Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Musings on Marrying


"Only the deepest love will persuade me into matrimony." - Lizzie Bennet, Pride & Prejudice 05

I was provoked to thought when responding to a Christian girlfriend's e-mail in which she mentioned her relationship with a young man. A proposal is expected and she intended to accept even though she knows her Christian parents have a "problem" with him. I don't know her young man (he is a Christian) but I do know that my friend has a pretty good head on her shoulders and has been really taking it slow and getting to know him before this point. I've been in prayer for her and am going to encourage her to really pray and talk to her parents before becoming engaged.

This scenario saddens me a bit because my first thought is "I could never marry someone my parents didn't like". It really started me thinking about honoring my parents and I know that one of my requirements in finding a mate is that my parents love the man I'm going to marry. I know part of my personality is a desire to please others but I also really trust and value my parent's opinion to the point where I'd trust them with picking a husband for me. Is this a really warped and old-fashioned view or am I at least sort of on the right path? I mean I wouldn't want to marry without love but is an "arranged" marriage such a bad idea?


Well, thanks for listening to my silly ramblings. I received some movies in the mail today which I'm excited to watch, some I've already viewed: Lost in Austen, Ladies in Lavender, Little Women (1979) , Jane Austen in Manhattan, and a set of 9 Miss Marple movies (staring Joan Hickson). Can't wait to view these with my family since I have a night off. I should be posting my favorite heroines fairly soon. Hope your week is going well!



The Editrix said...

Excellent post! Too short! You seem to have some interesting thoughts to share on topics like this, you should write more about them! :-D

You've raised a very interesting issue. I would definitely want to have my parent's approval of the man I marry.

Arranged marriage. . . it rubs against all of our modern notions of "romance", but is it really always such a bad idea? Nowadays, arranged marriages are very rare in Western society, but just look at the divorce rates!

Food for thought. . .

Laurie, dear, I want to hear more of your 'silly' ramblings in future. They're not silly at all! :-)


Andrea said...

You are on the right track. You are a Christian family, so, thankfully, you focus on prayer and unity when facing life's decisions. And it's always best to move cautiously, making sure you find God's will for your life.



LadyBug-Laurie said...

Andrea, you're right it's very different when families face life decisions with prayer, unity and looking always for God's will. Moving cautiously is certainly one of those things the world looks at strangely. Probably one reason why so many marriages end in divorce today is because couples move fast relying on their feelings alone and don't take the time to really get to know each other building a strong friendship first. And certainly most couples don't take the time to work at their marriage or pray over it.

Romance is something that our society holds on to, it's what gives them a sort of 'high' feeling. While romance is important it's not as important as knowing the person you're vowing to spend the rest of your life with.

As far as arranged marriages I'm not sure I'd advocate marrying someone your parents chose and then getting to know him, but I think it is very important to have your parent's approval - that would help with the 'horrid in-laws' image too.
For myself I guess I just feel confidant that my parents have taken these past 21 years to learn and mold who I am and know me so very well that they could be trusted with going out and finding a suitable match. For one I know they love me very much and I'm close to their heart so they would look for someone who'd fit me perfectly. Secondly, we just don't have that many secrets from each other, they know what I like in a guy (I'm very opinionated, or should I say my standards are high). And thirdly I know they'd bathe their decision in prayer. My wish is sometimes that when the right man comes along my parents and friends will recognize him before I do. Wouldn't that be something! :)

Elise, thank you for your kind words, they actually brought tears to my eyes. I often forget when posting that readers don't know much about me and my beliefs and ideas so I'll try to post more 'silly ramblings' in future. Hmm...that might even make a good label...hmm... ;)

Katie Wegner said...

I totally agree with you.
Now I'm only 15 but, this is what I am going to be doing, and this is what my brother did.
We are not going to have an arranged marriage. But we will court. Now this is how it will work ( and since my brother is married, this is how it did work.) if there is a young man that is interested in me, and really feels like God is telling him that I'm the one for him, he will go to my Dad and ask him if it is OK to court me, as long as I say yes. If my Dad knows and likes the young man, and as long as he feels that he could be the one, then he will say yes, and then the young man will come to me and ask me if it is OK if he courts me. And then it will be up to me if we court or not. Now when we court it isn't dating, the reason you are courting is because you are almost 100% sure that this is the one that God has for you, but the time that you are courting is to be sure that this is the person for you. But the reason my parents are letting me court him is because he could be the one. So everything goes well. And later on if he decides he wants to marry me, he will first go and ask my Dad for permission to marry me. And if my Dad says yes, then he will come and ask me.

This is what I suggest that everyone do, because then your parents are involved in the whole thing. In an arranged marriage, yes your parents will pick a good person, but just because they are good doesn't mean that you will love him. And love is important in a marriage. But when you court them the way that I said above, the decision includes your parents and you. and if your parents give him permission, then you know that they are fine with the whole thing :D .
I'd like to know what other people think of what I said.

In Christ,

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

The courtship standards that you and your parents have set up are very similar to mine. It's wonderful that your parents want to be such a big part of helping you find a future spouse - their guidance as Christians will be invaluable. You are truly blessed! I pray that the Lord will continue to bless you as you seek His will for you concerning a future spouse.
Thank you for sharing!

Hamlette said...

I'd love to know more of your thoughts on this subject, especially now that you're three years older.

My husband and I celebrated our 10th anniversary last year. While we did not "court" as such, we were acquaintances, then friends for nearly a year before we began dating. We met in college, and got to see each other every day in classes, at meals, and in chapel, so we really got to know each other well in the year we dated and then the year that we were engaged. I'm quite confident that our happy, solid marriage is thanks to our mutual love of the Lord and our pretty thorough understanding of each other.

Because we dated for a year and then were engaged for a year, we really got to know each other's families as well, and were sure of their approval of our match. My husband asked my father for my hand before he proposed, and by then my parents knew him so well they had no qualms about granting his request.

I applaud you for your sensible, godly views on this subject! May God bless you with a like-minded gentleman.

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