Sunday Scribbling: Brave

I think 2 things are very brave*. (1) Marriage and (2) Not settling.

Yes, another post about being married.  As our 1st Anniversary approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it really means to be married and how much I love it and the things I don’t like.

Choosing to permanently tolerate the worst of someone because you love their best is a brave decision.  Key word: permanently.  I heard someone say once that for “better or for worse” doesn’t mean “for better or until someone screws up” (maybe I even made that one up!).  I knew what I was getting into when I got married and even in Year 1, there were some times I wouldn’t have minded a do-over with someone new.  But backing out when it’s not pretty isn’t brave… it’s completely the opposite.  Forging ahead together when life is ugly is just as brave to me, as something cliche like being a solider or firefighter.   They don’t get to pick and choose the “good” parts of their job, why should a couple (or one of them) get to choose only the “good” parts to stick around for?

The other side of that is choosing not to settle for just anyone.  Dating doesn’t have to be a super serious venture all the time.  Even in adulthood, I don’t think it’s necessary to foresee possible marriage with every single person you go out with.  But it’s definitely cowardice to be with someone just because they make your life less lonely.  No one NEEDS someone else to be a whole person.  We are all whole people, alone.  The brave choice is to be single until someone worth your time comes along.  They are the one that should take up your time&energy.  Time&energy shouldn’t be wasted on someone you will obviously never have a future with (either because you know you won’t want to, or because it doesn’t look promising).  Being brave and not settling could apply to anything, really.  But in today’s economy I’m not going to say that you should hold out for a dream job when McDonald’s wants to hire you.  Use your head people!

Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.

Ruth 1:16-17

*This idea has been sparked by:

My God isn’t stupid.

Since I just started a new job this week (yay!), I’m still *a bit* in grateful-mode.  I’m so elated to be out of my apartment, thinking and interacting with grownups, that I haven’t minded the usual annoying stuff.

I’m not so grateful that I still don’t hate a large portion of society…

One thing that continually pisses me off, is when Christians do something stupid and use the excuse that God told them to do it.  This is very common among young adults who want to be married and should probably wait, but don’t want to.  For example, if you are 20 years old and do not have your life together (ie, working or in school) and you meet someone much older than you who ALSO doesn’t have their life together and you date for a few months after knowing each other for all of 3 days, then you probably should not join your lives together until death parts you.

What makes me the most upset, is that these people (who are supposed to believe in the same Almighty God that I do) believe in a God who is also as stupid as they are.  We, as humans, are all dumb.  We can thank Jesus for giving us free will to be that way.  But God, in any religion, should be better than the people.  He is the redeemer of the people and what redeemer says it’s ok to use marriage as the time to date a new person.

Now, this isn’t like knowing someone for years, being friends, and finally confessing your love and being married.  This is meeting, a few weeks later you have been dating and then you’re engaged to be married in 3 months.  I truly believe Jesus likes dating.  It’s the non-binding mini-commitment between 2 people to get to know each other monogamously.  And if after you learn things about each other and it doesn’t work out, you can part ways.  Marriage is not and should not be like that.  While you do learn new things about your spouse as time goes on, you already have a foundation of friendship and love to build from.  There’s no foundation in these rushed “God told me so” weddings.

What will be interesting to see is how many of those weddings last over the next 5-7 years.  I know of at least 3 that I will be keeping a stalking-on-facebook eye on.

I’d like to know who else this bothers.  Sometimes I feel like the only one who has to work at their marriage even though we are good friends and dated a long time and are still in the 1st “honeymoon” year.