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Around Our Town...Family - Eight Myths of Marriage, Part 2

02/01/2005 - Last month we began a series regarding eight myths of marriage as described by Michael McManus, founder of Marriage Savers, an organization dedicated to the preservation of marriages and conversely, the reduction of the divorce rate.  The first two myths we explored were: 1) The purpose of marriage is our personal happiness and 2) The goal of married life is to get my mate to submit to my way of thinking.  This month, we are going to look at the next two myths on McManus' list.


3) Love is what holds a marriage together.  In our culture, most would agree that there should be an element of "love" involved in the decision to marry and that "love will keep us together" (Captain and Tennille's famous philosophy).  In reality, commitment is the "glue" in a marriage.  Sometimes, it would be easier to walk away than to remain in a marriage that is characterized by constant conflict.  However, there are those who are convinced that being committed to another person means that you go through difficult times with your partner and that the vows made on the wedding day were serious.  For these couples, the terms "for better, for worse, in sickness and in health, from this day forward until death do you part" are not just words.  They are principles to live by.


4) Love is a feeling.  It may be a matter of semantics when we really begin to look at what people mean by "love".  One of my favorite commentaries on marriage is found in the book entitled Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.  He goes to great lengths to explain the difference between loving and being in love:

"Being in love is a good thing but it is not the best thing…It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling…Knowledge can last, principles can last, habits can last; but feelings come and go.  Love in this second sense – love as being distinct from 'being in love' – is not merely a feeling.  It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God…Being in love first moved them to promise fidelity; this quieter love enables them to keep the promise." 

I have seen so many disillusioned married individuals that come in for counseling who report "I just don't love him/her anymore."  If love is defined solely as the passionate feelings once experienced during a dating and courtship relationship, it is likely we would all be in trouble at some point in our marriages!  If we follow Lewis' reasoning, mature love is a decision and involves choosing to love even when we don't feel like it.  An "instant society" that wants everything yesterday doesn't have time to wait for problems to be resolved or for the passion to return.  Other factors such as demanding work schedules, children, and other "extra-curricular" expectations (school, church, hobbies and leisure activities, e.g.) can result in diminishing energy, time, emotional resources, and feelings of passion.  The decision to love carries each individual through these times and most of the time, when the storm has been weathered, the couple will be on a higher plane together.  I hope you will join us next time as we explore two more myths of marriage.


Please send comments and or questions to: Ron Kirkegaard, 411 S. Walsh Drive, Casper, WY 82601 or you can email me at rkirk@hpcc.cc

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