What is marriage? Marriage and Design

January 9, 2009 § Leave a comment

Marriage dates back as far as Adam and Eve who became husband and wife. The bible explains that in this act of marriage the man leaves his father and mother and becomes one flesh with his wife*. I think that’s a perfect way of explaining how getting married means becoming a team or a family of your own. Previously, you were part of your parent’s nuclear family unit with your father (or mother!) at the head. In your own marriage, you are creating your own family foundations using what you’ve learned from your own parents, from your life experiences, and combining these with the learnings and experiences of your spouse. In this way, marriage takes forward-thinking and planning; it takes design, it takes creation to bring all of these ideas and beliefs together.

So, when you get married, you create a new group of people. You as a husband and wife team with your completely unique combination of personalities and life experiences, are a new family unit. Depending on how long a relationship you have had prior to getting married, some of your new family culture will have started to form of its own accord and by default. Now that you are making a commitment to setting up this new family unit that will last as long as you both are alive, you have the opportunity to step back and design for yourselves how you wish your marriage and your new family to be, rather than just letting it develop based on daily, short lived ups and downs.

When I think of design, I think of Cradle to Cradle (http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/william_mcdonough_on_cradle_to_cradle_design.html). William McDonough is just fabulous and always designs for “all the children of all species for all time”. In this talk linked above he mentions the tragedy of global warming being the result of having no plan – the result is that global warming is the default plan. I think the same ideas can be applied in marriage – designing a marriage with your potential children, their friends and their contemporaries in mind will go a long way towards avoiding a default design “tragedy”.

* GEN 2:24


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