Marriage: University or Tech School?
Where do you go to learn how to be a husband? To lead a marriage? How is it one of the biggest endeavors we undertake in life has no training and little help? We spend thousands of dollars and hours prepping for a wedding and almost nothing prepping for marriage. How many times have you heard a young husband go on and on about how his pre-marital counseling changed his life?
And if there was a school for husbands, what would they teach? Who would teach it? Who’s qualified? I mean . . . really.
If marriage was taught at university, it would be a dog’s breakfast. Every professor with a book would have his or her answers to the tough questions. People would ‘ideate.’ There’d be as many ideas as popcorn kernels on a movie theater floor. And some would be just about as valuable. In a sense, that’s where marriage is in many corners today. Throwaway marriage, open marriage, gay marriage, divorce and remarriage, rinse and repeat.
Maybe ‘tech school’ is a better model. Here’s why . . .
- Tech school people ‘own’ it . . . their students want to learn how to do something specific and do it well. They’re almost never there just to have fun and hang out. They’re there to learn and apply what they learn in a career for the benefit of themselves and their families. Unbelievable things happen in a marriage when the husband ‘owns it.’ Takes responsibility for his marriage and opens himself up to “How can I do ‘this husband thing’ better?”
- Tech school is about ‘how to’ . . . With all due respect to universities, tech schools aren’t about philosophy or research or creativity. Most people who graduate tech school have the capacity to do something very specific and do it well. Once a husband takes ownership of his marriage, he can step into the challenge of how to do marriage well. How to become a great husband. How to love his wife so she feels it. How to remove the obstacles to the ‘oneness’ God described for marriage.
- Tech school teaches ‘the best way’ . . . There are universities and research grants and forums and all that. But tech schools teach the best way to do stuff based on the here and now. You won’t learn how to repair the ‘air conditioner of the future’ in tech school. You’ll learn how to work with what is. Practical. Helpful. Current reality. The best place to go for the practical ‘how to’ on marriage is the guy who came up with it in the first place. That’d be God. He cast a clear vision for husbands when He told us to love our wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (Ephesians 5:25), when He told us to honor our wives (1 Peter 3:7), and when He told us to consider others more important than ourselves (Philippians 2:3).
- Tech school is for people who ‘want to’ . . . This isn’t ‘find yourself’ territory. This is rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty. Same with husbands. If a man wants to, he can improve as a husband and move his marriage quality up several notches. There are resources out there (like this book). But he’s got to want to.
My challenge to husbands is simple. Put yourself through ‘marriage tech school.’ Decide you’re going to learn how to be a great husband and then do it! In most cases, the quality of your marriage is up to you! Will you take responsibility for your marriage? Will you own it? Will you roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty in selflessly loving your wife . . . as Christ loved the church?