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Conversation With a Young Friend on Marriage

Can I ask you, “where do you hope to see yourself in say twenty years?”

I dunno. House, wife, kids, car..you know, established, happy.

Can I be honest with you? Based on what I see right now, you are not headed that direction.

*resistance*

Look, I’m not trying to insult you. But please give me a chance to explain. Let’s start with relationships. Can you help me out here? When was the first time you had a girlfriend?

The FIRST time? Well, it depends what you mean…*smirk* but I guess maybe 12. That was…

I don’t want to have names. I grew up here too. Use Disney princess names if you want. So tell me, how long did you date ‘Jasmine’ for?

Well, we were just kids. It lasted for about two months, off and on. 

And who was fortunate enough to be next?

Jan..um…Snow White when I was 13.

And how long was that relationship?

Well, about six months. 

And then?

Well, some in-between…

The next solid relationship? And how long did you date?

Ariel. I guess eight months. Cinderella after that for a year and a half. Then Pocahontas for about four months….etc….etc…

Okay, enough. I get the point. Now do you see what I have been drawing here? Up here on the upper right is where you want to be in twenty years. A steady wife, a solid relationship, a good family. That doesn’t happen in six months. It takes time – years and years – of faithfulness together. That’s like this solid, ascending line I drew here. Twenty years of marriage. Is this what you want?

Definitely!

But look – here is your pattern up-til now. See how you keep going round and round like a tumble-weed that is going through these cycles, but can’t quite get off the ground? Now tell me – you have never been able to make a relationship work for more than 18 months. So what is your plan for getting from here up to here?

*blank stare*

I mean, how are you going to achieve your goal of having a good marriage and a solid family? Clearly what you have been doing is not going to get you there. What are you going to change?

I don’t know. I guess I just haven’t met the right woman yet. 

Look, you have had…what? Ten girls through your life so far. Do you really think that out of all of those girls, the problem has only been on their side?

Well, *heh* you don’t know how crazy Jasmine was…

If she was so bad, why did you start dating her in the first place?

*silence*

Look, you have told me of some of your pain from childhood, your problems trusting, etc. I think these are the real reason your relationships keep self-destructing after about nine months. Can we agree that when we get these things dealt with, your relationships will be able to last quite a bit better?

Yeah, I guess that makes sense.

But the bottom line is this: doing things your way, you have hurt and been hurt. You will not get “here,” where you want to be. Are you ready to start listening to the Bible, and considering doing things God’s way?

….and from here, the conversation would turn in other, less predictable directions….

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