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Guest Post: What is the Fruit of Marriage?

I'm very happy to be able to provide a platform here. I'm also glad to be able to share the voices of other men who share the same if not more passion for the subjects of manhood, fatherhood and marriage. Joe B of Manhood V. Dadhood is one such gentleman. Please check out his contribution to Makes Me Wanna Holler and give him some love over where he blogs.

Joe B and son

I am a Special Education teacher, and I spend much of my days communicating with students who are unable to speak, or understand spoken or written language. In working with individuals with this obstacle, many people forget or don't realize that BEHAVIOR IS LANGUAGE.

We have five senses, and we take in information from all five senses. The way we learn about how we are supposed to act is through what we hear and what we see. I am the youngest of 7 in a blended family, so I am naturally a people-watcher.
The mall, airports, and other public places are fun for me. Anytime where people are out and "trying" to be someone or something they are not in the comfort of their own home is fun for me. I work in a middle school, and I love when parent/teacher conferences come around, because I get to see the people that have created this student. I like to see where they get mannerisms, nervousness, phrases, twitches, demeanor, and which parent they learned coping skills from. Many times we try so hard to teach our kids to be who we want them to be that we forget to become the people we want our kids to be.

Yes, I have been talking about kids, but how does this transfer over to your marriage? Very easily.

Marriage is a beautiful and sacred thing. (I'm not gonna get into gay or straight marriage) It has been perverted into being just "the next logical step" in a relationship. We get married, we "fall out of love," we cheat, we abandon, but what we don't do as often is choose to love everyday. It is the things we do that tell others about us. "You will know a tree by the fruit it bears." I am a firm believer that you do not have to describe yourself; it will become evident in a short period of time to anyone who cares to look close enough. If I say that I am a successful, driven, entrepreneur, and I can't get backers for an idea, then I am not. If I say that I am an expert in a certain field, and don't continue to learn in order to remain an expert, then it fails to continue to be true. If I say that God teaches to love people, and I don't love my wife/husband or children, then who am I kidding? If I do not walk, talk, or act like a duck, then you will not assume I am a duck just because I told you I was.

Marriage is a beautiful and sacred thing. It is a perfect example of how we are to walk through this world, but we have perverted it to be "just a contract." A marriage is not about negotiating mutually beneficial terms to an agreement to co-exist with someone you had a drink with. It is not the result of your stuff + my stuff [divided by] pre-nup = our stuff. Marriage is where we learn how to love so we can love everyone around us. Marriage is the fertile soil where our offspring learns to live in and cope with the world we are raising them in.

Marriage is a beautiful and sacred thing, and our children are not the fruits of our marriage, otherwise childless marriages bear no fruit. The fruit of your marriage is, in fact, the unspoken testimony that people see when they are around you. It is the dad I saw enjoying time with his daughter at Starbucks. It is the three-week family trip in the Summer. It is taking a break from work so your child can explain how exciting it is that their shadow moves with them. It is the childless couple that devotes their time to missions, charities, and youth organizations. It is in the ways you love your spouse and your kids, the legacy that creates for your grandchildren, and the message that tells to on-lookers that is the fruits of marriage.

So here's some concluding tips to consider to help your marriage be fruitful:
  • Work hard, play hard, but love harder.
  • Know yourself and your limitations, and communicate to compensate.
  • Learn the love languages of all members of your house, then grand gestures won't be wasted on someone who doesn't need/want one.
  • Don't just say you love your kids, show them what it means.
  • Encourage and forgive without enabling.
  • Teach through mistakes and not through control.
  • Know you will fail, and never stop trying.

Thanks for reading; I hope it made sense.

~ JB

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