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Sunday, February 23, 2014

An Important Investment in Marriage


If you wanted to be a welder, you need to take some kind of classes or apprenticeship.  If you want to be able to do CPR, you need the classes for that, too, even though you may only use it once or twice your entire life!  If you want your business to succeed, you are going to have to invest some finances into it, either as startup capital or maybe in paying for a college or tech school education to prepare you.  Here in Kansas, even if you want to drive a car, you have to go through some kind of class or training, and prove yourself competent.  

But if you want to get married, all you have to do is find somebody else willing and show up at the ceremony with a positive answer!  Isn’t it something that one of the most profound and difficult challenges we will ever face in life…to love, honor, till death do you part, etc…requires no or little training?

Another way to look at it might be in terms of finances.  These days, couples spend literally thousands and thousands of dollars on the few hours of the wedding ceremony and celebration, using hours upon hours of meticulous planning to make sure everything goes just right.  And some couples spend thousands and thousands of dollars on attorneys to dissolve the vows from that ceremony. But those same couples balk at the idea of spending a few hundred dollars, or a few hours a week, with a marriage counselor, or taking marriage classes as a way to learn how to make this most important of human commitments viable, meaningful and successful.  We’d rather spend the money on the ceremony or the attorneys, when, as with any other venture in life, a few wise investments along the way can yield bountiful results and great cost savings in the long run.

Parenting is the same way.  As was pointed out in the movie, “Parenthood,” there are no qualification requirements to be given permission to have a child…any and all kinds of people become parents with no training or preparation about what is necessary to raise that child.  We do what we think based on whatever examples we have seen…good or bad… and what we guess is a good idea, but to really have been properly trained? 

We observe this in parenting, and are so open to parenting classes, videos, books and tons of other resources as we seek help.  But all too often I have seen that individuals who could really benefit from marriage counseling/classes/retreats/books balk at the idea as if going to those things is tantamount to failure.  In reality, NOT seeking the guidance that could come or at least seeking to learn how to be a better marriage partner/couple is what leads to failure!  And in those cases, the times I see couples finally go to counseling, one or both of them has already given up and is only going through the motions.  Sometimes I am wrong, but not often enough.

Today’s blog is very simple.  I have had many plants in my life who, if they could speak, would bear witness to the fact that NOTHING grows without adequate nurture and care, and many of my plants have turned brown to prove it to me.  

If you are divorced, and may be getting remarried someday, my question is, are you going to do the work it takes to make a new relationship work, or are you only going to invest in the wedding ceremony? 

If you are married, whether the first marriage or not, are you investing seriously in the success of that relationship, or are you merely skating along assuming it will survive?  

Frankly, I think we’d be better off having a $25 wedding ceremony, and a $25,000 dollar marriage if we had to choose, don’t you?  Choose and invest wisely, that choice will make a difference for your entire life!

TL:dr  A good marriage requires real investment, investment we often neglect until it’s too late

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