If you marry yourself, do you have to get a divorce to marry someone else later? 

Alexandra Gill tells why she is marrying herself, along with six other women who are doing the same:
"a celebration of womanhood and a toast to our independence.... In our minds, it is essential to find happiness and fulfilment on your own before committing to another." 
This absolutely begs for commentary, some of it in the category of easy pickings. The most obvious, which I will not spend much time on, is that it's another example of the slippery slope from the homosexuals' drive to re-define marriage. Gill wrote: 
"We are not opposed to the institution of marriage or trying to make a mockery of it. But let's face it. Traditions are changing -- for the better.... We are fortunate for the opportunity, which many of our mothers never had, to live life to the fullest and not feel compelled to define ourselves by a man. But let's not get too serious. For the most part, this is also a good excuse to throw a fabulous party." 
Note the trivialization of a once-sacred ceremony. But I have a different question to pursue. If one of these women decides later to marry a man, will she have to divorce herself first? In a very practical sense, the answer is yes. 

Thankfully this is (for now, at least) not a legal issue. Symbolically, though, this is a powerful solemnization of self-centeredness. This is exactly what marriage was never meant to be.

Marriage is most successful when it is more about the other than about the self. Real marriage is about mutual self-sacrifice, about finding the joy in giving that is far deeper than what comes from seeking one's own. The Bible tells men to lay down their lives for their wives as Christ did for the church. It says,

"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

Marriage is an antidote to self. (Raising children is a multiplied dose of the same.) As such it is increasingly counter-cultural, which is one of the reasons it needs defending so vigorously. You can research the tenor of our culture in a moment at a supermarket checkout stand. Scan the magazine covers there and observe how often the word "you" is used. "You can have better sex!" "How you can make more in investments." "Doctors; mistakes put you at risk!" This is not a sign of editors' caring for you. It's the result of research that shows they sell more magazines by getting us to focus on ourselves.

Nothing could be more foreign to Christ's call to love one another, to give ourselves up for one another, to find our life by not seeking it. Ms. Gill believes "it is essential to find happiness and fulfillment on your own before committing to another." Jesus Christ says the one who seeks his own life will lose it.

So it's unlikely these women could live happily in a real marriage, without divorcing themselves from what they are entering now. And without a change of heart, even on their own, they are not destined to live Happily Ever After. 

Posted: Fri - June 23, 2006 at 07:14 AM           |

© 2004-2007 by Tom Gilson. Permission is granted to quote up to two paragraphs of any blog entry, provided that a link back to the original is included or (in print) the website address is provided. Please email me regarding longer quotes. All other rights reserved.

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