Ticky-tacky Marriages

November 14, 2013

in Seeing Clearly, Spicy Quote

In 1962, Malvina Reynolds (a folk and blues singer-songwriter) wrote “Little Boxes” which later became a hit for Pete Seeger. The song was about the conformity of the growing middle class; they all looked the same, did the same things, and lived in cookie-cutter tract houses build with cheap materials (ticky-tacky).

Tract Houses © Susanne Neal | Dreamstime.com

I wonder how many people are living in ticky-tacky marriages. Cookie-cutter marriages built on a cheap foundation. We copy what our parents did, or we copy what we see others doing, as if marriage could be a one-size-fits-all relationship. We don’t invest much, and what we most care about is looking like others – at least on the outside. We know the outside doesn’t show the truth, and we occasionally wonder if most marriages are less than they look like from the outside, but we just go on because it’s all we know.

This is not what God intended!

Marriage is two unique individuals becoming one. How could there be a cookie-cutter format for that? Sure, there are some parameters for right and wrong, and what usually works well and what usually does not, but there should be a huge amount of variety. Some of what works for my wife and me will not work for you and your spouse. Some of what works for the folks next door will not work for us. Some of what worked for our parents will work for us, while some will not, and some things that did not work for them will work very well for us.

You can learn a great deal from other couples. You will see things and say, “That might work for us.” You will also see things and say, “That would be a huge mistake for us.” Examples can thus be both what to do, and what to avoid.

Get your marriage out of “little boxes”, and let it be what God intended it to be. Find God’s limits, and then explore within those. Be willing to try things others would call weird and stop being afraid of being different.

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Romance Man @ CrackingTheRomanceCode.com
Romance Man @ CrackingTheRomanceCode.com

No doubt or argument, God's way for marriage is the best. We do see folks who can teach us some good principals for our own marriage. Often seeing how other couples handle situations gives the Biblical concepts "flesh" to see how to address certain issues in our own relationship. Fortunately, I had Christians I trusted early on to show me how to live the right type of marriage. My own childhood circumstances were a disaster. 

My early years did show me how "NOT" to do marriage.  Cookie cutter relationships never seem to work for a marriage. 

Thanks Paul for your reminders!


QUIOTE: "Some of what works for my wife and me will not work for you and your spouse." My mother is a difficult person for family members to be with. My father, her husband, adopted me shortly after they married. I wondered for many years, because of my mother's behavior, how he could 'put up' with her. Others in the extemded family wondered the same thing and concluded that he must be a 'wimp'. So, I often overheard them berating him behind his back. When he died of lymphoma, I went through his wallet, knowing men keep things of value to themselves in them and found a taped up piece of paper, well folded and re-folded which was once an article on loving your wife. I realized a truth as I read it that I have kept with me and apply whenever *I* feel a marriage has an issue that *I* am foolish enough to think, on their behalf, needs to be 'resolved': That truth is: "Whatever a couple work out between themselves, it is their marriage and no one has any right to judge what is right and wrong for them. They love each other. And as it is said, "Love covers a multitude of transgressions" This is a truth because marriage is like a crucible used for purifying precious metals. The heat and pressures created by these now co-existent personalities within a marriage bond will force the ‘mettle’ to rise to the top and be separated from the dross, one way or another. Or else it will destroy it.


This is so true.  Everything is so different, and that is why it's so important to live a Spirit-led life.  Only God knows what will work in your situation at a certain time.  Only He knows what each individual needs to learn, or go through, to make them more like Christ.

But at the same time I've realized, we all have something in common.  We struggle with sin.  We can have understanding and grace with one another, even though our situation may not be "exactly" the same.  I am a sinner with a similar struggle, and therefore I can show grace and mercy because that's what God has done for me.

TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Eleutheros "it is their marriage and no one has any right to judge what is right and wrong for them"

I mostly agree with that, but there is the call to be in each others lives and to point out sin and real problems. Of course that is a far different thing than gossip and talking behind someone's back.

I've seen plenty of marriages where one spouse decided to "put up with" things because they realised their spouse was unwilling to change. If the options are daily fighting, leaving, or putting up with something, I think putting up is often the right choice.

TheGenerousHusband moderator

@janna94 Well said. We need to learn how to support and help each other, even when we don't fully understand.

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