May 22, 2024
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May 22, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Recently, the New York Times published an article entitled, “Searching for Sex.” The author talks about the fact that people are insecure about themselves and therefore always worried about finding enough partners or, even in committed marriages, being a good enough partner. The focus, though, is way off target.

What is the purpose of marriage? Presumably, it is to create a setting for raising the next generation in a way that provides safety, love, and caring. But there is at least one additional purpose: It is to provide a way for two people to slowly build a caring and loving relationship.

With regard to the purpose of raising children, it sometimes does not work out as intended. There are many married people who are tragically left caring for children alone because of divorce or the loss or incapacity of their spouse. That is catastrophic, but the remaining spouse has the potential to raise his or her children in a way that, under the circumstances, is best for them, and the children are at least well cared for.

Lately, in the Orthodox world, there is also an insignificant but growing number of women who are discovering that their time for having a child is quickly coming to an end and yet find it difficult or impossible to find a partner. They are therefore choosing to give birth to and raise a child or children “on their own.” Aside from the many potential halachic (and social) questions, they are left like any other single parent with the responsibility of raising a reasonably well-adjusted child.

But a parent without a partner is left without a partner and therefore lacks even the possibility of himself or herself ever reaching the opportunity (unless he/she remarries) of building the caring relationship that virtually all human beings crave. That is left for marriage and is only possibly achievable in that one venue. Even then it is never completely fulfilled. Like everything else in life, it is all potential and we can only come close but never reach it. That is why there are no perfect marriages (or wealth, or achievement, or happiness)—it is always just striving. That is the reason that the greatest marriages are occasionally terrible, almost always imperfect, but continually in a wonderful state of striving.

Don’t ever stop, even when it gets really difficult!

By Mordechai Glick

 

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