A few weeks ago, I went out with a team for our brothel ministry. Basically, it’s a group of us girls who go on outreach a few times a month to different brothels in our city. Brothels are legal here, and we have a heart for the girls working in the industry. So we take them gifts and hang out with them once a month, often getting the opportunity to pray for them and see God move. It’s such a cool ministry, and I am so glad I get to be a part of it.
In the first place we went, though, I was about to leave and one of the girls had asked me a question, to which I replied “I am married.” Her face quickly contorted into a sour scowl as if I’d just told her I like to eat cow poo or something.
“Is marriage really as terrible as everyone says it is?” she asked me.
It was obvious that this girl had a very bad taste for marriage in her mouth, although I didn’t have the opportunity to really dig in and find out why.
I quickly responded to her question with an upbeat tone and told her how awesome I thought marriage was. I told her that I love being married to my best friend, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
I think she was pretty shocked to see another girl, probably only 4-5 years older than her, have a positive view of marriage. In fact, I don’t think she’d ever heard anyone say anything positive about marriage.
Unfortunately, visiting women that work in this industry, it’s a common perspective. Not only do many of them scoff at the mere idea of marriage, many see it as a “flexible” union and some even believe that their services are actually “saving marriages.”
I don’t want to get into those perspectives except to say that marriage is a good thing. Unfortunately in western culture today, marriage is so watered down. For a girl that screams, “I want to get married,” often if you really got down to (and searched her Pinterest boards), what she really wants is to have a wedding. Celebrities marry and divorce over and over again, as flippantly as getting together and breaking up. No wonder people don’t like the idea of marriage anymore.
I may still be a “newlywed” in some people’s minds, but I think marriage is a great thing. Not just because I love being married myself, but because I have seen marriage work and I’ve seen it be beautiful and really display the fullness of God.
Recently, I saw a post on Facebook that had gone viral. It was about a 96-year-old man named Fred who had recently lost his wife. He entered a song-writing contest with the lyrics to a song about his wife. I watched this video about his story one day during my lunch break, and I cried. I cried because of his loss – they had been married for 73 years when she died – but also because of the beauty of such a lengthy commitment. Stories like this need to be applauded and shouted from the rooftops. Commitment, perseverance – it’s possible. It’s hard work, but it’s possible.