The Answer to Suicide Begins in the Family

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September is National Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month. Suicide is a topic that we must always address with a sense of compassion. We must address it with a sense of compassion out of respect for those who struggle with the thoughts, for those who have completed the act, and for those who have lost family members and friends in this manner. It’s a tough topic, but it’s one that needs to be tackled.

According to the Center for Disease Control, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Between 42,000 and 44,000 individuals commit suicide each year, which comes out to about 115 per day, or one every 15 minutes. It is estimated that roughly 25 persons attempt suicide for each person that completes it, which means that well over half of a million people attempt suicide each year in the United States. Studies show that suicide is on the rise, particularly among those who are younger. There has also been a decline in the percentage of Americans who see suicide as morally problematic.

That means Americans are more likely to feel suicidal, and less likely to encounter someone who would tell them it’s morally problematic. Continue reading

Ashley Madison’s 37 Million Users Prove People Aren’t Doing Marriage Right

IMG_1206Perhaps you’ve noticed Ashley Madison trending on the Internet lately. The story here is one of the saddest I’ve heard or read about in a long time. I’m not calling this a sad story because I pity the people involved. Not at all. Rather, this is a sad story because of what it says about us and the state of marriage in our world.

Ashley Madison, if you aren’t aware, is a dating site for married people. Keep in mind, this is not a dating site for persons interested in developing neat ideas for taking their spouses on dates. That would actually be pretty useful. This is a dating site for married persons interested in sleeping with other people’s spouses. Think about it: a dating site for married people. These are married people who are going out of their way to dishonor their wedding vows.

In any case, the story is that the site’s database was hacked and the hackers are threatening to expose information on all of the site’s 37 million users. Of course, this is a top story because 37 million marriages are now in jeopardy. 37 million people who are cheating on their spouses are now in danger of being exposed.

I’m not naïve enough to think that accidents can’t happen, but these aren’t folks who are accidentally getting in over their heads. These are not “it just happened” situations. These are people going out of their way to set up profiles, keep a secret, and find discreet places to meet so that their husbands and wives won’t find out. That takes effort. It takes imagination. It takes determination. It also takes a callous disregard for the other person in your marriage. As a side note, I’m also not naïve enough to think that this is the only dating site for married persons, it just happens to be the most popular. Continue reading

Three Years Of Marriage And All I’ve Learned Is That It’s Not For Wimps

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My wife and I are celebrating three years of Marriage this week, praise God.

Thank you, thank you, please hold the applause. I realize that we’ve made it farther than many marriages make it any more these days but, in reality, we’re only just getting started. While many in the world are making a complete mockery of marriage, we continue to treat it with the utmost respect that God intended for it. There will be no “irreconcilable differences”, whatever that means. Mostly, I figure it’s a lame excuse meaning, “we can’t figure out how to solve our problems, and we’re tired of trying”.

Anyway, there will be none of that here. We have a myriad of differences, mostly because I’m a man and she’s a woman. These are not irreconcilable; they are opportunities to grow in love and understanding. This is almost never easy, but is almost always worthwhile. Continue reading

Praying for a Husband Who Struggles with Believing

My husband was raised Catholic but like I, he fell out of the faith at a very young age. When we and our children joined the Church in our area, he did go to Mass with us for a couple years but he eventually stopped as he struggles with believing. This was really difficult. I tried my hardest to figure out why by prying into his life before we met. I read books arguing for the existence of God. I even took him to a Christian retreat. I tried to convince him that there is a God … but my “convincing” usually ended up an argument. As the saying goes, to one without faith no explanation will suffice. I mean, really, why would he believe what I say about God when he doesn’t even believe I’m right about how to load the dishwasher?

I prayed about this for a lot time and eventually came to the conclusion that I had to trust in the Lord’s plan for my husband. My job isn’t to convince him but to pray for him and to live my life in a way that allows him to see Christ in me. Praying is sometimes the easier of the two!

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