Since I’ve been married a year now I’ve grown to see an obvious difference in how our marriage works and how it’s portrayed. Our marriage is still very young, I understand. When I say things are going great and even better than I could have ever imagined, people are quick to respond “Well y’all are still newlyweds. It will change.” Or “Just you wait till you hit the ____ year mark. It won’t be so easy!”
Why?? Why is that the response? Why do people want to assume we’ll fail at marriage or if not totally fail, at the very least be incredibly miserable in it? Why do people want to make sure you know, it’s so hard, you’ll hate it, etc. Is it to make them feel better about their own marriage? Is it to play that old “I’ve got it tougher than you” game?
Trust me, I understand there are hard days and compromise and no one should marry without knowing that BUT we aren’t giving marriage any hope and chance with the way we talk and portray them.
The entertainment world has boggled my mind lately as I’ve noticed a sad trend. Here’s my own little breakdown of how marriage is viewed in the world.
Movies, books and tv shows portrayed the cookie cutter perfect little family in the 50s. When divorces and cheating happened, heaven forbid we portray that. It was an area that was basically brushed under the rug. So someone decided, “let’s be real and portray REAL families.” So they did. And decades later I’m asking the question, “we’re portraying infidelity and divorce but where are the marriages that last forever?”
And heaven forbid we show the blessings and joy that it brings instead of seeing the classic scene of “husband rolling eyes at nagging wife.”
Every book I’ve read and every movie we watch on Netflix lately has cheating and divorce. These are part of our culture that I understand shouldn’t be covered up but, it shouldn’t make up the whole landscape.
I wanted to love MadMen. I really did. The setting was fascinating. But I can’t watch MadMen because EVERY episode involves someone cheating. It honestly makes me sad and angry every time I see it.
When I was little, I remember discussing what we fill our minds with in youth group. They talked about avoiding them. That meant some of my favorite shows at the time. I really didn’t see how that affected me. Now that I’m married, I can see how it’s toxic. It can shape your mind to think that’s just how it goes, people.
How are we to expect the next generation will have any chance at living out the true picture of what God intended marriage to look like when there are few, if any pictures of it?
If your married, I challenge you to let others SEE the truth. Don’t just complain with friends about marriage. Celebrate with them also. This isn’t a competition on who’s life is harder? Or who’s life is best. Be real.
If you have kids, let them witness that love. It may be the only true picture of marriage they will consistently see as they grow up to create families of their own.
Disclaimer: I’m not picking on divorce. It’s real and it happens and sometimes people can fight to keep it together but it falls apart despite it. I’m picking on how we portray how easy marriage can be terminated. It’s not a fight anymore. But it’s so worth fighting for.