So i was having a skype convo with my good friend Jamilia yesterday who is currently living in Canada, who i met in Barbados... We were having the good old catch up convo when she brought up something she heard on the news or something she read where they were say marriage is obsolete.. Incase you're abit slow like me, it means that they think marriage is out dated and no longer of use in our generation... She was really stressing how ridiculous that sounds and honestly i have to agree with her... I mean.. call me old fashioned but i still and i think will always see marriage as sacred... Its funny how this subject came up because it has been on my mind in the recent months...
As some of you may know, i've recently been baptised as a follower of Christ, and had a confirmation service couple of sundays ago confirming my belief and faith in my decision.. It was a beautiful service but going off the subject, i've been learning alot about what the biblical views of dating and marriage is...
My eyes have certainly been opened by what i have learnt... I told you whiles i was in Prague, i was reading a book called 'I kissed dating goodbye' by Joshua Harris and on topic of many things, been reading blog posts from http://www.boundlessline.org/ which talk of marriage amongst other things, and i seriously have strengthened my views on marriage being an essential step we take to enrich our lives... I know our society and generation has come down to one night stands, long and short term relationships with no intention of tieing the knot.. dating is starting at a younger age, marriage is starting at an older age and divorce rates are sky rocketing up... Can i blame the people that made that statement of marriage becoming obsolete??!! Probably not.. But many of us forget that its the lack of knowledge of what the meaning of marriage is that allows us to completely walk all over that idea...
I've recently watched a talk by Timothy Keller ( i'll post a link to it beow if ur interested^_^) which my good friend Javiah emailed to me and i found it enlightening... It was on the top of his book ' The meaning of Marriage' and he discusses the topic in very easy to understand examples and analogies..
He mentions that if you are from an eastern background, your meaning of life is to find you place in the community and be complimentary to it, whereas if you are from the west, you have been affected by the enligtenment where the individuals fulfillment and needs comes first, therefore the individuals desires and likes has to come before those of the groups... Its just a view but you can see it affecting the way people view marriage as self fulfillment and not of a binding commitment 'through thick and thin'...
There was this one example he gave that really made sense to me...The relationship of a person to their child and the relationship between a couple... During the years of bring up your child, you will go through love and hate, you love your daughter unconditionally but somethings she can really drive you up the wall ( i kinda know how that feels already having a niece..but i love her unconditionally) but your spouse's love becomes conditional more and more over time right??.. When you have a fight, a dispute, a falling out and your needs and desires become stronger than theirs, what would happen when the child grows up goes off the uni and its just you and your partner?? He said in one case, the couple gets a divorce and the marriage is over... As the child grows up, you might fall out and bond again, but no matter what, you will always love her... and that of your spouse?? will you love him just as much and work throught the ruff edges like that of a parent child relationship or try to find the love and needs from someone else?? I feel kinda sad just thinking about that... :(
I admit, marriage isn't easy, i think it needs alot of work to make it work!! Marriage is a long term binding commitment,thats essentially the meaning of it, not the passion and feelings a person makes you feel, that comes and goes and if you base your marriage on that first and foremost, what do you think the outcome of that marriage after 5 years??..
Timothy Keller gives the example of 2 types of relationships.. Consumer and Covenant... Consumer is that of your relationship with your local supermarket, if Asda has a better deal on strawberries than Tescos then its off to Asda i go, it a relationship based on your individual needs because they are more important than that of the relationship (with Tescos in this example!).. A Covenant relationship for example is of the parent and child one i explained earlier.. If you've had enough of that wild childs antics, you can't just leave that child on someone elses door step, you'll go to prison!! You need to work at it and fulfill your duties as a parent to love and care for your child through the good, the bad and the ugly times...
BF and GF relationships are still consumer relationships
(when i get bored of tigger, hes in the corner of the bed again!! >_<)
Whats beautiful about marriage is that it can turn a consumer relationship into one of intimacy and security, of freedom and beauty. You can be more of yourself just because its no longer about promoting yourself and performing...its that stability that makes your life richer. Anything that is born due to the creation of time and will; like a marriage in this case- is more interesting and more satisfying than one relationship of fleeting emotions.. Do we want to become slave to 'the moment' forever? Slaves to you feelings, the impulses, the adrenaline and rush of 'something new and excting'??
(half a face representing half flawless and half flawed? or a half to be completed by someone else?? I'm trying to be abstract but still personal guys... >_<")
I think within the ideas of relationships, people want to look for a soul mate, someone who accepts them for who they are and vice versa... complimenting each others personalities, a perfect fit... unfortunately we all change constantly, we all have those great qualities and flaws that come with it, if our idea of the perfect relationship to bring towards marriage has to fulfill many of our own personal needs and criterias, will there one at all? because i don't believe i am any better than that person with flaws..
Here are some of the examples Keller gave in his talk about qualities and flaws in people in general:-
-a fearful with a tendancy to great anxiety
-a proud person with the tendancy to be selfish
-an inflexible person with a tendancy to be very demanding
-a perfectionist who tends to be too critical of others
-a displined person with a tendancy to be unreliable
-a cowardly person who tends to twist the truth to look good..
-irritable person who tends to hold grudges
I think everyone is cappable of being someone like that wether it was past present or future due to your lifestyle choices and experiences... I think an eternal bond to love one another and accept that things might change within both parties and really make you change into a better person, you become free of all the chains bad past relationship experiences have moulded you to hold on to... If you wanna have a look at the talk;- Click Here...
Though i've pretty much summed it all up in this post :D
If u can't keep a promise...It means you can't keep your identity.. If u can't keep a promise, it becomes quite lonely... If you CAN rise above the conditioning of your past and making a promise and keep it...Well it makes you free..sets you free rather.. :) Marriage isn't just a piece of paper... I know i'm not married yet or anywhere near that chapter but i understand that it is something deep and more than just feelings and 'I love you's'...When you find that person to share your life with...you can experience deep character change through a deep and loving friendship...
I'm pro marriage guys and dolls,in the most sacred way possible.. and i hope many of you can/do or will feel the same (someday!).