Why Get Married?

When I was 18, I was heading off to college I told myself I was going to find my future wife while I was there. It seemed like the good “Christian” thing to do. I was enamored with the idea of being the happily married and young Youth Pastor dream that I had built for my life. Shortly before I was 20 I met the girl I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with. She was a beautiful Baptist girl. When dated in high infatuation for a while. When I started asking bigger questions around God, Christianity and the World, after nearly two years our worlds catastrophically crashed into each other and we broke up in a very cruel way.

When we broke up I found myself analyzing why it ended, or, if I should date, or get married. I have dated a few girls since then but not intensely like those two years. My problem with dating or getting married, especially at my age is the small fact that dating or getting married has always existed around me. The thoughts of marriage always existed around what I want or need. Those relationships had offered me something comforting around thoughts like:

I am lonely and this person will help me not feel alone.

This person seems to really like me, now I can really like myself.

I am really horny and I really want to lose my V card.

When I look at love at its best it is a pure unconditional gift. God loves me not because I am special but he just loves me, and, I don’t have to love him back. My parents still love me after me some really rough years I put them through. I don’t want any future marriage to exist around me and the fact that their presence strokes my ego or sexual desires. And, as I have developed my own identity over the three and a half years after that relationship has ended and I allow God to love me through and through and break down my own ego, he has given me a greater capacity to move towards that unconditional gift. When I find myself, I no longer need myself. I don’t need to cling to others to be my source of happiness, pleasure and fulfillment. I don’t need another person to make me free and whole. That’s what I think marriage should be. Two free and whole people, freely and wholly loving each other. Two people who don’t fear vulnerability, pain and showing the other person their dark side. While embracing the wholeness and freedom of the other person for their own pleasure and delight. It is the most edifying relationship that one can find on this earth, when done right. While that person has the greatest capacity to hurt you, the love shared will be far more healing, enjoyable and sanctifying than any other relationship while we are on this earth.

But, as I move towards wholeness and freedom, I find myself saying that I really don’t need another person in order to be happy and whole. The years I spent wanting other people to fill my loneliness, was the escape that the cure for loneliness is really learning to love the community of yourself and God. As my hormones have slowly reduced as I have gotten older, I have found ways to channel my sexual energy in other ways in giving myself to others in service. And, as I learn to love myself, I no longer need myself and can give myself away to a bigger world and a bigger mission.

I do imagine that I will get married. I want to get married. I look forward to that healing, enjoyment and sanctifying relationship if it happens. I look forward to the gift of marriage. I look forward to the fights. I look forward to hating her parents and every other stigma surrounding in-laws. Until then, I don’t think I need it.

Why do you think people should or shouldn’t get married?

What have you learned in marriage?

If I do get married, I hope its to this girl:

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25 thoughts on “Why Get Married?

  1. AmySioux says:

    ROTFL! I was going to comment on your blog but now I’m just laughing too hard after watching the video. Hilarious!!

  2. corey says:

    Too bad she likes cats…doesn’t that rule her out for you?

  3. Breana Losey says:

    First of all, there is no way that girl is for real. As a 32 year old single girl, I’ve envisioned myself becoming 60 year old spinster who herself owns multiple cats. This girl can only be 24 and is already on the single woman cat-loving train. Not good! =)

    Before turning 30 and still single, I started to become obsessed with being single. Something was wrong with me, I was unwanted, I was unattractive, I was too “unique” and there was no man out there who could compliment me. This lasted for a year and a half and it was awful. I remember the day I snapped out of it and it was such a freeing experience. Like you, I still desire to get married and I do hope that one day it will happen. But, if it doesn’t, there are so many other areas I can devote my time and energy to while I’m single. I have a family and great group of friends who love me. I have interests and ministries I can serve in. We choose how we respond to our circumstances. I simply choose to not let my “singleness” identify who I am.

    Great post, thanks for sharing!

    • Mike Friesen says:

      Breana,
      What advice do you have for single people?

      • Bre says:

        I think the best advice is to be honest and open with your friends about how you are feeling. I felt lost, depressed, and just bummed out. The best thing I did was talk to my friends and ask them to pray for me. There’s no shame in admitting your desire for marriage, you aren’t less of a person if you do.

  4. Matthew says:

    I’m pretty sure I want to get married too. Or maybe I’ll just get some cats…in a basket…wearing bow ties.

