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Why Do People Get Married?

I read a lot about science and faith, but this Christian book on marriage taught me many things about myself and how to treat others. Coincidentally, now is Holy Week, a ripe time to reflect on permanent lessons from the Bible.

I’m getting married soon. I’ve always believed that what I lack in experience, I can learn from books. Considering the trend of my Millennial generation, 44% of which claims that marriage is becoming obsolete, I’m still ‘young’ to settle down. Another trend is loss of trust in religion. Many of my peers blatantly claim being atheists or in the least, personalized their approach to faith. 

 

Dr. Gary Chapman’s “The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted,” hit many good points about relationships. If you’re in one, looking for one, or getting out of one – we will all benefit to reflect on many his wise, humbling advice.

 

What is the purpose of Marriage? 


Why can’t people just co-habitate? 

Marriage was God’s answer for humankind’s deepest human need — union of life with another. This unity is to encompass all of life — the total union of two lives on the intellectual, social, physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

In other words, marriage is beyond the economic benefits or having children/companion. Marriage means the  blessing of two lives in the deepest possible way into a new unit that will both satisfy the individuals involved and serve the purposes of God.
 
My future husband, Jovi, is not my dumping ground. Our romantic phase will fade. We will fight bitterly. We will encounter tragedy. We will have to work on showing love both in words and actions every single day. Proving you love someone is like a second job.
 
But a husband’s and wife’s partnership signifies a higher purpose – oneness intellectually, physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually. That is a lot to ask, but has an eternal uptake if it works. 

Oneness is attained only as we are willing to confide failures as well as successes. 


 
 

Fighting


There are four communication qualities that can always predict a break-up:


1. Criticism

2. Defensiveness
3. Contempt
4. Stonewalling

Truthfully, I am guilty of #4. It’s just that I’d rather be quiet than say hurtful words. Which, by the way, Dr. Chapman warns us as “high, heavy walls that develop.” When a friend betrays my trust, I know that a wall is slowly emerging. This is even aggravated by our loved ones, especially since they are so close to us. Life is too short to let heavy walls exist around you. So don’t. Discuss, be open, and move forward. 

 
 

Decision-Making


In 1793, Olympe de Gouges wrote a manifesto about women’s right. She was beheaded a few months later. We’ve come a long way in our expression of gender equality today. In fact, marriages are treated as partnerships between the male and female.


But who makes a decision in a marriage?


The first rule is to wait. Almost all major discussions can, and will benefit, from waiting. After much discussion and if nothing surfaces, according to the Bible, the default decider is the husband. 


I was appalled. No way in the world. Right? 


“A wife may feel the challenge of submission, but she should also feel the security of a responsible husband, one who will make decisions when he must.” – Dr. Chapman


It makes sense. Part of Jovi’s attitude about decision-making is to let me do whatever I wanted. He had never, not even once, imposed on me. What a remarkable gift for a young woman such as myself. But as we enter in a marriage, I will have to yield to him. Not because I’m inferior, but because he has proven to make sound decisions in our last eight years together. And if he makes a mistake, here’s a mantra of a wise wife:  “We goofed, but we’re together, and we’ll make it.”

 
I think now I know why Kris Aquino, in all of her wisdom and prowess, always had trouble with men.
 

What is the purpose of sex in a marriage? 

 

1. To procreate
2. To meet physical and emotional needs
3. To provide pleasure

 

According to Deuteronomy 24:5:

“If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year, he is to be free to stay home and bring happiness to the wife he has married. The word translated “happiness” is elsewhere translated “pleasure” and is the same word that is used for sexual gratification. He is to stay home and pleasure his wife for one year.”

Talk about a honeymoon!

 

Leaving Parents

 

“Honor your mother and father.” It’s the original commandment, a guideline from birth to death, and it stands forever. God’s pattern for marriage involves the “leaving” of parents and “cleaving” to one’s mate. It involves a change of allegiance. Psychologists call this “cutting the psychological apron strings.” If there is conflict, the husband is to lean to his wife. 

Money


Jovi and I are both under-buyers. We are on the same page about frugality, which as my financial adviser colleagues say, “is the best investment strategy.” I’m so thankful that we are starting our marriage 100% debt-free, with even a little bit of savings to build our first household. 

 

“A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffer the consequences.” -Proverbs 22:33

All in all, these six points are the highlights of Dr. Chapman’s book. They are not just sourced quotes, but have practical implications. Lessons so pragmatic, they apply outside marriage – even simply in how we treat other people. 

What have you learned in your own relationship? What can you advice Jovi and I as we enter marriage?


-C. 


God himself said to Adam: “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18) His answer to a man’s need is a woman.

 

 

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