(This is the first of several posts in which I plan to reflect on marriage. Whether you are married or not, marriage itself is very important. Some of my comments are the product of my own marriage. I’ve been married 28 years. Some comments are the result of talking with many, many people about their own marriages. Then, there are some things I’ve learned from just watching other people in their marriages.)
Charlotte and I were married on August 11, 1978 in Florence, Alabama. The night we got married, I didn’t have a clue what I was getting in to. Neither did she. In fact, no couple does. Before I perform the wedding for a couple, I spend time with them. They are normally in my office a number of times for pre-marital conversation and work. Even then, they still do not fully realize what that marriage will be like. That is life.
Our marriage has had its highs. It has had its lows. Mostly, it has had lots of in-betweens. Much of life is somewhere between highs and lows. I think that is normal. What makes that in-between time very special is learning to practice covenant love. In fact, I believe taking covenant love seriously serves to keep love alive and fresh within a marriage.
Now a few concerns. I will elaborate on these in future posts.
1. Many people are living with a lot of disappointment in marriage. Some of that disappointment goes way beyond marriage. I have talked with many people who are disappointed in their lives in general. Still others are disappointed in their mates or even in themselves. Some of this disappointment is related to old hurts. Some of it may be related to expectations.
2. Many husbands and wives put a tremendous amount of pressure on these marriages. We demand that our mates change. ("If only she would get it together, I would finally be happy.") Other people begin to look for someone else. Maybe that someone else is found. ("Why can’t my wife treat me like this?") This man/woman begins to compare this other person with that frustrating spouse.
3. Many people are experiencing marriages where pornography is a factor. Pornography rewards immaturity. Pornography invites you into a world of perfection. Perfect figure. Perfect tan. Perfect performance. Perfect, high experience. It changes the expectations in a marriage.
4. Many Christians really need to bring Jesus into their homes. A home doesn’t have to be reduced to a place where exhausted, joyless people gather at the end of the day. I really believe he makes a home a refreshing place to be.
Are there other concerns you have that I haven’t mentioned?