Saturday, May 26, 2007

Am I Anti-Government?

Hmmm, I don't think so. I'm just anti-anything dishonest and seeking to replace the authority of Yahweh. While government has its place, it's place is NOT to replace the Most High!

On the topic of marriage, many have asked me what I have against it. Nothing...absolutely nothing. I love marriage! I believe it to be Yahweh's plan for man and woman so that we can enjoy companionship, birth children, raise families and create functioning societies. I am 100%, without a doubt PRO-marriage.

Okay, so then the question comes down to, "Well, why not just get legally married?" Originally, at the right time, that was my (our) plan. However, as that plan didn't gel as smoothly as most do, I began to experience a lot of anxiety due to outside pressure to hurry and make it happen.

Wait, I need to backtrack a little...

A little background for ya:

My mother has been married and divorced twice, my father has been married and divorced three times. All of my immediate family is also divorced (some twice). My best friend is divorced, my other ace boon coon is divorced and besides one couple I know (who have multiple previous marriages between them), I don't know a single happily married couple amongst my peers. I'm not saying it's not possible, just that I don't have a whole lotta role models here.

Mr. Free's mom has been married and divorced once and his father's been married once, widowed once and hopes to marry a third time in the future.

Mr. Free's grandparents have been married forever, but mostly everyone else in his immediate family has been divorced, most are now single, but several are on second marriages. Out of all of his siblings, one was married for less than 2 years and the other recently married a couple of years ago (at over 40...not that anything is wrong with that and their marriage appears to be quite strong, but it took a looooong time for this particular sibling to figure it all out and find the right person too).

Where I come from, marriage isn't a huge deal. It's not uncommon for people to live together, have children, break up and move on to the next relationship. Some marry, some don't, but all end up ending their relationships eventually, so...again...marriage was never a huge deal.

So, when Mr. Free and I first began dating (a looooong time ago!), marriage wasn't an wasn't a question and it wasn't a requirement. Actually, that's not entirely true, because Mr. Free comes from a very religious, very conservative family (despite the divorces!) and it was instilled in him that you don't live with a woman unless you're married to her. For me, however, it wasn't even a thought and, despite his upbringing, I was able to convince Mr. Free that we could do this living together thing anyway. It's important to note that he didn't want to marry me back then, just that he didn't want to live with anyone (including me) as it went against his personal beliefs.

Okay, so we're living together and we have lots of issues (both personally/with ourselves and with each other). Despite the rough patches between us, he has been, and continues to be, a wonderful father to my now adult son (whom he began parenting when he was 2 years old). Fast forward through all of the child rearing and relationship drama and we find ourselves, years later, striving to dedicate ourselves more deeply to Our Heavenly Father and to each other. Through a series of events, we realize that marriage is a MUST if we're to stay together. We must do this thing and we must do it right!

But wait, remember that neither one of us has had a model of what marriage is and, not wanting to "just do it" like a Nike challenge (and like the rest of our divorced peers and family members), we decide we'll take our time, study what the bible teaches about marriage, read books on the subject and see if we can figure out what marriage even IS! We knew we didn't want to end up like everyone else we knew, but we also knew we had to figure it out and get right.

Okay, so we started studying and planning and though our understanding was increased, through a few personal trials (not with each other...just life in general), we decided that we'd hold off on doing the big wedding and all the legalities.

While in this holding pattern of sorts, the pressure began to mount. Funny thing about it is that, during all of the years when we were doing the whole living in sin thing, people close to us suggested marriage, but they didn't push the issue. But now that we'd decided on celibacy and we'd decided that we did need to step back, examine ourselves, our relationship (and our individual relationships with Christ), the pressure was on. To me, it felt like we were accepted when we behaved as sinners, but were rejected now that we were trying to do right, but taking our time and our pace in doing so.

The great thing is that, during this time, our relationship also blossomed as never before. I mean, we truly grew by leaps and bounds as a couple. We had both resolved in our hearts and to each other that we would be together forever and that nothing or no one but God would come between us (in all of our prior years together, we'd never made that kind of commitment). Now, however, our relationship was super strong from the inside, but treated very disdainfully by some very religious folk on the outside. Why? Because we didn't have that piece of paper called a marriage certificate. We could be as commited to God and one another as we thought, but without that legal contract, I discovered few who respected us (though they still loved us...important to note, cuz it's true). Still, pressure, pressure, PRESSURE!

Now, Mr. Free isn't one to care what others think, but I was quite troubled by it all.

So, I began to think and pray and study and question and learned more than I bargained for. That's right, I said "more than I bargained for", because since you can't unlearn a thing, I found myself in a quandry with all of the information I'd gathered. Now, in good conscience, knowing how marriage licensing came to be and knowing what a marriage certificate stands for and knowing what the bible says about marriage...I can't see myself entering into such an arrangement. I love Mr. Free's dirty drawers, but I believe that Yahweh put us in this holding pattern, so that we could learn this lesson and not enter into an agreement that places the state of XYZ at the head of our marriage in place of Him! I still don't know if that was Him speaking to me when I heard that whisper, "They are worshiping a false god", but with the way people believe that a marriage can't exist between Yahweh and man, alone, but that it MUST include the state, it's not hard to imagine that they just may be worshiping a false one!

So, now when people ask me, "Why not just get legally married?" I ask, "Why should I?"

Really, why?

Mr. Free still isn't entirely convinced of this...I mean, he sees where I'm coming from, but that traditional background is hard to let go of, I guess. I understand that and I respect that, but I don't see myself changing my mind anytime soon (or later).

I do know that I love him and I do know that I honor him as my husband (even sans certificate) and some days I do want a ceremony (and some days I don't), but the big issue now is that I don't want a LEGAL, state governed marriage!

So, we'll just have to see...

Take it easy,


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