Friday, February 02, 2007

Silly Me

Apparently, it would be far better for my health and wealth if I stay single, so I admit I'm such a silly girl for wanting to get married. *slaps self for insanity* There are even 10 reasons why I - and other singles - should stay just that - single.

The interesting thing is, the reasons are rather self-centered. Hmm. Of course it's easier in many ways to not be accountable to someone else, and to not have to serve someone else! This shouldn't be news! It's a pity that that is the only side that many can see, though :-(. Really, I found the whole article incredible, but then, why should I? This is the "me" generation, who considers everything in light of what is "in it" for "me." What's the easiest way out? Here are a few tidbits:

Attention, unmarried people of America: You can splurge on a fancy new wristwatch without having to explain yourself. You can stay out till 3 a.m. without having to phone home. You can leave the toilet seat up. In fact, there are many, many ways that single life rocks, though you may forget that fact when your relatives are grilling you about settling down.

You do less housework. . .
So the message here is for unmarried women to enjoy their less chore-filled life; fill those free hours with classes, good books, blabbing with friends—whatever makes you happy.

You can do what you want with your money. . .
Go ahead: Splurge on that pricey moisturizer or that obscenely large plasma TV you’ve been lusting after. You don’t have to justify your purchase to anyone but yourself.

You're more self-aware. . .
“People who aren’t married are still investing in themselves,” says Davis. “It’s not selfish—it’s giving to yourself, and that’s something married people can learn from single people.”

Since I have a few young readers, I won't post the most blatantly unBiblical reason, for fear of offending, but to my mature readers, I reference #5 in the article, which really gets to the heart of the matter. Can you say "sowing wild oats"?

To read the whole article, go here. HT: Ashley

Now, certainly God has given some the gift of singleness, and many other singles would like to get married but haven't found that "special someone." I'm not speaking against that! I'm irritated by the "stay single to rule your own life" mentality. I'm speaking against the mentality that says that marriage and children, two wonderful blessings from God, are inconveniences and not worth the sacrifice.

So, I decided, as a young single girl who hopes to be married soon, that I'm going to retaliate and write "10 fascinating benefits to being married, to counter the article's "10 fascinating benefits to being unmarried." Here we go:

1. You have someone to admire you for more than just your body, someone to stay by your side when you're old and wrinkled and no longer care about looking perpetually 21.

2. You're more likely to achieve great things. I totally disagree with the article's point #2, and I've seen data to prove my point. Men are far more likely to do well in business if they have a supportive wife and family. And women? What greater impact can you have on the world than to raise its future inhabitants?

3. You have someone beside you to share life's burdens. A cord of three strands is not easily broken. Pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.

4. The living cost for one person, versus averaging the cost for two people in one household, is far more. Economically, it is far more economical to share living costs. And children that may come along later? They're cheaper by the dozen :-D.

5. You are given a picture of Christ's love for His church, which is Holy and exclusive. Husbands have the opportunity to be a vessel of God's love to their wives, loving them, cherishing them, and laying their lives down for them, as Christ laid down His life for the church. Wives have the opportunity to serve their husbands and families as the church serves Christ, in loving devotion and honor.

6. You have a life-size teddy bear, and you have someone to challenge you intellectually. You have someone to work with you to solve life's puzzles and to seek out new knowledge with you.

7. You have a shoulder to lean on when you are down, and a listening ear to hear your troubles. You have open arms when you need comfort.

8. You get to live with your best friend.

9. You have a partner on life's journey.

10. You get to spend the rest of your life getting to know someone inside and out.

Now, I'm not saying all 10 of these benefits come easily. Even I, who have not been married, know that. And I think the author of the article knows many of the benefits I mentioned. But she, like me, knows that those benefits don't just happen. Marriage is hard work, as I'm sure any married person would agree. Remaining best friends with someone when you see his very worst faults is not just going to happen without a lot of love and a lot of grace. We'd all like someone else to be there to serve us, but living your life as service for another isn't quite as appealing. It sounds like. . . work. And it is :-). But work can be a drudgery or a sweet calling, and I think the author of the article completely missed that second choice.

25 comments:

Anna Naomi said...

