However the reason for this post is not to just share my condolences but to talk about the way in which I came to hear of this story. Someone somewhere wrote about this story and understandably tied the tragedy in with "marriage people". I understand the intention and stemming from reports that this particular marriage had had a history of violence and physical abuse, I get it. Nonetheless, my reaction is to say wait a minute, not all marriage is bad. It saddens me to see something that enriches my life so much is the subject of hurt, pain, and in this case death for someone else. It is not marriage that caused this tragedy, it is uncontrollable anger. It is our societal policy of "need-to-know". Our dogmatic attitudes. Our penchance to revel in secrecy. Don't ask, don't tell. All these things are not planted solely in a marriage, they can be planted in any relationship we find ourselves in. So whether in platonic, business, or romantic relationships I think it's important we always check that we are staying true to who we are and be that person unapologetically.
I wanted to defend marriage today. It is an institution made up of two individuals. Sometimes despite our best efforts the other person just refuses to change, or to grow together. Sometimes despite our best intentions we just don't know what to do or where to go. Or worse still, we realize all too late that we've made an error. We're all human beings and are prone to making judgements in error. However, when God's grace does shine and you're lucky enough to tie yourself to the partner God provides for you, then it can be sweet, and loving, and challenging, and warm. I've heard some ladies say, "80% of married women settled [for less that is]" I'm a married woman and I settled for honesty, kindness, self-control, thoughtfulness, and sense of responsibility. That's what I settled for. If we really all sit down and decide for ourselves what it is that we want to settle for, and let it be positive non-physical attributes, then we're a good way to forming a partnership with someone who's stable, kind-hearted, and has respect for self-control.
This post is not to say "you can avoid a physically abusive relationship", no, but to say that because it IS possible to have a sweet loving and kind marriage, we should really all think about what qualities have to be present in both parties to have this and don't settle for less than those. Be aware that bad things to do happen, and no one is immune. Fortify yourself. But remember that good things can happen as well, and can happen for you. Prepare yourself.