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« Gospel Urgency | Main | Mark of the beast? »

February 25, 2008

Marriage Opens Broad New Vistas

Marriage2 Our friends at the Annie E. Casey Foundation have been referenced in a well-argued column by Patrick McIlheran in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, demonstrating once again that the family remains the best way to help diminish child poverty. A particularly good insight of his comes at the end of the piece:

Marriage skills, say those in the field, are easily taught. Talking up marriage to children is something mothers and pastors and teachers can do right now. Marrying doesn't require a federal grant.

Marriage, no matter how dented, remains the institution that societies have used for ages to create a stable, protected space for children. The underclass stands out, statistically, in eschewing it. If society's looking for some means to break the cycle of poverty, it makes sense to take up the tool readily at hand.

All true. But how to persuade more people to try marriage (after some serious time of reflection before jumping in, of course)?

After almost two years of marriage, I can't claim to be an expert by any means. But one particular experience marriage presents is the opportunity, on a daily basis, to encounter another person's view of life, and their reactions, and to see that your own ways of doing things are not at all inevitable for another person. 

That last part can be jarring at times. You work hard all your life to develop some kind of framework of how things are or supposed to be, then whammo, here comes another gale force wind from your spouse! Even when they have no intention of blowing you away, there you go, umbrella in the air, flying up into the stratosphere.

But if you like adventure, it's fun! And don't forget: you're blowing them away, too, in ways you can only begin to appreciate.

(Image © Flickr.com)

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