Great post! It's sad how people these days are often so self-centered. We should be asking, "What does God want me to do, and how can I serve others?" instead of, "What do I want and feel like doing?"

I really like your reasons for marriage!

Nicholas Z. Cardot said...

Great post. Being married is way better than single life.

Adrian C. Keister said...

Interesting timing on this post, dear. I, too, like your reasons for marrying. Have to disagree with one statement, though: you're not a young girl anymore. Perhaps you are young, but you are a woman, and a beautiful one at that. :-)]

In Christ.

Ashley said...

I'd like to hear the author do a follow-up article on this subject in about 50 years, when today's generation is old, wrinkled, alone, and in debt. I think #1 from your list was especially true!

I personally will take having someone by me, helping me with decisions, bringing extra wisdom and discernment, plus extra laughter and fun. Perhaps I can't buy that $500 skirt, but we can pool our resources and buy a house. Perhaps I spend more time in housework, but I enjoy having a comfortable home where we can both relax. And what better way to be aware of yourself than to have a spouse?? Paul loves to tell me the positive things about myself, and the negative things come out in the fights. ;-) Seriously, there are soo many things I never knew about myself until I started living with someone. I never know how selfish and self centered I was, or how obsessive about certain issues, or how important other issues were to me.

Ashley said...

I think I submitted that comment too early. :-) I've learned positive things about myself too - things I am good at, things I've improved on, etc. Also, about creating a comfortable and relaxing home... If Paul is comfortable, then he is a happier person and more fun to be with. If I'm myself around him, then I am able to relax and ultimately feel more rested.

There, I think I'm done now.

Susan said...

Thank you for the encouragement, everyone :-). Some articles just bother me when I read them, so thank you for letting me vent!

Awww. You're so sweet, Adrian Dear.

,<=~/-------
( :-)
`<=~\-------

I loved all your thoughts, Ashley. You have a very nice perspective too, since you've been there, done that. I'd like to see a follow-up article as well!

Lydia said...

Rock on, Susan! You had some wise and excellent things to say about marriage. I appreciate your perspective so much.

Thankfully and gratefully, God has been revealing to me many shortcomings I have and areas for sanctification before I am married (Lord, willing). My job goes a long way in accomplishing that. :)

I would just say that by God's grace we can also see our areas of weakness before we are married so that we can be conformed more to Christ's image and practice walking in the Spirit.

Praise the Lord that he doesn't leave us in our transgressions and iniquities but patiently corrects us by life's trials and through his word to be conformed to his likeness.

God bless you as you are on this journey toward marriage in God's perfect timing and with God's perfect person for you!

P.S. It's a good thing that the author of this article plans to remain single because it sounds as though he or she would make a pretty lousy spouse. ;)

zan said...

If I offend anyone, I'm sorry.

That is the biggest load of cr*p I have ever read. I don't have time to break down every stupid point. Obviously, the people who "researched" the married couples were looking at couples who didn't have great marriages.

FYI: I have been married 3+ yrs and the s*x has been getting better all the time.

Stupid bunch of animals! People who think that way belong in zoos!

Adrian's right. You are very pretty. ;-)

Adrian C. Keister said...

Reply to Zan.

I don't know about others, but I'm not in the least bit offended by your well-justified tirade about the idiotic article. If a Christian is offended by what you said, then I think they ought to read Ezekial 16 and 23, and Galatians 5:23, and perhaps study them a bit and see what they meant in the original. You were much milder than those passages!

Interesting book on the subject of sarcasm: A Serrated Edge by Douglas Wilson. Very good.

I'm also very glad your physical relationship with your husband is so good. I, too, have heard that sex only gets better in a good marriage. Naturally, I'm not going to press for details. :-)] There is, however, a type of Christian who thinks that even to mention the topic is somehow wrong. As if we're holier than God Who created sex in the first place! They ought to read Song of Solomon and see what that books says in the original! Hehe.

Toodles.

In Christ.

Adrian C. Keister said...

O, and thanks for agreeing with me about Susan. Isn't she a peach?

In Christ.

Susan said...

Lydia, great point that we can work on areas of weakness both before and after marriage. Indeed, praise Him for His faithfulness in our sanctification, without which we would be without hope!

