It's a Setup
Off The Wall, February 12, 2010

While talking to a gent on the telephone, he happened to bring up what he considered the reason for the high divorce rate. Plainly put, he pointed out, “The reason June Eman decided to split with her husband was due to the fact that he fell out of love with her husband, Jim.” He went on to tell me he felt they were married quite a long time anyway – eight years.

Now, there is a whole lot wrong here, need I tell you.

First of all, when two people tie the knot, they both state in their vows, “Until death doeth part.” That death does not refer to deadness of feelings of one to the other. It refers to the ceasing of physical life.

Second, if one falls out of love so quickly, did he really tie the knot spiritually as well as physically, or was it merely flesh or lust persuading one or both into a state of matrimony?

It seems to me, in my opinion, that when people see something in another, and feel that they have to rush into marriage quickly, chemistry is often overshadowing common sense. After a couple is married so long, reality sets in and people sometimes seem to be at odds with the other. Neither individual realizes what marriage is really all about. Yes, at first, that chemical compound is churning. I still remember how I felt over 36 and one half years ago. But that’s what “phase one” is all about. God knew what he was doing when he created us a certain way to be drawn to a partner.

But after a while, “phase two” sets in. That’s not to say one does not have that desire to be with his or her mate. That relationship takes on a whole new meaning of love when work plus emotions yields a positive bond.

What one fails to realize is that the initial tying of the knot at a church in front of friends and family is more than an act of legality. It is a promise to God that both man and woman will do as He outlined, to serve Him as two people now united as one. Once the “I do” is validated by both man and woman, the two are required to follow scripture – “Wives be subject to your husband as to the Lord,” and “Husbands love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”

What happens so much is that the man or woman will enter into matrimony forgetting that God is a part of the relationship. They will go forth thinking all they need is each other, and then if things don’t work out, break up and move on. Entering into matrimony is serious business. Working through it from day one to death is what God expects.

That reminds me of a woman I’ll call Kamira. She had come to this country to go to school. She attended the University of Pittsburgh. While going to school she also stayed with a family in Laughlintown. Upon completion of her schooling, she was told she had to return to her homeland of Afghanistan where her father had chosen a man for her to marry. Our culture had opted to do it one way – her’s another. She had become quite close to a gent here and chose to marry him. The set-up arrangement was not to her liking at all. That was back in the early 70’s. She and her husband are still happily married. They consider the relationship an investment and are both working through and for it.

But if all this is kind of deep, let’s simplify things by giving reference to a little girl, Elvira, and her little puppy, Bunny. Now, you may say that is a strange name for a dog, but not to the five-year old. She was told she could name it, and so be it. Everyday, one could see the two of them sitting side by side on a curb circling the playground.  The closeness was more apparent if one sighted the two from behind. The two were inseparable. What made them that way? Each had an innate desire to make the relationship work. Elvira cared for Bunny doing everything she could to please it. Bunny, in turn, showed its love and appreciation by obeying her commands and trying to please its caregiver. By cuddling next to her, sitting with her, requirements were met.

Are we doing all we can do as Bunny did, letting others know, even though it’s tough sometimes, to care about those who say they love us and look after us?  Is God a part of our marriages, or have we erroroneously excluded Him? Give these thoughts a think.

This Valentine Day, let’s put love in proper prospective, following through with a plan. 

- Paul J. Volkmann
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