Friday, August 28, 2009

Relationship Drama in a Marriage-less Society

When I sat down to write this note, I had a lot of things jumbled in my head. Obviously the recent news of McCain's running mate has taken the spotlight from nearly everything else. I discovered today that her 17 year old daughter is pregnant, and I just dont think anyone cares enough to regard that in their decision of support. I had an interesting conversation today with someone who was attempting to view Jesus in a modern political sense, which was interesting and something I would like to work out in my free time. Many should know by now of all the relationship drama I've had in my life, but I don't think I can adequately or appropriately articulate my feelings toward all that. Thats what I write songs for. Chuck Colsen hasnt done much lately and I figured I was at a loss of what to write.

But then I thought to myself, "I'm not the only one who's having relationship issues," as I glanced at my news feed to see the immense amount of breakups/getting back togethers.

So I tossed around the idea of writing a note that might be a little risky and probably gonna get some nasty remarks (whats new, right?) about a topic only talked about on Sunday morning and in Congress anymore: marriage. No, nothing about traditional family values, anti-homosexuality, or divorce or anything like that.

I would like to ask a simple question: What is marriage?
The answers I have received over the years have varied a lot. I got a lot of people who thought that it was just the state's approval of two people being legally one unit. I've heard some say that it is the acceptance of a couple's lifelong commitment by the community. Others say that it is when the church approves of the union of man and woman.
I really dont feel any of these answers really define marriage. When God designed marriage, it had nothing to do with the state, the community, the church or any of that. The first marriage happened when none of those things existed. The best, Biblical definition of marriage is: the process of a man and a woman becoming one flesh.
So what does that mean? Well, if you havent found a good answer in your Bible, which those of you who dont read it probably havent, I will do my best to explain.
For the sake of simplicity I'm going to categorize "flesh" as having four components. Mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical.
I know some people don't believe in spirituality, so I'm going to put it like this: the Jasperian split is the idea of being conscious of your consciousness. In other words, being able to critically think and rise above instinct of your body. Spirituality is just that: rising above the instincts of body and mind in order to achieve or understand something greater. Building a society takes spirit, eating does not.

So a man and woman would have to be united in mind, soul, body, and heart. When I say mind, it should be understood that I am talking not about attitude or intelligence, but rather the mental energy and thinking it takes to consciously choose to love someone. Which leads me to talking about the heart. Desire is a very important part of a marriage, but it does not constitute love. There is something that everyone knows about but nobody pays attention to called the "in love" experience. Its what makes us flirt, exchange numbers, make out the next night and all of a sudden you're a couple the next morning. What it is, is a evolutionary mechanism for finding a mate. A chemical euphoria that creates a desire that is perceived as a need in order to go after that girl and make babies. Its reported to last two years, though I've never been in a relationship that has lasted that long.
So when I talk about heart, I'm not talking about that desire, I'm talking about the desire of commitment, honor, genuine care...basically the desire to love someone, not the desire for someone.

To be united in spirit is similar, as will most of the components be. Being united in spirit is mostly about understanding. Not just understanding the other persons point of view, understanding together in a consistent, identical view of truth. The Bible was right on when it said that two should not be yoked unequally. That "in love" experience I mentioned earlier often makes us forget that one of us has a do what feels good philosophy when the other leads a disciplined lifestyle of right and wrong. When the euphoria goes away, a lot of arguments can come from an non-unified spirit.

To be united in body...well suffice to say that its what hormones are for. The culmination of physical intimacy resulting in sex. Everyones favorite part...

So what am I getting at with all this? People have forgotten the focus of marriage. In our little world of state-approved marriages with the church condemning dating and people telling us that sex is just for fun, we have forgotten what marriage is about. Its not about what the state or church says, its about a commitment made in the complete unification of a man and a woman. How do you think that unification can happen if you are shutting yourself off completely with this dream that the "right one" will magically appear and you will somehow know when you see her?
People break up over the most meaningless crap sometimes and will be together for just as crappy a reason in the first place. Others dont think that unity means much in a relationship because it has to end sometime anyway so might as well make sure you dont get hurt and make it a learning experience.
DUDE! Thats the exact reason that 60%(i think?) of marriages in this country end in divorce.
Its become a state title and not a process of unification. Its become obscured by the church saying you need to stay away from guys until the right one appears.
So, seeing as how so many people are dealing with relationship drama, I would say this: if you or your lover did not have in mind that being united in mind, soul, heart, and body was a goal, then it was definitely gonna end as soon as someone found a reason for it to. Because thats what relationships are anymore: feel good tools and learning experiences when they should be serious times for contemplation, communication, and formulation of commitments and goals while beginning the long road of unification.

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