This is the second part to this post. The first is available here
I always like people to know that I’m not looking for a husband who will bestow countless gifts and trinkets on me. However, I expect that my marriage is going to be high-maintenance in another way – in spending lots of time together. To be blunt, I’m not going to the trouble of writing this blog so that I can struggle to find 5 minutes with someone each week.
If you could be my husband, then I hope you’re thinking of this already. If you have not been thinking about it, then please start thinking about it now!
OK, now I’m going to consider how modern life affects our relationships even at the point of assessing possible spouses.
Due to improved transport facilities, we are now a lot more mobile than our ancestors would have been a few hundred years ago. We also have a lot more freedom to choose our careers etc… and beliefs. Back then, unless you were very adventurous, or you were forced to move by threat of disaster etc, many people would likely have been born, have grown up and died in the same communities. Life would genuinely have been more community- oriented then. This might have meant fewer opportunities to see the world, but it would also have meant that you generally understood people around you. You would have understood their beliefs, what motivated them etc. People may have been constrained to follow the careers of their fathers and mothers, but you knew what to expect because you would have been groomed for this future since birth, you would have grown up around it. You would also have had the opportunity to observe potential spouses through growing up with them, knowing their strengths, weaknesses, family secrets, family reputation etc.
How different things are now. These days people move around all the time, and the opposite of all these things is true. (I know I’ve made a few generalisations, but I believe that on the whole, this is how things would have been for many people). Many people move not just within countries, but even between continents for the sake of study, work, leisure, adventure. It is a huge cliché to say that the community aspect of life is fast disappearing from most modern economies (because of course, it is all about the money!) This means that often you are brought into contact with people, possibly potential spouses, and you don’t understand them. You don’t understand “where they are coming from”, you don’t necessarily understand their reasoning. You don’t necessarily know or understand their beliefs. You have not grown up with them. You are meeting them through a brief window in both of your lives before you both move on, possibly to other parts of the world, not necessarily to wherever you may call “home”. You don’t know anything about their family backgrounds, traditions, or rumours, or reputation. This is sometimes true even within cultures, or within faiths such as Christianity, even within denominations such as Pentecostal Christianity. We all have a lot more access to resources like books, the internet, TV to make up our mind about different issues, so we do not have to be limited to the teachings of our village priest or vicar or pastor.
All of this means that communication is so important – as it has always been in relationships. You’re trying to explain who you are to a potential spouse, and you have to go into a lot more detail than might previously have been necessary a few generations ago. However, naturally, you have less time to communicate it because we are all so busy working hard. This is part of the reason I am writing this blog. Things are doubly interesting for me because I am a child of two cultures (at least! – 3 including Christianity!). On a number of issues I have had to sit down and work out what I think, where I stand on this issue. I sometimes find, and it is invariably irritating, that someone will just assume that I think X about this, or that I am Y; or they’ll assume that theirs is the only viewpoint to be had on a certain issue – not that they are saying that they are right, but they just don’t realise that any other viewpoint is possible.
This is the reason I am writing this blog.
If you know that you could be interested in me maritally, then I hope it is fair to expect that you would want to know who I am. Here, I am practically shouting about who I am – are you listening? This is to potentially save you and me stress, awkwardness, time – if you read this, then discover I am totally not what you assumed, or what you want in marriage…. 😉
1 Timothy 6v8
And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.
27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?
29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things[a] shall be added to you.
Photo of couple in sunset by Paco on Pixabay