Through a glass darkly

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." (1 Corinthians 13:12)KJV

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

22 Reasons Why You Should Not Get Married (Or At Least Delay Doing So), Part 1

I’ve had it! I’ve heard the story of yet another Bridezilla (see Emily Yoffe's article in Slate magazine, thanks to Jan for the link. I love the phrase "acquired situational narcissism")emerging as she tries to engineer her perfect wedding day without regard to her friends/family needs or what her marriage to her beloved would really be like after the honeymoon was over. The problem with many of these Bridezillas is that they think they are only preparing for a party (the ceremony and reception) and are not anyways nearly prepared for the lifetime that ensues –major issues that should be discussed and decided upon before the ceremony are set aside while choosing china patterns or wedding color schemes. For this reason, I have decided, from my position as a never-married older single, to give a list of why these ladies should “call the whole thing off” or at least delay getting hitched. I'll give you my first five reasons today.

You should not get married if:

1. You are unequally yoked. What do I mean? The Apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 6:14 “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (New King James Version). People have taken that to mean, “Christians, don’t marry non-Christians.” I could leave it right there as it is, but I also think you’re headed for trouble if you and your beloved are both Christians, but at different places spiritually. I have known many a case where the “Christian husband” has no desire for his own spiritual growth; he may be content with going to church on Sunday and seeing that his children are given spiritual instruction, but don’t expect him to have his own time with God, study the Bible or volunteer in ministry. He may even resent his wife if she does these things. (Note: I have also seen the wife be the Christian dud married to the Christian stud.) If you want to truly share your faith with your spouse, then only marry someone who shares your faith and faith practices before you get engaged.

2. You are expecting a personality or behavior change after the wedding. Someone very dear to me married a scoundrel expecting him to turn into a saint once she had the opportunity as his wife to “change him”. Did it work? NO!!!! He remained a rat through most of their many long years of marriage. This is especially true if your beloved has an addiction or compulsive personality disorder. The drugs, alcohol, gambling, cheating, lying will nearly always win out. “Lazy loafs” do not suddenly become up-and-at-em, go-getters just because they get a marriage license and ring. People who are violent and hit others will probably get violent and hit you. Sex addicts and perverts will be what they are. Yes, Christ can transform the vilest offender but only if they truly desire to be transformed –if you will marry the creep, warts and all, without this transformation, why should they bother to make the change?

3. You haven’t discussed and decided on the “big ones”. These are: handling money (who does what and how), having children (how many/when, family planning, child discipline), power (who makes what decisions). Then there are career choices, living arrangements, dealing with in-laws, sleep schedule to name a few. A woman wanting 10 kids has no business marrying a guy who wants none; it’s unfair to both and manipulative to try to “renegotiate the deal” afterwards. A know a couple like that – the husband lied about wanting to have children to the woman he married. She did manage to con him into having four of them, but he was a lousy and distant father. I know a morning person married to a night owl and it has been hard for them to adapt to each other’s schedule. Get these issues out on the table and don’t think that you can get them to have a change of heart.

4. Your family and friends despise your beloved. How is that everyone but you thinks she/he’s bad news? Why can’t they see what you see? Perhaps they have an objectivity towards this person you don’t. Can so many have it all wrong? Proverbs 15:22 (New Living Translation) says, “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.” I think if your intended’s presence sets off warning bells from the people who know you best, pay attention. Also be wary of your relationship supporters who approve of your relationship because it affirms their own, perhaps poor, choice in a spouse. It is not the best endorsement to have a woman married to an alcoholic encourage you to do the same, for instance.

5. You are unaware of the existence or are unwilling to carry each other’s “baggage”. Baggage is that catch all word for prior relationships, marriages, children from the above said relationships, life traumas, bad childhood, the past, phobias, addictions, illnesses, conditions, compulsions, etc. Every person brings some amount of baggage into any relationship –some bring little overnight bags, perhaps a break-up or two with a high school sweetie. The bags get a bit bigger with the death of a parent when you were young, to a failed “starter marriage” to a point where some bring entire shipping containers into their relationship- three or four failed marriages, yours-mine-and-ours families, stories or repeated sexual or child abuse and histories of alcoholism. We are told in Galatians 6:2 to “share each other’s burdens” but sometimes the enormity and weight of these issues is just too much to bear. Perhaps the one with these grave issues needs to deal with them in counseling BEFORE you try to move them in under one roof. Allow time to heal if wounds are fresh or new.

More to follow....

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