Q: I’m in my late 20s. I date a lot, but have seen so many marriages break up (including my parents) that I’m not keen to go down that road myself. Why pursue a lost cause?
A: One of the most insightful statements we’ve heard about marriage comes from author Maggie Gallagher: “Getting married is the boldest and most idealistic thing that most of us will ever do.”
Ms. Gallagher is right; marriage demands a lot from us. Building a successful marriage requires us to think about our spouse’s well-being more than our own. And this will be no surprise – that kind of sacrifice doesn’t come naturally. It takes a lot of commitment to live it out every day.
One of our favourite thoughts about marriage comes from that renowned philosopher, Rocky Balboa. In the original 1976 movie, a friend asks Rocky why he would bother pursuing a relationship with Adrian, a young woman so shy she’s afraid of her own shadow. Rocky replies, as only he can, “She’s got gaps; I got gaps. Together we fill gaps!”
Rocky’s statement is simple, but profound. We have the ability to be strong where our spouse is weak. To do that, we have to be willing to step outside of ourselves and make our spouse’s needs a priority. The love we feel when we’re dating is usually all about our needs being met. We think that’s why Maggie Gallagher describes marriage as a “bold” move. Infatuation eventually wears off. When it does, we can only experience true, fulfilling love if we’re willing to serve our spouse and fill each other’s gaps. It’s bold, idealistic, and very much worth it.
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