RSS feed
<< February 2017 | Home | April 2017 >>

Marriage?? (Part V - Oscar Wilde)

"What nonsense when people talk about happy marriages." exclaimed Lord Henry.  The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Unfortunately Lord Henry's statement is hog wash.  In a research by the Pew foundation, 43% of married people say they were "very happy" while 24% of singles reported being happy.  (http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/inside-the-mind/emotions/married-people-happier-than-singles.htm (non-Christian website).

Marriage?? (Part IV - Oscar Wilde)

In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Lady Narborough says to the party "Now a days, all the married men live like bachelors, and all the bachelors live like married men."

However, Lady Narborough (1891) got it all wrong.  Dr. Justin Lehmiller writes:  "For instance, just consider single guys between ages 18-24. What percentage of them report having sex more than 2 times per week? Just over ten percent. How about married guys in the same age range? A full two-thirds (just over 66%)!  In fact, over 20% of married guys in this age group report doing it four or more times per week!  As you can see, single and married guys aren’t even in the same ballpark. The numbers for women tell a very similar story.  Across all ages and genders, married people typically have more sexual contact than their single counterparts."

God in His infinite wisdom created marriage to be a healthful relationship.  Thank God for marriage.

In the book The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian Gray ruminates "To cure the soul by the means of the senses, and the senses by means of the soul.  Yes, that was the secret.  He had often tried it. . . There were opium dens."

Not only are the senses temporary, but they also give out.  Thus, King Solomon at the end of his life wrote:  "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the yeas approach when you will say 'I find no pleasure in them.' "  Senses can give intense pleasure, but pleasure is fleeting.

Forgiveness

In the Painting of Dorian Gray, Basil Hallward confronts Dorian Gray with his evil ways (adultery, sloth, deceitfulness, etc.)  and says "Pray, Dorian. Pray. . . . Lead us not into temptation.  Forgive us our sins.  Wash away our iniquities.  Let us say that together.  The prayer of your pride has been answered.  The prayer of your repentance will be answered also." 
  Dorian Gray then said "It is too late, Basil"

May we repent of our sins before our hearts become hard and we say "It is too late."  It is never too late to repent.  But the longer we wait to repent, the harder it is to repent, thus Dorian Gray could have repented if he wanted too, but did not repent because he no longer wanted to change his ways.

Marriage?? (Part III - Oscar Wilde)

"Bigamy is having one wife too many.  Monogamy is the same."  Oscar Wilde

The first sentence by Oscar Wilde is spot on.  The second sentence is not true.  God made marriage from the beginning to be one husband and one wife, Adam and Eve.  And Christ compares Himself to being married to the church.  Unfortunately, Oscar Wilde failed to see the joy of marriage, the blessing marriage brings. 

Marriage?? (Part II - Oscar Wilde)

“Never marry at all, Dorian. Men marry because they are tired, women, because they are curious: both are disappointed.”  Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Last Sunday in my overview of the Bible, I taught The Song of Songs.  What a difference between Solomon and his bride and Oscar Wilde.  Solomon describes joyfully his bride, and his bride rejoices in her bridegroom. 
Unfortunately, Oscar Wilde did not model the Biblical view of marriage.

Lord God, thank You for making male and female, thank you for making marriage.

Destroy this temple in three days . . .

Yesterday we heard another excellent sermon by Rev. Petr Kornilov.  He preached on Jesus Christ cleansing the temple.  When the Jews asked Him by what authority He did this, Jesus answered them "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."  I always viewed it as Jesus prophesying that He would raise Himself in three days.  But our pastor explained that there are two things going on in addition to the prophesy.  First, He is throwing the challenge to the Sanhedrin - you can destroy Me, but I will be raised up after three days.  You will not succeed.  Second, Jesus Christ is claiming to be the temple.  At the temple is where God's mercy seat is.  God is at the temple.  Where we meet God is through Jesus Christ.

Father, thank You for making Christ as our pathway to You.

Temptation

“The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.”   Oscar Wilde The Picture of Dorian Gray.
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."  Jesus Christ, Matthew 6:13
"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  Jesus Christ, Mark 14:38

What will you do?

Pleasure

Oscar Wilde again writes "Pleasure is nature's test.  When we are happy, we are always good.  But when we are good, we are not always happy."
      Should we not be happy when we are good and doing the Lord's will?  If we are not doing the Lord's will, then we can never really be happy.

Man's Purpose? Organization?

What is man's purpose in life?  In Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, we find this statement:  "They become more highly organized, and to be highly organized is, I should fancy, the object of man's existence." 
     As some of you know, I am not the neatest person in the world, and I should be more highly organized.  But thankfully that is not the object of man's existence.  Otherwise, I am an abject failure.  King Hezekiah said "For the grave cannot praise you, death cannot sing your praise; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for your faithfulness.  The living, the living—they praise you, as I am doing today; parents tell their children about your faithfulness."
  We are created to praise God, not just to be organized.

We have got to give this world back to God

Check out this latest song by Reba McEntire:  We have got to give this world back to God.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9q-08aTNh8

A powerful song of lament.

Marriage??

In Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, one protagonist says "You know I am not a champion of marriage.  The real drawback to marriage is that it makes one unselfish." 
    I agree that marriage makes one unselfish, but that is not the drawback of marriage, but the good of marriage.  Perhaps that is why St. Paul writes in Ephesians 5:25 "Husbands, love our wives , just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her."  Christ loved the church unselfishly, and so we husbands must love our wives in the same way.

Thank you Father for giving us Christ who modeled marriage perfectly.

Always . . . such a dreadful word (Part II)

Oscar Wilde in The Picture of Dorian Gray writes "Always! That is a dreadful word. It makes me shudder when I hear it. . . . It is a meaningless word, too."
   I rejoice when I hear that word.  Jesus Christ said "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

   Thank you Lord for NOT wavering, but for being with us always.

Always . . . such a dreadful word (Part I)

Oscar Wilde in The Picture of Dorian Gray, writes "Always!  That is a dreadful word. It makes me shudder when I hear it. Women are so fond of using it. They spoil every romance by trying to make it last forever. It is a meaningless word, too."
   Is always a dreadful word?  How can you have true romance knowing that your lover may grow tired of you and discard you?  How much better is a romance know that your lover will be with you until death do you part?

Thank You God for making marriage till death do us part.

The terror of God . . .

In Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, the protagonist says "The terror of God which is the secret of religion . . ."
     The terror of God is not the secret of Christianity.  Rather, it is the love of God.  John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world, that He sent His One and Only Son."  It does not say "For God so hated the world, that He cursed the world." 

Lord, thank You that You are Love.

The terror of society . . .

In Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray the protagonist says "The terror of society which is the basis of morals."
      The problem with that statement is that type of society becomes a very legalistic society.  The  society is based on external factors, not internal, from the heart, soul, and conscience.  Thus, the only reason to do good is to please society. 
       The second problem is that when society breaks down, there is no moral foundation on which to rebuild society.
       Lord, we pray that You will move us for Your good.