Sunday, May 15, 2005

No Time For Marriage


Putting On The Chains

Finally, what you all have been waiting for. A 24 year old single guy who lives with parents is going to set the record straight and give you his view of marriage. At this point of my life I have taken a different view to marriage. To me at 24, I see marriage as a hindrance. I see it as a obstacle course full of barriers that block me from what I want to do and where I want to go. I don't know, maybe it's because I went to a Church of Christ college where many people determined another's worth by their marital status. So today I am going to take a stand for the single guy or girl who is tired of feeling like a second citizen just because he or she is not handcuffed by the chains of marriage.

First, Marriage binds you to the "double-check". An estimated 90% of my friends are either married or engaged(including my younger brother). Any time I ask one of the guys if they want to go to a movie or a ballgame I always get the same response, "Hey man that sounds great, just let me double-check with the wife". More times than not after completing the double-check I hear, "Hey man sorry, but my wife just reminded me we'd already planned to spend the evening with her third cousin on her mother's side." You see when you are single you are your own double-check. There is nobody to check with. More importantly, there is no one making commitments for you. You alone decide where you are going to and who you are going to hang out with. Sometimes getting my married friends to do stuff feels like I'm putting in a vacation request at work crossing my fingers that the boss will approve.

Second, The roots of Marriage makes the world smaller. Right now I see marriage as making one's world smaller and by that I mean it makes his or her circle of influence smaller. In marriage, roots start to grow and soon take hold which inables the person from moving freely as he or she once did. A once big open world full of possiblity suddenly turns into a world of limitations. Married people can't just take off somewhere unknown at the drop of a hat. There's plannning and considerations that have to be made. Sure married couples take the occassional exotic trip to Europe or Central America, but only after months and months of planning. The single person is free to go wherever at moment's notice. There are no roots holding the single person to the ground keeping him or her in the same small place. The single person is free to roam what Tom Petty calls The Great Wide Open.

Third, Marriage is one big compromise. Married couples are forever making compromises for each other which is to average person is a beautiful thing. I, however, cannot afford to compromise at this point in my life. As you know my one desire right now is to live in NYC and work with Shiloh. This desire is so strong I am not willing to compromise it for anything. Some might call that selfish, but how is the desire to serve at-risk youth selfish? If there is even a slight possiblity that marriage could compromise my desire, then marriage is not for me right now.

Some people look at me strange when I tell them I don't want to get married. As if there is something worng with me. They are forever asking me, "Why don't you?". Forever asking for reasons when in fact the only reason I need is that I don't want to. I am not preparing for marriage as some have suggested to me. I am preparing for NYC and the work of Shiloh. If you are happily married, then God bless you and I wish you nothing but the best. All I am saying is that not everyone in the world wants or needs to get married. All I am asking for is a little respect for the single guy as I continue to respect those who are deeply in love and happliy married.



CJE


Coming Next Week: The Art of Disagreement

5 comments:

jch 4:52 AM  

Chris, I had high hopes for this post. Any lawyer would be proud of your opening and closing arguments. Yes, the church needs to rethink how we view the single person and should value the life of one who is single. And yes, the single person deserves respect. But it's your logic or reasons that fall incredibly short of making this a thoughtful post.

Your assumptions are that marriage is binding, makes one's world "smaller", and compromising. I speak from a point of view that has experienced both being single and being married.

First, I will grant you that marriage is binding in that I now have to take into account another person's feelings, needs and wants. But doing this (or failing to do this) has exposed my selfishness. God has revealed to me that there is more to life than consuming myself with myself. So in that regard, marriage is my window into selflessness. This selflessness that I'm learning are also what I would say to you in regard to your second and third reasons.

The roots of marriage do not make the world smaller. I have traveled more and seen more with my wife and with the birth of our children the world has opened up in ways not possible before.

Finally yes, marriage is a compromise. But again, in my marriage I am exposed for what I am: a selfish pig. It's through this vessel that I come closer to who God wants me to be.

BUT PLEASE HEAR THIS!! Marriage is not the only means to learning selflessness. Having kids is not the only way for the world to open up. What I want to hear you argue is not why marriage is bad or sucks as you seem to be doing in your post. What I want to hear is how you have come closer to God being single.

It almost seems that you are jaded and you have every right to be as the Churches of Christ (along with other churches) piss on single people but it would be more helpful for you to draw out a theology of being single rather than giving us the downsides of being married.

Chris Ewing 7:41 AM  

thanks for the comments. i do apologize if you found it offensive at all. Moments of frustration tend to bring out my cynical side that blur the lenses through which i see the world.

To be honest this post wasn't meant to be well thought out, but just a release.

This post by no means carries any weight or authority. Nor is it the true depection of marriage that God intends and desires. Again it was just the ramblings of a guy going tired of those pressures being put on him.

Kyle 12:23 AM  

I don't know you, but I feel you, man. You're 24. You are young. I was 23 when I got married and most of the people I knew at the time couldn't believe I was getting married so young. I, too, went to a Church of Christ school and there people were hitching up left and right. But in the real world I've found the opposite to be true. It really surprises me that you feel this sort of pressure in a city like New York. Surely there's plenty of singles out there.

I got married because I couldn't see myself without my wife, and I knew that she wouldn't wait around for me to sew my wild oats. I was going to go out to LA and be a filmaker, but she was more important to me. But if you haven't met that person you need to focus on your thing. I believe that is what God wants and wants for you.

Anonymous,  2:11 PM  

chris,
i am afriad that mr hays is correct on several levels. i see that you have folded to his wisdom and simply wish that you would make an attempt at what he has challenged.

i am married and i was married young - 21. my wife and i have lived abroad and intent on traveling frequently - albeit with some planning.

my wife and i are bound together and she makes me so much more of what God wants me to be that i could never imagine life without her.

so don't attack anonymous marriages with blind arguments about a relationship you have never had. instead, enjoy being single to the fullest and grow some thicker skin. Jesus was single.

Adam 8:23 PM  

I will let you have your venting blog. You know my thoughts. You are no second class citizen in my book, but the only one who needs to believe that is you. Stop making excuses because of the way you 'think' people percieve you and get on with your mission.

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