Marriage Tuesday

“why do you want to get married?”

it’s a question i ask every couple who approaches me to perform their marriage ceremony.

if you’re married,  take a moment to remember back…  why did you get married?  what were you thinking?   what were your reasons?   what pushed you over the edge?

if you’re not married,  what would make you want to?   what would cause you to consider making this kind of commitment?

here are a few reasons not to get married:

  • don’t get married out of need.
  • don’t get married because you want to be complete.
  • don’t get married to fulfill what is lacking in your life.
  • don’t get married to prove a point.
  • don’t get married to avoid being lonely.
  • don’t get married to get a better financial arrangement.
  • don’t get married to try and make a mistake better.
  • don’t get married because people expect you to.
  • don’t get married just because you love each other.
  • don’t get married just to have sex.
  • don’t get married out of obligation.
  • don’t get married if you are hoping it will change your partner.
  • don’t get married if you aren’t on the same spiritual path.
  • don’t get married out of fear of failure.
  • don’t get married to bolster your reputation.
  • don’t get married to escape something.
  • don’t get married out of physical attraction.
  • don’t get married because of pressure.
  • don’t get married to improve your self esteem.

so why do you get married?  aside from the obvious things like love, attraction and compatibility, here are a few reasons from my point of view:

  • get married because you a better together than you are apart.
  • get married out of a deep sense of shared values.
  • get married when you are ready to selflessly serve each other.
  • get married when you have a common understanding of god’s calling on your lives…first individually and secondly, together.
  • get married when you are drawn to intimacy, transparency and complete honesty with your partner.
  • get married when you can stand just as strong separately as you can together.
  • get married when you are deep enough and spiritually solid enough to withstand rejection and failure.

those are some of my reasons.   i wish i could say that was where wanda and i stood when we were 21 and newly-married.   but we were nowhere near what we needed to be.

but we grew.   we listened to god’s voice.   we humbly experienced god’s grace,  forgiveness,  and molding of our character and purpose.

we accepted the discipline and instruction of those older and wiser.   we didn’t run from our fears and failures.   we submitted ourselves to the truth of god’s word and measured our relationship in light of it.   and we made it.

if you are already married,  work backwards.   go back and build on the strengths of your relationship and confront where you are falling short.   nothing else will do.

if you aren’t married,  consider raising the bar on what you expect out of yourself,  your partner (or future partner) and your marriage.

it will be worth it.   i promise.

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5 thoughts on “Marriage Tuesday

  1. I think the writer of the lists lived the why not to get married list and has created the RTGM list from it. Greatness! This why I look up to all the marriage that came from the BAD list!

    I have been looking at both lists backward and forward. So what if you check some off of both lists? Is your marriage doomed?

  2. erin and brandon…

    the reasons wanda and i got married were definitely a mixture of both lists…more off of list one, than list two. it’s easy to look back and recognize things that “should” have been present before we tied the knot. but frankly, we were too young and too stupid to know better.

    the intense learning curve in our marriage was during the first couple of years and had we not been in a really loving and open circle of accountability (the people we were living out our faith with), our relationship would never have become what it is now.

    it was during our first few years that we learned about deeper and more profound characteristics of marriage…and we were openly (and sometimes painfully) challenged by our closest friends to live it out.

    honestly, most young couples are so busy trying to figure out how to just live out their lives…homes, jobs, children, money, conflict…they really don’t think much about building a marriage. it’s just easier to build a deck. some make it. many others don’t. the majority, if they stay married, seem to settle for co-existence…because they never really paid the price to make more out of their marriage.

    so is the marriage doomed? it doesn’t have to be.

  3. Right on. I guess what I am thinking is that we are all too young and stupid to get married. But we do find someone that’s not perfect just like us. Then it seems our job being married is to learn how to shut the worlds ideas of what a marriage is, and learn how to live life as one body. What a sick game God made. But one I will never back away from. Raehel, the only thing that will stop us is that comet:)

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