W: Marriage Prep 101

5 Jan

Insomnia last night started with a card. An invitation, to be specific, that Kristin had created for a Young Women’s activity. Ever since she got her Silhouette machine, she’s gotten better and better. This time she created a lovely invitation to a marriage-related activity that featured pretty colors, a nice background and a lovely dress silhouette. I’m the typical guy who usually doesn’t have an opinion about craft-y stuff but this one scored a 10 in my book and that’s an enormous deal. And if you asked her, she’d probably say that it took her a half hour to do. This is a blessing and a curse because it probably took her closer to three. Blessing, in that she thinks what she does is easy and time flies when you’re having fun. Curse, because planning one’s time must be confusing with this disconnect.

I’ve digressed. Part of the activity’s theme centered on choosing the right husband in the future. I helped Kristin in researching lists regarding marriage compatibility. It reminded me of what I was taught and what I hear and read nowadays. Sometimes it seems like the gist is: Virtuous Young Woman + Worthy Priesthood Holder = A Possible Fit for Marriage. Maybe not in so many “words” and I recognize that this does not encompass everything but I find the emphasis to be disconcerting. Why? Well basically for every reason.

Virtuous Young Woman . . . Maybe it was my imagination that Young was included (maybe a result of these lessons being taught to young men and women) but it might be the easiest to tackle. It’s not mentioned on the men’s side and probably considered too highly on the women’s. Sometimes I see not-so-young men seeking out the younger women over their peers. Probably many reasons for this but the emphasis on youth might be unnecessary. As for Virtuous, this adjective seems to be used so often synonymously with Chastity/Purity and that’s a tough one for me. In reference to past sexual experiences, does the past hold more influence on the future when compared to one’s current attitudes? As a sidebar, some might say that this quality cannot be emphasized enough and use the scripture, “Many of the daughters . . . have they taken prisoners; and . . . depriving them of that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue.” I’m not one to argue scripture but I sometimes wonder if this is more of a euphemism regarding virginity than the actual loss of one’s virtue. I cannot imagine someone telling a victim of rape that she has committed an unchaste or unvirtuous act. Alternatively, I can imagine one’s first experience regarding sexual expression to be dear and precious and to be a witness or participant to such a grotesque expression as a first experience would rob one of a positive first experience. A positive first experience can be of great benefit to the future. Off the sidebar, I just think we’re doing everyone a disservice if only virtue is highlighted.

Worthy Priesthood Holder. In my day, I feel like the young women were instructed to seek a Returned Missionary but this newer standard has been adapted over the years. To me, it still misses the mark. On one hand, I think of Worthy and I think “Sword in the Stone” and women are neither a commodity nor a prize (to be won). If one thinks temple-Worthy, then that is a standard that is difficult to determine. Deceit can be used to feign worthiness and temple-worthiness has the potential to be a temporary status. In the end, I feel like this standard gets watered down to “Does he attend Church regularly?” Important, but perhaps not the high standard it was intended to be.

So what would my standards be? First off, it’d be the same for both sides. Is the person striving to be Christ-like and does he/she have similar feelings about the Church? Sure, that’s broad but I think that’s how it should be. For such an important decision, shouldn’t all aspects be considered? (alternating genders) Is she kind? Is he kind when he feels he’s been wronged? Is she honest? Does he seek opportunities to serve and actually follow through? Is she humble in every way? Does he love God? There’s so many questions and most would not score 10’s in all aspects but when my kids marry, I want them looking at the whole picture.

Going to lunch now, but 1 final note: Yes, I included the feelings about the Church item. To me it’s like differences in age. Too much and things will be more difficult than expected.

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