Every time I discuss the term “marriage”, I am instantly brought back to the scene from the movie, The Princess Bride, where the officiating priest proclaims “Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday…Twue Wuv–wiw fowwow you foweva and eva!” I still laugh to this today when watching that scene.
However, true mawage…I mean marriage, is no laughing matter. Sure, there are book upon books on marriage humor but what is the state of the union (pardon the pun) in the year 2018?
I remember that day like it was yesterday. I walked down the aisle at Beth Tfiloh in Baltimore on August 24th, 1992. It seemed to be the largest wedding event that Beth Tfiloh ever held. That was more in my mind than in actuality. It is true that there was a huge crowd because my wife and I were both from Baltimore. But in a different sense, we were two young adults about to embark on a real mission. I don’t think that marriage is generally referred to as a ‘mission’ but 26 years later, I can say and possibly speak for my wife, that we truly are on a mission. Our mission was and still is to grow together and become better people because of our ‘being together’. When two people approach marriage with this mindset, the foundation is already firmly rooted and growth can begin. It was not a fairy tale wedding based on true love because our definitions of true love or just plain love have been amended a few times over the course of our 26 years together. I don’t think it is possible for two people two have a concrete definition of love before marriage.
Fast forward to 2018. The statistics on marriage are grim to say the least. Ironically, according to many polls, the divorce rate is actually declining. However, we have to take into account that fewer people are actually taking the vow and opting not to marry. Are people getting scared off from marriage?
I would venture to say that the answer is absolutely. Plenty of people, especially men would say that marriage is too costly…how many married people are actually happy?…it’s just easier being single etc…
These are all valid reasons to opt out of marriage. So who does get married nowadays? It is mostly people who are very religious, highly educated or rate high on measures of self-esteem. But one factor that is overlooked is that married people tend to be very growth oriented. Not growing independently but dependently. When two people get married and feel that as a result of being together with this person, I am growing and becoming a better person, there is a quest of a sense of mission that extends far beyond vows made while “in love”—whatever that means.
As my older children are now contemplating the idea of marriage, I speak with them about love and marriage in terms that they can relate to. It worries me when hear others speak of their ‘twue wuv’ when they don’t have a mission.
You should not have to turn to Miracle Max to find the perfect marriage as no marriage is perfect. I often hear the quip that marriages are made in heaven, but then again, so are thunder and lightning. There are storms in a healthy marriage. Marriage takes work but it also takes a mission.
My advice to my children and to all who are contemplating ‘mawage’ is to sit down and have a discussion with your children about their mission and growing together as a unit. Have these discussions early and often as they say. It could be the most important discussion you will ever have.
Dr. Jonathan Lasson is a talented author and speaker whose well-developed ideas have help many who are seeking a quality relationship. For more information, please visit www.doctorjonny.com