- Monday, July 28, 2008
A lot of people took my recent post, Looking For Mr. Right? You're Missing the Point, Missy, to mean that I'm anti-marriage. But I am most definitely pro-marriage. I've been happily married for 27 years. Me being anti-marriage is like Pavarotti being anti-singing. It just wouldn't make sense. I think everyone should get married. But I also know the only way to find Mr. or Miss Right is to absolutely quit looking for them.
Hey, man. I don't make up the rules. I just blog about them.
The main reason I think it's important to get married is the same reason I think it's important to do virtually every great thing there is to do in life: to Avoid Self-Centeredness. Self-centeredness is the enemy of life. It's the reason that consciously looking for means never finding Mr. or Miss Right. Because searching for the person you think you need to be happy is still about you. It's about your needs, your desires, your plans for your future.
No good. Nobody cares. If you're the center of your life, how interesting can you be? It means you've never found anything outside of yourself more important or compelling to you than you. Which can only mean that you don't know how to love. Which means you wouldn't make a good mate. Which people sense. Which makes your phone ring less. Which is why I wrote the piece referenced above.
But moving beyond that piece: Stop thinking you need someone else to make you happy; notice when God delivers into your life that Special Someone; get to know that special someone; and then marry them.
The reason people should get married is because the choices everyone has to make about their life boil down to exactly two: spending it alone, or spending it with another person. (Spending it with a succession of people is just a more dramatic, distracting way of spending it alone.) Spending your life with another person is by far the superior choice, because nothing is more important or fulfilling than to love. Loving other people is why we're here; it's easily the greatest, most important thing we're capable of doing. God is love! Well, loving people in the abstract is lame; it's like eating an imaginary hamburger. We have to love permanently, consciously, purposefully---in an immediate, everyday, right-there-in-our-face kind of way.
Marriage is the only way to most completely do that. It's the only Love Mode that's challenging enough to create and establish within us the process by which we excercise, enhance, and finally make manifest everything that comprises our highest nature.
A married person has learned---and is learning, is always learning---to love in a way that someone who's never been married can't begin to imagine.
Marriage is how God allows you to learn how to do the thing that's nearest and dearest to his own heart, which is to ultimately and finally give yourself over to love.
Article originally posted on John Shore's featured Crosswalk blog. Comment here.
A former magazine writer and editor, John Shore’s life as a Christian writer began the moment when, at 38 years old, he was very suddenly (and while in a supply closet at his job, of all places) walloped by the benevolent hand of God.
John's most recent book is Midlife Manual for Men, which he co-authored with Stephen Arterburn, author of the best-selling Every Man series and host of the nationally syndicated Christian radio show, New Life Live. Midlife Manual is the first of four books John and Steve will be writing together for Bethany House Publishers; the next, Being Christian, will be out in September 2008. John is also the author of I'm OK--You're Not: The Message We're Sending Non-Christians and Why We Should Stop (NavPress); Penguins, Pain and the Whole Shebang (Seabury Books); and co-author, with Richard Lederer, of Comma Sense (St. Martin's). Both Penguins and Comma Sense won San Diego Book Awards for best books in their respective categories (Religious/Spiritual, and How To/Reference).
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