Hehe. You didn't offend me, at least, Zan. I only left off refuting #5 a bit more in detail because I know I have a few very young readers, and I don't want to be discussing things in place of their parents, on the main page of my blog. With this sort of topic, there should be fair warning by the time they get to the comments section, is my thought. Adrian is, of course, correct, that many passages in the Bible would offend Christians, were they not. . . in the Bible. *smile*

Thank you very much for thinking I'm pretty, Zan :-). You're very kind, and of course you too, Adrian :-). I certainly have nothing to do with my appearance, naturally.

Ashley said...

Yes, Susan is a peach... a Georgia Peach... ;-)

And don't lie Susan, I know you spend hours in front of the mirror ever day, making sure your makeup is just right and every hair is in its place. ;-)

Lydia said...

Ho boy, Zan! You're starting to sound like I do after taking care of 5-6 patients for 13+ hours (without any aides) who do nothing but whine, complain, and moan about everything!

That was partly why I was thinking I was such a wretched nurse. :) That's also why I don't blog on my work days. Hehe. ;)

And yeah, I have to agree with Adrian to a point on this one. Ever look up the original Hebrew meaning of "filthy rags" from Isaiah 64:6?

Let's just say it ain't pretty. But it was an effective way of getting the point across about how our fleshly works are seen by God. ;)

Having said that, we should follow the admonitions of Paul in Phil. 4:8, Phil. 1:27, Eph 4:29, and Col. 3:8. This is what I am trying to focus on when I am tempted to give into my flesh in this area.

Well, not to get off on a "tangent"... but then again, I would venture to guess that Susan and Adrian appreciate those. :)

One more thing...
Susan, you are a beautiful woman both inside and out. What more could any young man ask for? ;-)

Sarah Joy said...

Ai yi yi! Where do I start?

You know what I'm thinking? I'm thinking, "Sour grapes!"

HA! And you know all these "research" articles cited are the kind that are manipulated to produce a certain result. I have seen plenty of real social science that prooves the opposit of nearly every point.

I'm sorry, I'm not normally one to make a personal attack on someone whose work I disagree strongly with. These lame reasons just sound pitiful to me. Oh yay. I get to leave me socks on the floor, and that is supposed to be better than having a soulmate? I get to sleep earlier. This is better than having someone at my side willing to talk to me until 2 a.m. about a burden on my heart?
How shallow can you get?

Yes there are people out there whose marriages don't work out. It's like hitching a porche to a plow and complaining that it isn't doing a good job. Use it properly, and it will blow you away! If marriage isn't satisfying, try consulting the owner's manual. (The Bible, written by the One Who made men, women, and marriage)

Mrs. Hart said...

Ha! I just love reading your blog. It's a merry-go-round, with topics running the gamut from theology to s*x! And I just have to comment on this post. My husband and I have gracefully "crossed over" the half-century mark and now have 30+ years of marriage under our belt. To confirm Adrian's suspicions - it can and does get better in a good marriage. A favorite tongue-in-cheek comment by my husband is, "I thought we weren't supposed to be enjoying s*x this much at our ages?"

zan said...

That is so great, Mrs Hart. My parents are celebrating their 30th anniversary today and they still act like they are newly weds.

Lydia, I could certainly have the dirty mouth when I was stressed at work. LOL! "Cr*p" or some form of bovine scatology was always at the tip of my tongue when I was dealing with the impossible at work.

Susan said...

Yeah, just today I spent all of 3 seconds applying chapstick, Ashley! Hehe.

Oh, I love tangents, Lydia. No need to apologize. Those are good verses :-). Every good gift of God (s*x included) can be perverted, so of course must be revered properly, but certainly not treated shamefully either. Balance is, as usual, the key.

I've heard contradictory research too, Sarah Joy! I really think looking at the whole is a bad idea anyway, because the goal is always a healthy marriage, not an average marriage, since the average one ends in divorce now anyway, or is otherwise unhappy.

Thank you for your perspective, as a longtime married woman, Mrs. Hart :-). That's very encouraging for us "young folk" who are fed the belief that romance is a temporary thing. You must have a very healthy perspective to pass on to your children!

zan said...

