The first Critic of Offbeat Marriage raises 5 important questions – you be the judge!

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They say that the moment you start receiving critiques about what you do, and you know you do work hard with all your heart, that signals that you’re actually on your way to success. I bear that in mind, therefore when I met my first ever critic for this site, I’m kind of happy, took some time to reflect, identified the key points raised, but refused to get intimidated.

One reader took effort to inform me how some of my articles offend her. She went as far as writing about me and my site on her blog just to bring her points across. It worked! In fact, the only reason why I couldn’t deal with her questions pronto was that I had to concentrate on passing the German Language test that I am required to do.

So here are the 5 points that my critic raised.

1. “I’m confused, is this blog about intercultural marriage or a place for you to claim the truth of Christianity?”

The reason of her confusion is that I’ve written some articles about how to strengthen a marriage based from Christian principles and quoted some Biblical texts. One particular post that really irked her where she left the above comment is 5 traits of a good wife – what makes a good wife good?

If this site isn’t about intercultural marriage, you wouldn’t find here articles and interviews about intercultural marriages. However, if you read the About page, you would understand that there are other topics that I wish to cover in this blog. Making marriage work is one of them.

If I wish to use this site to claim the truth of Christianity, you would have found here articles about why Jesus is God? Why the Bible is the absolute truth? Why converting to Christianity is good? Why there is no reincarnation? What is the essence of the Dark of Ages? What does the Three Angels Message mean? Who were the first Patriarchs and Prophets? And what is the 1000 years? – I know I made you more confused, but here’s the point: if you find all these articles in this blog, then perhaps the answer to your question is “Yes, I use this blog to claim the truth of Christianity.” I make that task easy for you; just click the “Site Map” in the navigation bar to search if these articles do exist.

2. She finds the article 5 traits of a good wife bad and wrong because it’s written based from Christian principles and some Biblical texts are quoted. She claims that the Bible isn’t the source of absolute truth therefore the article “isn’t something that generates conversation where we can actually learn something.”

I understand that a lot of people question the credibility of the Bible and that’s something that I can’t change. However, let’s go back to the article in question, is it bad because it harms more your marriage when the principles given are applied or is it bad simply because you’re not a Christian (she’s a white Hindu) and you detest Christianity? Which is judgmental?

One tip that I shared in the article is “wives, respect your husbands”. Are you telling me that in Hinduism, women are taught to disrespect their husbands?

Another principle mentioned in the article is “women ought to be the sustainer of their husbands”. What makes this point wrong? The only time this advice becomes bad is when you’re married to a drug lord or a killer (and you know he’s doing drugs and killings) or a sadist and you still keep sustaining him in his mission – to harm you or other people.

Biblical texts aside, please point out to me which principles in this article can harm a marriage more than help it. And please, only do so without a judgmental and bias mentality.

3. “On the front, the woman behind the Offbeat Marriage site seems to have the agenda of supporting intercultural marriage, but while I read deeper, I realized that she has another agenda, to push on people what she believes in.”

I find it troubling that this woman who critics me accuses me of having the agenda of attracting people to come to my site because of promises that I’ll tell them how to make their intercultural marriage work or that because I support them, but that once they’re in, I eventually will entice them into Christianity. Guess what? I believe my readers are smarter than that, so fret not!

They will eventually scan the materials in this site for the ones fitted to them, obviously, because not all the tips shared by a Christian-Buddhist couple, for example, apply to a Christian-Christian intercultural couple and vice-versa.

I know that not all of my advice will be embraced by everyone and that’s fine. I open my site to feature different intercultural marriages with different religions – Christian or not. That must show that I don’t marginalize people by their religion. But don’t take that against me by telling me to stop writing articles that reflect my Christian point of view. After all, I don’t tell you to stop writing about your Hindu life and beliefs in your blog just because I’m a Christian.

4. Who is this woman behind the Offbeat Marriage site to tell people why open marriage isn’t healthy?

Another article that raises my critic’s eyebrows is the 4 reasons why open marriage doesn’t work. I wrote this article after following some blogs for some time those showcase their experiment with open marriage. When finally they raised their hands up and announced in their blogs “Our open marriage didn’t work and we are divorcing. Next time around, I don’t plan to share!” I decided to make use of what they’ve learned.

Based from these blogs, I came up with this article, picking up the points from the first hand experiences of these couples. If you’re curious, just type in google “open marriage” and those blogs will show up in the first few pages of results.

Now who am I to write against open marriage and to possibly know what’s best and what’s not? I’m no expert in open marriage because I don’t do it nor I plan to do it in the future. But there’s a saying “Mistakes make you wise; but learning from others’ mistakes make you wiser.”

