Marriage Is Easy

Here’s the definition of marriage: “the state of being united as spouses in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law”

That nails it!

If you like that definition, you don’t need to read any more books about marriage.

…and you don’t need to go to marriage conferences.

If you aren’t satisfied with that definition then, please…

Quit using the dictionary to define your beliefs.

The  dictionary defines God as: “a powerful ruler”

The dictionary defines religion as: “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith”

Using these two definitions, I can say Christianity is: “principles held by faith in a powerful ruler”

That definition is horribly anemic.

“Why are you telling me this, John?  Do you think I’m stupid?”


I don’t think you’re stupid.

I think you know some stupid people.

Sometimes, stupid people write books!

This is from a review of Jerry Coyne’s book:

 Another example [of] laughable standards of scholarship is his method of repeatedly citing the Oxford English Dictionary whenever he needs to define some key term (“religion,” “supernatural,” etc.).  …[imagine] someone writing a book on chemistry and relying on OED…in order to define the key terms.  …he defines a bond as a “physical restraint used to hold someone or something prisoner, especially ropes or chains”; and so forth.  Obviously this would be a ridiculous procedure, since such terms have a technical meaning in chemistry that corresponds only loosely at best to the ordinary usage captured in the usual dictionary definitions.  Now, philosophy and theology too use many terms in technical senses that do not closely correspond to ordinary usage.  Hence it is no less absurd to write on those subjects while relying on a dictionary of ordinary usage for one’s characterization of the key ideas of those fields.”



You can’t understand marriage by looking it up in the dictionary.

The dictionary won’t tell you much about God either.

Skeptics will try to make you defend dictionary definitions.

Because those definitions are frail and weak.

The thing is…

…nobody believes in God of the dictionary.

These words all appear in the dictionary:

  • Religion
  • Faith
  • Belief
  • Hope

But the “definitions” don’t really give them meaning.

16 thoughts on “Marriage Is Easy

  1. Susanne says:

    Marriage is seeing my Mom on Monday, crawl into the hospital bed with my Step-dad and cradle him close to her and he slipped from life here on earth. No memories of the abuse that dementia sufferers can hurl at their care givers, no grudge held for all of her life she gave up in the care of him for the last 9 years. Just pure love as she comforted him as he drew his last breath. I wept at the sight. It is not a memory I will soon forget. She says she needed to hold him one last time. And she is praising God for the time they had together.

    The next morning she is saying how great God is. How at peace she is and how she can feel all the love and prayers being sent out on her behalf. My Mom is a woman of faith who has put her whole life in God’s hands and can see all the blessings through the turmoil. She knows marriage is so much more than the dictionary’s definition and she lived her life showing it.

  2. Amen. Well said.

    “….he defines a bond as a “physical restraint used to hold someone or something prisoner, especially ropes or chains”

    LOL! I’m not judging anyone’s “bonds” of matrimony, but I much prefer just singing “stuck on you” or other corny love songs. To try to define “love” in dictionary terms or through the eyes of “science,” leaves a big part of the story behind.

  3. TimoSing says:

    This is the same mistake people make when they define God as one but somehow come up with ways to say Jesus was divine and the Holy Spirit is a separet person. Everywhere in Scripture when the term one is used when referring to people as unified it doesn’t mean they are the same exact people, but under the same purpose and love, like a marriage, Yet some how it means three in one when referring to God. We should always assume the simple understanding of a word unless instructed to understand it differently..

  4. ‘Being’ married is easy, after you ‘get’ married that is. But the tricky part is ‘staying’ married and ‘living’ a successful and mutually beneficial and ‘the other serving’ kind of marriage. That’s hard work, effort and commitment. And well worth everything you put into it.

    • mrsmcmommy says:

      … Or, marriage is just another way humans delude themselves into thinking life “matters,” when really it’s an eternal exercise in futility. That’s kind of an important question to address, before someone starts preaching about success, benefits, and worth.

          • mrsmcmommy says:

            It’s clear that Pastor Mike believes his comments contain some sort of order and meaning in the universe.

            But do you think he would admit that in so many words?… Or can we start spamming his (meaningless, disordered) words, too?

          • John Branyan says:

            My guess is that the good pastor will refuse to answer a direct question about the meaning of his words. One of the indicators that he has “recovered” from indoctrination is that now he sees “I don’t know” as a humble and satisfactory answer for every question.

  5. mrsmcmommy says:

    I could easily program a Spam Bot that repeats “I don’t know” all the time…
    If we wanted, we could give ALL the Unbelievers a nice little object lesson by sending ALL of their comments to spam until they admit they don’t want to be treated like balls of warm, random chance. 🙂

    • John Branyan says:

      You could do that, but they won’t understand the point. Mike thinks this post is about marriage because that word appears in the title.

      I think we should just let them talk and then mercilessly hold them to whatever they say.

      • mrsmcmommy says:


        But not Ark.

        I told him in no uncertain terms that he will not leave another comment in this blog space until he tells me that he believes his comments are examples of order and meaning in the universe, and I have to show the little tyke that I mean what I say. LOL!

        • John Branyan says:

          To be completely honest, I’m enjoying the peace and quiet.

          Has it occurred to you that maybe he is admitting that his comments are without meaning? Perhaps he hasn’t met your standard because he knows his comments are without order. Perhaps honesty prevents him from saying what you require.

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