Cloth Diaper Marriages

When my kids were babies, we had cloth diapers.  Disposable diapers were available at the time; we just couldn’t afford them.  No, we did not indulge in those fancy throwaway diapers; we had the good ol’mess’em and clean’em later diapers.  You put them in a diaper pail, a delightful little plastic container where a lovely, pungent brew of baby poopies would slowly stew until you got around to washing them so they could be reused.  Now, don’t misunderstand me, I do not miss cloth diapers. God bless the person who invented the disposable diaper! (I know, I know, they are bad for the environment—landfills and all that—but cloth diapers were bad for the environment where I lived, so I welcomed the invention of throwaway diapers.)  But I do have a problem with throwaway marriages—relationships that are tossed aside because they get some “poo” in them.

We need to develop some “cloth diaper” marriages—marriages that you stick with no matter how crappy they get.  Relationships that you hold on to—yes, you need to learn how to wash and dry them, and maybe use some fabric softener to make them nicer to touch and smell—but you don’t toss them away.  Sadly, what we have instead is a culture of quick, no-fault divorce that fosters throwaway marriages—disposable love.  It’s amazing, but some folks hold on to their underwear longer than their sacred vows of matrimony, and they didn’t even pledge to the underwear, “Till death do us part.”

We live in a throwaway world.  We throw away everything.  When I was growing up, repair shops were not hard to find.  Shoe repair, television repair, appliance repair, and watch repair ships were commonplace.  Today that isn’t true.  When was the last time you had a pair of shoes fixed?  Who repairs torn socks anymore?  Unless you have an expensive watch, you just throw away the one you have when it quits working.  We throw away everything today—even the things that should never be thrown away, things that are designed to last for a lifetime, like marriages.

What contributes to throwaway marriages?  I think it’s bad thinking.  Somewhere along the road, we need to ask ourselves: What’s the point?  What should one expect out of marriage?  Why should a person get married in the first place?  Our answer to these questions is critical.

Consume, Consume, Consume
In our consumerist society, we like to get things that make us feel better, make us look better, or promise to make us happier.  Since the late 1940s, Madison Avenue advertising firms have been striving to get Americans to purchase items under the premise that a particular product or service will make our lives bigger and better. And we believe them.

Before consumerism became so dominant, people generally acquired things because they needed them.  And they bought things that were practical and durable and dependable.  Today people tend to buy things, not so much because they need them, but because they want them. And they don’t buy practical things to use; they buy things that project an image.  Why?  Because in a consumerist culture, the things people possess define who and what they are.  Products are the stuff of identity. Next time, I will discuss how this consumerist mindset negatively impacts marriages in our culture today.

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8 Responses to “Cloth Diaper Marriages”

  1. George says:

    Mark – I bought a new phone system for our house last night – the old one stopped working – the base unit in the kitchen and all the wireless units around the house. Well, actually from what I could tell the old one did not stop working – the batteries in all the units would simply no longer hold a charge – it was a power issue – not a repair issue. And the batteries cost almost as much as a complete new system.

    Our marriage has certainly had it’s struggles over the years (35 next week!) but it was never “broke” – just at times we ran out of the energy it took to make it work. By one of us moving away from a daily walk with Him – we moved away from our power source and could no longer “hold a charge”. I had the energy to make MY life work – buy not the energy to make OUR life work. And, yes, at times to me it certainly seemed like it would be cheaper to just get a whole new one – bright and shiny and fully charged with energy. (for a time)

    But that was never His plan for me – rather God calls us to walk in His Light and by His Power each day and He will accomplish in me what I could never do in my own power.

    Today I am so very glad that when my walk took me away from my power source my wife gently kept pulling me back to Him, and to her.

  2. Jason@SongSix3 says:

    Oh this is great! My wife and I minister to marriages, and she runs a cloth diaper making business! Hits home for us!

    Your throwaway marriage thought really hits it on the head. Too many people just give up when they should, in fact, be rolling up their sleeves and getting to work on the marriage.

    Thanks so much for this!


  3. Sandra Gochnour says:

    Throwing away a marriage that gets poop in it denies the self-satisfying feeling of accomplishing something.

  4. Sofia says:

    Well written. Makes me ashamed to be a human being of today. I wonder when this consumerism will end, and if it will ever turn the other way again. Absolutely applicable to marriages aswell, and I am also guilty of having “throw away”-thoughts even though this is more complicated than simply not being satisfied.. When there is a disagreement of the woman and man in where to live (different countries) is divorce the only solution? Or is it the womans “responsibility” to follow the man, no matter what?

  5. Donna Marie Johnson says:

    I am the kind of person who holds on to what I value, even if the world is telling me it is obsolete. Example: I used a smart enough phone for years ’cause I loved that highly reliable lower-tech device, but everyone else around me had upgraded to smart phones.

    My marriage is valuable and it works as I/we work it. No politicians, talk show hosts or laws of men are going to make me think my marriage is obsolete.
    We are in this thing for life.

  6. Christine says:

    Could we Please have an App that will work on Windows Phones ( like the Nokia 720 & 920 )so those of us that don’t have an iPhone or an Android phone can also enjoy your daily pod casts. Thanks & God Bless You .

  7. Beverly Jo Pogrant says:

    Mark Gunger reminds me of the comedians I grew up with Bob Hope, Red Skelton, George Burns. I appreciate so much your humor & pray for a good sense of humor. I love laughing and do not do it enough. Thank you.
    I wish you could make something humerous out of how some of us baby bombers were coerced out of day dreaming & using our imaginations by well meaning pastors & teachers at “Christian Schools” with mind sets it’s of the devil, using your imagination is satanic.

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