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My husband and I headed to the pharmacy today to pick up some antibiotics to (hopefully) kick this cold that I’ve had for 2.5 weeks. While picking up my prescription, I asked if it was expensive, and he told me the price. I told him, “Well, it’s not as expensive as the last prescription. So that’s good.” Now my husband comes around the corner, and I tell him the price. He’s like, “Yeah, that’s not as bad as the last time.” And he tells the pharmacist, “The last one was like $40. I told her that she wasn’t that sick.” We all fall out laughing as I remind him, “Umm, that’s your baby I’m carrying here.” And of course, we start picking with each, and the pharmacist is like, “Okay you two, no domestic disputes here.” And we all start laughing again……gotta love marriage!

So, this week, we were covering gender identity development theories (in other words, how men develop as men and how women develop as women and why people conform to gender expectations). This was obviously an interesting class, and people had a lot to say. Now, the day before I had lunch with a guy who I’m in school with. We were catching up, and he was asking me how my husband was progressing in school, the upcoming plan, etc. So, I was honest with him. I told him that my husband will be graduating in the spring and is applying to jobs. But regardless, I don’t intend to return to class next fall. I want to take time with my baby, raise him or her, and be a good mother. You wouldn’t believe the response to that! Suddenly, I had questions like, “Well, is that your desire? Or is it your husband’s? Society’s? Your religion? And if your husband’s job wasn’t near Fort Collins, would you follow him?”

I was so surprised and upset! And I told him, that is my desire. When I entered marriage, I was prepared to make certain decisions that I knew would not be the same decisions the rest of the world would make. I was prepared to sacrifice. I was prepared to put my marriage, being a wife and being a mother, above all of my other ambitions without bitterness or resentment. When I entered marriage, I was prepared to be fully married in the sight of God. For me, that means that I am devoted to being a wife and a mother (when the time came). And just because the time came earlier than we expected, it doesn’t mean that my level of devotion has changed. If my husband moves, I’m prepared to move too. Why in the world would I get married to be in a long distance relationship again??? And why would I try to raise a child on my own with my husband living someplace else? I did not sign up to be a married, single parent!

So I had another conversation with a coworker, and we were talking about people’s perceptions of marriage today. Why is it okay to be married and move to another state (or just another place) away from your spouse to have a job, especially when jobs are available in your area? Why is it okay to still pursue your personal ambitions within marriage, especially when that separates you from your spouse? I don’t understand.

We have a couple at our church where the husband is a truck driver. Yes, he has long cross-country trips to make deliveries, but I have never seen a man hurry so much to get back home to his wife and children. As rough as that situation is, they are still devoted to one another. But when you have a situation where a husband or wife just wants to expand their career and move, and the spouse is against it and stays, how is that okay? Why would you get married thinking that is okay today? Would you get married thinking that is okay to do?

Whatever the case, this experience taught me a lot about how the world is viewing marriage more and more. There have always been marriages of convenience and some out of love. There have been marriages out of lust and out of obligation. These types of marriages still exist. But, as a Christian, our marriages should look different, but we must keep in mind that outside people will not always understand or respect that. As a wife, I see more and more the necessity of putting away selfishness. This isn’t the same as not taking care of yourself, but it is focused on not trying to be about yourself when you enter marriage. If you still want to “do you”, then reconsider getting married. If you don’t find marriage honorable or find being a wife distinguishable and virtuous, then reconsider. If having a wonderful and great marriage where you are living in love with your spouse everyday is not your primary ambition, then what’s the point of getting married?

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