Hope Rising

Friday, November 1, 2013

A different view on seeking marriage.

The fear of marriage brings with it pathologies.  One major fruit of the contemporary culture's fear of marriage is that singles become perfectionistic and virtually impossible to satisfy as they look at prospective spouses.  Unfortunately, this perfectionism often supports gender stereotypes, because both anecdotal evidence and empirical studies show that males will look for near perfection in physical looks while women will look for partners who are financially well off...You must look good and make money if you are to attract dates, a partner, or a spouse.  And the reason you want a good-looking or affluent partner is for your own self-esteem.

...How different seeking marriage would be if...we were to view marriage as a vehicle for spouses helping each other become their glorious future-selves through sacrificial service and spiritual friendship.  What happens if we see the mission of marriage to teach us about our sins in unique and profound ways and to grow us out of them through providing someone who speaks the truth in love to us?  How different it would be if we were to fall in love especially with the glorious thing God is doing in our spouse's life?  Ironically, this view of marriage eventually does provide unbelievable personal fulfillment, but not in the sacrifice-free and superficial way that contemporary people want it to come.  Instead, it gives the unique, breathtaking fulfillment of visible character growth (Ephesians 5:25-27) into love, peace, joy, and hope (Colossians 1; Galatians 5; 1 Corinthians 13).
~Timothy Keller in The Meaning of Marriage*, pp.202, 203

*This book is challenging me in my thinking and calling out my fear of commitment.  Worth a read for anyone, single or married.

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