Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Oprah on Marriage

I'm an admitted Oprah fan. I haven't bought completely into Oprahism, but I do think she has done some significant good through her power.

Today's show was very interesting. The topic was marriage. Specifically, it was warning of the "dangers" of marriage. I'm still kind of trying to process everything that they said, so bear with me...

The dangers they spoke of was the threat of "losing yourself" in the marriage. The whole idea of morphing into person that you think you should be-- ideal mom, wife, etc, and denying "your own truth." Haha, this new age spiritual language cracks me up. But I understand and appreciate the point.

Although Oprah pointed out repeatedly that she isn't "anti-marriage," it sure didn't come off sounding that way! I was a little shocked because I got the general impression that the panelists and professionals honestly believed that you could get married and still retain the same independence and sense of self that you always had.

I'm all for being a strong woman, but you've got to be kidding me! I shouldn't be surprised considering the way that our culture views marriage these days. But isn't marriage the union of two souls? The whole "flesh of my flesh", "leaving and cleaving", and "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine" type of thing?

Modern wisdom is now telling us that waiting longer to get married is the best idea. I can certainly see the wisdom in that (because let's face it, when you're young you're stupid... haha, that's kind of a joke :) ). But I also think it can be a hinderance, because you spend all that time developing your life based on you and your dreams and desires. Maybe even more so for women because they feel they must be "strong" to validate their singleness. So when it comes time to unite your life with another, it's probably going to be harder to do so without feeling like you are "giving up" yourself.

It's interesting to think about. Certainly our culture needs to re-think our ideas on love, marriage, and commitment. Independence is great, but we can't let ourselves get into a pattern of thinking, "I am number one. It's all about me and how you can fit into my life, because don't expect me to change for you." Of course this notion comes as the pendulum has swung from the other direction of women being objectified and repressed for so so so soooooo long. I guess I can only speak for myself, but sometimes you can feel like a traitor to your gender if you want to submit in any way to your husband. Which is also sad.

Oh my, why can't the pendulum just stay in the middle for a while. :)


Alissa said...

I think Rob and I benefited from being young when we married, because we did a lot of growing up together. But we were accepting of the fact that we would not stay the same people we were when we got married.

I did read an interesting study in Psychology Today that said that even people who don't believe in traditional gender roles (husband works, wife stays home) tend to get pushed into those roles after they get married. Sometimes they just drift, sometimes one partner pushes it that way.

Denver said...

I'm "young and stupid" and not married so I don't know if I have any worthwhile marriage comments.

Now on to more important things. I wanted to tell you I linked an old blog entry of yours to mine.

jojo said...

I always enjoy reading your thought provoking posts on this blog. And I must say that although I am no fan of Oprah I like where you are going with this line of thought and share a similar sentiment except at one point. I think neither Women nor Men should be in submission to the other in a marriage relationship.
I think originally the concept of marriage found in the ancient text, is about forming a unity that in someway reflects the image of God. One of the titles for God is often in plural form although he is one unity, in that same image he created Ha-Adam both as male and as female in one unity(see Genesis 1:27). Another title for God (YHVH) is actual in feminine form and interestingly enough it is in that title that YHVH God starts to make a partner contrasting Ha-Adam(Genesis 2:18).
None, can be found so Ha-Adam (neither male nor female entity) is split into Ish(man) and Isha(woman)(Genesis 2:23). So YHVH God simply takes the female part out of the Ha-Adam instead of from the Ha-adamah (red soil). The entire text is in poetical form with lots of puns and word plays and I do not doubt that the original author’s point was to say that both men and women are different side of the same equation.

It might help to put some of the verses side by side to see the fun the author (Moses, Joshua, or some other scribe) was having with this.

Genesis 1:27 Then God(plural) created Ha-Adam in His image, in the image of God plural) He designed Ha-Adam; ‘as both’ male(Ish) and female(Isha).

Genesis 2:18 YHVH God said, "It is not good that Ha-Adam is , absolutely one(self sufficient)!; Therefore I will build an Etzer K'negdo (helper contrasting him, a coequal worker like him, a partner for him) ."

Genesis 2:23-24 This one shall be called Woman (Isha), For from man(Ish) was she taken." In a like manner a man(Ish) will leave his father and mother and cling to his wife (Isha), so that they become a unity.

I believe very strongly that men and women should work together as equals like a team whose coach is God only. For when they do they are one. Also, we all are somehow a blend of both or father and mother in one person. So even in that way 100% plus 100% equals 100%, very bad math but good theology.

God bless you and keep you!

Leah said...

This is TOTALLY off the subject, but can you believe Chris got booted from AI last night? I was in shock (as was everyone else, it seemed).