“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:
- 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.
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