Long term goals win

January 29, 2013

in Change, Good Marriage, Seeing Clearly

A young lady I know who is beyond hear years in wisdom is getting married soon. She recently posted this: “I have come to the conclusion that there are two types of brides: those who want a WEDDING and those who want a MARRIAGE.”

After the wedding... ᄅ Zimmytws | Dreamstime.com

I think she is spot on about brides, but the idea she expresses is one most of us will face from time to time. A wedding is a show – especially the way some folks do it. The whole “your day” thing seems a bit odd to me, given that it is supposed to be about two people becoming on, not one person being shown off, hyped, praised, or whatever. Spending money you do not have so you start marriage in debt is another idea I find odd, and harmful to the marriage that follows the wedding. A marriage on the other hand is a lifelong union – the on-going act of the two becoming one. Obviously, we can have both a wedding and a marriage, but some are far too focused on the wedding and not nearly focused enough on the marriage.

Where do we do this in our lives? Where do we make the doorway far more important than is should be while failing to deal properly with what is beyond the doorway? Where is being seen or praised more important than doing what should be done? We can do both, but it is easy for the balance to get shifted.

Another way of looking at this is that we can focus too much on an entry goal when we should be looking at the long-term goal. Getting into law school, for example, is a great goal, but actually graduating is (or should be) the real, long-term goal. If you got accepted then never showed up for class, what good was it to fulfil the goal of being accepted? I think we tend to do this in relationships when we work hard to convince someone we are going to change, and then we do not put any real effort into changing. We buy a bit of good will convincing someone (maybe our wife) we are going to change, but when we fail to actually do it, our situation is worse than when we started.

Are you chasing a wedding or a marriage in your life? Which is more important to you?

Image Credit: © Zimmytws | Dreamstime.com

7 comments
Evan
Evan

Absolutely! That's what I have been saying for many years; even before we got married! Thank you for pointing it out!

John Delcamp
John Delcamp

I agree 100% - I have observed that young couples and their families spent almost all their time preparing for the wedding (and that is where they spend their money) than they doing preparing for the marriage (they seldom invest their money here). It is surprising how many couples don't want me to marry them because I require 15 hours of pre-marriage counseling and I require them to do homework - read books, prepare budgets, develop written plans, etc. Some are willing to "endure the 15 hours but put little or no effort into the homework because they are spending all their time, energy, and money on a ceremony that lasts 30 - 45 minutes and a reception that is far to expensive and lasts for maybe 4 hours. What they need to be preparing for is a marriage, because it is to last a lifetime.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

John Delcamp - Thank you so much for your commitment to not marry a couple without that 15 hours. There is a very interesting thing that has happened in Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO. KC KS has a Community Marriage Policy®, which among other things requires some real premarital counselling (4 sessions minimum, and 4 months of marriage preparation), and it's difficult for a couple to get a church wedding without good counselling. KC MO does not have such a policy, and many marry without good counselling. The divorce rate in KS fell after the policy was initiated, while it rose across the river. The first Community Marriage Policy® happened in Modesto CA in 1986, with a large number of both Protestant and Catholic clergy signing on. By the year 2000 the divorce rate for Modesto was down almost 50%!! (For more see http://bit.ly/UAyNSQ). It makes a HUGE difference!

John Delcamp
John Delcamp

I am sure that the divorce rated dropped because of the required counseling but I also wonder how the statics are affected by the fact that some are just not getting married, they just live together rather than prepare for the marriage.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

John - That is certainly a valid issue. It's also why the divorce rate for non-Christians is sometimes lower than for those in the church.

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