There is a lot of uncertainty that surrounds us, especially millennials. One of the common topics of conversation that I often hear my generation talk about is that of security. And one of the ways of getting that feeling of security seems to be by getting married.
But at the same time, there is an increasing consciousness that getting married for the sake of feeling secure can often backfire–that unless you are already feeling secure, or are aware that feeling secure is a work in progress, you are not going to find that security within a marriage.
Just like you can’t magically find happiness in marriage. You have to be committed to finding happiness on your own; then this journey becomes reinforced when you marry someone who is also advancing on this path.
There are a lot of misconceptions like these ones when it comes to marriage. It’s interesting to me because I do feel like the institution of marriage is a powerful one that can bring immense joy to a couple as well as to their families and their community–but at the same time, it doesn’t seem to be doing that for the 50%+ couples who get divorced (and the other percentage of couples of stay unhappily married. Dr. Kelly Flanagan’s letter to his son about the only good reason to get married offers a great insight into why that might be:
If you fall into the trap of thinking your ego-wall is essential to being a man, it will destroy any chance of having an enduringly joyful marriage. Because, in the end, the entire purpose of marriage is to dismantle your ego-wall, brick by brick, until you are fully available to the person you love. Open. Vulnerable. Dangerously united.
Buddy, people have sex because for a moment at the climax of it, their mind is without walls, the ego goes away, and they feel free and fully connected. With sex, the feeling lasts for only a moment. But if you commit yourself to marriage, you commit yourself to the long, painful, joyous work of dismantling your ego-walls for good. Then, the moment can last a lifetime.
Many people are going tell you the key to a happy marriage is to put God at the center of it, but I think it depends upon what your experience of God does for your ego. Because if your God is one of strength and power and domination, a God who proves you’re always right and creates dividing lines by which you judge everyone else, a God who keeps you safe and secure, I think you should keep that God as far from the center of your marriage as you can. He’ll only build your ego-wall taller and stronger.
But if the God you experience is a vulnerable one, the kind of God that turns the world upside down and dwells in the midst of brokenness and embraces everyone on the margins and will sacrifice anything for peace and reconciliation and wants to trade safety and security for a dangerous and risky love, then I agree, put him right at the center of your marriage. If your God is in the ego dismantling business, he will transform your marriage into sacred ground.
What’s the secret to a happy marriage? Marry someone who has also embraced the only good reason to get married.
Someone who will commit to dying alongside you—not in fifty years, but daily, as they dismantle the walls of their ego with you.
Someone who will be more faithful to you than they are to their own safety.
Someone willing to embrace the beauty of sacrifice, the surrender of their strength, and the peril of vulnerability.
In other words, someone who wants to spend their one life stepping into a crazy, dangerous love with you and only you.
The read of this thought-provoking post can be found here.