January 7, 2010

We All Mean Well

When my pastor came 10 years ago, my first words to him were, "Always remember, we mean well." He laughed so I knew that he got it. And while we do mean well - most of the time - sometimes we mess up, despite our best intentions. And so do our pastors. (Let me make it clear up front that this post is not about my current pastor.)

In my previous post, I included the link to Jon Acuff's blog about Being Single During Christmas at Church. I posted a comment to that post, and I thought it was worth mentioning here.

This was my comment:

At times in the past when my church was called to fast, a pastor would say something like, "If you're married, you can fast from sex." Did I mention that these fasts were only ONE DAY long? If a married couple giving up sex on a given Wednesday counts as a fast, then I won't need to fast for a long, long time.

The pastor who made the suggestion was much more sensitive than the comment implies. Really, I know he meant well. He went on about why abstaining from sex (for a day) would be considered fasting.

But it did seem silly. As he spoke, I found myself doing the math in my head - and I'm not much on math. How often does the average married couple have sex? A couple of times a week? What are the odds that Wednesday is, well, a regular event for them? Gee, wouldn't Tuesday be a better mid-week night, what with choir and all?
And even if Wednesday is engraved on the calendar for them, if they fast from sex on Wednesday and it's that bloomin' hard for them, wouldn't they just switch to Thursday?

So the couple of times that we were asked to fast on Wednesday, I skipped dinner. Of course, I don't usually eat dinner during the week anyway so I figured that was fair. After all, if giving up sex for a day can make you holy, then I'm covered for a long while.