Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Arranged Marriage

Hey everyone. So a couple people have e-mailed us about the differences between the Western view of marriage (getting married for love) versus the way many other cultures view marriage (arranged, or spouse chosen by family members).

What does everyone think about arranged marriages? In many other cultures...family members chose your spouse or you go to a matchmaker. In the Middle East many marriages are made to benefit the financial standing of the family or clan. This is really, really different than what we in America and Europe are used to. It often sounds/feels barbaric and backwards. But if you look at marriage statistics....cultures that have arranged marriages have a significantly smaller divorce rate. Something to think about.

Part of my family is from India...through marriage, not blood as anyone can tell by looking at my white skin and freckles! But when you marry into an Indian family you become part of the entire shebang :) And thus I grew up going to many Indian weddings, gatherings, and baptisms. I have been to two extended family member's weddings that have been arranged marriages. And in my experience...the man chose to have his parents arrange a marriage for him. He could have married "for love" if he wanted, but he wanted his parents to choose. And both marriages, to my knowledge, have worked out. They were committed to each other, learned to get to know each other and learned to love. So I have experienced arranged marriage in a positive sense.

A friend of our is also Indian and he shared that he has seen many arranged marriages stay together simply because it would be shameful to get divorced. So sometimes, it does not work out so well. Sometimes there is NOT love and respect, but there is commitment. Is that good? My opinion is no. What do you all think?

Another couple that are friends of ours, are overseas and shared this quote about arranged marriages:

"My main thought is that marriage has never until recently been this romantic love affair. When Christ calls us his bride he isn't thinking of the big white dress and fancy ceremony; marriage was a uniting of two people and families for life. It is celebrated because it is a life changing matter. Treating your spouse with respect, love, and value is what Christ preached not making someone feel good and happy. Somehow we have taken marriage to equal happiness and infatuation when it used to equal commitment and service. Happiness and infatuation are not requirements of a godly marriage. Maybe joy and love, but those are light years away from what America thinks is important today. [People in arranged marriages] learn to love someone rather than thinking they should be made happy by someone. They have such a beautiful mentality on marriage, I think it could really benefit Americans to take a different perspective on the entire arrangement"

So what do you all think? Post a comment below and lets have some discussion!

-Melissa

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Our goal of this blog is to share stories (both good and bad), thoughts and insights about our marriage and we would love for you to jump into the conversation.

The goal is to provide three things:
1) HOPE for struggling couples that they are not alone.
2) GROWTH in our marriages and our understanding of marriage.
3) ENCOURAGEMENT to keep loving your spouse unconditionally.