Marriage is Forever | Enduring All Things

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Marriage is Forever

You know, it's been a long time since I was really close to or hung out a lot with people who have differing values and morals from me. I went to a Christian college and moved here pretty much right after graduation. Here in Ohio I work from home so I don't have a close relationship with my coworkers and all my friends are people I've met through church. That is, until this summer. I'm doing a community theatre production of The Music Man and when you spend 4 nights a week rehearsing, you get pretty close to the rest of the cast. It's sort of a weird phenomenon to me. And a lot of the others definitely think I'm strange for some of my beliefs. Whether those beliefs are completely religious, or not so much, on the surface. I wanted to tell you one story in particular today.

Scene: I was hanging out at a picnic table outside our rehearsal space with a couple other people waiting to rehearse our scenes.

Girl: *Sees my engagement/wedding rings* What! When did that happen? Wait, are you married?

Me: Yes

Girl: How old are you?

Me: 25. I've been married for almost 3 years. We got married right out of college. But we dated for 6 years before that. (why did I feel like I needed to defend myself with this extra information?)

Girl: Oh yeah I get it. You definitely knew each other. You know, I have a friend who didn't even kiss her husband before they were married. They didn't live together or anything. Like, I get it. It's religious views or whatever, but that's a big commitment. You should be completely sure.

Me: Wow. Yeah we didn't live together first, but we definitely kissed.

Boy: That's like not test driving a car before you buy it. Then again, it's not like it's forever.

Me: Wait. You mean marriage isn't forever? Yes it is!

Boy: Not these days.

Me: Well mine is.

You guys! This is what's wrong with our society. This is why marriages don't last forever anymore. Because people have attitudes like this. Ugh. It's not by chance that you stay with your first spouse forever. It's by choice. Too many people look at marriage like a gamble. They think there's a 50/50 chance that they'll either stay happy forever or get divorced.

People think "I'll stay with you as long as you never change and I'm still attracted to you and you still meet all of my needs." They live together first to test the waters and make sure it's what they really want in a spouse instead of committing to love the other person unconditionally. NO NO NO. Wrong. Wrong.
Marriage is not about me or about my husband meeting my needs. Marriage is about meeting your spouse's needs. When you vow to love one another for better or for worse, till death do you part, you're vowing to choose to love and stay with that person no matter what happens. You're vowing to love and respect him or her even when you're old and grey. Even when you don't agree on big issues. Even when you fight over stupid things. Even when life gets in the way and you feel like you've grown apart.

I agree completely that you should know for sure that the person you're marrying is someone you can love forever. But once you're married, the decision has been made and you've promised to love them forever no matter what. Don't break that promise. Unfortunately, you can't predict the future. You don't know what kind of hardships will come. And there's no use trying to test all this out by living together first. That's how people get hurt. If you slide into the next stage of a relationship (like living together) without taking the next step in commitment (marriage), things could get messy.
Marriage isn't easy. It takes work. And that's what's missing in marriages in our society today. People think that when it gets hard they can just push the eject button and get out. They can move on to the next person who they think is better. But in reality, with that attitude, no human is going to be good enough to have their love forever. You have to choose to give your love whether your spouse deserves it or not.

Don't get me wrong, marriage is so rewarding in so many ways. But you can't expect it to be perfect all the time. And when the tough times come, work on it. Honor your vow. Honor your spouse. Remember why you married him or her in the first place. And for goodness sake, don't just give up and run away.

What are your thoughts? Have you had conversations like this?
Thanks for reading.
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