  5. jenny says:

    dude. im 21, and a lifetime single. I always used to think that things were wrong with me, that i was too intimidating, obscure, intelligent (or stupid) or even just simply fat, ugly, and undesirable. My singleness has been about hating myself. But the more i focus on God, and His plan for my life the less i think those thoughts, the more i feel loved and desired (by Him, so why would i even need a man? ). So, Like you, im good single. The only time i feel as if i want someone anyways is to affirm who i am, to help me in ministry, to make things less confusing, or to reach the high cabinets and hang things. All selfish.

  6. Susan O. says:

    Dr. Cloud’s “A Date Worth Keeping” !!

  7. Erica Menard says:

    Thanks for this post. I’m very understanding of the “this person seems to really like me, and now I can really like myself” syndrome and struggled with it for many years. I didn’t marry until I was 35 (after two very long-term failed relationships that were, I suppose, “quasi-marriages”). One thing I would say, as a general observation: if you’re a guy, don’t marry if you’re too far under the age of 30. I think that for most (but certainly not ALL) men, it’s just too young. I’m 51 years old now (and have been very blessed in my marriage and I adore my husband, despite some major challenges — for example, I’m a progressive Christian and he’s an atheist — another post for another day!). At my stage of life, I’m sad to see so many marriages splitting up. I see many of my contemporaries now realizing that they would have benefited by having taken the time to date a wider variety of people when they had the chance. Or would have benefited by understanding that life as a single person truly can be fulfilling, beautiful, rewarding, and fun; it needn’t be a state of waiting for “real” life to begin, and marriage is definitely not a panacea. Or, and I don’t mean to offend anybody, but I have to say this: they might have benefited by not believing that, if you have sex with somebody, you MUST marry him or her even if your gut tells you it’s not right. We are only human, and things can and do happen all the time despite the best of intentions. My parents were born-again Christians who divorced after 30 years of marriage and I have witnessed that no amount of struggle, no amount of trying, no amount of denial or forgiveness or therapy can fix a relationship that just does not work.

    After all of my rambling, I can promise you that, over the course of your lifetime, there will be very few people you’ll truly fall in love with, feel that indescribably beautiful soul connection with, AND be able to live and grow with. All of those pieces have to converge in a mystical way and we can’t “make” that happen. If you find somebody who your heart, soul and mind tell you is right, and you also happen to meet that person when you’re in a position to marry, you are truly blessed. Don’t let that person get away.

    • Mike Friesen says:

      Erica,
      This though resonated with me, because it is so true that you said : “there will be very few people you’ll truly fall in love with, feel that indescribably beautiful soul connection with, AND be able to live and grow with. All of those pieces have to converge in a mystical way and we can’t “make” that happen.” You can’t force life, you just have to let it happen. You can’t force love, you just have to fall into it.

      Thank you for your vulnerability and sharing part of your story.

  8. Lance Gutteridge says:

    You are so awesome. Dude one thing to know is that I believe that Biblically celibacy or singelness is a powerful and awesome spiritual gift. 1Cor7. But marriage is an equally fantastic and miraculous spiritual gift. Far to often, like with all good gifts our sinfulness mars the image of what God means for good everyday. In what I’m going to say keep in mind I am a sinner and almost all the junk in my life is MY fault.

    Having said that I have had and am in the middle of the most brutal, emotionally devastating time in what I believed for 18 years was an idyllic marriage. Today? I wouldn’t trade 1 day that God made us one flesh for 100 days w/o her in the world. Don’t believe she would concur btw. But here’s the really amazing thing. It’s not about what she does for me, its about what God teaches us about Himself that makes it so awesome. Two becoming one, “The mystery is GREAT but I am speaking of Christ and the Church.” We think we understand how much Jesus loves us but we will never get it until we pour all our (totally imperfect but still all) love and are rejected, ridiculed, and rebuffed in return. Then wake up the next day and say all over again I choose to love them. If we get to love a little more like Jesus, see a little more how imperfect we are, then at it VERY WORST marriage is a tremendous blessing!

    Again I earned so much of what started us down the road we are on. My sin, MY failure.

    But get this, there IS the sex! Yippie! And the kids amazing, and the fights, and the ally in the battle. AND the BUDDY, Man it’s good. Biblically good. “It’s NOT good that he should be alone. So he who finds a wife finds a GOOD thing!” Go into it looking like Kennedy not at what she can do for you, but what you can do for her and you’ll have it!

