As I announced here just under a year ago, I’m engaged to be married this coming Friday (July 22nd). In the months leading up to the proposal, I did a lot of thinking about what it means to be married. In the last year, my fiance and I have also spoken about the meaning of our upcoming commitment. I thought I would share a bit of the rationale for why I decided to get married.
What makes marriage such a daunting choice is its permanence. Divorce rates aside, you are making a commitment for the rest of your life. Forever.
One thing we wondered was, can we truly understand a permanent commitment? “Forever” is really just an abstract thought that I’m not sure we can ever truly understand – even when limited by our own lifespan.
Does the current “version” of yourself really have the capacity (or even the right) to make a commitment that the “you” in 10 years, 20 year, hopefully 50 years, will be held to?
I finally came to grips with this paradox (how can you make a commitment for a longer term than you’ve even been alive or can understand) when I realized that this is the very essence of marriage. This is exactly why marriage is important.
In addition to being an act of love, commitment, and hard work, marriage is an act of faith. I am making a commitment greater than I can truly understand. Rather than rendering the commitment hollow, though, the true and honest intention to uphold such an unfathomable commitment is what elevates it from the realm of legal matters to the realm of the spiritual and sacred.
Oh, and the gifts, dancing, and a honeymoon are cool too.