But note, if you read my article, I never mentioned nor did I imply in any way that couples who do open marriage are bad. My article simply discussed why this set up can’t be healthy in a marriage. I respect people who do it, but I don’t support it.

This woman questions me why I wrote the article in the first place? The answer is simple – because I can! Just as you can write a post questioning my articles, my motives in running my site, the credibility of the Bible much more generating a discussion that claims why Hinduism is better than Christianity in your blog, I too can write about anything in my blog and the consequences will be met only by me! That’s what you call “Right”.

But if you want to effectively challenge this article, I suggest you write about “Why open marriage is good and how to make it work”. I’ll be more than happy to link to it because that will give my readers a more balanced view on both sides of the coin.

Update: Even the famous blogger, Steve Pavlina, ruined his marriage in late 2009 after he experimented on Polyamory, open marriage. How many more proofs do you need to get convinced that open marriage will never work because it´s not God´s plan for marriage?

5. This woman who writes the Offbeat Marriage site “will only create disaster for her children because she says evolution is just a theory and shouldn’t be taught in schools”.

If you read my article Great Design vs. Evolution Theory, and you read it with keen eyes, you will see the vulnerability of a woman who’s in an intercultural and interfaith marriage, who’s moving to a country where she and her husband will build their family, a country where home schooling isn’t an option, and a place where a balance influence between Great Design and Evolution beliefs are less likely to be available to her future children.

I had plenty of questions why Germany doesn’t allow home schooling, why the belief on evolution is prevalent even if it’s a widely Catholic country? I did research, thus the article.

Did I ever say that evolution (and yes it’s a theory that’s why you call it “evolution theory”) shouldn’t be taught in schools? I discussed in the article only the reasons, a little history, why and how it became an important element of Germany’s school curricula as well as of other schools/universities in the world and what’s the Catholic Church’s stance towards it (we need a little of reading comprehension here!). In fact, the question is, why not teach the Great Design side by side with the evolution in schools to provide the students fair access to comparison?

This article doesn’t provide a solution to the problem, how to teach our children with these two opposing beliefs, true, but that’s because I and my husband haven’t come up with a reasonable compromise yet plus you can’t rule out the fact that we haven’t got children yet – which I clearly mentioned in the article as well.

I wrote it simply to provide window to other young interfaith couples as to how deep differences in belief can creep in a marriage which is usually being underestimated early on the relationship.

But leaving me words in the comment section that say “you will just create disaster for your children because you don’t show respect to evolution” isn’t rational, as you so claim on your blog post, because you don’t provide helpful suggestions on how to work out such issues which I did solicit concluding the post. So please don’t wonder if your comments don’t grace the page, I don’t find your comments something which I and my readers can benefit from.

Finally, I would like to quote the advice of my favorite mentor back in my university days. “Teach to learn and learn to teach.

In many ways I’m still learning about this noble vocation called “marriage” and it happened to be extra-challenging. I built this blog to enable me to share what I have learned so far as I and my husband navigate in our marriage and also to learn to enable me to have something to teach.

I want this blog to journey with us along with other intercultural couples that are a part of this blog – Christian or not. But Christianity is what makes me and you can’t take that away from me. If you aren’t blessed by my blog and its contents, you are welcome to move pass it and search for something more worthwhile for you, the internet has a lot.

And thank you for bringing these points to my attention; they gave me good reasons to reflect, such as the need for a commenting policy?

photo by spoon

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White Bhabi

I’m sure it goes without saying that in Hinduism the wife is taught more than just to respect her husband…he is meant to be like a God to her. He is the epitome of what a christian husband would have been 1000 years ago. He takes care of every aspect of his wife’s needs and cares for her as if he couldn’t live without her. She would never dishonor or disrespect him and having been raised Christian and now converted to Hindu I would have to say that the role is defined the same by both religions basically but the intensity is much stronger in Hinduism and the role is taken much more seriously than in Christianity. (I’m not disrespecting either religion – just pointing out what I have seen and lived!) In both religions marriage is more than a business contract. Women are supposed to love, honor, and support and cherish their husbands.

While I have noticed your Christian overtones here, I have not seen anything detrimental or as propaganda for promoting anyone to race right out to the nearest Baptist church and confess all their sins. Almost all major world religions subscribe to the fact that a religious based marriage stands a much better chance of surviving so it only stands to reason that religion is a GOOD thing in any marriage. Even atheist tend to subscribe to religious principles without realizing it because like it or not – religion permeates the entire world and everything we have ever learned.

