Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Just think. What if marriage completely went away? After several decades, no one would appreciate the Princess Bride because they wouldn't know why that crazy man was saying Mawage. This is by far the most important reason marriage cannot die. I believe this is self evident and needs no proof, so I'll spend most of this post talking about some of the side points.

Back to reality, I keep on seeing news articles and tv talk shows asking the question, "Is Marriage Obsolete?" This shocked me when I first heard the question, because marriage is such a deeply ingrained tradition. On the other hand, I wasn't shocked because it's pretty clear that few people take marriage seriously these days.

One Problem:
Some people do not know what it means to commit to anything. When push comes to shove, they drop all commitments because, well, they never really were commitments.

Evidence #1: Divorce is extremely common. People get married, live the good life, get tired of one another, then leave, no hard feelings. You can ask, "Well what's the point of staying together if you're tired of one another?" To that I would respond, "Good question." I think there is an incredible strength to a marriage that has pushed through very difficult times together. There is an enormous amount of merit to sticking through a marriage that is dull, not leaving it there at dull status, but really working at it and working at having a truly intimate relationship. I think that is highly respectable for a couple to push through hard times, dullness, and boredom. In the end this leads to a very strong relationship.

Evidence #2: There are different reasons for divorce. Some like abuse and absolute disrespect may be good reasons for divorce. However, one incredibly common reason for divorce is cheating. It is amazing how common cheating is. Many of us have either been cheated on or have cheated on someone. I think this is just blaring evidence that we are pathetic. It is just absolutely pathetic that people cannot be faithful to their spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend. It takes an absolute lack of self-control to cheat on someone. We all tend to want instant gratification and it is truly sad when we will go through any means to get the instant satisfaction we so deeply crave. This common lack of commitment is a serious issue. Commitment is an incredibly virtuous thing because our tendency is to give up and go after quick pleasures. I think that the ability to commit and hold to your word is commonly accepted as a good thing, but our lack of commitment skills is one of the reasons marriage is becoming insignificant.

From a not necessarily religious point of view, I think the virtue of commitment is a great reason for marriage. It is a good thing to 1. Make commitments, 2. Hold to the commitments and 3. Reap the benefits of holding to a commitment.

From a religious point of view, specifically Christian, marriage is a way of worshiping God. And I think it's a pretty incredible way to do it.

1. A married couple has a different potential energy than a single person. I won't say it's better or worse, because I think being single your whole life can actually be a very valuable thing too. A married couple will be able to show love to another married couple better than a single person, or two single people. They can better understand the struggles and joys of marriage. (Yes I realize that's slightly circular reasoning). Like I said before, a married couple that has pushed through difficult and dull times will be able to push through difficult and dull times in other areas of life too. They have the committed support of each other and know how to go through trials together. In several areas of life, a married couple will be able to accomplish more for God than a single person (Single people have their strong areas too).

2. Marriage is a reflection of of Jesus' relationship with the Church. In the Bible, the church is sometimes referred to as the Bride of Christ. An equivalent picture is Hosea and his wife. Hosea took an adulterous wife, whom he knew would cheat on him, and loved her as if she was the perfect wife. He treated her amazingly well and all the while she repeatedly committed adultery and really hated him. Nevertheless, he loved her as if she was perfect. In a similar way, I think that a man and woman don't deserve each other's love, but they love each other anyway. They push through the difficult and dull times. I really think this reflects God's feelings towards us. He loves us no matter what. He is horribly disappointed with us when we don't live up to his standards, but loves us nevertheless as if we were perfect, through the difficult and dull times.

So these are some reasons why I think marriage has become less important in society and why I think marriage is an incredibly valuable thing.

An important note: Don't go thinking that I think I'm better than anyone. I suck at commitment as much as the next person. I just think it would be awesome if we all were better at commitment. Also, don't go thinking that I think Christians have marriage all figured out...they don't. Divorce rates among professed Christians is as high as people who aren't Christians. We all suck at commitment and we all don't honor God like we should, but I think it would be a pretty cool thing if we learned the importance of commitment, thus teaching ourselves more about how amazing God's commitment to us is.

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