A Case for Marriage (Part Two)

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Today we celebrate the 100th post to this web site. Hurrah!!! In all honesty, Crystal and I never thought we would find so much to talk about. The truth is, when you talk about marriage and family issues, the material never seems to run dry. Today, we will continue to discuss why on earth anyone, in this 21st century, would choose to get married. We live in a disposable society. Planned obsolescence is a way of life. That brand new I-phone that finally made it to Best Buys will be yesterday’s news by the time you get it home. I am driving my dad’s old car these days. One day, the windshield washer stopped working. I located the cheap plastic part that broke, and headed to the parts store. It was about the size of a dime and looked like it came out of a box of Cracker Jacks. “That will be $26,” said the man behind the counter. “$26?” I repeated, again looking in disbelief at the object of my affliction. Of course, the part was designed to have a limited life. A metal part would last the life of the car. But what would the fun be in that? Today, however it’s just the way we live. Don’t get used to anything. It won’t last.

Marriage is the same. I won’t be a hypocrite and say marriage is the right way, or the only way. I realize that today, this radical view would be met with substantial ridicule. I will also admit to not having all of the answers. I know a lot of really good people, including friends and family members, who have suffered through divorce. Marriage is a tough and risky commitment. Regardless of all of the rules and direction offered on this web site, there is no perfect formula to assure marital success. However, more information is always better. That is why I don’t intend to debate, but to inform. In this information age, people should make informed decisions; and believe it or not, there is a case to be made for marriage.

So why do people choose to get married? The rabbit died is no longer just cause; although, I doubt if any rabbits actually die as part of today’s pregnancy tests. Babies no longer require marriage. Single parents are everywhere. Many couples will attempt to stay together for the ‘sake of the child’. But that doesn’t make them a compatible couple. It’s can also become a little more awkward as the child grows. Some people in the world may judge you. There could also be legal or financial complexities. But the one problem I wouldn’t want to handle is, explaining to my child that, I would always be committed to him or her, but not to my partner.

Of course, we live in the freedom of choice age. That baby maybe never gets born in the first place…..That just makes me sad. I know that my parents tried for years to have me. My mother often referred to the day of my birth as one of the happiest of her life. It’s ironic that today, on the one hand, there are many couples who desperately want children. On the other hand, there are those who consider them another disposable commodity. You would think, if those couples got together, we could solve a lot of problems. But I digress.

We are focusing on marriage. But, let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water (joke)….Sorry…..We may be on to something with freedom of choice. In this country, we do have so many freedoms that we often take them for granted. However, is freedom of choice always a good thing? I read just yesterday an article written by a woman who was proud of the fact that she had lived with the same man for eighteen years. She went on to say that they would choose each day to be with each other. She said it, like it was a good thing.

Maybe for her it was. I guess I’m a little different. To me making the same decision over and over just sounds stressful or even exhausting. I guess I’m just wired differently. I like to do my research, make an informed decision, and stick with it. Crystal is the same way. I guess that’s why we work.

I know some will question the above statement about the stress of cohabitation. While I can’t guarantee that stress is the reason, there is actually medical evidence to support the health benefits of marriage. There is actually a lot on the internet. Look it up for yourself. Web MD is a source I trust. They said “Dec. 15, 2004 — Marriage and health often go hand in hand, research shows. Except for weight problems, married people are healthier than those who are divorced, widowed, never-married, or live with a partner, says the CDC.”

Other articles have confirmed that even people who remarry after being widowed or divorced show improved mental and physical health than their counterparts who remain single. While there may be some health benefits to cohabitation they don’t appear nearly as strong (or well documented) as in marital relationships. Of course the quality of the marriage is also a factor. While I couldn’t find any information comparing the health of couples in “good” marriages to those in “bad” marriages, I don’t think the results would be a surprise. Prolonged emotional stress will eventually manifest itself physically. This once again proves the old adage ‘Happy wife, happy (and long) life’.

Lately, we have been spending a lot of time helping different family members. That leads me to one more point. You will have to decide whether or not it is a positive point for marriage. When you get married you forever bind families. For us, it was a positive. I couldn’t have hoped for better more supportive in-laws or extended family. I like being part of something larger than myself. Sometimes it takes time and energy, but it is usually fulfilling.

While I have strong Biblically based beliefs about marriage, they are personal and won’t be used in this blog. However, if it makes a difference to you, I can say with a great deal of assurance that God prefers marriage over cohabitation.

So that’s my case for marriage. I don’t expect it to change anyone’s mind. I just have one final thought and warning. If you are considering marriage, be absolutely certain about your readiness and your potential spouse. This blog has some good posts on choosing a spouse and preparing for marriage. The downside of marriage is the implied paradox. To have a successful marriage, two people have to agree to a lifelong commitment. If either of you don’t think of it that way, your marriage is doomed before it starts. This is nothing like other daily decisions. Marriage isn’t like your phone. You can’t just decide to switch when the next I-phone comes out; not even if it has the easily removable hot pink leather cover or all of those new aps. you’ve always wanted. In marriage, if a part breaks, you’re stuck with it, and better fix it, fast. Marriage is the institution where narcissism and self will go to die. To many, this concept just doesn’t make sense for today….or does it?

The other day, totally unprovoked, Crystal told me that I am always her hero. I’m not bragging (well maybe a little). It just helps with my final point. After 38 years of marriage, I haven’t seen my white horse for a while. I don’t do anything heroic on a daily basis. But I’m there for her. I’m still committed to her, care for and love her. The point is, a good marriage is worth the effort. I do a lot for Crystal and she does a lot for me. No one is keeping score. No one needs to. We are just better together than either one of us is apart. In the Bible it says, the two shall become one. Losing Crystal would be like losing a leg. We are one unit. I just don’t think a similar level of commitment can be made any other way. Is it worth it? We think so.

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In a good marriage you can have your cake and eat it too!

Category: Make Marriage Last

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