Marriage

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DISCLAIMER: I’m still in love with Stephen. I’m not bitter. I can see how that could be thought though. But seriously. I’m in love with him. I just had some things that needed to be said.

This is not necessarily going to be a fun post. It’s probably going to step on some toes. I can return to regularly scheduled jovial programming tomorrow.

This is not a post to pronounce my expertise at marriage. I’ve been at it for 16 days. I know nothing. Seriously. This is a post to say some things that I think need to be said.

I was (and still am, for that matter) 27 when I married Stephen. I think it’s important to note that because of that I had seen a lot of friends get married, start their families, some get divorced, and struggled with some jealousy of wanting my own family. Something I was told often, and am still told is that marriage is the best thing ever. Or, it’s the most important thing. Or it’s God’s plan. And I’ve got some things to say about those sentiments, and a few other sentiments that have been expressed to me.

When you tell a single girl that marriage is the best thing, or the most wonderful thing, or any number of ways to express that sentiment, particularly a single girl that you either know would love to get married, or a single girl you don’t know very well, what it is extremely easy for that girl to hear is “Until you get married, you have minimal to no worth.” And I know that it might be hard to understand why we hear that, but we do. Because you see, if something is the BEST thing, then it stands to reason that everything else is sub par. And I’m definitely not convinced that being single is to be sub par.

Another problem with announcing that marriage is the best thing or most wonderful thing, is that it makes it awfully difficult to have your first loyalty be Christ. Because really, words mean what they mean. Best means best. And simply saying, “Well, I didn’t really mean that.” isn’t really sufficient. After all, we learn in the Bible that “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

When we announce that marriage is God’s plan, we forget about some other things. First of all, God’s plan is for salvation. It’s for his glorification; it’s for our salvation; it’s not specifically for marriage. I believe that marriage is the best plan for families. But. I can’t find anything to support that marriage is the only way to live life as a human. And if that’s the case, then marriage simply cannot be God’s plan. At least, not when the definition is that broad.

I know that I’m probably going to be told that I’m splitting hairs. That I’m too sensitive, and that I wasn’t listening carefully when people were and are speaking to me. I’d be willing to be OK with that, except, sometimes we all need correction. In fact, one of the best things about my marriage is that Stephen provides me with some correction. It’s wonderful.

The other thing I have to say is this: why don’t older women help younger women? Or at least, why is it so difficult to find older women to mentor younger women? I’ve been married for 16 days. I know nothing. And I can count on one hand the number of women who were willing to tell me when I was single that marriage was hard. I’d like to buy those women presents, but I can’t afford it right now. In all seriousness though, where’s the help? Where’s the biblical pattern of older women teaching the younger women? Cause really, I, and probably most other young wives, could use the help.

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3 responses »

  1. Kristi,
    I enjoyed reading your thoughts and perspective….partly because I care about them, and you of course, and partly because it’s so fun and enriching to share writer-hearts.
    That being said, I could find it easy to write a dissertation in response! haha. But I won’t, except to say you have hit the nail on the head about several issues. The one I sure do want to specifically address is the last paragraph…because it really resonates with me, as an “older woman”.
    I think there are two or three reasons why we don’t mentor and teach as much as we should, if at all. The most superficial of which, for me, is the fact that I’m still so busy….surprising to me, because I didn’t really expect to be in such a position at this age. Although, I am very happy to be, and stay, busy. It keeps me productive and at least feeling young, even if I’m not. 🙂
    But I suppose the main reason that I- and I can only speak for myself – hesitate to “teach” younger women is that typically the response from most younger women is something like this: we don’t WANT to be taught, thank you very much. We already KNOW what we think, what we want…and we DON”T want someone (albeit someone with experience and gained wisdom over time)”preaching” at us about any of it. NOT about submission, not about the priorities God may want for us to have which would require us to make some changes…maybe big-time changes.
    I would absolutely LOVE to spend time ministering to, mentoring, teaching, and hopefully blessing young women such as yourself! It starts, I think, where you have started here. Reaching out, asking, dialoguing… I bet you would find some older women who would love to have that kind of friendship-fellowship relationship with you. They, and I, have just become a little bit gun-shy about the negative, if not hostile, reactions we have gotten when we suggest that you might have something to learn and we might know what that something is. Of course, we (I) are responsible for communicating anything we have learned with love, kindness, and real humility.
    I love you. Let’s keep writing, let’s keep talking. Anything specific on your mind, send me a message and we’ll bat it around. Favorite recipes? I’ve got about a ton. Challenging relationship stuff? Been there, done it, still doing it! What to “keep”, what to let go of? I’ll be happy to share what I’ve learned…some of it the very hard way. 🙂
    Blessings, dear.

  2. I agree with you on all points. Marriage IS hard, its NOT all fun and games. It will be some of the best times and experiences you’ve ever had (note some, i had good experiences as a single gal too), but it will also be some of the most difficult, heart wrenching moments you’ve experienced as well. You and Stephen will do it together and I’m sure have a ball doing it. Best of luck and thoughts to you in your new marriage.

    On an unrelated note, we need to get together soon after I move! Recipe swap?

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