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Marriage - An Outdated Institution?

I found this article on Yahoo! today and it really made me think. Actually, I think about marriage alot now that I am married. Not about my marriage, per se, but what marriage means and what it stands for. 

The article is really not pro or against marriage, it is just stating some statistics and thoughts of people who are "semi-happy" in marriage and why people get divorced or have affairs.

I really feel like there are two perspectives from which to think of marriage: Godly, and not Godly. I really feel like marriage is something God created for us because we were meant to be a pair, which is why we were created as a man and woman. I think it is innate in us to want to be with someone else. I don't think it is something society teaches us, I think it is something that is in our DNA. Not every single person on the planet, but for the majority, being married is very natural.

HOWEVER, once people get married, they are often not prepared for what happens next. Being bored with the person you are with. Having the person you are with drive you nuts because they eat too slowly or some other silly flaw. Having your life be boring because you have kids and can't go out every time you want. Not having freedom. All of these things are hard to deal with.

I always think about marriage the same way I think about a life long friendship. If I were to live with my best girl friend, every year, for the next fifty years, she would get on my nerves. I would get annoyed with her. I wouldn't always want to be around her. The same is true in a marriage as well, so why do we think it is so weird when we get "tired" of our spouses? No matter how perfect we think our spouses might be, they aren't. They are going to do things wrong and make mistakes. They are going to drive us batty. It's just the way it is.

But our society, now, is not designed to stick with things anymore. People move alot, they switch jobs alot, if we don't like something, we quit. So are we so surprised that marriage, the ultimate committment, is often thought of as disposable? The real reason people get divorced, aside from marrying the wrong person from the beginning, is because it gets hard. It is not easy hanging in there. It is very easy to think, "This isn't for me. I can't do this anymore. It would be easier if we weren't together. This isn't what I signed up for."

Don't get me wrong. I've had those thoughts. I might have even said to my husband those words. Thank God I have a husband who is understanding. He is perfect for me in that way, he tells me "divorce isn't an option." The other day, I told him I felt "checked-out" of our marriage. He told me, "Well, you better check back in." I hate even writing that, but it's the truth. Ultimately, I am just saying those things. I don't mean it. And I shouldn't be saying it. But I know that I got married and no matter what, I am sticking with it. That moment is when I realized, "Ok, what is my real problem here?" And it occurred to me - we haven't had a date night in a long time. Or just a day to hang out, kid free, having fun. So, I called my parents and Avery is going to her Gigi and Pops on Saturday and spending the night. And we are hanging out together, in the pool, all day long. And I am really looking forward to hanging out with my husband. Not my roommate, my husband.

God wants us to stay married. He never said marriage was to be easy. Or fun every minute of every day. If you think that is how marriage is going to be, you are fooling yourself. EVEN if your husband or wife is your favorite person in the world. Or if they are the most supportive person ever. Or if they are the most sexy, beautiful, handsome person you've ever seen. There will be a time when leaving or divorce will cross your mind. It WILL happen. I just wish more people stuck with it. It makes me sad to real articles like this because it's not how God intended it to be. 


Michelle said…

Thanks for posting this. I read your blog from Tannas page. I needed to read this today. I am 2 months into my marriage today and I feel like saying those exact words... This isn't want I signed up for. Thanks for the reminder that it will all be okay.
Kimie said…
Good post :). Have you heard of Tim Keller? He's a pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian in NY, and he did a REALLY enjoyable 9-part sermon series on marriage that is so refreshing and eye-opening. I'm not huge into sermons (I'm more of a fellowship-seeker, when it comes to churches... and I don't have a long attention span), but I loved this series. You can purchase all 9 for $20 at this site:
(I'm not affiliated with that church in any way... sorry this sounded like a sales pitch -- I just really enjoyed the sermons THAT much)
Doting Hubbie said…
Hey Jen, I just started following your blog. I've been married about 30 years and I can't count the number of times that one of us felt like getting in a car, driving away and never looking back. But we always worked it out because we really are in love, we have kids, and hey, we promised.

I'm also saddened by how many couples call it quits. And yeah, when a couple is joined in holy matrimony, they've become one.
Brittany said…
One thing I heard that will always stick with me is 'marriage is not intended to make you happy, marriage is intended to make you holy.' That's a hard pill to swallow if your expectations are 50 years of bliss, sometimes it's pure service and sacrifice...which was modeled by Christ himself! Great post!!

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