Happily Ever After

It was a nice day for a wedding. Tiered cake decorated to match bridesmaid dresses, sweet mystery punch that you pour with a ladle, a gazebo trimmed with greens for pictures to last a lifetime, and a glowing bride in a dress that she loved- check, check, check and check.

During the ceremony, the pastor talked about “4 C’s” that every (healthy) marriage thrives on: communication, caress, compromise, and Christ.

As the 3rd ‘C’ was announced to an audience of mostly married people, I wondered, how does this translate from culture to culture. What about the women in Africa carrying water back and forth from the well to their kitchen- do they talk to their husbands about compromise?

There are things that we say and do that help us belong to a culture. I grew up idolizing marriage and pretending I was one of my Barbie dolls who eternally walked on tippy toes and had a wardrobe of neon trend setting clothes. Someday I would meet plastic haired perfect Ken.

I met real haired Brandon. Planning the wedding was traumatic. It didn’t take me long to realize that society and I had different ideas of what a wedding should be. I lived in dissidence for the 9 month wedding planning process and no amount of fairy dust would turn me into the princess I once thought I would love.

What happens when cultural norms and personal traits collide?

Have we Amercianized marriage to the point of no return? What are the “4 C’s” for a person in Russia, in China, in Zambia, in other parts of the world? Is all marriage created equal?


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