For a long number of years, my husband and I ate margarine.
I mean, we were raised on it and preferred it. So it was natural for us to continue the habit into our marriage.
But a day came when I tasted my first, ever, homemade French pastry and asked about what gave it a far superior flavor.
You can guess the rest of the story.
And, yes, today we consume only real butter or natural oils in our house. In fact, we like butter so much, we use it for dip or spread on tortilla chips.
In fact, writing this makes me hungry.
And marriage can be like margarine. Or like butter: You can choose and you really want butter.
Let me explain.
I remember the first margarine our dad brought home.* It was white, as white as shortening. I remember we didn’t like it but our dad wanted us to eat it. He said it was just like butter.
I think it was less expensive, since my folks were a bit poor and my dad was rather insistent about how good it tasted—just like butter—and how much it didn’t matter if it was white.
So we devoted our entire lives to eating margarine.
And marriage can be like margarine.
But as you know, we did drop the margarine habit, eventually. We learned how much more yum and health-giving real butter is, how preferable it is for baking and sauces, and how it keeps well at room temperature, making it a handy, if addictive, dip.
All our kids prefer real butter, too, and real whipped cream. We not only fed them the real thing, so fake would taste, to them, like the horror that it is, but we also educated them. They know how toxic the plastic dairy products are and how animals die if they eat them.
In fact (no offense meant to the owner of the name, but they took to calling margarine “Fischer-Price butter”, in the same manner as when they re-named plastic-covered, chipboard entertainment centers “Fischer-Price furniture”.
The real thing is what we always want, isn’t it? From butter to gold, fake isn’t worth much, at all. Think of it: orange Kool-Aid with a breakfast of blueberry-flavored gummy speckles in your muffins, spread with turkey poison. Not to say It couldn’t sustain you in an emergency, but it’s NOT the goal.
And in my experience, if you prefer fake you’ve not tasted real.
And marriage can be like margarine and fake blueberries and Kool-Aid. And those who prefer fake marriage have not tasted real.
The real definition of real marriage does not take into account: death, incarceration, or separation and makes allowances for: illness, injury, and unemployment. Although all the above can be a huge part of reality, who would choose them as their ideal? Who would prefer them? Who would call them the norm, for marriage?
Not I, even though I’ve been through some of them. Yet we all know of grand marriages that have graciously incorporated some of the bumps of real life, don’t we.”
We all wonder, or should wonder, if we have what it takes to be among those whose marriage ends up healthy and good in the end.
Some of us don’t have it; some do. Of those who do have what it takes, some don’t realize it; some do. Yeah, so don’t feel bad if you’re not sure.
And here it is, the definition of a real marriage:
- God in charge
- One man and one woman
- Who both love God and love each other (love being defined as living for the other guy)
- Man working to fulfill God’s will in his life, while providing for woman
- Woman working to help man in his mission
- Children (if they occur) who grow up Godly
- Faithfulness (or else forgiveness)
What we find is millions upon millions of people who only think they are doing marriage, but really, they are not, exactly.
We’re like kids playing house with toy dishes and dress-ups. We go through the motions of marriage, pretending to be fully grown up, but we have no idea of the purpose, we lack the skill sets, and we lack the power to make a real marriage truly work.
And there is no rest from this “playtime”.
True marriage is lofty. True marriage does not happen on earth; it’s not about the dishes. True marriage happens in heaven and we only attempt to act it out correctly. We make promises to God to try to do truth in marriage, He loans us the power, He calls it a marriage, in heaven, and we all reap the benefits.
Yes, all of our families, all our neighbors, all our church friends, our town, our state, nation, and the world, all, all reap from one true marriage.
And we all suffer from the false ones.
Why is that? Let’s think about that for a bit. Let’s think about where the idea for being married comes from, in the first place, okay? No matter what you think about the Bible, you have to admit it was written several millennia ago, right? And right in the first few pages of the Bible, marriage is commanded.
Whether you believe God wrote the Bible, or Moses did, you must admit, this old idea based on God’s will is THE definition of marriage—something God thought up and commanded. We did not think this up! All the other things we do that are not in the Bible, not God’s command, are NOT the marriage definition. A public ceremony, yes, promises, yes, monogamy, yes, and many more facets of our marriages are God’s ideas for wedding, but are all doable by anyone; all are things we could do and then just walk away, not really meaning it.
After the wedding comes the test: either marriage or margarine.
HOW TO TEST IF YOUR MARRIAGE IS TRUE (the 3-part test)
- You promised before God to do your union His way
- Reality in marriage is still your goal, all these years later, and you pray for your marriage and your husband
- You have a good knowledge of what God says about the various aspects of marriage, including why He would bother with it, or even care, in the first place
Do you pass the test? If so, amazingly good for you! You are a rare one and you know what I’m talking about.
Don’t you! Share in the comments!
*margarine was invented to use as feed to fatten turkeys; it killed them instead.