I’ve just read the words of a friend-of-a-friend on Facebook. She was buying a house and she wrote: “there’s the usual question of whether it’s Miss or Mrs – it’s Dr., thank you! ;-)” In the comments, she went on to say: “Why is it that people need to know whether I’m married or not, that doesn’t really define me as a person (where as having a PhD does”.
What do you think about her statement? I read it and thought how sad it was – sad because letters after a person’s name, or their vocation in life, do command respect. But if you don’t have a PHD, if you’re made redundant, if you become paralysed in an accident and can’t do all that you used to, does that make you less of a person? I don’t think so. “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb” – Psalm 139:13 (New Living Translation). God loves us for who we are, not for what we do, and I say this to myself as much as anyone. It can be hard to grasp that God loved us before we could do anything.
I respect people with a PHD. It’s a reward for 7 years or so of hard work, but I respect people with strong marriages too. They have a willingness to spend a lifetime with another person whose feelings they’ve got no control over, to work through problems, to put the other’s needs before their own, and sometimes to miss out on things they could have done, had they stayed single. I think being married does define you as a person of loyalty, perseverance and great strength. “Marriage should be honoured by all” – Hebrews 13:4.
Nowadays in wedding ceremonies, the congregation promise to support the couple. Is there a married couple you could show support to today?