We look at our modern marriage system and wonder what we are thinking and accomplishing. In some towns, the local pastors have entered into commitments not to perform any ceremony where the couple has not completed 6 months of "premarital counseling." Couples are told, in those and other places, not to marry until "you are sure," as if surety came from the passage of time and attendance at counseling sessions. 

The counseling is an exploration of whatever the pastor likes. They talk about who does chores and what happens to the dogs and where to go on vacation. They discuss cultural trends and what they think of those trends. They talk about "sharing" and "alone time" and maybe read a book like Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus and have talks about what the book says. They talk about football and hunting and shopping and cooking. They are reminded that "marriage is for life." 

What does this tell us? It tells us that we have accepted the world's idea that marriage is just another relationship, that its success is based on compatibility and "learning to get along," We are just a smaller version of eHarmony.com or a speed dating site.

Marriage is not about being compatible, it is about being committed. Marriage is a lifetime commitment to another person, not to their current list of likes and dislikes. We are not marrying someone because they like our football team and our commitment is not based on whether they remain committed to our football team. Marriage is our commitment to them.

We no longer teach commitment. The key is not found in our counseling, but our churches. We have given up on the importance of marriage, which we show by our emphasis on ministry to "single adults," because they are not single, they are (almost entirely) divorced people. Why did we start calling divorced people "single?" When did we decide that marriage was so unimportant that a divorce could just be forgotten? 

The day I married, I knew that I would never again be single. Once you are married, you will never be single again. You can be married, widowed, or divorced, but never single. My decision regarding my marriage is never about whether I want to "stay married or be single," because I will never be single. It is about whether I want to be married or divorced. As for me, I much prefer married over divorced.

On the day I married, I made a vow which I cannot break. Marriage is about commitment, not about compatibility. 

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