"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;"
Eph 5:25

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Kid's Perspective On Marriage

In the Art of Marriage workbook there was a little piece called “a kid’s perspective.” In it four children expressed their ideas about marriage:

Gwen, age nine: “When I get married I want to marry someone who is tall and handsome and rich and hates spinach as much as me.”

Arnold, age six: “I want to get married, but not right away because I can’t cross the street by myself yet.”

Steven, age ten: I want to marry somebody just like my mother except I hope she don’t make me clean up my room.”

Bobby, age nine: “First she has to like pizza, then she has to like cheesecake, after that she has to like fudge candy, then I know our marriage will last forever.”

While I got a definite chuckle from these opinions, I also gleaned a bit of profound truth from them.

These children are young enough to be truthful and candid with their answers.  They do not mask their feelings or pretend to like something that is yucky.  They answered the question correctly.  In their innocence they nailed it.

Gwen has her mind fixed on someone whom she finds attractive (a rather important factor if you ask me) and who will be financially equipped to care for her (and perhaps some children).  Also, he must share a common interest (her hatred of spinach).

Arnold understands that he isn’t ready for the altar.  He still has some growing up to do.

Steven is looking for the same qualities his dad found in a girl.  He wants someone who will care for him and take care of the daily hum-drums while at the same time will understand his need to be himself, messy as he is.

Bobby is looking for a best friend – someone who likes them same stuff he likes (pizza, cheesecake, and fudge candy).

All of these are excellent things to look for in a spouse.

And then it happens.  We fall in love and all those things go out the window and with them go a bit of honesty and truth.  We let our hearts lead us down the primrose path and leave reason behind.

It happens to (almost) everyone who has been in love.  It happened to me.  I’m sure it happened to my wife.  The phenomenon of “falling in love” causes many people to overlook the many things that would otherwise cause problems down the road and instead focus only on his “deep blue eyes,” or her “captivating smile,” or “the way she kisses me,” or “how he looks in those boots and tight jeans.”  

While I will be the first to admit the difficulty in peeling our emotions away from someone who causes our eyes to go all googly, I’m also going to go out on a limb and say that God created attraction so that men and women will fall in love and make babies.  However, it’s important to balance the “feelings” with brainpower and common sense.  If a man and woman find each other physically attractive but share hardly any common interests or morals, any lasting marriage between the two will be difficult at best.

That is why I find such wisdom in the ideas of the four children above.  It is also why I am so thankful to God that He sent me a lady with whom I share a love of music (though our tastes differ), a desire for a comfortable home (though our styles differ) and a strong Christian faith (though our approaches differ).

Yes, there will be things to work on for the rest of your life together (sex, parenting, household duties, lifestyle choices, personality differences), but we must always keep in mind that marriage is a life’s work, a difficult and challenging undertaking That said, it is good to have a foundation of both heart and mind at the very beginning.   

Be as honest as a child and you’ll start on the right path.

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