Thursday, December 13, 2007

25 days of christmas | day thirteen

now, for the good perspective of marriage...

snagged from my friend matt's blog, is exactly what jonathan and i have been talking about - in bits and pieces - over the last few weeks. however, matt is much more eloquent than here it is.

I feel bad for folks that just wander into marriage - even more worried for those that don’t have a real Christian understanding of marriage (that includes a lot of Christians too by the way). Marriage is the monastery in which one joyfully/willingly enters to die to themselves. It’s the relationship in which you realize the Christian ideal that life isn’t about you any more. Hopefully, you see this before you decide to say “I do” and enter into that understanding/living willingly. Hopefully too, you find someone else to give that too that feels the same way! Sadly, even in the Christian community, most probably do not. To the Christian, marriage is the place and time and maturity where they are ready to stop living for/about themselves and can die to self in the ’safe place’ of reciprocating love of another. This isn’t about being a floor-mat for another person - it’s about finding another that wishes the same thing for you. It requires two mature adults that have their stuff together. They need to be able to maturely call “schenanigans” on each others behavior when it’s selfish, they need to be able to challenge and support each other as equals. One can’t do this if they don’t have their own issues worked out. If both of you are looking out for the two of you, then the other, then themselves (in that order) you’ll find the real tranformative power of marriage.

That’s why having kids is so intimately linked to marriage for the Christian. If there was ever anything that teaches you life isn’t about what you want anymore, it’s having kids. Children are an extension and expansion of this self-giving. If one isn’t mature enough to be married, one is likely not mature enough to have kids - and vice versa. Yes, parenthood is often thrust on people due to poor choices, but the folks I know in those situations said they sure grew up a lot as soon as their kid was born. Often via a painful moment of ‘Come to Jesus’/realization about the way their lives are now going to go - very differently than they expected. So, hopefully, marriage is the place where children are welcomed into the world witnessing/seeing this kind of self-giving love between their parents.

thanks, matt, for blogging about this. for helping me re-find perspective in these last days before the wedding - when things seem out of control and the focus shifts to things that really aren't that important.

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