A few days ago I was thinking about relationships and how in the U.S. we have a really high divorce rate. Some people cite this fact as reason enough to avoid marriage altogether. Others cite is as reason enough to support alternative forms of marriage. To me, this fact is a sad commentary on the state of relationships in our country.
As I was thinking about this, I began to think of my childhood and the similar childhoods that were experienced by my peers, my parents, and those younger than I. I thought about our heroes and our fairy tale spouses. My heroes were macho, gruff superheroes that saved the day with brute force and reckless disregard for other people. As a boy, the idea of winning the heart of a beautiful princess was the ultimate goal. The “fairest in the land” was the objective, and conquest was the means to that end. For my female counterparts, the rich, handsome prince was the prize. The kiss sealed the deal, and life would be lived happily ever after.
I’ve wondered if I am thinking too much of this whole childhood pattern, but I really do believe there’s some substance here. Just follow me on this for minute. What if our childhood heroes and fairy tale spouses were people of virtue? Would that foundation cause us to seek partners of greater value and high moral character?
Let me share a verse with you that I’ve shared before:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. . .”
Didn’t I tell you that the theme of what God is doing in my life right now is love?
Now, I know that these characteristics in this form would more than likely fall on deaf ears if we were to try and tell our children this. However, I believe that if these characteristics were embodied in the form of our heroes and fairy tale pursuits, our children would be better for it when they begin seeking a suitor.
Today, we place a high value on wealth, exterior beauty, and other vain things. We waste our time looking in the wrong places for our mate because we place too high a value on things that truly do not matter. If we could cause ourselves and those we influence to place a higher value on character, I believe we would have a higher standard, and we would be more selective. We would suffer less heartache, and we would have the benefit of knowing that the mate we have chosen is the right mate because of who he or she is instead of how he or she looks or what he or she can do for us.
In my case, I married a beautiful princess who is also a person of high moral character. God has blessed me tremendously with that. For the rest of us, let’s set our bar higher and begin to desire the more important characteristics of a spouse. Let’s let the desires of our heart be the desires that God has for us.
Thanks for reading,