Dreams and Visions: Duane Arnold, PhD

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18 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    We need to start looking at our mature saints as resources instead of putting them out to pasture.

    Once you hit 50 you start to feel like you don’t matter anymore…and biblically we matter more than ever.

    I have new dreams now…that I may not be able to finish, but some young folks might have the vision to do so…

  2. Duane Arnold says:


    Could not agree more…

  3. Michael says:

    The problems we face as both a church and a culture no longer yield to old solutions.

    We needs God blessed dreams and visions to find new ways to maneuver old paths…

  4. Dan from Georgia says:

    One of my dreams is not something discussed here at PhoenixPreacher, but here goes:

    The “looking back” part:

    I didn’t get married until I was in my early 40s. This is not all that unusual today, but here is the rub: Scripture doesn’t speak much about when is the right age to get married, but it does say that it is better to marry than burn (whatever “burn” means). All through my 20s and even into my 30s I had a close friend who kept encouraging me to “wait” and “God will bring my spouse to me”. Wait. Wait. Wait. Now I will admit that I wasn’t ready for a wife until my 40s, but that’s another story. What bothers me is this, if you look at the whole of Scripture, I don’t think you can make a case for delaying marriage being a wise choice. Need I say why? Heck, I was single for a LONG time and can tell you that it’s not healthy unless you are called to be single or have an enormous amount of self-control.

    Today I struggle with my past single years and consider them a waste. Would I have matured sooner had I married earlier in life? Many “why” questions I ask. Also I resent my friend for offering up such unbiblical advice, while she got married at a younger age than I did.

    My dream: Simple, but it’s this, to break the “curse” (if you will allow me to use that phrase) of delaying marriage due to emotional, educational, and financial immaturity (couldn’t think of a better way to phrase that), and to help single’s I know back home and elsewhere to GET OFF THEIR YOU-KNOW-WHAT’s and actually partner with God to find a spouse.

  5. John 20:29 says:

    “The problems we face as both a church and a culture no longer yield to old solutions.”

    yes and no 🙂 ultimately, when God brings the hammer down it will be an old solution forecast some thousands of years ago

    The hope that Scripture gives us in what it can only hint at can leave us dreaming perhaps… but i’d ask do we, the Church, now need dreams or do we need to learn to stand? the Church is a bit stupid, taken as a whole today… we don’t seem to be able (or inclined) to mine the rich treasures that “real” disciplined, in depth study of the Word yields… as has been noted here, going verse by verse with no grounding, just platitudes and applications so-called leaves the Believer with nothing to stand on and, certainly very little supernatural strength to do so anyway … at the very least, our leaders should be firmly rooted and grounded in the Word – then, maybe, just ‘maybe,’ they then can trot out methodology that speaks to the modern culture

    Still, it is a good question, where has the ability to dream gone? Perhaps, it has been pixeled away from us?

  6. Captain Kevin says:

    “We need to start looking at our mature saints as resources instead of putting them out to pasture.”

    I appreciate people like Bill Ritchie, who didn’t just retire, but had a dream of ministering to and mobilizing the more mature saints among his congregation.

  7. The New Victor says:

    @4 Dan, so did I wait… until 37, and I additionally sinned twice by not marrying her (engagement is a poor cover, and I didn’t take communion during this time, so I have no excuse), and unequally yoking myself with a non believer (who “hated” marriage, and what fool chooses to bond with that? This fool). I never lived the young single life, but certainly burned (in lust). I ended up duly punished per Gal. 6:7, perhaps. She and her young paramour were punished worse: mutual domestic violence, he was arrested once semi-related to that… they both were almost arrested this past Christmas Eve when they both called the cops on each other, and little D4 awoke to see cops in the apartment. Who suffered most? Our lambs… and they told me other things, not reportable to the authorities, but not good.

    Interestingly, I got a text from him one night months after they seperated. “Forgive me for trespassing against you.” So I forgave him, and I meant it.

    I still think he may be a danger to them since he’s hyper Christian to the point that he’d get looks from the most hyper CC crowd, but I can only pray. They were both baptized by the local mega church, but things only got worse…

    My dream is to better guide our children, and be honest about my failings. At the risk of sounding Dominionist, a better world starts at home, as does an evil world.

    I’m not sure of I qualify for marriage now even given “adultery” or the then unbelieving “spouse” leaving. I lean towards no… even if I could sure use the helpmeet around here.

    She asked to come back earlier this year. Rejected, per Deuteronomy (I forget the verse… found it two weeks ago).

  8. Duane Arnold says:

    Dan and New Victor

    It sounds like you both have some wisdom to share with those coming up behind us. Have either of you thought of sharing this sort of thing within a church or classroom setting?

  9. Dan from Georgia says:

    The New Victor…Thanks for sharing. My view is no one really “qualifies” for marriage. I may have sounded like that in my comment, but I was more trying to get at being ready in a way that I could financially support a wife, and I could be ready to give to her emotionally. In marriage 7 years now and I am still learning and growing to this day. Things still come up that I have to work on.

    And our Lord forgives, even adultery and divorce. I know divorce is a taboo and sometimes considered the worst sin a believer can commit in some circles, but God himself divorced himself from Israel, so He is familiar with the pain of a wayward spouse.

    Sexual purity from age 18 to my early 40s was NOT my specialty. And boy oh boy did I really resent all the “good” Christian kids who got married in their early 20s, all the while I was told to “wait”. Oh that was such spiritual sounding advice I got all those years ago (sarcasm intended)…advice that kept me lonely, sinning, and in bondage to fear and failure. I kind of believed that marriage was some kind of reward given only to those who grew up in Christian families and went to Christian Colleges, went on missions trips, and lived perfect lives.

