Love, Marriage, & Responsiblity Essay, Research Paper
Love, Marriage, and Responsibility
Love, Marriage, and Responsibility, are three words that have very strong meanings, regardless of if they are used collectively, or separately. In this paper I will discuss these topics both individually, and in relation to each other, as well as look at these issues from both a male and female perspective. All the views that I will express in this paper are my own thoughts and feelings, and are based on personal experiences and research that I have done. In addition, any references that I make about religion and the church are based on my beliefs as a Christian.
First, I will discuss love. What is love? Webster’s Dictionary defines love as ‘strong affection’. I consider this to be a very accurate definition of love. But I feel that there are two forms of love. First we have love for family, such as our parents, grandparents, and siblings. I consider this to be natural love. Love that cannot be explained, because it is just supposed to be. For example my family has been there for me since birth, and I love them for that. It is natural for me to have strong affection for the people that I have grown with, from birth to the stage that I am at now.
The other form of love that I feel that exists is developed love. This is the type of love that usually occurs between friends and people who are in an intimate relationship. While this type of love does develop over a given time, it is not love that has to happen. While a person will only have one mother, and he or she will love their mother no matter what, this same feeling may not occur between friends. One does not have to love a person because he or she says they are friends. One does not have to love a person because he or she says that they are boyfriend and girlfriend either. This love has to develop between two people over a given time. One cannot approximate how long it will take to feel love for a person (especially since everyone has their own definition of love). Usually when a person feels that there are enough qualities in a person that are admirable and likeable, and that this person will be there from him or her no matter what the situation may be, then they have developed love for that person. While I feel that developed love and natural love are two different things, I feel that one can developed love for a person, which is just as strong as natural love they have another person.
Next I will discuss marriage. Marriage is the union of two people into one being. In the eyes of the law, married couples can be held responsible for the actions of his or her spouse. Married couples can also be held accountable for any harm done to his or her spouse. In the eyes of the church, marriage is the merging of two souls into one. This has similar meaning to the eyes of the law, where married couples are responsible for the well being of each other. Through the eyes of the church, married couples are supposed to share love, life, and responsibility for each other no matter what, till death do they part. In the eyes of both of these entities, couples should be in love, before they decide to make the decision of getting married.
With that said, I want to raise the issue of why more and more couple are getting married, without loving each other first. In today’s society, it seems that love is becoming a secondary reason for marriage. It seems as if there are a lot of reasons that people are getting married today, which are morally wrong. Today we have young people who are getting married because they irresponsibly created a child, and they feel that the only way they will both be there to care for the child is they get married, which forces both the male and the female to be there for the child. Usually these marriages will not work, because the couple will eventually realize that they forced themselves to be together, when there was no love to naturally be together. This scenario may also hurt the child that they have because if the parents do not love each other, than usually the child will be neglected, and instead of being received as a gift of God, this child will considered more of a responsibility and a burden.
There are other reasons that people are getting married without being in love. One of these reasons is money. People are marrying today because one person in the couple can insure that the other person will be financially secure throughout their life. Usually in these situations, the person who is looking for the security pretends to love the person with money, while the person with the money is in love.
Then we have couples that get married for public appearance. These are usually people who are in the public spotlight, and would like to improve their appearance by getting married and raising a family. People that usually get married for this reason are politicians, sports figures, movie stars, etc. Then we have marriages that are arranged. There are usually two reasons that marriages are arranged. One reason is that parents only want their children to marry people who are in their same social class. This usually occurs in upper class families, and in most of these cases, these marriages will not be successful do to the fact that these marriage were not out of love, but out of the need to keep social classes together. Then we have marriages that are arranged so one person in the couple may continue to live in a certain country. Immigration has increased drastically in the United States, and one way for immigrants to gain U.S. citizenship, is to marry a U.S. citizen. Usually the immigrant will pay a citizen a certain amount of money for the marriage, and after the immigrant gains citizenship, the marriage will be annulled. In this case, just like the others that I have stated thus far, these marriages will fail because the reason people are getting married are morally wrong.
