A friend’s son called me recently and asked me for some advice, he’s getting married in two weeks, he’s only 19. I know, such a tender age to go off into the field of conflict. But in this case, ignorance really is bliss.
I laugh at his naivety because no book, magazine, counseling session or marriage encounter weekend will ever prepare him for the real thing. It’s like when a woman asks another woman, what’s child birth like? Oh, (pause) it’s like passing a bowling ball! Okay, sorry I asked.
Son, you’re entering this event with all the confidence of a first-time bull fighter without his red cape. While your knees knock together, excitedly hope for the best.
For me, I have laid down my marital weaponry. My marriage is a masterpiece that is not complete. Well masterpiece is a bit vain, paint by number actually is more like it. It seems I’m trying to put my life together with muted colors in all the oddest places. But I’m confident one day I will see the whole picture without embarrassing myself too much in the process.
This young man’s marriage question reminded me of a story I heard. One day a young woman came home and before her mother could say hello, the daughter fell sobbing into her mother’s arms. When the mother got her daughter to calm down she asked, “What’s wrong dear, why the tears?” The daughter overcome with emotion said, “Church is important to me, I just found out my fiancé is an atheist. He doesn’t believe in heaven or hell. Now I’m not sure whether I should marry him.” Soothing her daughter’s fears she said, “Go ahead, marry him. In six months we’ll show him they’re real. And between the two of us, we’ll show him the difference between the two.”
As I read the “Good Book” to find marriage advice, I’m always drawn to an individual who is recognized as the smartest man in the world, King Solomon. He had a lot of counsel on the subject of marriage, and why not? He had more than 1200 wives. So what’s the biggest drawback in having 1200 wives? 1200 mother-in-laws under the same roof!
While I am impressed with Solomon’s credentials, I think I’ll skip giving his advice to my young friend getting married. I’ll just give him my favorite coffee mug instead. It reads, “Happiness is finding your mother-in-laws picture on a milk carton!” Some things are best figuring out on your own.