    I LOVE AMY B! Ha!

    Wow guess I need to spiritually toss my cookies huh? 😉 Grace & Peace

  9. Matthew says:

    Oh, p.s. Here’s a dating video of a guy who is, well, a bit frustrated. You’ll probably laugh out loud. Or just be a little frightened.

  10. Lance Gutteridge says:

    Honesty first, last and foremost. Honesty about where you really are spiritually, honesty about internal fears and expectations. Minimizing you’re expectations of your spouse, enlarging your expectations of yourself, and maximizing you’re expectations of God. Pray out loud together a lot. Set lots of goals unique to who you are together. NEVER STOP DATING only do it honestly WITH SEX! :-O Don’t forget to be buddies.

  11. Becca says:

    Why Get Married? Good question – good blog!
    I think that I could have written this post a few years ago, so I definitely recognize where you are coming from. I had a slightly different problem, though – I’d found the one that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, but was fighting it – I didn’t want to lose my identity, my individuality – by becoming a “we” instead of just “me.”

    I’ve been married for 3.5 years now and I guess what I’ve found the most surprising is that marriage is a lot more different than what I thought it was before I got married. In some ways, it’s so much easier and better than I thought – and in many more ways, it’s much more difficult and hard work than I could have imagined. Yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Lance is right – 2 becoming 1 is such a supernatural thing, and God reveals himself to you in new ways through the trials you encounter together. I’ve had to come to terms with myself – who I really am, both good and bad. My commitment to my husband motivates me to work to stay vulnerable with God, allowing him to purify me and remove more and more of my selfish, sinful nature – and I know that my husband would say the same. It’s such an amazing experience to be going through life that way with someone so close doing the same work because they love God and love you. Not to mention how refreshing it is to have someone on your side. Yes, God is our strength and supports us, and in many ways that is enough… but when you need someone “with skin on” who is for you, I don’t think anything can quite match a spouse in that regard.

  12. Bourbonbaker says:

    I don’t think being married is 2 whole people coming together be ause you continue to grow together and change as yourselves and as a couple. Being yourself and working for God will help you find the person that is your perfect match. Sometimes you know early in life (I was married when I was 19) and sometimes it takes time, because God has other things He needs you to accomplish first. I know many people who are just finding their right mate into their 30’s and 40’s.
    Stay strong in what you believe and the time will come. Great job to you for overcoming temptation and sticking with what you believe. Your perfect girl will be lucky to have found such a great guy with principle.

  13. rieten says:

    I enjoyed reading your blog. I’m a 53 year old single who’s never been married. Not because I didn’t want to but it just never happened. Who knows … maybe one day.
    Having said that, it’s very true you don’t need to be married to have a good and fulfilling life. You just have another sort of life.

    But it’s so important not to sit down and wait for it to happen. That’s waisting your time. You have to “make” your own life, filling it with things you feel are important to do, working with the talents God has given you and enjoying the friendships you have. Don’t ever become obsessed with “finding the right one”. That will scare people away like nothing else …

    Be happy with what you have, enjoy your life and who knows what God has in store for you … single or together.

    Riete

  14. jason says:

    So i haven’t read the actual blog yet.. i just love cats so much that i can’t get through the whole thing without thinking about cats on rainbows in my bed.. i just love cats mike..

  15. Jan says:

    Mike,

    I am a 52-year-old woman with 4 almost grown children. I loved what you had to say in your blog and would have forwarded it to my 23-year-old son, until I watched the video. It was so dumb that in my opinion it discredited what you said. It made me not take you serious. Anyway . . .

    I’ve been married for 25-1/2 years, most of which have been extremely happy, but some of which were filled with pain. I think you hit it on the head when you said that you needed to be complete as a single person so you could love someone with your whole heart. I guess the one piece of advice I would give and what I’ve told my kids is, DON’T SETTLE! If there is something you really don’t like about a person you’re dating, and if you think it’ll change after marriage, you’re wrong! If it’s something that’s a deal-breaker if it doesn’t change, get out. Before the wedding.

    Keep up the good writing. And save the funny videos for your buddies.

    Jan

  16. Wil says:

    I think you should go to Hardies and get a few slammers!

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