ADVERTISING
 
Monday, December 16   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



René Breuel
 

Should I marry this person?

Our contemporary romantic beliefs make us long for someone who probably does not exist.

CULTURE MAKING AUTHOR René Breuel 04 AUGUST 2018 18:00 h GMT+1
Photo: Gabby Orcutt. Unsplash.

Legend goes – no one is sure whether it is true or not – that once a beautiful dancer suggested to George Bernard Shaw that they should have a child together. “Would it not be wonderful if we could have a child who had your brains and my beauty?”



Shaw’s reply became an urban legend: “Yes, but suppose it had your brains and my beauty!”



This anecdote spring often in my mind when I talk with single friends. Sometimes our conversations, after some rounds of small talk and (my) half-funny jokes, veer toward the topic of romantic pursuits.



The person confesses the desire to find a person to date and marry but (the reason is almost always the same) “there are no good people around”.



Girls complain about the guys. Guys complain about the girls. I usually agree with the girls, but that’s a conversation for another day.



I empathize with single folks’ dilemma. On the one hand, it is a major decision.



You don’t want to marry just to say you’re married. To impress peers. To please parents. To get revenge on an ex. To have sex. To have children. To move ahead in life. Because time is passing by. Not to feel lonely.



It is a crucial decision, you want to marry the right person for the right motives.



On the other hand, however, our society places such a crushing idealism on us. Our contemporary romantic beliefs make us long for someone who probably does not exist (with very few exceptions, like the super woman that somehow agreed to marry me.)



You have to find a girl who is intelligent, light-hearted, hard working, takes care of the home, raises the children, is low maintenance, impresses your friends, volunteers on Saturdays (but then stops when you start dating), bakes the most amazing cookies (but doesn’t eat them), loves you more than anything in the world, makes all the sacrifices for you, and, of course, is super hot.



She has to read The Economist and be enough in shape for a Fitness magazine cover. She has to have Shaw’s brain and the dancer’s body (and, if you’re Christian like me, almost have Jesus’ heart).



Tim Keller raises this point in The Meaning of Marriage:



Never before in history has there been a society filled with people so idealistic in what they are seeking in a spouse… And that creates an extreme idealism that in turn leads to deep pessimism that you will ever find the right person to marry. This is the reason so many put off marriage and look right past great prospective spouses that simply are ‘not good enough’.[1]


If I may venture to read your mind, your reaction to this thought is something like: “I see your point. I admit that this Wonder Woman does not exist. Uh… I can be flexible with The Economist part”.



Thanks for the flexibility, bro. That’s very thoughtful of you. (I told you that I’m usually on the girls’ side). We negotiate our ideal mate a little, but the logic stays the same, the unrealistic idealism stay the same, the pessimism stays the same.



I don’t have the space here to unpack the sugary presuppositions that lock us in this idealist/pessimistic cage. Not can I give an opinion whether you should marry that specific person. But notice three points please:



- You have to escape that logic, not only because it hurts your pursuit of someone, but especially because that hyper-criticism will hurt the relationship you’ll eventually start.



-  You have to turn the table: do you read The Economist? Volunteer? Are willing to make sacrifices for another person? Be the person Wonder Woman/Prince Charming would like to marry. (And, if you cut yourself come slack, do the favor also to the person you hope to love.)



-  Here’s more food for thought: other articles on what motivates us to love, on how marriage is a calling to personal transformation, and whether you should get married young.



[1] Timothy Keller with Kathy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God (New York: Hodder & Stoughton, 2011), 33-34.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - Should I marry this person?
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Min19: Childhood, family and the church Min19: Childhood, family and the church

The first evangelical congress on childhood and family was held in Madrid. Pictures of the event, November 1-2.

 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
VIDEO Video
 
World Evangelical Alliance General Assembly highlights World Evangelical Alliance General Assembly highlights

The World Evangelical Alliance's General Assembly 2019 in Jakarta, Indonesia, brought together 800 evangelicals from 92 countries to pray, worship and cast vision for the new decade of holistic discipleship.

 
What defines a godly leader? What defines a godly leader?

Adrian Reynolds, Associate National Director for the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC), explains how a godly leader should be.

 
Kanye West sings to Jesus with inmates Kanye West sings to Jesus with inmates

The hip-hop artist and his gospel choir performed ‘Jesus Is King’ songs in a Houston prison. Images of the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

 
How can we encourage believers to serve Jesus with us? How can we encourage believers to serve Jesus with us?

“It is not just pastors who do ministry. When the saints are doing the ministry too, the Body of Christ is build up and grows towards maturity in the faith”, says Greg Ogden, Chairman Global Discipleship Initiative.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.