Remaining Above Today’s Cultural Norms

Today was a rare morning.  I woke up to birds chirping and a beautiful sunrise that beamed through my windows.  It put me in the mood to wake up early and do a little grocery shopping.

After perusing the store for essential and mostly more non-essential items, I stood in one of the checkout lines waiting for my turn.  Now, I usually like to flip through any of the magazines on the rack while I wait, just to keep myself busy.  It’s usually not a problem, but today, when I glanced at the headlines to decide on which one to pick up, this is what I saw:

Every headline on every magazine was about someone’s wrecked marriage. As someone who is working on her emotions, this initially brought up strong reactions within me.  Is this all people are interested in reading? Is this how our culture really is: Get together temporarily and then it’s over in a brutal heartbreak? As someone who desires to remarry, what exactly am I supposed to look forward to?

These magazines were definitely discouraging to say the least, even if they were the trashy magazines that we all know are only ever half true.  See, this is why I’m afraid to remarry, I thought to myself.  But then I had to check my thinking: If we were created to connect with another, wouldn’t it be safe to say there is a stark difference in what God defines as a union and what the world defines?

While it may be true that our culture has a disposable mentality – we tire quickly and search for the next best thing often – that doesn’t mean I have to operate that way.  It doesn’t have to be my norm.

One thing that I am learning while dealing with my own emotions is that what we feel is a choice.  This is also true for what we believe.  Inching my way up the checkout line, I had to have a conversation with myself: Do you believe what the words of society say about marriage, or do you believe what the Word of God says? My response was that I believed God’s words. So, I asked myself another question: What, then, is there to fear?

Regardless of what we see in front of us (or beside us at the checkout line), we must push past it.  We cannot allow what we see in our culture to be the reason we avoid what was originally intended to be a blessing.  That “reason” is only a defense mechanism that eventually turns into a numbing agent – simply in use to make our lack of inner peace hurt less.

What a great catharsis to have in the grocery store! I thought to myself as I was paying for my groceries.  When the clerk handed me my receipt and told me to have a great day, I could confidently look back at her and say, “I definitely will, and you do the same.”

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Elana Cole is an author, educator, and coach who is passionate about helping others in their personal journeys towards a more beautiful life. She is the author of "The Midnight Experience" and creator of Empowered Narrative, a blog about transforming the way you live and love.

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