So many don’t bother with marriage, today.
I know why.
And I know why we should bother with it, too. And I want to explain that.
Not so many years ago, everyone married, if they possibly could. Taken within the whole picture, which is probably several thousand years of marriages, the last fifty years form a very small time frame, but in that small fifty-year blip, we’ve nearly trashed the whole idea of marriage. Very few young women desire to learn homemaking, even. Everyone thinks everyone will enter the “work” force and someone else had better do the home thing, because that would be too much work.
In fact, I’ve heard more than one woman say she needed to go back to work to rest up from being home with her family. It’s that bad, in case you didn’t know.
So, to avoid the true work of being home trying to cause happiness for self and immediate family, we opt out of having an immediate family. Women live alone or in groups, in apartments, eating fast food, in filth or hiring the cleaning done, entertaining themselves with movies and other methods of generally prolonging their spoiled childhoods.
Of course, to support this lifestyle, they must be gone all day, slaving for a wage, or else devise a method of escaping very much work on the job. Maybe you’re not one of them, but you know they’re out there and they are many. And it is not a satisfying life, generally speaking.
These ladies often have normal hormones, though, and may even think living with someone besides the girlfriends would be some kind of more exotic fun. Sometimes they find a guy they really enjoyed meeting and getting to know. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, it is not good, God says, that this guy should be a single entity. So things are progressing towards a more normal life for her.
Then, he gets this idea that marriage would tie him down. He keeps putting off the date. Hormones do their natural thing. Unbridled by Mom and Dad (she’s so old, she left home for this mess years ago) she comes to the realization that they are such close friends, they might as well be married; she’s doing his laundry already since she knows how and he’s out of town a lot…
Yep. You guessed it. They’re living together as man and wife and they’re not married.
Fifty years ago, this fact would be shocking. Embarrassing.
These days, it’s shocking to hear someone make the delineation. What!
These days, I fight embarrassment just writing it.
But only about 2000 years ago, it was not such a shocking thing. Jesus confronted a woman then, who was living with a man who was not her husband. Yep, He called her out. (Not in a mean way, mind you. It was Jesus, after all, and HE gets it.)
From this, we learn it may not be such an uncommon problem.
So, let’s just analyze why we don’t bother to marry.
We can be just as “one” without it; as long as we’re committed to each other, what difference does that license, a mere piece of paper, make, anyway?
We’re in love NOW; getting ready for marriage takes forever, costs too much, and would delay us another whole year.
You old people just don’t get it; your own lives are a mess and you cannot tell us what to do.
We want to begin with just seeing if we can make it. Then we’ll talk about marriage.
5. Planned obsolescence.
Divorce is so expensive; this way is better.
Now. Tell me. What kind of nut begins a major, life-changing enterprise of any sort, based upon short-sightedness, impatience, anger, indecision, and planned obsolescence? Care to bet on the odds it will succeed? If you need help with that answer, just look around you.
So let’s respond. If marriage is good, what about these objections?
- If a couple plans a lifetime of commitment to each other, they seal that with a license, a sort of legal binding agreement, a piece of paper, yes, that proves there was a day when they both agreed marriage is good and they wanted one. And they’ve signed it in the presence of witnesses.Do you grasp this?
I’m saying, “Marriage IS the commitment.”
If you do not marry each other, you are not committed, not yet. You are deliberately leaving an escape door unlocked, just in case, and are in denial about it. If you are “committed” you marry, to prove it.
I say it again, “Marriage IS the commitment.”
And before we sniff too hard at the meaningful value of a piece of paper, why not take that piece of paper out of your wallet that says $100, and hand it to me?
- If he’s telling you it costs too much and takes too long, he’s probably really saying he’s not a big enough boy to take on responsibility, yet.
However, if you are the one using this excuse, you probably think you need a $5000 dress, a bower of roses in a certain pale pink, a huge wedding event hall, ALL “pampered girlie” kitchen supplies, a brand-new washer/dryer combo, two cars, new carpet, etc.
Really, you can marry for a LOT less than you think. There are zillions of white dresses out there and they’re all less expensive if you do not purchase them from a bridal store; flowers from a big-box store are $10 per bunch; your own church (You do belong to one, right? Marriages are their trade!) will let you in for free; kitchen supplies outside of a wire whip and a good knife are overrated and usually not welcome in the best kitchens; you are not too good for a laundromat; you can share a car or even do the carpool fad; and shampoo the old carpet or tear it out and use a painted floor until later.
In other words, you could delay gratification on a few non-essentials, if you are really an adult.
Collecting what you will need while on a budget can be so fun.
In the process, you can also find out if you two can even economize, or if it’s just too hard for you. It’s a good thing to know: Can each one sacrifice a material whim for the betterment of the other?
You’re mad at us because we’re older than you and that’s why you want to copy us.
That’s why you want to punish yourself.
I get that.
- Marriage is not the same as paint. We put up a bit of paint on the wall to see if we like it. If not, we get something else and change it. If we tire of that, we change it again. If it fades, we change it again. If it goes out of style, we change it again. If our friends get a new paint job, we change it again.
Marriage is not the same as paint.
Marriage is permanent.
- The best marriages are built on shear grit. There is a determination that, if you were mature, you would know about, that does not let a person give up. It’s a grand thing and causes the completion of many other grand things.
When we look at an accomplishment such as the Golden Gate Bridge or Statue of Liberty, we are seeing a standard that has been raised for us to emulate.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
It is not sensible to plan for failure. Not at all. Whatever you plan for is what you will do.
The possibility of failure should cause us to plan harder to succeed, should drive us to be stronger, kinder, more forgiving, funnier, cuter, cleaner, and even sexier. The cure for the possibility of failure is NOT going ahead and failing, but it is “trying-trying-again” until the day we die.
In the end, when we hope to build something that lasts, the happiest decision is to follow the guidelines set up by God. His mercy shines so brightly within the context of marriage. Life outside it is cold, lonely, and colorless. If only we could see how much God loves us, we’d never doubt our ability to love another, but rather, we’d turn to Him for more of His infinite love, to give to another.
And that is why and that is how we are to marry.