Posted by: grantahelms | January 4, 2012

Look Out…I’m Jumping On The Bandwagon!

” What bandwagon are you talking about?”

I’m talking about the LOVE bandwagon. Yeah, I know, what do I understand about love? I am a guy after all! I mean the only anniversaries that most guys remember are: The first day of hunting season, the first day of football season, the opening race of Nascar and the day they need to renew their fishing license. Other than that, zip, zilch, nota! If it doesn’t have to with our big screen, our tools, our vehicles or anything else that pertains to me…YOU CAN HANG IT UP!!!!!!

Well, I guess that makes me 1 in a million. For that, I can thank my parents. If it wasn’t for positive, MARRIED role models, Lord knows what I could have turned out like. In September of 2011, they celebrated 58 years of wedded bliss. Yeah right! Wedded bliss is a little far-fetched, don’t you think? I mean come on, Dad was enlisted during the Korean War, started driving a truck long-haul after this, in the process 4 children were born and my Mom was left raising them by herself. Then between deaths, convict sons, crazy daughters having children to young, trying to operate 2 different corporations and the stress of constant separation, I think we could call it something other than wedded bliss. However all this has given ME a great attitude toward love and commitment. Somehow, they stuck it out. Today I made a comment on a friends blog (http://mommasmoneymatters.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/tt1-marriage-vows-love/) about marriages being like farming.

” I don’t know why people think marriages are any different from farming. First, you have to clear the trees. Then dig up the stumps. Man I’m tired! Now , on to the easy stuff, plowing, planting, fertilizing, watering, weeding and letting it grow. Then, eventually, when your children get married, you harvest and receive the fruits of your labor; Grandchildren! Isn’t that simple? Not when your living it! That is the reason that we constantly have to fertilize, water and weed. If not, the marriage,and essentially the LOVE, will wither and die.”

Now I would like to expound on these principles. Clearing the trees is culling through all potential candidates to find ” The One”. Digging the stumps is sorting through the insecurities , pains and trust issues that you both have, and working them out. Plowing the field is representative of turning over the new life, Marriage. Planting, well I think we all know what that means(sex). Fertilizing, watering and weeding all pertain to the process of loving, nurturing, caring for, teaching, feeding, admonishing, etc. And this doesn’t just mean the children! You must do these things for each other also. Then sit back and watch it grow. With a little TLC, this can be a beautiful farm. But you have to work TOGETHER!!! Maybe not 50/50, but together.

What do you think? Is it still possible in today’s secular culture to have the same kind of marriages that our ancestors had?

Is it wrong for two people who have”fallen out of love” to stay together “for the children”?

What other things can you use for metaphorical or assimilative descriptions of marriage?

 

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Responses

  1. Yes, it is still possible if people are willing to stay true to what they have committed to. Love has far more involved than simple feeling. Emotions will fail us. There are times when family members irritate me and I them. I still love them and they love me.

    What I am getting at is that I don’t think that someone really falls out of love, in my opinion. You may go through a rough patch or some conflict, but those things can be navigated. — hope I am making sense, it has been a long day

    • Thanks again Derek. Yes, I understand where you’re coming from. Some call me old-fashioned but, I think if you fall out of love, you were never really in love. Another common metaphor for me is comparing marriages to trees. Many, like the pine tree, are rooted firmly in the ground but they only have a main tap and a few smaller ground covering roots. The smaller roots are symbolic of family and friends. These trees grow very fast but are soft inside. When the storms of life assail, many who do not have a big enough tap root( marital/love foundation) begin to break free in the wind. Because of the small network of family and friends, the tree comes completely out of the ground, roots and all. Then you have the ones with big enough tap roots to hold them secure, but being soft inside, when the winds assail they break at the weakest part of the trunk. Then, you have the mighty oak. This tree has a superior network of friends and family to keep it firmly rooted. The trunk is made of hardwood, which is very strong and resistant to the storms. Finally, you have many branches(offspring) to shade the trunk in latter years and to aid in the production of seeds. Hope this doesn’t read like another post. God Bless You Friend, Grant

      • This looks a lot like our spiritual lives as well. Without a sure foundation, the wind just knocks you over.

  2. First let me say what a great blog Grant. No I do not believe that marriage can be the same as our ancestors only because people are not as faithful as they we back then. Mainly because they are not truthful or honest with themselves so how could they be honest with any body else.

    I, believe that if two people have fallen out of love, and wish to stay together for the children then that is their choice. But they shouldn’t have to stay together if they choose not to, just because of the children either. Why make the situation worse than it already is.

  3. Yes, I think people can still have a marriage that our ancestors had. As long as the couple works hard at their marriage.

    The stress between the couple is high and upsets the whole house, even if they are trying not to show things or tell the children that things are over between the parents.No, it is not good to stay together just for the children. I have seen the pain and the stress and felt the stress by experience. It is not a good feeling growing up.

