Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Turn For a U2 Post

Master Stellman may have claimed the honor of biggest U2 fan involved with Bring the Books (Josh certainly isn't in the running). Though this post will probably not be a successful bid, it is, I am afraid, my own attempt at throwing my hat into the U2-loving race. Rather than write something original or insightful about my favorite U2 album (Achtung, Baby!), I instead want to share an interesting quote from Bono about the struggle to stay faithful to his wife, Ali, while he was out on the road - particularly during the rather riotous Zoo TV tour:

But it's not easy to deal with money, it's not easy to deal with fame, it's not easy to deal with women throwing themselves at you, even being married, perhaps especially being married. No matter how strong you are, no matter how upright, these are real hurdles that you have to figure out how to get over. I will never forget the time Adam saw me in a headlock with some starlet and said to me, "It's fun. It's exciting having sex with someone you don't know. Don't let anyone tell you it isn't. It's a great adventure getting to know somebody. But as rare as it is to fall in love, it's not as rare as real love, I will die for you love, I will be there when you're sick and when you're frail love. Now that's rare. I would give everything, all these experiences that I'm having, all these different and extraordinary women, I'd give them all up for what you have." I remember Adam telling me that. And if there was one reason for having him as best man at my wedding, that was it, that one conversation.

I can't speak from my own experience, since I literally married the first woman I ever dated, but the more I observe people around me, the more I think Adam Clayton's words to Bono are true. I am surrounded by people who are single, and they're looking for love, and they're discontended being alone. And these people compromise themselves, they sleep with their girlfriends, they date and they date and they date, and there is literally nothing but depression and regret. There is no real satisfaction in using God's gifts improperly, and I don't have to experience it for myself because I see it demonstrated for me day in and day out.

I try to avoid sentimentality as much as possible (irony provides a certain safety net), but the more I see the single people around me living promiscuously and settling for third best in their lives, and giving up on their standards and ideals, the more convinced I am that I am married to the greatest woman on the planet. The more convinced I become that marriage really works.


  1. What do you make of happy people who live like rock stars or otherwise "promiscuously"? What do you make of unhappily marrieds? I see plenty of these as well. For me, the interesting thing is what we do with that which doesn't follow the neat rules of married = happy and unmarried = unhappy.


  2. I hope people don't misconstrue this post, because the point is not that single = unhappy and married = happy. There are too many people out there who are living promiscuously and finding satisfaction, and there are too many married people who want to pluck their spouse's eyes out.

    The point is, every single person around me that I can think of who is dabbling in promiscuity (and most of them are - even the so-called "Christians" among them) are tremendously unhappy and discontented. That's really what I'm saying. It is possible that in some nebulous place somewhere in the world, people are living with clean consciences, sleeping with their upstairs neighbor, and living a full, happy, and contented life, but I personally know of no such people, and I would also venture to guess that such people are the exception to the rule. Most of those we might offer forth as examples of this (like Hugh Hefner or Colin Farrel or some other well-known profligate) may seem to be happy, but I suspect they still must occasionally struggle against their God-given consciences. I would say that Adam Clayton's words to Bono in this post do show that someone who is not a believer (Clayton is not) and living promiscuously still yearns above all else to be loved unconditionally by one faithful partner, because that is ultimately more satisfying.

    Now, the married people around me are, in all honestly, doing alright. We are all taking it day by day and forgiving each others' sins. I don't think marriage solves anything (it is, however, meant to deal with - as Paul says - "burning" with lust).

    What I'm saying is that marriage doesn't make life simpler, so if you're not satisfied with life and living contentedly as a single, I can pretty much guarantee you that once marriage lands, you will find it just as difficult to find contentment with what you have. My ultimate goal is for everyone to do as Paul says and to be contented, whatever their situation is - married or single.


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