Marriage often gets a bad wrap, and it’s definitely not all cakes and rainbows. Here are 7 reasons why marriage is actually awesome.
I’ve written various times before about the lowering number of people tying the knot. In fact, if you Google “The Decline of Marriage”, you will find many related articles from numerous countries, such as the United Kingdom, United States, and Australia, detailing potential reasons why this seems to be the case.
I wrote in The Divorce Epidemic about how severed marriages have had very destructive effects on our society, and explored some of these reasons myself. Obviously, it is very hard to fully detail a very complicated decision that people face. As a result, there can be a bit of a bad taste in our mouths when single people consider the idea of nuptials.
And a lot of people who are married sometimes wish that they weren’t. As the old joke goes, single people are wishing they were married, and married people are wishing they were still single. Obviously this isn’t a universal rule, but the realities of marriage are often more difficult than the fairytale you were promised by Mr Disney all those years ago.
But you know what? Marriage is still a great thing. And in the face of the difficulties and challenges of two people coming together, I would like to share 7 reasons why I think marriage is actually awesome.
#1: Good teams can do a lot together
Do you remember those days in university or school when you had to do a group assignment? Or perhaps a recent project at the office requires you to form a new team? What do you remember the most about it? That’s right – how bad it was when you had some bad team members. You end up doing the whole assignment or project alone essentially, with the names of the others stamped on it.
A lot of people’s experience with relationships is like joining a bad team. They feel they end up having to just do everything themselves anyway, so why bother?
But did you ever notice that there are very few companies in the world who only have one person? Most of the most profitable companies in the world are massive ensembles of people with varying gifts, talents, and focuses in life. If they do ever see poor teamwork being implemented, there are several reviews and levels of oversight to ensure the problems are ironed out, and things are made as efficient as possible.
In a similar way, marriage is a team. Whether it is a good or a bad team is often in the hands of the two people going for it. And sure, there are always external pressures from others and from the hard times in life, but a reality is that each person has a choice to work together with the other, or to just go along for the ride.
Scripture tells us that two are better than one. It also tells us that where there is unity, God commands a blessing. A unified team can do a lot of good for this world and for each other. He can be strong where you’re not, and she can be strong where you have some blindspots.
They say marriage ties you down. I think if you develop a good team, it actually sets both of you free to do even more.
#2: You have someone to support you
Everyone craves an environment of safety and acceptance. That’s why home is such a powerful word in any language on Earth. Home is a place where you revert to your absolute natural state, where you are fully you. If you want to wear your PJs all day, go ahead and do it. If you want to eat like you would like to eat, that’s the place to be.
And if you’re tired, frustrated, sick, or lonely, home is the place you expect to find rest.
Marriage is the creation of a new home. You leave your father and mother (usually physically, but it is mainly a spiritual exercise), and you create your own family unit together.
And perhaps the promise of another to love you and to hold you, to cherish you, to invest in you, to be strong when you’re not, is absolutely great. Conversely, a lack of safety or support at home is what leads a lot of marriages to fall apart.
One of my favourite things in life is seeing a lot of my friends who used to have to face a lot of things by themselves when they were single, now able to have someone so intimately guide them through hard times. The listening ear, the back rubs, sometimes even the timely rebuke that leads to productive change. That’s a great thing.
#3: You have someone you can support
In the same vein, humans have an innate, God-given desire to show love to others. A lot of people are aware that they have a lot of love to give, and they would like a person or a group of people to share that with.
And marriage is a fantastic outlet for that.
Sadly, a lot of people forget that this is one of the reasons they said yes to this person. Not only to join with someone to support them, but what a joy it is to make them smile every chance you can. What great satisfaction being able to help someone so wonderful.
That, my friends, is awesome.
#4: “How was your day?”
Pastor John and Helen Burns of Relate Church often say that “how was your day?” is the best part of marriage.
