Monday, November 3, 2008


The dictionary defines marriage as "the social institution under which man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc."

I was asked the other day what marriage meant to me. This is quite the perplexing question, especially considering I have never been married. A question that I always assumed I would have an answer to, and yet, here I was presented with that very question, and no words came. Perhaps because it is unexplainable in my mind? Perhaps because there isn't a clear answer? Marriage is different for everyone? Or better yet, every couple? I think it is safe to say that a wedding is very different than a marriage. All I could come up with was "commitment", but can you not be committed sans marriage? Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell style? Is it something we base upon religion? Has it become more influenced by society than it should? Clearly, I have several thoughts on this topic. The only conclusion that I could come to was marriage is a public display of love. You can be in love without marriage, but to have the courage, the faith, and the trust, to standup and say that you will only ever want to be with this one individual for as long as you walk this earth, that's marriage. That's commitment. Maybe the problem with marriage today is society and corruption have muddled the meaning of marriage? What does marriage mean to you?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Marriage. So much of the world today is the same wherever you look. Just think about going out to dinner: You can get the exact same bad tasting grub anywhere in the world today. Funny thing is, the opposite has happened with marriage. There was a time, at least in the Western world, when the concept was understood by people across many different cultures and backgrounds. Unlike a bad meal, a shared experience has not led to a shared understanding. Today marriages come in every flavor, so it's bound to assume that the definition would have to grow to encompass the diversity. With that has to come a loss of consistency.

So does marriage still have the same meaning today? I guess it depends upon what is in the hearts of the two people entering the bond. For some it is a vow before God. For some it is a public affirmation of love. For others it is just a contractual agreement, and for some it is just the thing to do.

I think you missed something when you said that marriage is about having "the courage, the faith, and the trust, to standup and say that you will only ever want to be with" this one person.

The reason why so many marriages fail is because they get entered into because it is what's expected. Nothing is harder than bucking convention, if not why would any of us pay attention to the fact that Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russel aren't married, when it's clear they are hopelessly in love after all these years. It's different. It doesn't conform. History shows that those that don't conform often fair poorly.

Sadly, people change (or worse sometimes stay the same), love fades, and couples grow apart when life takes its toll. I think the message today may be muddled, as you suggest, or maybe it just proves that true love is still as rare as ever and confusing the act of marriage with an affair of the heart is not a fair comparison at all. Marriages are every day acts, real love may be as rare as a lighetning bolt in a dessert.