Sunday, June 5, 2011

Why Marriage Matters

We've had a new friend join our faithful readers. Judging by his comments I am going to assume that he is not a member of our faith nor has he taken the time to respectfully educate himself on the what's and why's of who we are. But that's okay - that's what a free speech society is all about and truthfully we are a peculiar people (and proud to be so) so there's a lot for a non-LDS person to raise their eyebrows about. It does bring an interesting and sharp focus though to the difference between the LDS mindset of marriage, family, and life purpose versus what the general current world view is.

Hopefully our new friend will take a closer look and realize that this is not a place to be disrespectful or contentious. This is a place where a few share their points of view, feelings and ideas. Sometimes others agree and sometimes they don't. What I invite him and each of us to think about is this...

Leave religion out of things. Leave morals and values and tradition and "normal" by the wayside. Leave white, black, rich, poor - your culture, my culture behind. Now take a look at the world. What do you see? Are people happy? Are people satisfied with their lives? Are people fulfilled? Do people feel loved, valued, like they matter? What characteristics or traits prevail? Is it kindness or selfishness? Is it progressing or is it doing just enough to get by so you can do the bare minimum that anyone might expect? Are people better off today then they were 5 years ago? Do people have hope? Feel safe? Feel like they have value?

I can tell you as a professional therapist without fear of (legitimate) contradiction ABSOLUTELY NOT! I see clients from every walk of life, every race, every culture, every socio-economic status and I can say without hesitation that there's a whole lot of darkness and unhappiness out there. Too many people trying to fill their needs by taking from everyone and everything around them.

So back to our little blog. We lament about the painful struggle of wanting people to love, we lament about wanting a family to serve, we even lament about the fears that we'll never have the opportunity to do this thing we desire so much. We don't lament because we're women, or Mormons, or marriage hungry. We lament because we know that true happiness, true fulfillment comes from loving and serving others and the most pure form of that is within the walls of a family.

In fairness I'm guessing our new friend, like so many others in the world, have never seen or experienced the wonderfulness that this type of home is. If you've never seen it, never experienced it, never gotten close to it then it's easy to understand how to you it may sound like a Walt Disney movie hopped up on massive amounts of sugary Leave It To Beaverness that is unreal and unattainable.

But for those of us who know exactly what it is and exactly what we're missing we're going to continue to lament. This is why we are on the earth. This is what we all work so hard for. This is what I will fight for until my last dying breath. I will fight and I will never give up because I have experienced it. I know it exists and I know that it is the only way to be sure that the mark I leave on this blog and the world around me is one of selfless love, kindness, and light that will trump every dark, selfish and self-loathing deprecating notion the world will ever teach.

So go ahead and question us new friend. Go ahead and share your thoughts and by all means please think us strange. We know who we are. We know why we are here. We know where we are going and how to get there. We are more then willing and very happy to share what we know so that you too may discover who you really are and may find the kind of joy that only comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Continue to challenge us - but be ready for a fight. When you know what's true you don't deny it and you don't back down no matter how loud the wind around you howls.


Daniel said...

I just sent you guys an email to and it came back undelivered.

Marnie said...

I fixed the email address. It should be

Jill said...

Just stumbled onto this blog and sorry, some of it is kind of scary. I come from a really stable Mormon home and I don't believe in spending copious amounts of time lamenting about being single. I get that you need to express yourself, but if you are still this depressed, it might not be working. I don't think you should give up, but maybe you need to focus on what is positive in your life and if there isn't much, maybe you need to make some changes.

In my opinion, viewing everything as a "painful struggle" is reflective of a lack of faith in God's plan for you-not proof of some kind of superior insight or nobility. Life can be really beautiful and fun, regardless of your marital status. This wallowing in misery is not healthy.

Anonymous said...

I see both points of view. On the one hand, a happy marriage and children can bring much fulfillment and joy, and its natural to want that in your life. Nothing can really replace what those blessings can give.

On the other hand, you can be a productive, exemplary Christian woman without being married. Have you ever read The Hiding Place? Its my favorite book and often quoted in conference. Its a true story about a Christian woman who does truly amazing things with her life--and one of my favorite things about the story is that this woman was single her whole life and never became a wife or mother.

Yet she did so much good in the world and lived a happy, fulfilling, productive Christian life. I'd love it if you writers would respond to the comments!

Anonymous said...

Jill- I don't think anyone is wallowing. I think one issue a lot of Mormon's have is to pretend everything is great. Or only report on those people who have no problem with their trials. Once I was sick for a long period of time and I had so much guilt because I remembered how everyone at church told stories of people who were ill who never were in a bad mood or complained. It made my trial so much harder to think I was the only person who struggled with that challenge. I just wanted someone to relate to how hard it was to be sick for so long and how you have to struggle to be happy and get through.

I appreciate people being real. Admitting you are struggling with something doesn't mean anything more than that we are all human. I applaud these women for helping break down unhealthy expectations.

Also, this blog is about being single. If you notice, nobody writes every day about how hard it is. I would guess these women have great lives with many interests. This is just a place they can discuss some frustration. It definitely does not mean anyone is wallowing in misery or depressed.

Monica McDonald said...

Jill, just remember a blog is just little snapshots of people's lives. And not all the posts are sad! I bet they're ok. Everyone has worries and bad days.