09 January 2012

Is Marriage Obsolete?

Is marriage obsolete? That is the discussion this week for "The Magic Room" on Blogher.

I know there are people out there who would like to think that marriage is obsolete, but I am not one those people.

Marriage is the bedrock of our society. It is the cornerstone of a productive family. Marriage is a covenant.And not just with your spouse - it's a sacred oath of threeship with your spouse and God.

Yes, marriage is hard. Yes, there are times when you might want to get out. Marriage is about commitment. You commit to loving a person, no matter how hard that might be at times. You commit to stay, for better or worse. Sometimes the worse is really, really bad. The better can be so sweet and wonderful though. You teach your children that when the going gets tough, you still stick around. You don't back down. You don't quit just because it's hard. You are living the idea that people are worth it; that a person deserves a second (and third and fourth) chance if they mess up. When two people stay in a marriage and work through the hard times and look forward to the good times, they are model of hope. Hope that things can, and will, get better. Hope that it doesn't always have to be that way. Hope that you can change.

I wrote that marriage is a sacred covenant of threeship with God and your spouse. I believe that is absolutely true. Two people may the ones getting married, but without the Lord, a marriage is going to be hard to make work. Why? Because God is all about forgiveness and love. We love because He first loved us. We forgive because He forgave us. If we can remember those two saving graces in our marriage when the times get tough, if we can model Christ's love to our spouse and Christ's forgiveness to our spouse, then marriage will suddenly be a lot easier.

Getting back to the main point of this, do I think marriage is obsolete? No. Marriage is the essence of our humanity. We couple with another person to share our lives with: the joys, the triumphs, the ugly messes, the heartache, the dark side of ourselves, the desire to live a better life. Marriage is fragile, but it can be made so strong that nothing can break it. If we take our marriage for granted and don't take care of it, it can wear down and become weak and subject to infestation of temptation and wayward desires. But if we cherish our marriages (and that person we're married to) and take care of our marriage, we can make it strong enough to resist and deflect the shrapnel that lives' explosions throw at it. Our marriage becomes a special haven into which we can retreat to find encouragement, warmth, forgiveness and love.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." I Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV)

Do you think marriage is obsolete? Join the discussion on BlogHer.

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