Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Big "M" Word: Marriage

I want to ask all my fellow single ladies (and you single gentlemen who we've seen talking about marriage on Twitter lately; yes, we've noticed) a couple of very important questions. I know many of us have a desire to marry and have children... but why? Have you really discerned your vocation? Ladies, do you want to get married for the wedding planning and the party part? Do you just think about getting that diamond engagement ring; showing it off to everyone? Do you want to get married solely because you feel unloved and you want to feel loved?

These may seem like harsh questions but I don't think I've ever seen conversations (beyond my own with my best friend and with a good guy friend who is thinking about getting engaged to his girlfriend) or blog posts in which they were asked. I apologize if the questions offend or unsettle you... but I believe these (and others) are important to think about. I've heard of (and have seen young women) who want to get married for the wrong reasons.

Here's my story: when talking about vocations, my spiritual director asked me how I knew I was called to marriage and not to another vocation. I wasn't prepared with a good answer. "I've prayed about it, in front of the tabernacle, and I feel, deep down, that it's my vocation" wasn't good enough. It was all true; I did pray and the desire to get married and have children grew whenever I was in front of the tabernacle. There was no doubt in my mind that that was my vocation. However, I didn't really get deeper than that. For weeks after, I thought about it. I returned to my spiritual director with my answer... which I think (from his expression) surprised him. Again, besides my conversations with my best friend and one of my closest guy friends, I'd never really talked about it but now my SD knows why I'm certain that it's my vocation.

I know you'll all be curious as to know why but it's something that's so personal that I'm not sure I want to share just yet. However, I will share a couple of thoughts. While I felt like it was my vocation, it wasn't until a year ago that I could honestly say that I could see myself getting married. I've always been incredibly independent and I worried that I would never meet a guy who I could see myself growing old with. It was a selfish mentality; I had my goals and I had my responsibilities and I couldn't see myself bringing a guy into the equation. I wasn't ready and I knew that it would be terrible to bring someone else into my life while I was figuring out career and vocation questions. Then I had two big epiphany moments in which I not only realized what I was doing (including trying to suppress feelings I'd had for years, done out of fear) but I also realized that I finally understood why it was my vocation when I accepted those feelings.

I don't want to get married for the party. In fact, I want a church wedding and maybe a small reception for family and closest family friends only. For the record, I have absolutely no pinterest boards for my dream wedding. I will not think about what I want for my wedding until there's a reason for it... and even then I will be focusing on preparing for the Sacrament of Marriage. I just know I want to get married in a church.

I don't want a diamond engagement ring nor will I be shoving my ring finger in people's faces in the future. I think there's a lot of pressure on guys to spend three months' worth of salary on the ring and I think that's ridiculous. Besides, I don't like diamonds anyway. Future fella: don't worry about it. I'd prefer an emerald if you really want me to have a ring with a gemstone on it. lol.

I don't want to get married because I feel unloved. I actually feel like I have a lot of love in my life from family and friends. Most importantly, I feel God's love for me, even when I'm going through something rough and I'm not too happy that my prayers weren't answered in ways I hoped for. There is no greater love than the love God has for us all and you can't replace it with any love you may find on this earth.

It was actually a good friend (who doesn't actually know this... and might put puzzle pieces together if they read this blog post) who unintentionally helped me figure things out. I'll stop there because I'm not comfortable expanding on it just yet. I will say that I constantly pray for my future husband (whoever he may be). I may not know who he is or what he's going through but I know that everyone is need of prayer. He may have temptations, bad habits, family or personal issues, vocation doubts, etc. I don't have to wait to know who is and/or what his story is for me to pray for him.

I'm not saying that I have all the answers or that I'm correct in my thoughts -- though my SD has yet to correct or challenge them. I just wanted to share this because I've seen so many "I just want to get married! I'm tired of being alone!", "I just want children; I wish husbands were optional!", and other similar comments floating around, especially amongst the 25+ set. Take a couple of minutes and think about it; why do you want to get married? Are the words "Sacrament of Marriage" just words to you or do you understand the importance of them? This is my challenge to all of you who I've seen talking (well, tweeting) about the desire to be married.

Alright, I need to get back to studying for my COMD courses and for my first Statistics midterm coming up at the end of next week.

I hope y'all are having a good week thus far. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D


Joe Potillor said...

Glad to read this post :)

I'll save my thoughts for whenever Joe and Emmy time will be :)...Oh do I have a lot to say...

Prayers for you as always

Emmy Cecilia said...

That will have to wait for quite a while; I don't have time for a social life these days.

Brian Mood said...

I'm a firm believer in marriage. I think it's important to ask the very questions that you have asked yourself. For many do marry for the wrong reasons and more importantly selfish reasons. I have always wondered who can be my BETTER half, my supporter in all things, and who I can be the same to her. It's a 2 way street and it must be mutual.
I love church weddings because you and whomever is joined in the presence of God and family. Marriage is in many ways a contract for LIFE not on a whim.
In terms of love, it has to be mutual. I hate seeing certain people marry because they feel lonely or unloved. They are many ways to be loved, not just being in a relationship/marriage but other ways.
The ring does symbolize a contract between the 2 parties( i believe this should be utilized always). Whomever 'breaks' that contract has to 'return' the ring. For example if the man breaks the contract, the woman keeps the ring, but if the woman breaks the contract, she must return that ring.
I can understand in a sense why women love weddings for it fulfilled a childhood dream of marrying "Prince Charming". But elaborate weddings are a thing of the past. I don't think that is necessary but i do think that having a wedding Mass is important.
I applaud your desire to know marriage and vocation for I've asked that of myself, I don't think that I'll ever marry.
God Bless

Unknown said...

I came from a broken family that stayed together out of religious obligation (despite being just the sort that the Church would have let separate, as neither was interested in finding other spouses). I'm aware of just how fallen a human being I am, both from my faith and from seeing my life and feeling the damage.

In my service to the parish over more than a decade, I've gotten the priest question hundreds of times -- having been caretaker of my mother in her dying days and now of my aging father, I just haven't dated at all in years for reasons both of time and money (as well as my own health being shot, partly out of stress). I've discerned on it and realized that the priesthood just isn't for me, as much as everyone around me tells me that I should consider it.

All my life, I've been better with children than adults and I've never wanted to be anything but a father. It hurts me deeply that my brothers (who have let the Church) have opted to not have children so that they can travel and such. Although we're Catholics, my father's line is patrilineally Kohein back to Aaron, as well as descended along the way from Phineas, That's two covenants passed father-to-son that the Church still recognizes and which I feel an obligation for my family to help pass on, especially as care of the tabernacle and atonement of my fellows respectively are two of the devotions that have marked my family on each side regardless. I realize that I've the actual rare case of a Christian who's supposed to have children (for service of the eventual Third Temple), yet I'm a single man who can't find a Single Catholic Woman anywhere and can't talk to women anyway.

So, my relationship with marriage is complicated. I fervently desire it because I feel a deep-seated need for fatherhood, one that scripture and my family lineage actually backs up in this case, but the only comments that I get from other Catholics is the continuing "just be a priest." I get the occasional "become a deacon" from those who don't realize the celibacy requirements for single men; were I married or they changed those required to chastity-in-state-of-life (I'm virginal for now, but would like to eventually be married, so I won't take a vow on it yet), I'd enter diaconal formation tomorrow. I realize that it's almost certain that I'll end up alone and be without a caretaker of my own when I'm in the position where I've taken care of my parents...