein was a very important principle about investing. It’s the idea that investment is sometimes best defined as “deferred consumption”—put something away today in order to enjoy more later. In most respects that is not what happens in the raising of children. The investment we make in them is not for our benefit. It’s for theirs, for their spouses’, and for their children’s. This type of investing is intended to “pay it forward.”
Don’t get me wrong, there is certainly a return on the investment we make in them. The joy we get from grandchildren, the addition of wonderful spouses, and the care commonly offered to elderly parents by godly children are just a few of the returns we might enjoy. Nevertheless, marriage and its related aspects are about loving others more than ourselves. And in so doing, may we enjoy all the goodness that our Lord and Savior intended for us.
As for you, Travis and Parker, “If it was easy, anyone could do it.” Enjoy your newfound helpmate, but work hard at your marriage. It will make it that much better.
To further your thinking on marriage, we are offering a great book on the subject, Reforming Marriage. If you place a book order in June for $200 or more, simply ask for the Marriage Book Special. If you place your order on our web site, you may click here or simply enter item #110730 on the Express Order page and click Add to Order. (One per family.)
Q. How can I tell if my child is ready for the Composition I online course? My son is the right age, but he has resisted grammar lessons, so we haven't done as much writing as I'd hoped.
A. While we believe that many 7th and 8th graders are ready for the rigors of our Composition I course, some could benefit from a solid review of English grammar and more practice with their writing skills. Since you're asking the question, perhaps you suspect that your child could use a bit more review and practice first. To assist you, we are introducing a new course for the fall which is a grammar and writing transition course. Student will then be fully prepared for Composition I. When you are browsing the courses online, search for Grammar and Writing Transition in the secondary course list.
Q. I just received our first Omnibus textbook. I'm both excited and overwhelmed to begin teaching it this fall. I noticed that your online courses include a composition course additional to the Omnibus courses. Why do you do that since there are progymnasmata exercises in the Omnibus texts? Isn't that enough writing, especially since there is so much reading for Omnibus?
A. Yes, there are writing exercises included in Omnibus, but they are used as an evaluation tool to help your child interact with the reading. Those exercises are valuable, but they do not teach your student the craft of writing. Certainly a student will get to practice the skills he or she already possesses, but there isn't instruction on how to improve. That's why we recommend composition courses. Students are stretched to improve their skills and learn to write in a variety of genres.
Please submit any questions you’d like answered here to email@example.com.
Summer Reading Contest
Again we would like to have a summer reading contest. It was fun to see the children excited about reading and cashing in gift certificates for books of their choosing. Please encourage your children to be a part of the contest this summer. It begins now and continues through September 15, 2011. Click here to download a reading chart if you would like to track your student’s progress. We only ask that you as parents or teachers verify what the children have read, and then, after they have met their goals, complete the online entry form. Please encourage them to read good literature, not just look for a book that meets the page count criteria. Look here for some bookmarks which your children can decorate and enjoy all summer.
Veritas Press Reading Contest Rules
1. Reading Quantity
a. K – 2nd Grade: 40 Easy Readers (ex., Frog and Toad are Friends)
b. 3rd & 4th Grades: 25 books at least 125 pages (ex., The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)
c. 5th & 6th Grades: 25 books at least 150 pages (ex., Treasure Island)
d. 7th – 12th Grades: 25 books at least 200 pages (ex., The Fellowship of the Ring)
2. After the child has completed the readings, entries must be submitted online by 5:00 PM EDT, September 15, 2011.
3. The first 250 submissions in each age division will be given a $10 gift certificate.
4. A drawing will be held from all submissions and will be announced in the October epistula. There will be three winners from the drawing.
a. $150 First Prize
b. $100 Second Prize
c. $70 Third Prize
A Little Help for our Friends
Cary Christian School, Cary, N.C. (www.carychristianschool.org) is seeking a Rhetoric School Principal (grades 9-12). Responsibilities include complex administrative duties in senior high school operations including instruction, school planning, supervision of personnel and administering the policies and guidelines. This principal will report directly to the superintendent. The optimal candidate should have significant experience at an ACCS school as a teacher or an administrator. A listing of duties and a profile of desired attributes are available upon request. Candidates should submit inquiries or a resume with references to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2011 – 2012 catalog should have arrived in your mailbox by now. If not, give us a call at 800-922-5082 to request one. While you wait for the mail, you can check it out now by going to veritaspress.com, where you’ll find an electronic version.
Teaching Openings with Veritas Press Scholars Academy
Online Teachers Needed Immediately!—We have needs for classroom experienced teachers. Teachers can work from home, the beach, or anywhere high-speed internet is available. Send résumé to Bruce Etter.
Veritas Press In-A-Week Courses
There's still time to register, so don't miss our “In-A-Week” adult education courses which are planned for this summer. These intensive classes are geared to teachers or parents. We are offering Latin and several levels of Omnibus classes—all taught online by outstanding teachers with considerable expertise in the material. What better way to prepare yourself to teach these courses or just learn the material for your own edification? Please be encouraged to join us for these great opportunities.
Latin In-A-Week July 11-15 Joanna Hensley
Omnibus I In-A-Week June 27-July 1 Bruce Etter
Omnibus II In-A-Week June 20-24 Graham Dennis
Omnibus III In-A-Week June 27-July 1 Graham Dennis
Our Teacher Training Conference, normally held near the end of July, will not take place this year.
19th Annual ACCS Conference
The Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS) national conference will be held June 16-18, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. It is designed to provide the principles of a classical and Christian education and practical instruction in a broad range of subjects. Plenary sessions will feature Voddie Baucham, George Grant, Matt Whitling, and Douglas Wilson. Practical workshops will teach the implementation of classical Christian education. Click here for more information or contact the ACCS office at (208) 882-6101.
Interesting Facts about Veritas Press
In May we asked, "What is the growth rate of registrations for live online classes for the first four months of 2011 compared the same timeframe in 2010?" The winner was Melissa Eubanks, of Ft. Worth, Texas, with the answer closest to the correct 140%.
Our question for June is, “From how many countries are people coming to attend the End of Year Gathering for Veritas Press Scholars Academy June 1 – 5 in Lancaster, Pa.?” To break ties for all correct answers, also guess from how many U.S. states people are coming.
The first person to e-mail the correct or closest answer by 5:00 PM EDT, June 15th to email@example.com will again receive a $25 gift certificate.
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Browse the Veritas Press virtual catalog online!