I take marriage very seriously. Especially since at every turn I am made painfully aware of the prevalence of divorce in this country. I worry about the growing number of broken homes becoming the rule instead of the exception, because our tolerance of them prevents children from seeing the importance of committed life long relationships. It seems that marriage needs a champion, because the truth of what it means to be married has been lost amidst a sea of lies. Even right now I watch as two couples I know well are fighting to save their marriages.
Divorce has become all too common. More and more couples are finding divorce to be the only option. Unfortunately, too often men are to blame. They do not understand that they have a responsibility to their wives and they have no respect for the institution itself.
Where does the championing of this cause begin then? Where do I start? I think it starts with men. Getting men to recognize the importance of this institution and the significance of their role within it is imperative. With that in mind I have come up with a list of 5 things Men Should Know About Marriage:
5) Marriage is the greatest adventure they will ever embark upon. This may be one of the most significant points that should be impressed upon a man. Nothing else they could give themselves to will ever provide them with the exhilaration that marriage will. It will test them physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and when they have passed those tests, they will be required to begin again. Often those tests will come daily, and it will require great fortitude. Marriage was made for men, because it is the greatest challenge they will face and it will turn them into the most complete person they could ever become.
4) Marriage is the greatest protection they will ever receive. What does that mean? It means that marriage is a man’s most important shelter from the onslaught of the difficulties of this world. Much like a home protects men from the wind, rain, and storms of life, marriage protects men from the loneliness, hopelessness, and lusts of this world. Only in marriage is a man provided a partner that can be to him closer than a brother, more loving than parents, and more formidable than his most challenging nemesis. Within marriage, men are protected from the worst of themselves because they are given someone who helps them to become their best.
3) Marriage is the greatest teacher they will ever know. Marriage is a profound instructor in the art of patience, the study of communication, and the application of compromise. Each and every day they will come face to face with a creature so similar yet so different from themselves that over a lifetime they will be taught an infinite number of lessons. No classroom experience could come close to duplicating the type of education a man would gain inside the confines of marriage.
2) Marriage is the greatest embodiment of sacrifice they can partake in. Nowhere else, not in the military, not in their career, and not at the bar on Friday nights, could they ever learn what it means to sacrifice for the benefit of another than they can in marriage. Nothing else can help a man understand this all important ideal more than a life confronted by the needs, hopes, and desires of their wife and children. Marriage in its totality is humbling, and only in humility can a boy ever become a real man.
1) Marriage is the greatest picture of love he will ever see. That is why it is so important to instill in men the importance of marriage as an institution. Because regardless of human flaws. Despite conflict and pain. The sight of a husband and wife who have made it to old age and have a fully developed love and respect for one another is the closest thing to unconditional love they will see here on earth.
It is unconditional love that marriage teaches us. So, it is imperative that we restore to the men of this generation a respect and understanding of this important institution. That maybe one day, divorce will once again be an exception rather than the rule.