Reply to Adrian:

My parents were one of those Christians who never mentioned the bird and the bees to me. Boy, was I in for a surprise when I got married.

I think it is really hard for Christians to discuss s*x because the world has twisted it so much. (kinda like Christians who don't want to drink alcohol because of how it has been abused) The Song of Solomon is very, for lack of a better word, graphic. You have to approach the subject carefully because you don't want to promote sin. However, I saw a "Christian" chat room where couples were discussing, in depth, their bedroom activities. I thought that was very wrong. I would be floored if my husband talked with his friends at work about what we do in the bedroom. S*x is nothing but a big joke for a lot of unbelievers.

Because the world views s*x as a way to satisfy themselves or as just an act of recreation, it is no wonder that married couples would get bored with one another. If you view s*x from a Christian perspective, you will be blessed. The husband will make sure the wife is satisfied and the wife, the husband.

I also wanted to mention that my husband's career has soared since he married me.He just got another big promotion. It was terrible when he was married to his first wife because of the way she treated him and the additional stress she added. The article is so biased. Did they only look at marriages that were faulty. I could make my husband's home life terrible and I am 100% sure his work life would not be at the high level it is now and if you compared it to his single life, I am sure his single life would look better. I'm not saying this to toot my horn. I love my husband and want him to do well.

I hope the bobble head who wrote this gets a wake-up call one day.

Jessie said...

Wow, that is a great post- I think you're only the second person who's blog has actually brought tears to my eyes.. The first was the Susan whose baby died... and now you're the second Susan. But the first tears were of sadness and sympathy, whereas these were of happy expectation and God's glory for creating such a wonderful institution in the first place!!
Thanks for sharing your list!

Mrs.B. said...

You know, maybe the reason for their point #2 'data' is coming from the perspective of two people trying to have careers. I think it would be near to impossible for them both to excel. It's been my experience of 15 years of marriage that one person (as a Christian who believes the Bible, it's the wife) must be in the supportive role for the other to excel in their career.

However in today's world oftentimes both people are trying to have careers and are so worn out that they can't support the other person.

Just my .02.

Great post Susan and I *loved* how you refuted the 10 points.

Oh and I agree, you are a lovely young woman, inside *and* outside.

Blessings,
~Mrs.B

Becky Miller said...

I must second Zan's comment...sex does get better and better! The more you get to know and cherish and understand your spouse, the more intimate you can be in every area of your relationship.

Susan said...

It's always so *interesting* to see how comments spiral on a post :-). hehe.

I think that's wonderful that you see yourself in a supportive role to your husband, Zan. I thought your whole comment was a very healthy perspective on s*x and marriage in general :-). Thanks for sharing.

You too, Becky! It's nice to hear some married voice in assessing the article.

Awww, Jessie, I'm glad this post touched you so much :-). I love it when the words God gives me touch someone else :-).

I think you have a good point, Mrs. B. Clearly the person writing the article is thinking of a typical, modern arrangement.

Thank you, both Lydia and Mrs. B, for your sweet compliments to me. I pray that I may bring glory to my Savior, not myself :-).

Ben said...

"It's not selfish, it's giving to yourself."

wha?

Susan said...

Hehe. Yeah, that was about the best line, Boy :-).

zan said...

self·ish [ sélfish ]


adjective

Definition:

1. looking after own desires: concerned with your own interests, needs, and wishes while ignoring those of others


2. demonstrating selfishness: showing that personal needs and wishes are thought to be more important than those of other people

Just thought we should look at a definition of the word "selfish" so we wouldn't forget what it means.

I definately agree with Mrs. B. The researches who supplied the data were probably looking at the typical overworked couple who are in the big rat race to keep up with a new 4 bedroom colonial,two new cars, two kids that are in every activity known for kids, and are stessed out that if there kids don't make it to Harvard that they will be failures.

I have seen some strong marriages by couples who both have careers, but the careers were jobs where they worked together. Example: my dentist's wife is his receptionist/training to be his assistant. She is working in a supporitve role for her husband in her job which is neat. I have noticed that she hasn't been working so much since the birth of their third child. I think her boss is understanding about maternity leave. ;-)