One Way To Get Married

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the LORD.”- Proverbs 18:22

Before you call me a fundamentalist, slow down and take a breath. If putting that scripture in the front of this post and bolding the word “find” twice meant that I thought marrying was some type of game of cat and mouse, then I get your riff. However, that is not what I am talking about.

Let me qualify something. This post is for men. Ladies you can keep reading (I can’t stop you—STOP—see that didn’t work), but I am specifically speaking to guys. Gentlemen, let me qualify myself:

  • Married
  • Male
  • Drink beer
  • Watch sports
  • Play the guitar
  • Read books
  • Talk in cutesy voices to my kids
  • Send my wife flowers, rub her feet…blah, blah, blah

That should just about cover the fact that I’m just a normal guy. I’m coming up on 9 years of marriage with my best friend. I’m blessed. I’m not going to talk about how blessed I am. What I do want to talk about is what I’ve noticed during the last 10 years of my life: Men have become immune to the relationship of marriage. What do I mean? I mean that men think that marriage magically happens. That one day Mrs. Right will come along their path and they will magically know that she is the magical one. When you look into her eyes, you will get that magical feeling and magically your bank account will have money for a ring, house and picket fence. Abracadabra, wify here I come!

All the while, many of these men put concerted and focused efforts so as to obtain numerous exploits: travel, education, friendships, professional accomplishments. They will lament that they have never “found” Mrs. Right, but they look for her like, well, a guy looks for anything in the refrigerator.

“Where’s the pickles?”

“Junior, all you need to do is move that jar there, and…”

The problem is that we don’t approach any relationship like the leftover cannoli in the fridge. Feel called to have kids? A certain, um, effort is required. Want a mentor? You may need to look for one. Desire a close friend? You probably shouldn’t turn your phone off after 6pm.

Dude finding a wife

The point is that finding a wife is hard work. (In fact, being a husband is hard work) I’m blessed, but let me tell you something. I could have missed my wife if I hadn’t determined that finding a wife was numero uno. I felt called to marriage. When I was 16, I started saving up for a wedding ring and for the honeymoon. I paid cash for both 6 years later. Why? Because I was called to marriage. I was planning, preparing for my purpose. Yet, many guys that I know put more effort into planning their next round of golf or next exploit into some video game than in obtaining a wife. I know that “obtaining” sounds so, well, medieval. But isn’t that just the problem? The chivalry of times past meant that a woman was worth something. She was worth giving up something: laying down one’s coat, opening a door, taking off a hat, holding in the foul word, even laying down one’s life.

In a society when marriage is being affronted, one of the surest symptoms is when men become immune to it. The Old Testament is full of stories of men doing the oddest and most extreme things to find a wife. Moses, after being expelled into the desert after finding out his true identify, takes up a lame job watching sheep just to get hitched. Abraham sent his servants on a mission to find Isaac a wife.

God became a man and died on a tree to marry us.

It ain’t no magic.

I challenge any man reading this who is called to the vocation of marriage to pick up his cross and follow Christ. If you are called, put something into it. That doesn’t mean you start playing the field, but just the opposite. That you start tending your own field in prayer and in the cultivation of your personal character. You develop friendships with the opposite sex, instead of settling for more surface and temporary arrangements. You think about how your day is spent and determine if the fruit of your efforts more probably point to you being a lifetime bachelor or a husband and father.

Men, it’s time we take back marriage. It starts by moving it up the priority list.

 

Like what I had to say? Hate it? Check me out at my blog where I discuss why I’m Catholic and other things about that @www.almostnotcatholic.com

18 thoughts on “One Way To Get Married”

  1. Avatar

    One needn’t feel so defensive, Mr. Stubbs. Perhaps I’ve just been tuning out most of the cultural noise for a long time, but I don’t know why anyone would take umbrage with your characterization, or with you quoting proverbs.

  2. Avatar

    Brent, I LOVED this article! And you’re right – I couldn’t stop! I will share this with my husband, maybe he can share it with some of the juniors that he teaches so they can start saving.

  3. Avatar

    This is excellent! I too, ignored your STOP (sorry!). My husband will love this, and even though all his friends are also married, I think they’ll enjoy it too.

  4. Avatar

    So, clearly, I am not the best at taking direction since I didn’t stop reading (hey, a WOMAN told me to read this!)… but I love it. I don’t think I’m the only lady out there that feels the pressure to go “man shopping”, because it just seems like that men don’t do the hunting any more! Men, please come find us (me!), because we are waiting ever so patiently (inpatiently!) for you.

  5. Avatar

    Liesl, you’re adorable! “Men, please come find us (me!), because we are waiting ever so patiently (inpatiently!) for you.” Amen.

    Great post!

  6. Avatar

    Lol! “Where’s the pickles??” That sums up what I observe in the world around me all the time–young single people standing in the middle of the living room floor, complaining that they can’t find the cheese dip. Try walking into the kitchen! There are mates out there, but you have to work to find them.

  7. Avatar

    Titus,

    I understand that this can be a very touchy subject, so I wanted to make sure no one thought this was some fundamentalist’s attempt at an easy answer. It was also part jest–sorry that was lost in transliteration. Nevertheless in this case, the answer is quite simple and starts with elbow grease and grace.

    Liesl,

    Thank you for not being bullied out of your comment by the anti-feminine brigade. Too often, great women are having to wait on guys because our culture has raised us to be french fries. Maybe this is a follow up post to my one from the other day. God bless you!

  8. Avatar

    This article is actually annoying, offensive, and insulting. Count your blessings and thank God if He has granted you a happy marriage. There are a lot of us here who have been looking hard for many, many years longer than Brent has. We’ve got the jobs, houses, and savings. We haven’t been traveling or partying. We wake up every morning wondering why we are not married and suffer because of it. Practicing Catholics have almost everything going against them in the secular world, and Catholic parishes aren’t much easier. It takes a minor miracle to get married these days. If you have gotten your miracle and gotten married before age 30, show some humility and don’t presume to instruct others who have had to wait a lot longer.

  9. Avatar

    Bob,

    This post speaks to a major problem in our culture. If you aren’t a part of the problem, then I pray God bless you in your future endeavors. Nevertheless, men goofing or romping their twenties and thirties away still need the shot in the arm this post provides; particularly young men who are being told to delay marriage for “greater exploits”.

    I will say a Hail Mary for you tonight. Pax.

  10. Avatar

    No offense Bob, but you’re in the minority. I have to agree with Brent here that most 20 somethings, even 20 something Catholics are ‘goofing or romping’ their lives away. While you (Bob) haven’t proven that all men have become immune to the relationship of marriage, you have definitely demonstrated Brent’s point that “finding a wife is hard work.”

  11. Avatar

    Brent – thanks for the link to your other post! You are so right! Unfortunately, women fail and become french fries too – just usually in different ways. Hopefully all these young adults living good Catholic lives will start a new generation to turn culture back around. I’d be happy to help that out when some wonderful man finds me 🙂

  12. Avatar

    “All the while, many of these men put concerted and focused efforts so as to obtain numerous exploits: travel, education, friendships, professional accomplishments.”

    This was more-or-less what was going through my mind in the weeks leading up to my engagement (as the “counter-balance/counter-argument” side, of course). At some point you realize that there will always be another excuse to delay getting married (or, when married, having children, since all the same things apply to that decision as well), and this from the perspective of someone who really did want to get married and who really had spent some time in discerning it.

    “Joseph,

    You are right. Being a good husband is hard.”

    Amen to that.

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