There have been some articles such as 10 Women Christian Men Should Not Marry, which basically give a list of certain beliefs and character flaws that are supposed to disqualify someone from being considered for marriage. But that’s kind of negative, don’t you think? Why not write an article about who you should marry? Some people have already written great satirical responses, and I can’t resist adding my voice.
A person’s positive traits should stand out above the negative. If you’re focusing on reasons to not associate with people (whether dating, marriage, or just friendship), you will inevitably find things to dislike about them. And people who do that are the ones who, in my experience, destroy relationships and add a whole lot more misery to the world. Most problems that people consider incompatibility are no more than annoyances that should be insignificant if you actually love the person. So what if one of you likes planning out the future six months in advance, and the other likes taking life as it comes? The one who likes planning can plan all they want, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not like one of you is experiencing life six months in the future. You both live in the present.
So here are my ten traits of someone you should marry if you are a human who wants to get married:
1: They are human. This seems obvious, but there have been a few people who married animals or inanimate objects. Not saying you can’t marry animals or inanimate objects, they just aren’t ideal.
2: They are alive. Marrying dead people is legally iffy and honestly kind of gross, especially if their corpse is involved. You should find someone who is alive. The experience is much more interactive.
3: They want to marry you. It’s generally considered rude to marry someone without their permission, and depending on where you live, may also be impossible.
4: They aren’t a close relative. Beyond being illegal in most places, marrying a cousin or brother or sister or aunt or uncle can cause all sorts of problems. I mean, just look how Joffrey Baratheon turned out.
5: They want kids or they don’t want kids. Really, if you two either both want kids, or both don’t want kids, or even if one of you doesn’t and the other kinda does but is okay with not having them…go for it. The important thing is to be okay with the desires of the other person. This goes for many other preferences like frequency of sex, urban or rural living, etc. You don’t have to match perfectly. You just have to love the person more than your own preferences and desires.
6: They love you as you are, and you love them as they are. It’s pretty important to love someone as they are currently, rather than some past or future version of them. You don’t get to live with someone’s past or future self. All you get is the present, with all its flaws and brokenness. Love them in the present, because it’s where you will spend eternity.
7: They respect you even when disagreeing. You don’t want to spend your life with someone who doesn’t respect you. Disagreement is not the issue, it’s how you deal with it. People with differing political beliefs and religions can have great lives together. Again it comes down to loving the person more than your own opinions.
8: They don’t try to manipulate or force you into anything. Complementarians often think that it’s impossible to have a successful relationship with someone if neither of them is in charge of the other, but that’s a childish view of relationships. You’re an adult…at least I hope you are if you’re getting married. Adults should do things like talking about problems, and empathizing, and realizing they can’t always insist on getting their way. At times it may seem like a delicate balance, at times it may be frustrating, but the back-and-forth of compromise has to happen.
9: They are honest and they trust you. Trust is as important as love. You can love someone you don’t trust, or trust someone you don’t love, but you can’t build a strong relationship with someone if you never know whether or not their words are true. Make yourself a trustworthy person. Don’t lie, even if it seems like a small matter, and don’t hide anything unless it’s a special surprise for their birthday or an anniversary or a random romantic evening.
10: Me. You should marry me, because I would like to be married and I’m kind of lonely. I’m not hard to take care of, just make sure I have enough hugs and a steady supply of trust. I also like chocolate but it’s not a requirement. Now accepting applications!
Finally, here are a couple traits of people you probably shouldn’t marry, because why not throw in a little negativity to spice things up?
1: Someone who is a patriarchal control freak who thinks you should submit to his authority and follow advice given by people like the author of the article I linked in the first paragraph.
2: Someone who wants you to change your basic nature in order to fit into a stereotypical gender role that you really don’t belong in.
And because I want to keep writing, I suppose I’ll respond to some of the points in that original article and its brother. Here are some traits of people he says Christians shouldn’t marry:
1: The unbeliever. Well, it’s understandable if you don’t want to marry someone outside of your religion, but maybe not everyone feels that way? And don’t forget that to them, you might be the unbeliever. Everyone’s an unbeliever in some way.
2: Someone older (if a woman) or younger (if a man) than you. Apparently there’s a higher chance of divorce if your ages are farther apart? You know, there’s a higher chance of divorce if you get married. Better stay single.
3: Someone who’s been divorced. The only exceptions given are if the divorce is because of adultery, or if one of the people becomes a Christian and the other one walks out on them because of it. No exception given for abuse. I bet this is one of those pastors who advises abused women to stay with their husbands and try to love them into being better people.
4: A feminist. Oh yes, you really want to stay away from people who believe in social and legal equality for all genders. Can’t have them disrupting your little kingdom or taking away your power over them.
5: Someone who doesn’t try to make other people believe the same things he does. Apparently if you don’t believe there’s a place of eternal torment, you aren’t a Christian. And if you don’t tell people about how doomed they are because they believe differently, then you still aren’t a Christian.
6: Someone who doesn’t want children. Obviously, we should not allow geriatric widows or widowers to fall in love at the nursing home and get married.
7: Someone who likes traveling. Girls who like traveling aren’t as likely to stay home and obey you.
Yeah. I think that’s enough. Now, go make love instead of war.