RE-thinking Marriage


March 2015: Featured Post is featuring a thought-provoking essay that is designed to stimulate healthy dialogue and a collective resolve to seek the face of God for answers of some of the most pressing issues of our age. Your participation and feedback is very important to us and we encourage you to leave your comments, facebook or tweet this post after reading.

In my small circle of friends the conversation about the purpose of marriage is shifting. We are no longer talking about marrying just for companionship or to build a family but we recognize marriage can serve a purpose beyond one’s “nuclear family.” If one looks at marriage throughout history; marriages were not just about the two people tying the knot but there were political and economic factors that were at play when deciding who would be a suitable mate. A king or queen couldn’t marry a pauper but their mate had to come from nobility; their union was very strategic.

Now-a-days, our “please me” culture has us jumping in and out of relationships and marriages without much thought to the bigger purpose our unions could serve. At a recent conference I attended on the #BlackLivesMatter Movement, and the Black Radical Tradition, a comment was made about uniting with people (particularly in marital unions) who understood, supported, and believed in the movement. Not taking into account our life partner’s interest and investment in the causes we are passionate about could lead to tension in the home. This comment caused me to think about such activist couples like Martin and Coretta Scott King, Malcom X and Betty Shabazz, Medgar and Myrlie Evers (and countless other couples who remain nameless and unsung) whose unions served causes bigger themselves. Surely, the weight of such mantles they carried on their shoulders was no easy cross to bear, and yet they did it. Even after the deaths of their husbands, these women continued in the struggle for equality and justice; even as they grieved, raised their families and ensured their own survival.

In the Body of Christ we often think of being equally yoked as marrying others who are spiritually on the same page as us. But I think along with being spiritually connected to our partners; we must understand the purpose our marriage will serve beyond the four walls of our homes and churches. This purpose could be as radical as our fore mothers and fathers who fought for justice or it could be to model healthy relationships for those who may have never seen a successful marriage.

And, so my question to those who are already married, single women and single men who desire to be married is this: What purpose is your union serving, or what purpose will it serve? When looking for a potential spouse are you considering the implications of your union in your spheres of influence? How do you strike a balance between family-life, and serving a cause? How will the causes, and movements, you and your partner are currently involved in, make an impact on the next generation?

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