Long Term Goals Win

A young lady I know who is beyond her 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’s 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 it’s supposed to be about two people becoming one, not one person being shown off, hyped, praised, or whatever. Spending money you don’t have so you start marriage in debt is another idea I find odd, and harmful to the marriage created by the wedding.

A marriage 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 lies beyond the doorway? Where is being seen or praised more important than doing what should be done? We can do both, but it’s 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’re going to change, and then we don’t put real effort into changing. We buy a bit of good will convincing someone (maybe our wife) we’re going to change, but when we fail to actually do so, 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?

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7 Comments on “Long Term Goals Win

  1. 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.

    • 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!

      • 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.

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

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