Tuesday, January 15, 2008

My Views on Marriage

Someone told me that deciding when to get married is all about if you’re prepared to face the challenges. Finances, a stable job, a mature character, a home, car and enough money for a wedding ceremony … those are the first things that came to my mind upon hearing it. Since those were the same things most people told me, so it automatically flashed images of those above mentioned. But what struck me is that wasn’t what that person meant. What was meant was if you’re decided to do this and be willing to go to the next step. While not placing less importance on the obvious “preparedness”, I realized that the advice was right. It’s all about the decision, and living up to it no matter what. Now, having a stable job, secure finances and a bulky bank book would be a great way to make the “war effort” easier, and it surely would give more advantages and more time for the couple to do other things than work super hard just to buy a bottle of milk for the baby. More finances would mean more time for the couple to watch dvd, tour the world, teach their children, and secure a more safe, more comfortable, and a more conducive environment for the whole family to love, respect, and know each other.

However, more finances do not guarantee those. It never will. More finances will not assure you that you will be more comfortable. More money will surely bring you these: more things to do, to take care of, to worry about, to pay for, etc. I learned that as I started to earn more money, your bills also increase. So what is the bottom of this? Neither money nor your “love” for one another can bring success to pass. It is only through God’s help through faith, and a decisive will to face the challenges of life.

It is always my desire to send my future children to exclusive schools, to teach them all I know (that means more time with them), to tour the world with them, to buy my wife the best things in life, to shelter them in a comfortable spacious house in a secure village, to drive around in a really nice car, to be someone everybody respects, to give those I love all the luxury I can afford to give them. And it can only be done through the finances that God would give me. Therefore I do not at all place little importance on the issue of financial stability. I will be a hypocrite to deny that. Besides, it’s foolish not to want the best things in life for those you love.

What I’m driving at is simple: one must have enough faith and fear in God, enough maturity, experience, financial capability (notice NOT stability) and will to be a responsible provider, and enough GUTS to decide for a marriage and life to be successful. It’s like going on a mission trip, an adventure, or embarking on a journey, etc. Yes, finances is a major factor (non-negotiable) for the success of the maiden trip, but it’s the heart, the faith and the decision that really counts for a successful expedition in the end. Magellan lost all financial strength when they were lost in sea searching the land of spices, to the point that they were eating their own boots and rats to survive. But what kept them going is their desire, their heart to go on… which of course resulted into the discovery of our “great” nation.

I admit, I’m not a rich man, and I still have lots of unaccomplished dreams, many more years needed to train and “equip” myself for marriage, and I am obviously going to be a busy man trying to work my head off to supply my family’s needs. I know that will happen and I am expecting that life would be a lot harder.

In reality, life never gets better. It’s always getting harder, more challenging, etc. Just like our bodies, it only gets older, gets sicker, and always a day closer to its final resting place. It is only ourselves who must get better, stronger, more equipped, more educated, and more prepared. As I see things, I noticed that accomplishing a task only leads to a harder task. Finishing a level in life gets you into another, reading a chapter gets you to the next, and eventually the next book. Winning a race leads you to next year’s challenger. It doesn’t stop.

But here’s the good part: Life only gets better when you live it in view of eternity. What do I mean? When you know that this life is only temporary, and that you’re preparing for the real life after this, you start to live. And you know what? That life can start while you’re still living!!! It’s the moment you realize that our destiny as human beings is to die someday and spend eternity somewhere. If you’re a Bible believing person, you go either to Heaven or Hell, if you believe in something else, you go to limbo, if you’re an atheist, you cease to exist.

Ok, we suddenly went from marriage to “religion”. Let me insert this: if others were right, I wouldn’t fear going to a place of damnation because I lived a fairly good life. I didn’t kill, I didn’t break the law, etc. If the atheists were right, I would simply poof out of this world. But what’s really scary is: what if the Bible is right? We would have to answer to Someone who demands utter worship, and is a holy (meaning: no-sinners-allowed) God. Oh no! If we’re all sinners, who gets to heaven? That same God said that we are all sinners and no amount of good works will earn His mercy! (Check out the Bible)

What then is our hope? That is precisely the reason why Jesus came… to save us from His own punishment by accepting the penalty of our sins on Himself! That is why God said He “loved” the world, because He gave Himself up for it. All we have to do is put our faith on who He is, what He did for us, ask Him to forgive us of our sins and to trust Him that He will keep His promise.

In all reality, of all religions in the world, only the Bible teaches an absurd God. It takes a lot of faith to trust and believe in this God. We can’t see Him, we can’t hear Him, why we believe is only a product of what some Jews thousands of years ago wrote called the Bible, and we have to trust what it says! He gives us impossible-to-follow instructions, assures us that there is no hope apart from Him, that nobody is going to Heaven unless He says so, and He demands our full allegiance… or else. Those preachers and others who testify claim things that we ourselves seldom experience. And what is really bugging me is not some million dollar investment… it’s concerning my eternity!!! People spend billions of dollars to preserve their youth, and live longer, but how much would it cost to ensure that I go to Heaven and not Hell?! Now that should be a concern everyone should be thinking about. It takes a lot of faith to say that we believe in God, and much more, in what He says!

But on the other hand, we don’t understand why He eternally loves us so, why He himself would accept the punishment for our sins, why He is so strict in His holiness, yet makes a way for us to approach Him. He offers us hope and a way out of our helpless state, He promises to be our provider, He offers strength in our weakness, He changes cold hearts and makes them as flesh, He is our refuge in the day of trouble, our fortress in our time of war, our comfort in times of distress, our Savior from our sins . Those are the exact reasons why I decided to trust Him. That’s the kind of God I would love to serve, someone who served me first, someone who gave Himself to us first.

And that’s where REAL living starts. Now going back, living for the Lord is what will carry us through our married lives. Fear and faith in God is what will help, but God’s love will be the key. For where our wisdom fails, our reverent fear will prove wise, where our faith fails, His strength is made perfect, when our hope goes away, His love overcomes.

Moving on, I do have job and a lot of other sidelines, and I, in all honesty, believe I am responsible enough to take care of obligations. And I have found my purpose and direction in life and have been doing it since then. I had to learn that in all my twenty-something years of existence. But there are many things in my life that I still need to work on, I am still far from the man I am supposed to be. That is why I need my mate. It is not good for me to be alone, though at times I want to be alone, and despise my mate’s criticism; I learn in the end that she does that to improve me, to correct my weaknesses and to give a new angle on my views and all. With that said, I know that I will be helped by my mate, and that she is the one for me. We will and have to work together so we will survive and keep our goals together. We have to stay on the same page.

What matters most is that I, as a man, would have to decide. I have to face my fears, my doubts, my problems, this life and DECIDE. I cannot only hope and wait for the right time. I need to decide and be a man. To have the glory, I need to have guts. Thus, with God’s guidance I have decided to marry my loved one. And with all the preparation I had I know it cannot be fully learned until I jump off the boat and swim. Until I drive the car out of the garage and make the rubber meet the road.

1 comment:

Frances said...

"In all reality, of all religions
in the world, only the Bible teaches
an absurd God. It takes a lot of faith to trust and believe in this God."

Actually, bro, of all the divine beings in the world, the Christian God is the one who makes most sense.

Well, Buddha, too. I'd be Buddhist honestly except that I believe in Jesus Christ and I don't believe in numerous incarnations. For me, it's still a loving Father, a unique soul, and a place of eternal rest and reward that makes sense the most.

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