One of the many conversations that my friend and I usually have over the weekend revolve around — faith, dreams, future plans, what happened over the week… and sometimes we talk about marriage, which my friend dreads with every fibre of her being. Why? Because she doesn’t have a lot (meaning none) of examples in her family that she can look up to as a source of inspiration. She is convinced, 99.9 per cent, that getting married is like inviting more trouble in one’s anyway messed up life.
Listening to her arguments, many a times I find myself convinced that staying alone is perhaps the best decision to make. After all, when you get married you don’t just marry the guy but you marry his or her entire family; which personally, doesn’t make me squeal with delight. Then there are these heartbreaking examples in my life that makes me what to swap the word ‘wedding’ with the phrase ‘I am holding my breath and dreading’.
Exhibit A: Christian couple, married for a couple of years and have a kid. But their married life is not as sparkly as before. It’s stressful, there are fights and then there is a lot of bickering; they do love each other, but the everyday stress is choking the happiness out of their lives.
Exhibit B: Had a whirlwind romance before these two got married. Both of them are strikingly beautiful and the wife was a model before she became a doctor. After their child was born, they started fighting over petty issues. During one such fights, the husband pushed the wife out of the house in the middle of the night. They are still married, but don’t live together any more.
Exhibit C: The lady is a romantic at heart, she grew up reading Mills&Boons and even though is now 50 years old, she can’t help but blush every time she watches a mushy TV show. Her problem is that her husband is like a stranger, always has been, and she complains that he cares for everyone except her.
Exhibit D: Mother-in-law is driving this woman over the edge. She is very frustrated and feels suffocated. She just wants to get out of this situation that she has been stuck in for the past 10 years.
And even if you do find someone you genuinely love and can’t believe your luck because his parents are equally fantastic, “how do you still know whether he is The One?”
You get the wrong answers if you ask the wrong questions. The examples all around might crush the dwindling hope, but then are we looking at the right examples?
In a day when people are marrying later and later and more and more are resorting to online matchmaking, we probably need to be reminded that marriage really is less about compatibility than commitment. After all, there has never been a less compatible relationship than a holy God and his sinful bride, and that’s the mold we’re aiming for in our marriages.
There is a reason the Bible doesn’t have a book devoted to how to choose a spouse. It was not an oversight on the part of the God of all history, as if he couldn’t see into the 21st century. The qualifications are wonderfully clear and simple: 2 Corinthians 6:14, Genesis 2:23–24; Matthew 19:4–6 and Ephesians 5:24–32.
What makes marriage worth having is that you, your spouse, and those around you see more of God and his love for us in Jesus. If you’re not experiencing that with your boyfriend, break up with him. If that’s not our priority, we need to get a new game plan and probably a new scorecard for our next significant other.
What makes marriage worth having is that you, your spouse, and those around you see more of God and his love for us in Jesus… It’s all about asking the right questions, looking up at The Right example and to keep reminding myself of it because there are days when does make a lot of sense, a lot!