23 November 2010

Mawage, that blessed arrangement, that dream wifin a dream

"Marriage Rate Falls to About 50% As People Say Institution is Obsolete"
"Marriage: What's it Good For?"
"Forget About Tying That Knot?"
"4 in 10 say marriage becoming obsolete"

Marriage is really taking a beating right now in the United States, and probably everywhere else. People don't know if, why or when they should get married. Headlines, like the ones above, are saying, "Run! Run far away from marriage!" Many people my age are opting to just live with their significant other, rather than going ahead and getting married. There are so many of these couples, that the Census Bureau broadened its definition of 'domestic household.'

I hate that this is happening to marriage. Marriage is a gift from God (Genesis 2:24) and can be a wonderful thing for two people to experience. My Bible's notes for this verse pretty much sum my opinions:
"God gave marriage as a gift to Adam and Eve. They were created perfect for each other. Marriage was not just for convenience, nor was it brought about by any culture. It was instituted by God and has three basic aspects: (1) The man leaves his parents and in a public act, promises himself to his wife; (2) the man and woman are joined together by taking responsibility for each other's welfare and by loving the mate above all others; (3) the two become one flesh in the intimacy and commitment of sexual union that is reserved for marriages. Strong marriages include all three of the aspects." Notes on Genesis 2:24 NASB
I hope to be married at some point in my life, and have been blessed so much to have great examples of marriages all around me. My parents have been married for 33 years. Granny and Grandad have been married for 61 years. And have lived in the same town and house the entire time.

BUT I think marriage has been grossly misused and misunderstood as of late. So often on television, reality and regular shows show people getting married for money or to just fill an emptiness in their lives. And how many popular shows show married couples? Not many. I don't think that television should be an example for people at all, but sadly, it is.

Even when a marriage is depicted in television, it is usually left at happily ever after. That is simply not a reality. Ladies, you are not going to ever marry Prince Charming. Boys are boys and they will probably fart in your divine presence at some point. Men, you are not going to be able to marry Princess Peach, because she does not exist. Girls do not come made up/ immaculately dressed/ emotionally stable every day. I think a lot of people get married today with unrealistic expectations, and these unrealistic expectations ultimately ruin the relationship.

I love being in control and cannot believe I'm about to write this, but sometimes you have to let things go. Just let it go and adapt. No two people are going to do things exactly the same. He might hand wash dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, while she crams every dirty dish in sight into the dishwasher and calls it a day. She might demand that the towels be folded a certain way. He might balk at the sight of bananas. Whatever! Two someones are going to have to adapt to each other. This can be a hard thing or a fun thing, it depends on the couple. Some married couples today don't realize this and are used to having things their way. When something really starts to annoy them, their laziness sets in and they opt for divorce, rather than simply talking about/ working on the problem. This is one of the reasons people have been living together and not getting married. Sister friend says, "The reason people don't want to get married is so they don't have to get divorced later on; as a result we are moving towards a more transient society where there is no commitment or accountability." We don't want to put the work or effort into a relationship. And a marriage will take effort.

My dear Rach friend says that communication is the most important part of marriage. This is also echoed in countless "Marriage 101" type books. I fully agree with this and think that communication takes a lot of effort in a relationship. Maybe almost as important as communication in a marriage is pre-marriage communication. A lot of couples barely know each other when they get married. My age group wants things nownownow. Think about it- we can get almost any type of food now, check our bank accounts now, look up the weather now. Instant gratification! It is all around. Couples need to be patient and take the time to get to know each other. May that be 3 weeks or 3 years- people should take their time. Everyone is different, so not everyone is going to know if they want to marry their boyfriend/girlfriend immediately. The more you know about your significant other, the more confident you can be in the relationship. You'll also have far fewer surprises in your marriage if you get things like political/ kid/ marriage roles/ religious beliefs/ paper or plastic opinions out on the table. Patience is a very hard thing to practice, but is definitely worth it.

Clearly, I don't know everything about marriage seeing as I'm not married, but these are things I have observed and been taught. I really think if people would consciously put a real effort into getting to really know their significant other before marriage the divorce rate wouldn't be at almost 50%. As with most things, a marriage takes upkeep. You can't get married, have a great first year, then let things slide. Humans are attention craving creatures and we need the love. Marriages are hard work, but they are worth it.

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