My generation has a pretty cynical view on marriage.
I’m not even going to get into our cynical views on the outcome of marriage (i.e. the abominably high divorce rates), that’s another monster topic for another day.
But today, I can’t stop thinking about our attitude about beginning a marriage!
I mean, check out some of these article titles I’ve seen on my Facebook news feed over the past couple of weeks:
“10 Reasons you’re not ready to settle down”
“Singleness is for Adventurers”
“How Tying the Knot Ties You Down”
To summarize these articles; Get married AFTER you’re done having fun. Tie the knot only once you’ve done everything else first. After all, we millennials have heard of spouses being referred to as “the old ball and chain”, and marriage referred to as “settling down”. And who wants to ‘settle’? If marriage means an end to your wanderlust, the last chapter of your adventures, the close of an eagerness to explore new things, there’s no wonder that my generation isn’t in a huge hurry to tie the knot and sign their dreams away! After all, using the logic of the above articles, it certainly seems better to fly solo for as long as possible before marriage clips your wings.
But what if there’s another way to look at marriage?
Marriage didn’t clip my wings. It gave me a whole new set of wings.
For me, marriage was not ‘settling down’. Actually, I was much more ‘settled’ BEFORE I got married! I had a routine, a fairly predictable rhythm, and really only needed to consider myself and what I wanted. It’s unsettling and quite complicated to blend your life with the person you love! You suddenly have to get very creative in ways that you didn’t have to be as a single person. Getting to know someone so deeply in the context of marriage is an adventure in and of itself! My husband and I are nowhere near ready to be ‘settled down’. In fact, marriage has fueled the flame of my desire to travel, to grow as a person in my character and spirituality, to discover new things, to work harder at my job, and to learn to love others more selflessly. I don’t think that sounds like ‘settling down’, I think that sounds like taking flight!
Imagine this scenario with me for a moment: Let’s say you marry the kind of person who encourages you, who inspires you to keep working towards your goals even when you doubt, who supports your interests, and most importantly, who shares a common love for the Lord and for serving others. Ask yourself this question-
What is one dream you are desperate to reach that your spouse would hinder you from reaching?
Starting a business? Brainstorm together as partners.
Traveling? Adventure together.
Financial goals? Save together. (Added bonus: Numerous studies show that married couples save more together, and are able to reach their financial goals faster.)
A successful career? Support one another and you’ll be inspired to work even more diligently.
Going into missions? Pray together as you walk through that process.
Marriage doesn’t have to be ‘settling’.
Marry someone whose worldview and perspectives align with yours.
Dream together and pursue your goals as a team.
And most importantly, be ready for the times when God pushes the boundaries of those goals with an even deeper purpose, including your spouse and family in such a way that makes your original aspirations more amazing than you ever could have hoped. My dreams are now intertwined with my husband’s dreams, and I pray that the Lord continues to shape our goals to align with HIS plan for our lives.
Marriage is unsettling. Only 6 months in, and it has already challenged my comfortable rhythms and way of life, stretched my boundaries and presuppositions, and expanded my horizons personally, relationally, professionally, and most importantly, spiritually.
Marriage didn’t clip my wings, it gave me a new reason to fly.