Does Marriage Work?
Does Marriage really work? In the United States, approximately 50% of marriages end in divorce.
Divorce has been a “trend” this year. Several long-term celebrity couples have ended their marriages. After 10+ years together and multiple children, these couples have been able to very publicly share why they decided to break their life-long vows and leave their spouses. It’s all centered around this phrase:
” I needed to be true to myself.”
Our culture has an absolute obsession with “authenticity”! June is always a sad reminder of this fact. People will mutilate their bodies, abandon their identities as children of God, and yes, walk away from the beauty of marriage all in the name of self-trueness.
Why do people see marriage as a threat to their own selves?
Well, to be blunt…because it is.
“A man must leave his father and mother and be cleaved to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” Spouses are no longer two, but one. We leave our families, ourselves, are joined to our spouse. Our identities are still Joshua and Michelle. He is still an architect and I a writer. One is an introvert and the other an extrovert. However, we are no longer simply just two people attracted to each other. We are a unit, a joint, a husband and wife.
A celebrity divorce that got a lot of media attention was Tom Brady and Giselle. Despite rumors that she initiated their divorce because he did not retire from the NFL, Giselle later confessed that she wanted her life to go one way and it, “was no longer growing with him in it” (or something along those lines). I remember reading about the whole situation and thinking—that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard!
When we get married, we willingly surrender the right to take our life in any direction without our spouse! We’re not two people sharing a bed, mortgage, children, money, etc. and still doing our own things! We’ve consented to love, honor, and cherish each other all the days of our lives. That is in sickness and in health, richer or poorer, and for better or worse. There is no more, “I need to go my own way.” There is only- “you are my way. I will walk my life with you.”
Marriage is A Threat…A Beautiful Threat:
Marriage is 100% a threat to our own selves. Matrimony is dying to self. Marriage is abandoning your selfishness and living for something greater- for someone. It is leaving yourself behind and joining your spouse. There is no more making decisions alone and deciding your spouse is not compatible with your life. Your life centers around your spouse, not your spouse being in the circle of your life.
Again, you’re still you when you get married. Your spouse is still them. You’re not called to be twins or some unnatural, morphed blob of a human being with no individual personality or interests. But your decisions revolve around the other. One of you cannot decide to make your lifelong dream of living in Cancun come true and not do it with the other. Marriage is dying to self and allowing your spouse to be the center of your life.
So Does Marriage Work?
Marriage only works when we let it.