I recently read two different articles on marriage (both posted on Quartz), and they really made me think.
The first article is “Let’s stop pretending that marriage is hard work“.
The second article is “It’s time to accept this fact: A really great marriage is rare“.
I think you’ll find them to be interesting, so take some time to read both articles if you have the chance!
Now that I have a daughter, I’ve been spending a lot of time really figuring out what I think about ‘life stuff’, both big and small. I mean, for my entire life thus far, my opinions and thoughts have mattered to myself, but not to anyone else in any truly meaningful ways. Now, I have a little person who is going to grow up and take what I think pretty seriously when developing her own thoughts and views on how the world works. I know her mind is going to be like a sponge, and that’s both fascinating and terrifying to me!
Here’s (some of) what I want to tell her about marriage:
- You may get married, you may not. I have no idea what God’s plan for you is, and you don’t either. Even though I got married and had children, I know and respect that you may have a completely different path in life.
- If you do not find a man you want to marry in college, don’t panic, you have lots of time. I thought I was going to get married to my college boyfriend, and then my next college boyfriend, but I ended up not meeting your father until 2 years after I graduated.
- Don’t get married because it’s the ‘next step’ in either life or a relationship. There are many reasons that may lead you to make the decision to get married, but being with someone a certain amount of time or becoming a certain age should not be among them.
- When finding someone who you think would make a wonderful husband, make sure he would also be a wonderful father, assuming you want to have children one day.
- Marriage vows (or any vow or promise) should be taken seriously.
- If you decide to get married, I hope your partner is as great of a man as your father, although I realize that standard is pretty darn high. You’re welcome.
- Speaking of great men, if you decide to marry a great woman, that’s fine with me, too.
- Marriage in itself will not make you happy. It’s important that you’re happy with yourself first, before you decide to make a lifelong commitment to another person.
- And I do believe that marriage is a lifelong commitment.
- However, I also know that it takes two people to make marriage work, and it’s important you find someone who will take this commitment as seriously as you do.
- Do not stay in a relationship where there is mental/emotional or physical abuse taking place – it is not your fault if someone treats you badly.
- Divorce is not an option for your father and I, so I hope you feel secure knowing that even if we may disagree, we’re in this for the long haul.
- If you decide to get married, your marriage should be more important than anything else – including (and especially) work. Please make sure your partner is willing to put you and marriage at the top of his/her priority list.
- Marriage can seem difficult because we are selfish people by nature, and not being selfish can be difficult. But, we are called to think of others before ourselves and to love others more than we love ourselves and marriage is a great way to do these things. I don’t believe that marriage is hard, but I do think that it’s made me realize things about myself that I’d rather not be confronted with.
- You deserve someone wonderful, and nothing less. You may date jerks, but please don’t let that become a regular thing. And don’t seriously date someone who doesn’t get along with your friends and family.
- No marriage is perfect, even though not many people talk about the ‘tough stuff’. It’s important to find friends you can be transparent about marriage with, so you know you aren’t alone if you’re struggling with things.
- It is not your partner’s responsibility to make you happy, it is to make you more holy and bring you closer to God. If you’re unhappy in your marriage (assuming there’s not abuse taking place) it may be a great time to pray more and think of what you can do to make yourself happy.
- Marrying your father was the best decision of my life, and I hope that if you get married, you’re able to say the same thing about your spouse one day.
What do you want to tell your (future) children about marriage?