    Good blog babe. Love you

    • Thanks for the comment Honey! I understand from our conversations the pain that your child-hood has caused. And as I’ve said before, and I say publicly now, you are not to blame! The problems between your parents, were/are their problems. Unfortunately, they took their toll on you and your siblings. Thank you for standing by me and supporting me so that WE can be a shining example to our children. LOVE ALWAYS, Grant

  4. Thanks Jim. I know that some will take this the wrong way, but I agree that we can’t be the same as our ancestors either. Prior to the 1940’s, if someone wanted to eat, they either worked for it or stole it. No food stamps, no welfare, no AFDC, no child support and no Social Security. About this point in time, my father, as a young boy, had to carry water about a 10th of a mile, go to the outhouse, work the garden and was learning how to work the mule and plow in the fields. Their nearest neighbor was 1/4 mile away. They had Bible study every night at home and the only “outside contact” was on Sundays. First church, then the world news over the radio. Who had time for affairs, indiscretions or otherwise inappropriate manners.And back then, Christianity wasn’t as forgiving or jaded as today. God Bless You, Grant

  5. We can have the marriage of our ancestors, but in some ways, why would we want to? I agree with Derek that depending on emotional ‘love’ won’t get people very far. You have to have that commitment to keep you going when the times are tough. Many are not willing to wait those periods out and find the joy and real love that comes through weathering them.

    One thing I have learned is that love can be rebuilt, even after things like affairs…., if both couples work at it. We tend to lose that thing we do when we’re trying to win the other and start taking them and the marriage and love for granted. We start treating others better than we treat our spouse…. That’s one reason I love the movie “Fireproof” (Love Dare). It is possible if you go back and begin to rebuild. It’s even better if you keep building throughout the marriage. I have been guilty of taking it for granted. There go those intentions again – you mean to, but life gets busy and it just slips away.

    The main problem today (aside from people not wanting to follow God’s laws) is that it’s so easy any more to walk away. The societal mores have grown more and more lax and our younger people have no clue. Sad and something we should deal with in our churches…

    Hmmmm, that became somewhat of a sermon lol. You got me thinking! Anyway, well expressed or not, that is my opinion. I’m glad you decided to jump on the band wagon.

    • Thanks again Angie. And, DON’T get used to it. I live love, but don’t talk it much. Words get in the way! I think/presume that I understand what your saying, and I agree with you(especially on the main problem paragraph). But how do we explain this to those without a religious background? As for “FIREPROOF”, awesome movie. Definite view for relational issues. God Bless You, Grant

  6. No, and not for the reason you think. There are now laws against it, at least in the US. Why would I want to go back to a time when it was expected for a man to have wives and concubines, brothers-in-law marrying widows and other such socialistic behavior which meant to ensure keeping unwed women out of the tabernacle’s poor box? Then again, I am not the wallflower, doormat which is wife material of old.

    Yes, it is wrong when the two cannot be adult enough to provide a psychologically sound home as an example for the children.

    I used a credit card.

    As to the remainder of your post, my opinion: Marriage is a contract. Both parties must be willing to (and then do) stay part of the team. It is a bonding of two to act as unit in all manners, not just the ones which feel good or are fun. It requires a selflessness which necessarily means open communication, forgiveness and unconditional acceptance. In short, it is not child’s play.

    While many cultures prove this can be done without love, I find it a cold truth. For me, love in marriage is an absolute must because I am far too shallow to give 100% to something which I do not love.

    Red.

    • Thanks Red. While I agree with all of your points, especially the last one(haha), my history lesson was only within the last hundred years. Good thing they have laws. God Bless You, Grant

  7. Interesting post and questions. Let me try to answer from a true historical perspective.

    It is first necessary to define what history and whose ancestors you refer to, we don’t all fall from the same tree or have the same points of reference. The secular society your refer to has been in place in the United States since its founding with different structures in place to address the needs of societies members. The churches being only one such structure. Despite contrary beliefs the United States has never been only Christian in its make-up, many individuals never having belonged to any religious organization. Also, it is necessary to remember that prior to the Europeans this continent was populated by others, they did not subscribe to Christianity and yet formed committed relationships.

    So to you question. It is impossible to answer as you haven’t really asked a question as stated a false premise. If you mean can two people commit to each other, to love and honor each other, to care for each other, to remain faithful to each other, to provide for each other, to stand by each other and to stand up for each other. The answer is yes, of course they can. This does not require anything other than intent to behave in an ethical manner based on promises made. The commitment of partnership within marriage only requires agreement, ethics and morals; this is not the sole domain of Christianity.

    Love is fluid and changes over time. But it is wrong for two people to stay together who are unable to provide a safe and sane environment for children. That being said of course course it is wrong for partners for if they are unable to provide just such an environment.

    Marriage, as we understand it today in this nation and many others is nothing more than a contract between two consenting adults. Though many religious groups (Christian and otherwise) place great emphasis on the holiness of this state, the simple fact is it is a contract. Religious are not required and agreement to follow religious rules are not necessary to make a successful marriage. In fact many would argue such rules would detour success.

    • As always, thanks for the comment Val, Grant


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