Everyone has their own idea of what a marriage is. Some think about marriage as a partnership with their significant other, others feel marriage is the beginning of a fairy tale and others believe marriage to be an obligation, something everyone must do. The dictionary defines marriage as “the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.”
Marriage is more than a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law. It is uniting two lives into one household. Marriage is learning about the other person’s habits, good and bad, and learning how to deal with them. There will be arguments because two different personalities are striving to cohabitate peacefully. Sometimes leaving the top off of the toothpaste will drive a person crazy, while organizing the canned goods alphabetically will make the other pull their hair out. It will not always be easy, but compromise must happen. If one decides to leave the marriage, there are legal procedures that are necessary in order to dissolve it. It takes more time to get a divorce than to get married.
Marriage is work. Some days it will feel like a stressful job without any benefits and there are no vacations away from it. Time, patience, and a great sense of humor are necessary ingredients to make a marriage work. If both spouses become lazy in the marriage, it can open the door to extramarital affairs and ultimately lead to divorce. Marriage requires both spouses to be attentive to each other, respect each other, and love each other.
On the other hand, marriage is not a continuous romance novel. The relationship may have started with a damsel rescued by a prince; however, after the wedding, the prince may become a toad and the damsel may turn into a shrew. Every day will not be a great day in the marriage, and there will be days when one or both spouses will wish for singlehood.
Marriage is not a way to make a bad relationship better. If the relationship is unstable, marriage is not the next step to take; the bad qualities in the relationship will only be magnified. Instead, end the relationship or get counseling.
Marriage is not for the selfish. If both are unwilling to sacrifice and compromise, the marriage will not last. If one or both spouses only have their own interests in mind, the marriage will be inundated with conflict. Sometimes, the husband or the wife may have to apologize first in order to restore peace after an argument.
Marriage is not an old fashioned idea. People feel marriage is antiquated and unnecessary and believe living together without the legal commitment is easier and more desirable. But trust me, there is a blessing in being married. Marriage should be entered into with respect for the union and handled with care.
I think marriage is a partnership of love and trust overseen by God. What is your definition of marriage?