Friday, December 7, 2007

To Test or Not to Test

I was listening to the radio while on my way to help out a friend with car trouble this morning. A James Dobson "family minute" came on the air concerning marriage. The premise was that couples needed to spend a lot of time together before they decide to get married. Dr. Dobson pointed out how this was the most important decision in life, and one not to be entered into lightly. He pointed out the highs and lows of our emotional state. Couples need to stay together long enough to build the relationship through the emotional highs and lows to determine their true feelings about one another. This would be considered the mature way to decide if this is the person one wants to spend the rest of his life with.

While I appreciate Dr. Dobson's concern for a high view of marriage, and the lifelong commitment that is expected from couples entering marriage, one thought kept coming into my mind - what about Isaac and Rebekah? What about the thousands of people throughout history who have married on short notice? Is time spent testing the waters that beneficial? Jacob knew Rachel for quite some time before they were finally permitted to wed. Was Jacob's marriage better than his father, Isaac's?

I think we would be well served to realize marriage cannot - let me repeat - cannot fulfill us. It cannot. Can't. Nope. Not under any circumstances. Is anyone else wondering when the western, sentimental, therapeutic view of everything is going to end? If one doesn't have the courage of convictions to keep his promises, he won't keep his promises. I don't care if he knows his bride-to-be one day or one decade. When he decides his bride isn't making enough of him, he's going to "fall out of love with her." On the other hand, if one is happy in God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ above all things, he will keep his promise to his bride his entire life - for Christ's sake. The issue isn't whether to test or not to test the waters before marriage. The issue is whether to have a radically Christ-centered, emotional toughness that sticks with messy people for an entire life. What do you think?

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