Matt W Cook

writer.former fundamentalist.christianly fellow

Month: June, 2008

No life…

Hey guys.

Marriage is different from a wedding. Everyone loves weddings. Most people I talk to seem to be pretty down about marriage. Odd, eh?

I remember the night before I got married I bumped into a stranger who told me that I was really in for it. He claimed that no girl was ever worth it because of all the freedom you lose in marriage. Some married friends would also tell me similar things, hinting that our affection was just because we were new at the relationship game and in a few years we would cool down and settle into a boring routine not unlike having a roommate. Generally, the picture we got of marriage before (and after) it happened was dim.

I was afraid for a little while that these experienced people were right. I was scared because I thought I really loved Ruth when we were engaged and first married. Could it have been that it was little more than an extreme infatuation destined to cool off and lose all its affection before our third year together? Critics of marriage had both experience and popular opinion on their side. Is marriage the prison sentence they make it out to be?

After four years of marriage I have come to place the following label on this sort of advice: CRAP

Four years and two kids has done nothing to abate my love, affection and energy for Ruth. In fact, I tell you the truth, I have more love, affection, passion and fun for/with my wife now than I EVER have. I don’t say this because I’m separated from her right now, I’m not being affected with an over-acting sympathetic spirit. I mean it completely honestly. The only thing that has cooled off in our marriage is conflict and misunderstanding. We have more fun and love and gentleness than we’ve ever had. This past year was our best year for marital bliss. Prospects for next year seem even better. I’m inclined to believe that every year after will turn out to be the best years of our lives. My marriage rocks.

I think, perhaps, it’s because we work for it. We are not willing to let anything quietly grow up between us that will damage our relationship. We refuse to live separate lives. We refuse to let petty things and mistrust get in the way of our enjoyment of each other. And it works.

In the end I think it’s the Gospel that makes our marriage great. The Gospel enables us to cover a multitude of sins with love. It also gives us the power to kill that sin after it’s covered. Christ is our marriage counselor.

So you were are almost married or newly marriage or marriage ages ago. Don’t settle for what our society calls a normal marriage. Work hard, trust Christ, and love your wife! There’s hardly an earthly joy that even comes close to a good marriage. Maybe that’s because marriage has a touch of heaven in it.

Car Trouble

I have been borrowing a dear friend’s car for the past month or so. It’s really useful in a big city like Karachi. I think I’ve finally gotten used to driving here. Some people ask if the driving is difficult. I like to liken it to trying to sprint barefoot across a floor covered in shards of glass while being chased by rabid dogs. Miraculously, my feet are not bleeding yet.

The other night Ruth and her little sister Rani were asking me to show them how to drive. So we hopped in the car and found a nice, quiet area of town. We parked right in front of a mosque. I didn’t actually take them driving, though. They were a little nervous so we basically just sat there while I got them to press the clutch and change gears.

After they had had enough of that fun we decided to go to McDonald’s for milkshakes. So I hopped back in the driver’s seat and turned the ignition. Lo, and behold, the car battery was completely dead.

To understand the humour of what happened next you’ll have to understand some things about Pakistani culture.

Since we had only planned to sit in the car, Ruth and Rani decided there was no need to dress up special. Ladies generally never wear western clothes here and there are outfits fit for home that are not fit for outside. Rani was wearing incredibly miss-matched Shalwar Qamis, which is a very bad fashion faux-pas here. Ruth was wearing the pants of a Shalwar Qamis and a western T-Shirt, a fashion problem so big that I’ve only seen foreigners doing it. All of this was, of course, no big deal because we never intended to leave the car. But now the car was stuck. And, as providence would have it, we had broken down right in front of a mosque.

So I sent my ill-clad girls out to push the car. I was surprised by their enthusiasm. Girls are genereally not allowed to help with mechanical things here, so it was exciting. Their excitement faded a bit when the doors to the mosque opened and all the devotees started walking out, having finished their prayers.

But by this time they had already started to push, so there was nothing to do but continue. So amid stares and confused looks they pushed the car down the street until I got it started.

And if, at this point, you’re thinking to yourself that my little story was boring and a little pointless, just trust me on this: If you were Sindhi you’d think it was hilarious.

Scribes who Scribd

I found a new site the other day. Scribd. It’s a site where you can upload any documents you’ve written and share them with the world. I’ve signed up. Check it out.

No Words

Leaving Pakistan soon. Running around getting ready. I don’t feel too contemplative and on the rare occasions that I do I am far from a computer. So here’s some pictures of my baby to fill in.