5 things Hollywood Gets wrong about marriage
I cannot go to the grocery store without having the latest divorce news jumping off the covers of Hollywood’s gossip magazines. They slap on the pictures of the most beautiful people together and then make us wonder why the marriage failed. Hollywood, or more aptly known as Babylon, has some misconstrued ideas about what marriage is.
One of the general attitudes is that marriage is just a piece of paper. With wedding chapels in abundance, marriage can feel like a fun fling rather than a lifelong commitment.
A second attitude is “if you get tired of it, leave it”. How many movie plots include a spouse who decided marriage was not for them or they “fell out of love”? In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we understand that marriage is ordained of God. It has a divine purpose. It is not as something as changeable as a jacket or shoes. The Proclamation on the Family states “The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” 1
Thirdly, as mentioned above, fidelity is not optional. Hollywood seems to portray loyalty in marriage as nice but not necessary. When one spouse leaves the bonds of marriage to satisfy their physical or emotional appetite, not only does it break trust between spouses but between parents and children. Too often children take a back seat to the priorities in the family after such a violation. Perhaps a new life is created and left without the stability of a home with two parents and financial security. One person’s selfish indiscretion can affect a number of lives and those who are hurt the most are the innocent children.
Fourth, so many of the images filling the media outlets are glamourous, laden with skimpy clothing, perfect bodies, and smiles. They seem to be indoctrinating us that marriage should be filled with excitement, beauty, and passion every hour of the day. Where are the images that display real life? Moms drive kids to school in pajama pants and ponytails, people wake up with bad breath, employment can bring stress, parents can be grouchy when they have been up with a sick child all night. Your marriage and spouse are worth fighting for, but we must be realistic. In the eternal perspective, what matters most is the loving relationships we create day after day as we work, pray, study, and serve together.
Lastly, Hollywood rarely involves God in anything, especially marriage. Our covenant of marriage to our spouses is a promise made to our Father, not to each other. He should be
a prominent part of our everyday decisions and actions. Whatever the Savior touches lives. We all need the touch of our Savior in marriage at times. Though it may not be easy, our marriages will always be worth every ounce of effort we put in as individuals who love God and seek to be sanctified by His Holy Spirit to one day gain entrance into the Lord’s kingdom.
“The Family: A Proclamation to the World” President Gordon B. Hinckley, General Conference, October 1995