The internet is a place where you can find just about anything you want. If you’re looking for someone to write an article advocating something ridiculous, you are sure to find it; but usually you will find it somewhere obscure.
Unless you’re reading Huffington Post and you want an absolutely ludicrous view on marriage. Then you have to look no further than Jennifer Nagy’s piece this week. Then you will find a bitter woman trying to argue that there be a federal law that people cannot get married before the age of twenty-five.
Steve Crowder has already taken issue with the piece at Foxnews.com but I feel that we need to address the issue as well.
People under the age of 25 are still discovering themselves; they are figuring out what is most important in their lives. They are discovering the joys (and heartache) of being in a relationship, and then the partying that often characterizes life between relationships. They are figuring out what their relationship “deal-breakers” are and who their most appropriate partners would be. While a person may be 100 percent certain that they love something — or someone — at the age of 21, by 29, they will most likely completely change their mind. Life is anything but certain.
I’m sorry. What?
Inherent in Nagy’s arguments are the problems with the way people view relationships in our culture. Nagy views love as if it is some temporary emotion, as if it is here today and gone tomorrow.
I have said it before, and I will say it again. Love is not an emotion. It is a commitment. The emotions of attraction – both mental and physical – will come and go. There is no permanence to human emotion.
That’s why love cannot be an emotion. It is a commitment – a covenant you make with another person.
Historically, marriage has been something for young people. Go ahead, trace marriage through the years and you will find that human beings have historically committed to life-long relationships at young ages. It is only in recent history (the past 100 years or so) that we have moved the age of marriage even into the 20’s.
What has changed is our attitude toward marriage. For people like Nagy, marriage is a disposable commodity rather than a lifelong commitment. She decided that she did not like her husband anymore, so she separated and then got divorced. In words she would not use, he just wasn’t working for her anymore. She does not say it, but she implies that being married was restricting what she wanted to do with her life – so she threw it away.
Divorce is easy.
“Falling out of love” is easy.
Marriage is hard. Always has been.
Nagy allows her (and probably her ex-husband’s) inability to honor the commitment she (they) made to color her attitude toward the divine institution of marriage. Watch this one:
Who knows? Maybe there are 20-year-olds that get married and stay madly in love for their whole lives. Maybe puppy love can last forever.
Could be. Maybe there is such thing as fairies and unicorns too.
I’d say the odds of 20-year-olds stating” madly in love for their whole lives” are about null. She’s right. But marriage isn’t about being “madly in love.” Never has been. Never will be.
I got married at twenty-two, when my wife was twenty-one. We almost immediately stopped being “madly in love” because we weren’t madly in love in the first place. Never have been.
“Madly in love” is a myth invented by medieval women who wanted to tease handsome French knights with the promise of “unrequited love.” Ladies and gentlemen, look it up. Learn some history. Then, file your longing for “madly in love” away in the trash bin and get to work honoring marriage above all other earthly relationships.
I don’t want to be madly in love for my whole life. I want to be faithful to the divine covenant my wife and I made. At times, my emotions have betrayed me – nearly to my doom. The same could be said for my wife. But the fact remains that we made a commitment and we honor it not because we feel we are madly in love but because of the high (highest) priority we place on the marriage covenant.
Attitudes like those reflected in Nagy’s article are complete and utter balderdash based on fictional emotions and reading too many Twilight novels. She needs to grow up.
Was I too harsh? Nah. God takes marriage pretty seriously, so I’m in good company.