Someone sent me an email a while back and said “Jayme…I have a friend who is considering moving in with her boyfriend, how would you advise her?” So I sent her my thoughts. 3 pages worth. 1,600 words worth. I had lots of thoughts!
I won’t print them here — sounds like a good post for No Regrets Singles! But the question make me think and it made realize how much security marriage gives me. Not in a “now I’m going to heaven when I die” kind of security. But the security of permanency. Marriage gives you security that doesn’t come from just living together.
I know you’ll hear people say “marriage doesn’t mean anything – it’s just a piece of paper”. My position: they’re lying to themselves. They’re trying to justify what they know deep down and that is: marriage does mean something. Do we have lots of couples (Christian and not) that don’t believe that? Yes. Do we have lots of couples (Christian and not) that don’t live like it means something? Yes. But that doesn’t mean marriage doesn’t mean something. I have 2 examples of this that quickly come to mind:
We see divorce for the tragedy that it is because marriage means what it does. If marriage wasn’t important, divorce would be no big deal.
2) Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been saying for years that they won’t marry until all couples (same-sex) have rights to marry. BUT…lately their children have been asking them to get married. Now, why would kids whose parents have said “marriage is no big deal” want their parents to be married? Because it provides them (the kids) security! That’s really what the kids are asking for: “Mom and Dad…please tell me that you’ll both be here and be together.” Marriage means something.
A wedding ring says:“I am here through thick or thin. I’m here when we can’t figure out who showers first in the morning. I’m here when our sex life isn’t that great. I’m here when you get laid off and we can’t pay all the bills. I’m here when the doctor thinks it might be cancer. I’m here if the pregnancy test shows positive. I’m here if your mom gets ill and we have to care for her. I’m here. Always and forever.” Jeff and I have a saying: “We will be married for 62 years. It’s up to us to decide if it is happily married or unhappily married.” When that’s your attitude, you make sure that it’s happily! If your attitude is “I can leave when I get unhappy enough”, it’s over before it began.
Marriage brings a huge amount of security for that reason. I know that something could happen to Jeff. He could die. My mom was widowed at 28 – I know what that can happen. But I trust God to provide and I take the security of an earthly husband as part of that provision. I have no qualms about being brutally, painfully honest with Jeff because he will be here. I don’t have to hide part of who I am for fear he’ll see my sin and leave. I can talk about anything and feel comfortable because this is the person I will be with when I am 82. He is my husband. That’s as permanent as you can get on this earth!