Answers to Common Questions, 2017 Version
My Top Twelve: As Lori and I cruise with the icebergs, I’m running a dozen of my favourite posts. Enjoy!
Five years ago I did a tongue in cheek post entitled “Answers to a few common questions”. It started as a way of addressing a couple of questions I get often but became a fun way to interview myself on things I think and care about. The following is a rewrite of that post.
- Q Are you ordained?
- A Yes. Lori and I were both ordained by the American Evangelical Association in 2002. The AEA does ordination by examination, meaning they examine your life and ministry and if they feel you’re doing the work of a pastor they ordain you. When they looked at us, we had almost five years of data on The Marriage Bed website, so nothing was hidden. We were frankly amazed they wanted us after reading the site, but they did.
- Q Any other credentials?
- A I was a licensed irrigator in the state of Texas.
I’ve done a lot of study on my own, and some through various organisations. So far it’s not added up to a degree – maybe someday.
- Q How long have you been blogging about marriage and sex?
- A I started in July of 2001, and have worn out several keyboards. Earlier this month I passed 3,000 posts on this system, and I have more than 2,000 on previous iterations.
- Q Is there an archive of your first 2,000 posts.
Thank God there is not!Only on my computer, where they will stay. Aside from the fact I was a lot younger and stupider, the lack of proofreading caused English teachers to threaten me with bodily harm.
- Q Are you British?
- A No, just eccentric. The British way of spelling makes more sense to me, and it keeps people guessing, so it’s all good. Or, maybe it’s all the minced meat, Nutella, and Dr. Who! (And yes, I like Marmite.)
- Q What kind of movies do you like?
- A Sci-Fi and action.
- Q Star Trek or Star Wars?
Yes, no, bite me.Farscape.
- Q What is your favourite food?
- A Tex-Mex. Not Mexican, Tex-Mex. The two are NOT the same thing. (And I make great TexMex cheese enchiladas.)
- Q Why are you so opposed to porn?
- A Because porn prevents couples from having the awesome sex lives God intended them to have.
- Q How many children do you have?
- A Three, one of each.
- Q Are grandchildren as great as you say?
- A No, they’re way, way better! Maybe that’s because I have such awesome grandkids, but I don’t think so. The fact my 3-year-old grandson currently lives a few minutes walk away and visits us most days is one of the greatest joys of my life these days. I just wish the two in Texas were closer.
- Q Wait, three of each? How does that work?
- A One girl, one boy, and one imaginary. (But we don’t talk about Bobby.)
- Q Is oral sex okay?
- A If you do it right it’s a lot better than okay! [Insert rimshot here]
The Bible says nothing that even hints it would be wrong in marriage, and I figure God didn’t just “miss one”. Beyond that, it’s very likely the Song of Songs mentions oral sex done on both the man and the woman. If you want to read more about this, check out What’s Okay, What’s Not.
- Q What about masturbation?
- A No thanks, I’m happily married.
- Q How did you end up doing something like this?
- A When we got married, everything other than sex seemed to be fine*. Sex was a problem, and it got worse fast. This was back in the 80’s when Christians didn’t talk about sex. We couldn’t find help, so we started to study both the Bible and biology for answers. Somewhere along the line, we promised God that if He helped us we’d help others. He did help us, and He collected on our promise. From this, The Marriage Bed was born in 1997. For the rest of the story, see How I came be “The Generous Husband” and write these tips.
* Of course, we had other problems, and it was a real bummer to learn that. I even more upsetting to learn I had plenty of my own problems!
- Q Is your wife really as great as you say?
- A Yes, and then some. I can’t begin to express how perfect she is for me. In large part, this is because she has spent a great deal of time studying me and finding ways to bless me.
Lori is awesome!
- Q Do you ever get tired of talking about sex? (I was asked this recently by an interviewer, great question!)
- A No. There are certain topics I weary of from time to time – more the arguments than the topics. I’ve always loved science, especially biology, and human biology in particular, so this is an easy fit for me. I enjoy learning new things about human bodies and minds. I wish I had more time to devote to the study of such things.
- Q Wait, you didn’t answer about masturbation.
- A Is that all you think about?
- Q To what denomination do you belong?
- A No one will claim me! None of the above. Raised Presbyterian, then a couple of decades as non-denominational/independent. For a decade plus we were home church, and since 2010 we’ve attended a local body that is one of a number of plants from a larger independent church the next town over.
- Q Are you travelling for ministry this year.
- A We did a couple of months during the summer. We did some teaching, but were more focused on connecting and facilitating.
- Q If you could recommend only one marriage book, what would it be?
- A I haven’t finished writing it, but I hope to have it out in 2018. The 5 Love Languages can facilitate huge changes for a couple and pave the way for growth.
- Q No really, what about masturbation?
- A Sigh. Okay. This is the most contentious issue we deal with. Many people have “a feeling” about this, and there’s nothing you can say to change how people feel. The Bible says nothing about it, and if it was wrong I think God would’ve told us so. He felt it was necessary to tell us not to have sex with relatives, the same gender, or animals, so certainly the most common orgasm-causing act in the world would have gotten some mention if it was wrong. We’ve had all kinds of folks explain to us how certain verses say it’s wrong if you understand them rightly (:cough: Gnosticism :cough:), but none of these folks has ever been able to explain why it’s hidden when something so clearly wrong as sex with livestock is plainly spelt out. [If you’re going to email me to try to change my mind, please try to explain why the Bible is so silent on the issue!]
- Q You say you’re donation supported, how is that possible?
- A I have no idea. Really.
We are deeply grateful to the people all over the world who feel what we do is worth supporting. We did this before we made any money from it. In fact, we used to pay for webspace to do it. So we would be ministering to marriages even if we didn’t make a living from it. Not having to work a “real job” means we can do so much marriage ministry, which is awesome.
- Q What happened to the RV?
- A I’m in it right now. It did 35,000 miles in 2015 and 2016, but it’s starting to show some wear and since we intend to live in it for a while longer we didn’t want to risk having it get stuck somewhere. Not pulling it this year also means we can go up into the Northeast where roads are narrow and busy and RV camps are few, far out, and very pricey.