When my uncle was a single man, there were a lot of young women who would sashay by him hoping to get noticed. After a while, he got bothered by the fact that girls would try to get his attention without being particularly friendly or conversational, and he got the idea to rate the walk of the young ladies by him. My uncle was not a particularly generous judge, but he did give bonus points for flicking hair or having a particularly elegant walk. Since I am at least a reasonably attentive person to what is going on around me, and given that I prefer open communication because I completely lack mind-reading abilities about the intentions of other people, obviously people expect me to notice the behavior of others, and that is a very accurate interpretation. Speaking personally, I prefer to have personal conversations with others and be able to get to know them, and for them to get to know me, and then whatever develop develops.

In the days of the early czars of Moscow, whenever a prince of Moscow was single, they held a beauty pageant where the beautiful boyar (noble) daughters of good families would parade themselves in front of the prince of Moscow so that their ambitious families could have a chance to become related by marriage to the czar. This worked well for at least a century or two, until Russia was embedded well-enough in the European framework of states that they contracted marriages with other dynastic families. Nor is this behavior limited to Russian czars. There is a great deal of tension between the meat market approach of early Russia and the dynastic inbreeding of later Russia. Neither one of those systems is ideal, but as marriage is a way in which people and families (and even societies) are bound together, it is little wonder that people are so strategic about them, regardless of how they choose the same ends of embedding themselves in positions of power and influence. Of course, this attitude seems somewhat foreign to those of us who are romantically inclined and would like to marry for love, but marriage has always been about more than the passing emotions of the moment, but also about larger concerns of making sure we are as wise as possible (which is not always wise) about who we are bound to.

After all, marriage is a covenant between two individuals with God as a witness. Even those who are forbidden by law from legal marriage with its benefits in the eyes of their societies (be they slaves in antebellum America or non-citizens of the Roman empire) often sought to form lasting marriage bonds and considered themselves married even without any sort of legal blessing. People have tended to want what is bound on earth to be bound in heaven, even if God cannot necessarily be induced to support our own arrangements and legitimize our own behavior, as much as we might want that to be the case. Once we have joined in a covenant relationship with another person, we have bound ourselves to them, and barring some type of gross misconduct we are not to break it up lightly. Sadly, such misconduct is far too common, and very tragic. Even when such matters are the case, though, we need to be very cognizant of the vulnerabilities that led us to be deceived in the first place, and aware that the preservation of loving bonds with others takes a fair amount of consistent effort and must be taken seriously by all parties to work.

When my stepfather was single, he dated quite a few women with children from their first marriages. (As human beings, we tend to have consistent patterns in our behavior, and courtship is no different from every other behavior that has a lot of patterns in them.) Being the sort of fellow who is basically gentle and mild and understanding, he was vulnerable to being used by others who had ulterior motives, since he was basically sympathetic to others. This is definitely a concern of mine as well. I mean, all of us have vulnerabilities in matters of the heart, and as someone who works very hard not to take advantage of others, I am similarly concerned about being taken advantage of myself. No matter how hard-shelled we may be on the outside, we all have sensitivities and vulnerabilities, whether to our hearts or egos or anything else. Perhaps that is why I have never sought to embarrass those who have longed for a compassionate person to care about them for who they really are, even if they go about it the wrong ways. Do we not all want the same things, deep down in our hearts, and try to do the best we can to do what we think will be the most successful, even if the best we can do is not nearly good enough?

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Church of God, History, Love & Marriage, Musings and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 6.5

  1. Pingback: 33 | Edge Induced Cohesion

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