This little saying is something we can often take for granted, but boy do you miss it when it’s not around.
Have you ever had a friend who only ever talked about them? They’re not really keen to hear what you have to say, and even when they do let you talk, they spend the whole time waiting for you to finish so they can keep talking about them. We often say that those people always drain our energy.
But when someone is keen to hear about how your life is really going at the moment, what a joy.
This is really just a great thought for any relationship, but how much more powerful in marriage. Because this other person is the one you’ve given your heart to. Proverbs 31 tells us that the heart of a good wife’s husband trusts her without reserve. Without reserve. How beautiful. And of course, she should also be able to have the same sort of trust in him.
In marriage, this is not just any roommate or friend. This is one you can talk to about every tear, about whether or not you got your feelings hurt today, about how your life currently is shaping up to your life tomorrow.
#5: Your commitment can persevere even when feelings don’t
Anyone who has dated or married longer than a few months finds out very quickly that the feelings don’t last. It’s kind of ironic that we base a lot of our dating years dancing around our feelings for people, but there comes a point where your heart no longer flutters when they breathe. In fact, sometimes the opposite is true, and you need to put that knife down. A lot of people when approaching the decision to marry think, “Well, what if one day I wake up and I regret marrying him/her?”.
There is a very simple answer to that concern.
You definitely will at some point.
He will or she will say something that is so cutting, you can’t believe it came from someone who is supposed to love you. There will be days where all you can smell and taste is his negligence of his hygiene, or her bad breath. There can be seasons where neither of you has the slightest desire to be nice or to invest in the other person.
But the great thing about the marriage commitment, if you take it to its fullest extreme, is that the commitment stands even when you don’t.
And I guess that’s more the choice of the couple involved than anything. But every couple faces a choice at one point – do we keep going, or do we call it off right now?
If you are both entirely serious about that commitment and hold it above the seasons when things are going bad (which are honestly temporary and eventually give way to better days), then you’ll make it. And that’s great.
#6: It gives your spouse and family security
Moreover from the previous point, that commitment doesn’t just give the two people involved a chance to feel safe despite the season – your friends, your family, your children, everyone around you – we all benefit from knowing that you’ve decided to stick together. There’s a reliability there that gives people confidence.
This is especially true for children. How great is it when kids can come home knowing that mum is still going to love dad, and dad is still going to love mum. It sends the message to the child that they can have confidence their parents will also still love them. I think about children who have gone through their parents splitting up and how hard that is for everyone involved, and it can create distrust and uncertainty for a long time.
My point isn’t to shut down anyone who has gotten a divorce here, but merely to point out that there is great power and security for everyone around you when they know your commitment is still standing.
The Catholic Church’s views on sex have really been a talking point in the last 100 years. Although not as universally held anymore, their early views were that sex is purely for procreation. They aren’t the only group to hold this view either. I personally don’t think that procreation is the only reason to do it, but I’m mentioning it to point something out.
Because in all our debating about sex for fun vs. sex for life and everything in between, we seem to have overlooked one important point…
Having and raising kids is awesome.
Many people talk about the happiest days in their life. One of them might be getting married, another might be buying their first home together, another might be a decision of faith. Pretty universally though, the day a child is born is one of the happiest moments of a person’s life.
Cause you didn’t know you could love someone so much.
And here comes this little bundle of joy naively smiling after you’ve been through a dozen hours of labour and pain, and seems to make the world right again.
And in marriage, your kids have a great setup for the future. There is a reason why the model of family has been used for thousands of years in every country in the world. It’s because family works.
Just to reiterate an earlier point, I hope you get the spirit of what I’m writing here. If you or someone you know have been through a divorce, please don’t feel I’m trying to shoot you down. All I’m trying to say here is that there are some great reasons why marriage is actually a great thing.
And who knows? Maybe I’ll write an article sometime about some reasons why being single is awesome too.
Anyway, just some of my thoughts on marriage. What do you think?