Here are a few sayings on marriage that I often use in pre-cana settings. They are humorous but meant to make a serious point. See what you think and please give me any humorous or insightful sayings you know of as well.
- Some want their marriage to be ideal and if there’s any ordeal they want a new deal – The problem is wanting marriage to be ideal. There is no ideal marriage. Two sinners have married so the marriage will be imperfect, non-ideal. Marriage is life. And life has ups and down, things we like and things we don’t, joys and sorrows, delights and disappointments. Since marriage is life it will have all these. Listen to the vows: “better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.” And yet despite vows that are very clearly worded, most ignore them and seem them merely as ritual words, things you say because you’re supposed to say them. But these words are real words that mean something and reflect a sober appreciation that life isn’t always what we want. It is interesting, despite the usual cynicism of our age, many still have very idyllic images of marriage: that it will be wonderful and that its fundamental purpose is happiness. But unrealistic expectations are premeditated resentments. It is frequent that, entering marriage with such high expectations, often leads to anger and disillusionment. The most dangerous period in marriage is the first five years because that’s when the ideal gives way to the real and the real ushers in resentments. Some start looking for a new deal. In the end the key is to accept the real. Now acceptance is not the same as approval or appreciation. Acceptance is serenity about what is, even if there are some things we wish were different. We don’t live in the ideal, we live in the real and there is serenity and stability in accepting that fact. More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse.
- Honey, if you ever leave me, I’m going with you – The Scripture says that a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife (Gen 2:24). Now “cling” is a strong word. It means to stick like glue. Notice that a man does this. Boys run around and play the field, but a man looks for a wife and, finding her, leaves his parents and clings to her. This is what a man does. He works hard to preserve union with his wife. He seeks to understand her needs and to provide, to be affectionate, affirming and encouraging. He confirms her authority over the children and teaches them to respect her. Too many men today are passive husbands and fathers. But the Scriptures place on the man the first obligation to cling to his wife. When a marriage is in trouble it is usually the wife who calls me. This is already a sign of trouble since the Lord says that clinging is the essential role the man. If there is trouble he should be the first to notice it and to work to restore proper union with his wife. It is true today that many men have little recourse if a wife simply wants to leave, no-fault divorce is too easy and is hard to fight . But of course the question is what did he do when he first saw trouble, first saw the unity of his marriage threatened.
- Marriage makes two people one. The trouble comes in determining which one. – One of the biggest problems today in marriage is power struggle. In our modern age we have rejected the biblical teaching of headship in marriage. God establishes a husband in authority in the home. Every organism and organization requires headship. A creature with two heads is a freak. A creature with no head is dead. Having rejected the necessity of headship and the biblical teaching assigning that to the husband (eg Eph 5:19 ff) the result is power struggle between the spouses. Now a husband’s authority is not a worldly, autocratic authority but a Christian, servant based authority (Cf Mark 10:41-45). I have written more on this matter here: An Unpopular Teaching on Marriage. It does not follow that the husband always “gets his way.” Rather, if he is smart, he listens carefully to his wife and her wisdom. Practically speaking women have great authority in the home and its daily running and a smart husband will not seek to micromanage and usurp his wife’s role and her practical authority there and with the children. But in the end, two have to become one. Oneness requires headship, common faith, shared fear of the Lord, and a heartfelt appreciation for the gifts of each.
Please share with me any pithy, humorous and/or insightful sayings on Marriage you might know.