Marriage is here. It’s no longer “gay” marriage or “same sex” marriage, it’s just marriage. The time for much singing and rainbow rejoicing quiets around us, and so we begin the work.
This speaks to a whole group of people who have no previous example of how marriage works from our long-ignored and bashed down perspective. Yes, we have the example of our parents, and of our friends. Statistics show that over half of them didn’t do it very well. Are they are our source of reference. How do the workings of marriage we have all grown up with teach us about how we should handle a marriage. They didn’t exactly teach this stuff in Health class back in school.
This is also for the people who love us, who support us, and who profess to do all that they can to help us in this great life-changing step. Some Christian congregations add to this public pledge, “with the help of God,” reflecting very much the same pledge of undying, never-ending support said for them at their baptism.
What this is not.
Same sex marriage is not a time for nose-tweaking political statements. If we are a people of some sort of spiritual belief, then we should be taking this step with great seriousness and contemplation. This is not an extended date or protracted trick. This is not something that seemed like a good idea after a few drinks in Vegas. To do any of these is a waste of a blessing.
Know That Statistics Are Against You
Realize that divorce statistics studies on marriage in early adopter gay marriage states shows there is little difference in divorce rates between “gay marriages” and “everybody else.” You won’t win on this case without doing all the work. There is no golden marriage ticket.
What are you going to do with it?
Now that this blessing is among us, don’t feel as if it’s a necessary. We still have those around us who choose not to marry for whatever reason, those who are not yet emotionally ready to take on marriage, and those who would not even consider the thought, and who wish to be single. We must not become marriage snobs because some around us are not at the same relationship street that we stand on.
Just as the fight to get to this place was built on “stay out of my bedroom,” it is now our responsibility to stay out of our friends’ bedrooms, and not gloat about the drapes and wallpaper in our own.
The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?”
– (John 1:35-38)
Jesus asks these new guys clearly “what is it you want” (by following me so)? Our job as marriage beginners is to figure that part out for ourselves, as long as it takes to learn it (some call this exercise discernment.)
It seems as if God is always asking us this question in one way or another… stay with your job? … get rid of your rust bucket car? … which issues to believe and which to ignore?… And so it is our job – hopefully with a little help from our friends and those who love us – to figure this out.
- Why is it that we want to get married?
- What do we hope to get out of the situation?
- Are we ready to take on marriage as a calling and as a vocation, the same as our work?
The truth is: your marriage will take much more effort and cause more frustration than your job ever will. (We are assuming here that your job is not that of a bomb technician.)
And just for reference, I ask these questions of any couple seeking marriage, not just this-group, not that-group. Everyone. And if you met your alleged future spouse in any type of reality TV show about picking brides or grooms, please do not call my office. 🙂
– Keep the faith!