I feel that all of these reasons for marriage are wrong. The primary reason people should get married is because they are in love. However, I feel that there are other factors that should be taken into account before a couple decides to get married. The couple should be prepared for the responsibilities that marriage brings along. Is the couple ready to spend the rest of their lives with each other? There are people who are in love with only one person, but they still have a tendency to not be loyal, and have relations with other people. If one is not ready to give up this lifestyle, than they are not ready for marriage. Another factor is, does the couple know each other well enough? It may sound silly asking this question if the couple is supposed to be in love, but there are cases where couples are in love with only what they know about each other, and there may be things that they might not like about each other, but they have not realized it yet. Couples should know everything about each other before they get married. That includes all of the positive and negative aspects of one another, as well as all positive and negative events that occurred in each other’s lives. For this reason, I feel that people should live together before getting married. This way they get to know all about their fianc?e, and there will be no surprises when the couple finally does get married. When the couple finally does get married, however, I feel that the couple should always be able to communicate with each other. Communication is the key to a successful marriage, and if the lines of communication are closed, the marriage will fail. When a couple can communicate well with each other, than they can discuss all of their problems, concerns, pleasures, and future plans, without any reservations, and they marriage will be successful.
Now I would like to discuss the responsibilities of married couples. When a couple accepts their wedding vows, they agree to certain responsibilities that are stated in their vows. They also accept even more responsibilities which may not have been set forth in their vows. These responsibilities may change as time and need go on, but nonetheless they still exist. Couples are supposed to love, respect and cherish their marriage, throughout their marriage, as well as protect each other, improve upon each other’s faults, and help each other to raise a good family.
A man’s responsibilities many years ago was to protect, this wife and children, as well as go out and find ways to provide food and shelter for his family, while his wife’s responsibilities were to stay home, and maintain a nice household, and raise children. Now that we have entered the stage of the “90’s Woman”, the responsibilities of men and women in relationships have changed. Yes men are still expected to provide for and protect their families, but it is now the norm for men and women to share responsibilities. It is now the norm to have both men and women out in the work world, providing for each other, as well as having both men and women caring for the house, and raising children. Everything in marriages has now become a fifty/fifty partnership. In an age where one income may not be enough to provide for a family, men and women usually have jobs, and find ways to take care of their children and homes as well. It is common to see a mother taking her children to school in the morning on her way to work, and the father picking the children up from school on his way home from work. It is also common to see men and women sharing responsibilities such as paying bills. The man may pay the mortgage, electricity, and telephone bills, while the woman will pay the insurance, water, and cable bills.
Gone are the days where there are male responsibilities, and female responsibilities, in a marriage. Yes, only a man can teach his son how to be a man, just as only a woman can teach her daughter how to be a woman. But it is not uncommon for a woman to be her son’s baseball coach, nor is it uncommon for a man to be the biggest fan of his daughter’s dance ensemble. No longer do women have to sit home and cook and clean while the men go out and raise money. Now the only responsibilities for men and women in a marriage are to make sure they love each other, they care for each other, and to make sure that both parties are putting forth 100% effort to make sure that their family, and their relationship is a success.
One might wonder how I can right a paper on Love, Marriage, and Responsibility, and I am a single, college freshman. Well the answer is simple. I have learned from parents. I see how they relate to each other, and how they relate to me. I see the role that my father plays as well as the role that my mother plays. I watch as my mother writes a check to pay the mortgage, and my father writes a check to pay the insurance bill. I watch my mother in the stands at my basketball games, and I see the Sunday dinner that my father prepares after we arrive home from church. I see how they have loved, and provided for my two brothers and myself throughout our lives. Most importantly, I see the love that has grown between my parents over their eighteen years of marriage, this same love that will continue between my parents till death do they part. So if one still wants to ask the question of how I can write a paper on this topic, the answer is rather simple; it’s due to experience.
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