Sunday, April 26, 2009

Some thoughts on dating and marriage

There are a few blogs that a read with regularity.  One that I particularly enjoy had a discussion about marriage and the family.  It really caught my interest.

First off, this blog is very much about Christian marriage, family, and life with homeschooling and stay at home motherhood issues.  I know many people that this would aggravate, but it doesn't bother me, even though I am called to be a private Christian school teacher.  This is the calling on my life for right now--not necessarily what God will call me to do during a different phase of my life.  Those of you who know me, know that hubby and I put the kids' needs first and DS12 (my Aspie) NEEDS this school.

The point was made that marriage is too easily disposed of and that it is taken lightly for that very reason.  I agree wholeheartedly.  There is no cultural stigma to divorce anymore.  Even single parents talk with glee about their "weekends off" twice a month.  It's too glib.

Are we glib about any other type of failure in our lives?  Why don't we view the dissolution of permanent vows made before God to be a failure, and a big one at that?

The answer comes back to the basis of evil in our lives and our culture.  Everything is overly sexualized.  I know a 12 year old girl who is built like what we would have called, back in the day, a bean pole.  Very tall.  Very slender.  No waist.  No "blossoming."

She is on a very strict diet because she has started wearing a Ladies size 4 dress.  It's downright ridiculous that our culture starts subliminal (and overt) campaigns against our youth at such a delicate age.  After all, nothing matters in middle school unless you are "sexy."

Additionally, how many married couples do you know that have been married for any length of time?  When my students ask me how long I have been married and I answer them (21 years this year) they always reply, " to the same guy?"

Clearly, this is not normal.    It is far more normal to serialize marriage and family like one would go shopping frequently and repeatedly.  How can a family even begin to seem normal when the players are constantly changing?

Is it any wonder that so many children are molested by step-parents?  They don't have the same biological desire to protect these particular kids that their parent should have.  Don't get me wrong, I am very aware that biological parents can molest and hurt kids, too.  But, doesn't it seem odd that in the rushed desire to have a bed-mate, we will let people into our homes and give them authority over our families who haven't even been properly checked out?  What about the mothers who take the step-parent's word over that of the injured child?  For what good purpose?  To prevent loss of salary?  So that they won't have to sleep alone?  It makes no sense.  Parents were committed to each other and then to the children they created.  Clearly, it's so simple to toss both of those commitments aside.

But, could it be that the current craze of dating and "hooking up" for meaningless sex in order to prevent "having to get married" to take part in marital privileges has created any of these problems?  If I can't have my way, I will just kick you to the curb and find another.  What an attitude.  How can you practice doing the "commitment" thing wrong for years and then expect to fall into a 1950s Ozzie and Harriet marriage in a fallen world?  You will simply relive the mistakes that you repeatedly made unless great effort is put into changing yourself.  Not the kind of effort that produces pity parties and feeling sorry for oneself for not being able to "express yourself" or that you "deserve to be happy" garbage.  We deserve to work hard for the important things in life and to feel great satisfaction when we weather the storms that life throws our way.  

We need to step back, submit ourselves to God through obedience to Him, and then take a good hard look at ourselves.  It just could be that the problem in our marriage is ourselves.

Besides, isn't working through our problems much more frugal than getting a divorce and stretching resources to cover two households inadequately and then trying to pay for additional spouses and children?  Come on, that's just crazy!

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