Why John Hawkins Should Have Some Second Thoughts About the Perils of Marriage
My friend John Hawkins, the mastermind behind Right Wing News and one of the must-read columnists at Townhall, has a thoughtful post explaining why he’s skeptical and worried about getting married some day. John goes through all the reasonable points you might expect, in particular how devastating divorce can be on everyone involved in it.
We all know that the divorce rate is too high in this country today. And the effects of growing up in a divorced family is something that we’ve all seen if we haven’t experienced it firsthand ourselves. But is the fact of the high divorce rate a disincentive for someone to want to get married in the first place?
John, let me tell you something directly: people with hearts as big as yours shouldn’t worry so much about divorce. I don’t foresee you having a hard time making a woman feel loved, cherished, and appreciated — as long as you put your mind to it. The failure rate of divorces says more about our broken human nature than a problem with the institution of marriage itself. Marriage is a job like any other. (I sometimes feel like when I’m clocking out at NRB that I’m just clocking in with the Swindle-Bey household.) And just as we’re all capable of failure — and in general that we fail more than we succeed — so too do many marriages collapse. But the chances of all of us having a painful divorce are not equal. Getting married isn’t like spinning a slot machine where it’s totally out of your hands whether you hit the jackpot or lose your money.
Marriages don’t have to fail when both people in them take them seriously and don’t allow them to crumble under the pressures of life and our own selfish, broken nature. Read a few books on marriages — The Five Love Languages is very useful — spend enough quality time together, and pay attention to their needs and things will work out.
This Monday will be my wife April and my second wedding anniversary. It hasn’t always been easy. We’ve had big changes, angry fights, and plenty of surprises. But we’ve both grown and are starting to evolve slowly into better people than we were before we came into each other’s life.
I’ll admit that I’m talking through my hat on this, but I wonder if the reason why so many marriages fail is because the people in it don’t realize that marriage only works properly if both people participate in what it’s supposed to do: change you into a better person. Marriage only works if you let it transform you into a less selfish person. And let me tell you, THAT can be really hard. But I think it’ll be worth it.