At Science of Marriage Blog we understand that marriage and the responsibility within is not for everyone. We do however like to explore the reasons why some people feel this way. Today we have guest blogger, Boxing Tomboy (check out her boxing blog) giving us her side of the story. This is going to be a heavy hitter to the parents out there…imploring you to get your marriage in line with what God desires. Your marriage is your children’s first example of how a marriage relationship should work. What kind of example will you impress upon your children? Check out Boxing Tomboy’s story…
The pastor of my church got married three years ago. Many of his sermons before he took a wife had numerous references to marriage, and there were double the references after he came back from his honeymoon. I spent many a Sunday rolling my eyes during the service until it occurred to me that being the church secretary gave me some license to offer my opinion. After the latest “rah-rah for marriage!” sermon, I dryly commented to the Pastor, “All I heard was husbands this and wives that.” “Funny how some sermons work out that way,” he grinned while looking around for his wife, and accepting praise from the other married couples in the congregation. I sighed. I forgave the pastor because he’s still somewhat of a newlywed. But I’m a bit cynical about marriage for good reason. My parents divorced over 40 years ago. My late dad couldn’t make any of his adventures in matrimony work until he went to the altar a fourth time. Ma refused to remarry and now equates jumping the broom with being foolish. Over the years, I watched numerous friends and relatives smile during their nuptials and curse during their divorce proceedings.
Growing up, I was never one of those women who said, “I’ve been planning my wedding since I was a little girl!” I listened to Ma’s negative speeches about marriage and kept them in mind. Occasionally, I thought about being a wife – with caution. Now I’m almost 50 years old. After weathering a couple of very bad relationships, I’ve learned to be alone. No men in my age group appear to be interested in dating a woman their own age, nor be married to one. They’d rather have younger wives or they just plain refuse to retire their player cards. A lot of these middle aged men are also first time dads. I never wanted any children of my own, and I have zero interest in being a step-parent. Being a cougar is not an option either, because some young men are only looking for short-time fun or a sugar mama to mooch off. When I was a kid, Ma told me, “Get an education, get a job, have your own money, be independent, and don’t depend on any man!” So I did.
Sooner or later, every child realizes that Mama – and Daddy — is not always right about everything. As an adult, I see more clearly the mistakes my parents made. I have no memories of my parents saying nice things to or about each other while they were married (James 3: 5-12). The sniping against each other continued for several years after the divorce and well until they completely broke off communications between themselves. They were never truly one flesh (Genesis 2:24), allowing in-laws and friends to have too much input into issues they should have met head on and resolved privately. Each parent was rather self-absorbed, which did not contribute to a feeling of wholeness in the marriage. Submission (Ephesians 5:22-30) was not understood properly; Dad went by the Ralph Kramden philosophy of “I’m the king of the castle” and Ma’s stubbornness went into overdrive. Ma once grumbled to me, “Your daddy gave too many orders, and I don’t take orders.” I wondered if my parents had any conversations of substance at all before they got married, because they were not on the same page on anything.
I grew up around other kids who came out of broken homes, too. I believed that was the norm. Once a kid on the block said something about “my dad did this or that”, and we all stared at them like they were a new life form. One other kid finally asked in amazement, “Your daddy is at home?” It wasn’t until I got to the second high school I attended that I ran into kids whose a) parents were married, and b) whose parents continued to be married. That was the first time that I got a hint that marriage can work. These days, I’m acquainted with several married couples at my church who consulted God before they took their vows, and they continue to allow Him to guide them. It’s a beautiful thing to see.
Yet, I still have the same cynicism about marriage. I have too much history with the downside of happily ever after. If – and that’s a big if – I get married, I don’t want to be divorced. The effects of that situation are devastating and long-reaching. Ma never got over Dad divorcing her, and she remains bitter. Dad didn’t learn much from his previous failed marriages before going on to the next one, and mistakes were repeated. The kids were caught in the middle of that war; frustrations were taken out on us, and we ended up with battle scars. God did not intend for marriage to be that way. Unfortunately, most of us humans don’t follow His plan, and I don’t want to be caught up on the wrong road.
Boxing Tomboy (Hillari Hunter) is a Chicago native who describes herself as Christian, feminist, childfree lifestyle advocate, self-defense advocate, amateur boxer, volunteer amateur boxing coach, roller and in-line skater, writer, singer and old schooler for life. If you’re a boxing fan be sure to check out her blog and follow her on Twitter @HJHunter.
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