    My desire is to see people not repeat my mistakes and miss out on what God may have for them. I read a blog on singleness and Christianity and its very apparent that some people are having a hard time even finding a date. My desire is also not to see the “blame the single guy in his mommy’s basement playing video games for all the single gals out there” card used against guys. Christian women and men need to give each other a break, more often than not. And for those who are outside the stereotypical 18-25 year “marriage material” range, that there is hope.

  10. Dan from Georgia says:

    Duane, never really considered it, but am open to it once my wife and I get established more in our church. My concern has deepened over the years as I see and hear about all the single Christians I know back in Minnesota who are still hanging out with each other in fellowships and groups, and I don’t hear about many marriages (maybe there are, I have a few contacts I am considering asking what it’s like in those groups).

  11. Duane Arnold says:

    #10 Dan

    Do consider it. I’ve witnessed the same thing, especially among my more “creative” younger friends – musicians, filmmakers, etc. By the time that they hit their mid 30s and feel that they are on the road, they look around and find no one beside them. It really is an issue.

  12. The New Victor says:

    I’ve been honest about this with a couple of friends in my church. I’m totally open to judgement, here or anywhere. I may need to get back to the Wednesday night bible study, as there are young people joining. Much younger than me, but maybe similarly struggling as I did for years.

    What I have noticed is that there are programs focused upon women, which is good, but not so much for men, especially those who might be like me. I mentioned it to someone, who sympathized, but encouraged me to start leading. 46, 5 and 7 year olds… I’m not out of the distribution of being an “older dad” in the Silicon Valley, but I kind of feel like it in church. I think I need to get back into it by rejoining the mid week men’s group. Every other week we have my son’s in home ABA therapy session, but I have no excuse for every other week. I tend to go hermit, and that’s selfish.

  13. Duane Arnold says:

    #12 New Victor

    Making one’s way through “middle age” is not always easy. I suddenly realized the other day that one of my younger friends whom I met when he was 32 is now getting ready to turn 40 this year. He told me that middle age has just sort of “appeared” and he’s feeling a bit disoriented – not young enough for the those in their 20s, not old enough for my generation. Do consider doing a bit of mentoring…

  14. John 20:29 says:

    it is interesting that man tries to put everything into boxes with labels… if one considers that they first reach adulthood at age 20, then one doesn’t even reach the second half of their adult life until they reach age 50 🙂
    granted not all live to age 80, but then not all live to age 50 … so ….

    FWIW, my best friend through H.S. and college met a fella 6 years older than herself, they dated (in those days dating was going someplace in public) and he became serious (in those days that meant, “will you marry me”)… she talked to me about the proposal as she didn’t feel very “romantically inclined” toward him… she thought he was a nice fella (he was a Lutheran, MLD) and she enjoyed his company, but he just didn’t seem like her prince charming…
    her parents had a talk with her: he WAS a very nice, very stable, very committed man and if she didn’t accept his proposal, she might spend the rest of her life looking for that prince charming as men who made good husbands didn’t come along that often… they married and have lived a VERY happy and rewarding life together for 60+ years now… their children? all wonderful adults, all committed Christians now with families of their own (raised in a non denominational community church, tho – neither his Lutheranism, nor her Presbyterianism)

    my point is? a life partner should be the goal of marriage – hopefully a partner that you find very attractive because otherwise? oy ve it will be a test you don’t want to take
    we all perhaps have unrealistic ideas of what marriage is all about, especially when we’re young… not saying that you should marry someone just to be married, BTW

    society is more and more raising our young to be self absorbed and goal oriented to success – neither good husbands, nor good wives and yet i think most of them, like God designed us, want to be just that…

    pontification over…

  15. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Marriage advise is a crap shoot – this is as good as any

  16. j2theperson says:

    I think there’s a lot to be said for getting married younger even without bringing sexual purity into the equation. Socially/emotionally I’m not sure that it’s normal for humans to spend 10+ years living on their own outside of some sort of family or small group structure. Correct me if I’m wrong, but as far as I’ve noticed, historically it seems like people grew up in families and stayed in those families until they got married and started their own. The argument is that people should graduate college and get established in a job before they start thinking about marriage, but my impression is that, as goal oriented as that may sound, it really just results in a lot of aimlessness, lack of focus, and loneliness/depression.

    I didn’t get married until I was 28. I don’t regret that, and I hadn’t really met any suitable men prior to my husband, and in some respects I’m quite grateful that I didn’t marry until then because if I had done so sooner I would have ended up stuck in the evanglical religious world forever and it would have been pretty bad. Nevertheless, although waiting until I was older turned out to be pretty good for me, I feel that there were a lot of unhealthy ideas about dating and marriage. The whole idea that it’s wrong to long for a spouse and that Jesus should be enough for you is very harmful and incorrect.

    And that’s not even bringing up all of the fertility issues and family-size considerations that aren’t necessarily discussed when people are young but can have devastating impacts if they wait too long to get married and start families.

    All in all, if my kids were on the young side and found suitable partners I would not be opposed to them getting married young, and I certainly don’t intend to raise them to think that they have to wait until their late 20s or beyond to start considering marriage as an option.

  17. Dan from Georgia says:

    Thanks Duane! (post 11). And I CERTAINLY don’t want to get up in front of people or write a column doling out advice, Maybe when I have this marriage thing figured out I will consider that…ha!

  18. Dan from Georgia says:

    “The whole idea that it’s wrong to long for a spouse and that Jesus should be enough for you is very harmful and incorrect”

    Spot on j2theperson!

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