Saturday, August 14, 2010

Marriage

Prepare for a rant, my good readers. I am ready to blow.

"Mawage. Mawage is what bwings us togevher today." For the seven people in America who don't know, that's from The Princess Bride. It's a joke, an ornate priest with a funny voice and speech impediment.

It's not funny today. When did he become the symbol for marriage?

People seem to think marriage is all about love, and happiness, and feeling good. What a load of rot!
Marriage is about commitment. When you say "I do," you commit to do it. To work at it. To suffer through the horrible parts, even when they seem too horrible to bear.

Love helps. Love is why you continue to work, because you love that spouse. But commitment is the reason.

A marriage is the basic building block of society. Marriage - one man, one woman - leads to family, the next building block. Family provides a safe place to create children and rear them into adults.
Most animals don't mate for life because they can't. If a finch only took one mate, we'd be out of finches in a generation because finches die all the time. A finch's life is hard and short and they have to pop out baby finches while they can with any male available at the time. Finches don't get sexually-transmitted diseases, by the way, which means nature intended for them to act like that.

Humans mate for life because it takes a lifetime to teach that little alien what it means to be human. A human child becomes physically mature between 11 and 18, but it spends its entire life becoming mature in other ways. A human needs its mother and father, and grandparents, and siblings to teach it to become human.

Marriage is how that happens. Marriage provides a safe place for a daughter to see how to be a wife and mother, for a son to see how to be a husband and father. Marriage is how children learn to contribute to society within a partnership. Marriage teaches vulnerability to another person, and solidarity when the world is against you. Marriage increases income, shares responsibility and stabilizes society as a whole.

When did it become the norm to view marriage as something you do while it feels good?

You can't trust feelings. If I followed my feelings, I'd eat ice cream and cake for every meal and die of complications from diabetes at 50. Come to think of it, that fate awaits many Americans right now.

Don't trust your feelings. God gave you a brain to use. Humans aren't finches. We are a higher order of animals, able to master our feelings and do the right thing, even we when don't like it.

I'm so sick of hearing "Well, I'm not happy anymore." It makes me as sick as "abortion is the woman's choice," another example of following feelings into a decision that will dramatically worsen her life and eliminate the life of another.

It's not about feelings. Feelings change like the wind.

Marriage is a choice. Once it's made, it should be made forever. 'Til death do us part.

My parents had a saying. "Divorce, never. Murder, maybe."

We need a little more of that kind of commitment today. From everyone. Our society is falling apart because our citizens are putting their own selfish wants ahead of their commitments. Our government pays woman to have children out of wedlock, removing the man from the house and leaving him free to join a drug gang instead of honoring his duty to his children and the woman who should be his wife. Our courts allow divorces of "no fault," so any drunken idiot in Vegas can undo what they shouldn't have done in the first place. Our "friends" council us to leave that terrible situation instead of working through it. I mean, who could possibly put up with a husband who wants to buy a motorcycle? What a jerk!

Good heavens, people, wake up! Don't you see how selfishness is destroying us? Families with layers of step-children and ex-spouses. Children who won't allow themselves to get close to a parent because they don't know how long that parent will be around, a trait they repeat in adulthood, by the way. Adults who would rather live together outside of marriage because the taxes are lower and it's easier to leave when things get too hard. Just pack up whichever kids you like or get welfare checks for and move on.

I don't have the words to express my frustration with that kind of thinking, that kind of selfishness. I don't need the words. The chaos rages around us, and yet we wander along, whistling and staring at clouds.

You've heard "marriage is 50/50."

Wrong. Marriage is 100%. From you. If you can't give it, don't offer it. And you don't give it only if the other person is doing the same. It's your commitment. The only one you control is you.

I am not a "stay married no matter what" advocate. Some things cannot and should not be endured.  But I do believe most of the problems that plague marriage today could be solved if both people believed their only choices were solve it or live with it for the next 60 years. You aren't motivated to work at something when you think you have an out.

Divorce should be hard. It should be harder and more painful than marriage. It should cost money and social standing. It should leave a stigma on its practitioners that warns others not to choose it as an option.

It used to do that, and society as a whole was more stable for it.

Yes, horrible things happened then. But horrible things happen now, too. Divorce doesn't stop violence, end arguments or increase the safety of children. Most of the time, it multiplies those things. We have 30 years of "no fault" examples to prove that.

We will never solve the human condition of fallen-ness until Christ returns. I wish we could stop adding to it.

Marriage is serious. Marriage is hard. But when done right, marriage is the closest two humans will ever come to understanding the Trinity this side of eternity. It is worth fighting for.

Please, please, my friends, fight for it. Encourage your friends to fight for it, too.

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