And yes, I am a little smarter than to change my stubborn mind based on one woman’s view of marriage and how Christianity is good for it. Christianity made me who I am, and that is why I never throw all my eggs in one pot. I doubt any of your readers worship you like some Hindus do their guru so I’m sure none of your followers are oogling every word you type. (No offense – I’m being funny!) Of course, if they start sending you money, gold and flower based gifts – you should worry! 😉

I think some people have nothing better to do than fuss. Their narrow minds can’t fathom the fact that there are other ways of thinking than their own and that God gives us each a unique experience in life in which we each learn differently (that’s why intercultural marriages are so difficult – it’s a no-brainer), think differently and live differently. I don’t understand how someone could ever be in an intercultural relationship and expect it to last if they can’t even respect that no two people in this world are alike and that we are not all drones on the same train of thought.

I’ve been through a lot of your blog and haven’t seen anything that screams ‘Be Christian.’ Realistically, this is a blog…by definition that’s a personal journal type website. What about that screams that it is the definitive authority on any subject? Would the same reader read your diary and be just as negative? Sadly I think that is a yes lol….

You have a good blog, a great reference point and lots of intriguing, thought-provoking information. If she doesn’t like it she can point her browser elsewhere. After all, it’s a big, big, world wide web out there.

gleenn

Hi White Bhabi,

Thank you so much for giving us a more balanced view between Christianity and Hinduism especially relating to the topic of “Wives must respect their husband”. I do agree, based from what I see, that a lot of Christians are no longer applying this principle by heart. While women become stronger and a lot claim that they now find their “pair of balls”, respecting a husband by acknowledging his leadership somehow becomes old fashion.

Reading your comments I realized that I wrote the “5 traits of a good wife” as a reminder more for Christian wives than any other religious group of women. After all, it seems, that we Christian women need more reminding.

I always love your comments because they never fail to contribute witty arguments to my posts. You are able to point out angles that are debatable and argue by offering a different angle.

I need more comments like yours, something not judgmental and something that we can actually benefit from. 🙂

Aamba

I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings at all! I may have been too harsh. I didn’t mean to be super critical, I just felt like the Christian perspective might make it off-putting for people in other kinds of inter-faith relationships looking for solid advice.

There’s not necessarily anything wrong with your article about what makes a good wife, it just bothered me that the reasons given were Biblical ones. I think it’s good for a wife to respect her husband, but not because the Bible says so. It would be more value to people in a variety of inter-faith positions if the reasons given were more about why it makes a good marriage, not because the Bible says so.

But maybe that’s just my own issue. I do think you’re doing good work here and I think you’re creating a great resource! I’m happy that you’re doing that.

gleenn

hi Aamba, you do have a point, an article that’s inspired by Biblical or Christian reasons might off-put people who don’t believe in such. However, I also believe, that if these people can win their tendency to be critical and judgmental, they too can benefit even from religious inspired materials as long as those aren’t propagandas that convince them to convert.

But I understand your point, in fact, I appreciate the effort you exerted to bring your worries/dissatisfaction to my attention. They will help me decide on how to grow this blog and to be more sensitive to my other readers who aren’t Christians. I only thought, that your way of informing me could have been more polite and your critiques could be constructive. Thanks and more power to your blogs.

Chiron

I went through some of your blog posts. You have that familiar “new convert” trait. I noticed in your about page and from your photo that you are an asian. Christianity isn’t native to this part of the world so your people must have converted not too long ago. This explains the religious undertones in your articles.

But my point is, why do you feel the need to explain yourself? This is your blog and you have the freedom to write whatever you want. Some people believe in evolution and some people believe in god. So?

gleenn

hi Chiron! Yeah, my country is a convert to Christianity and that’s thanks to the more than 300 years of colonization by Spain in the 1500’s. They introduced Christianity to us, especially the Roman Catholicism, although the Protestantism came a lot later.

But I´m NOT a new convert. I was born and raised in this belief.

Regarding your point, of course there’s no need for me to explain myself, but I chose to do so, if only that could enlighten the mind of my one reader who is confused about what this blog is about and if I really plan to convert her to Christianity. I hope this article has served its purpose.

Aamba

You’re right, I was too harsh. I am sensitive about Christianity and it can cause me to react more strongly than is appropriate.

I guess it just made me feel like the message is that the only way to have a good marriage is to be a Christian! And I don’t think that’s your intent, but that’s the vibe that I get.

Something to be aware of anyway!

I want you to know that I admire your passion and the work that you’re putting in.

gleenn

I wish you can also reecho this apology and realization at your own blog to give your readers a balance point of view.

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