A young lad once asked his father, “Why did you choose HER to be my mother?”
The father was stuck. He did not choose the boy’s mother to be a mum, but to be his sexual partner. The man was young, irresponsible and ungodly. He only thought about himself and what would make him happy. His attraction to the girl he married was sensual and shallow.
The marriage collapsed quickly, but not before the bride bore him a son. The mum abandoned the marriage and her son, in pursuit of her own foolish dreams. Once the boy was old enough to understand what had happened, and as he felt the pain of growing up with no mother, he asked his dad about the mum.
“Why did you choose HER to be my mother?” was really a cry for a responsible mother. The boy didn’t want to be motherless. He wanted a caring, compassionate mum who would nurture him and meet his needs as he grew into manhood.
The boy is now 41 years old and serving a long-term prison sentence. The father has remarried and is raising a godly family with a godly wife who is as committed as he is to raising their children.
So, as you prepare for marriage you need to see your intended or potential spouse in the broadest possible context. That impressive young man, who has everything going for him, is the one who will teach your sons and daughters about life. That pretty young girl who seems so delightful is the one who will partner with you through some pretty rough moments in the years ahead. You are not just gaining a husband or wife; you are choosing the parent to your children. You are choosing the extended family for your children too. The “in-laws” are as much a part of your child’s life as your family will ever be.
In an arranged marriage these various considerations are worked through by people who have already experienced some of these realities. They are more likely to detect shallowness, irresponsibility, selfishness and the like, than two young people allowed to feed each other’s emotional dreams. However, bringing external wisdom into the marriage choice is not done in our independent minded western culture. So, many unwise choices are made and surprises strike.
The joke goes: Love is blind and Marriage is an Eye-Opener! That’s to say that many people don’t realise what they are getting when they allow their heart to direct the process of choosing a spouse.
I can’t change the culture, but I can bring wise counsel. I challenge you to keep the bigger picture in mind. Realise that the person you marry is much more than your lover or your knight in shining armour. That fragile princess needing to be rescued also needs to make valuable contribution to life, family, home and your future.
Maybe a simple reality check is to imagine your 10 year old child coming to you in the future and asking with tears, “Why did you choose that person to be my parent?”