I have the pleasure and honor of officiating at a wedding later this month. As someone who started his professional life as an ordained Baptist minister, I am still occasionally asked to officiate at weddings or funerals – to marry to bury. The wedding coming up is for a young man whose terrific family I’ve known for many years and his lovely, wonderful bride-to-be.
We’ve met periodically over the past 2-3 months to discuss the details of the ceremony and briefly chat about general topics of importance to couples starting a life together. It’s all coming together well and I look forward to sharing in the happy occasion with this fine couple.
As we have talked in our times together, I’ve been encouraged by the convictions, common sense and overall attitude and maturity each exhibits. They have been dating for several years and are taking this step with eyes wide open. Each is a responsible, hard-working adult with a career of his/her choice. They already know the wisdom of financial responsibility. They complement each other well as is true of so many couples, my wife and I included. Each has his/her strengths.
I am surprised, though, at one thing that comes to mind to call out as admirable – the fact that they are getting married. In decades or generations past, there would have been no question about the progression of a serious relationship. You start dating, you fall in love, you get married, you probably choose to have children. That progression can’t be assumed today – at least not in our culture.
Not all will agree with me, but I think the change away from the traditional progression is for the worse. It is not good to enter a relationship with an easy escape door always cracked open, and I think that is what those who live together or have children together without being married are doing. Yes, I know half of all marriages fail, but there is much to be said for declaring publicly and legally that you have made your choice of a partner forever. I commend all who take that step.
Leap year lesson #161 is It is encouraging when young people marry.